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SJSU Appoints Director of the Cybersecurity and Big Data Initiative

Professor Sigurd Meldal (photo by Robert Bain)

Professor Sigurd Meldal (photo by Robert Bain)

Professor of Computer Engineering Sigurd Meldal has been appointed director of the San Jose State University Cybersecurity and Big Data Initiative.

SJSU’s goal is to develop a premiere, interdisciplinary institute in the heart of Silicon Valley focusing on the challenges of cybersecurity and big data.

Meldal is the first full-time director of this two-year-old effort, composed of academic and pre-professional work for students, teaching and research by SJSU faculty members, and outreach to industry leaders.

In alignment with all of these efforts, SJSU has hosted and organized events, symposia and summer schools such as the annual Symposium on Curriculum Development in Security and Information Assurance (CDSIA) for the past six years and the U.S. Cyber Challenge for the past two years.

Interdisciplinary programs

Meldal’s work will include coordinating the efforts of five SJSU colleges and over 30 faculty members contributing to this endeavor. This will involve nurturing the development of new courses and certificates for SJSU students, academic enrichment opportunities for K-12 students and educators, and government and corporate partnerships including an advisory council.

Meldal received a doctorate from the University of Oslo, and taught at the University of Bergen, Stanford University and California Polytechnic State University before joining San Jose State in 2002 to serve as chair of the then new Department of Computer Engineering. Meldal also serves as a co-director at the National Science and Technology Center for Ubiquitous Secure Technology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Security, privacy, and public policy

He describes his research interests to include “the many aspects of concurrent processing, with an emphasis on its formalization by means of programming, prototyping and specification formalisms with supporting tools such as language frameworks for prototyping of distributed architectures and the abstraction mechanisms necessary for large-scale conformance checking.”

Professor Meldal has long been interested in the interplay of security and computing, contributing to the design of support systems for the surveillance of nuclear arms treaty compliance. In particular, he is interested in the security aspects of ubiquitous computing and mobile devices, as well as the interplay of security with privacy and public policy.