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Binghamton University named a cyber research center

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Binghamton University has earned the designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research (CAE-R) through 2025. (Photo credit: Binghamton University)

VESTAL, N.Y. — The National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently named Binghamton University a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research (CAE-R) through 2025.

The designation recognizes the work of the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (CIAC), a Binghamton University research center, as well as other research efforts around the campus.

CIAC is a joint effort among faculty members from the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Management, the College of Community and Public Affairs, and the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Binghamton University said.

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure,” Jillian Curcio, national CAE-R program manager for the NSA, said in a letter to Binghamton University.

Watson School Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari praised the efforts of Associate Professor Ping Yang, who is the director of CIAC, and other faculty members collaborating as part of the new CAE-R at Binghamton.

“Our faculty continues to gain international recognition for their diligent research and academic excellence,” Srihari said. “We are very proud to be a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research, and we know that Professor Yang and her colleagues are committed to keeping data secure.”

Reaching the designation

To become a CAE-R, Binghamton University had to complete a “rigorous” 200-page application detailing published cybersecurity research, core faculty résumés, research grants, and the advanced certificate in cybersecurity program.

The university also submitted “multiple” letters, with help from Mary Beth Curtin, associate VP for research; Michael Jacobson, a research development assistant; and Weiyi Meng, chair of the computer science department.

“This designation shows that Binghamton University has a strong academic program in cybersecurity research,” Yang said. “It also opens up cybersecurity grants and scholarship opportunities for our students and faculty. We’re now eligible to apply for some large grants from the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation. I also hope that this designation will attract more students to apply for our cybersecurity certificate program.”

Yang arrived at Binghamton in 2006, after earning her Ph.D. at SUNY Stony Brook. She then developed the first graduate course on cybersecurity in Binghamton’s department of computer science.

“Since then, a lot more people are using computers and the internet,” Yang said. “Children also use the internet, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. So it becomes more urgent to educate students and community members on possible cyber threats and how to address such threats.”

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