Cyber Camp

Cybersecurity Program Earns National Recognition

Cyber camp

SJSU collaborates with academic, industry and government organizations such as the U.S. Cyber Challenge (Robert C. Bain photo).

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

San Jose, CA – San Jose State University, home to the Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center, has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity Education for the academic years 2014 to 2019.  SJSU is the first Bay Area institution to receive this designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency’s U.S. Cyber Command.

This designation reflects the important role San Jose State University plays in increasing the number of professionals in Silicon Valley with information assurance and cybersecurity expertise, ultimately contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

The designation builds on more than a decade of research and education at SJSU in information assurance and related fields. SJSU also has a history of collaborating with academic, industry and government organizations such as the NSF-funded National Science and Technology Center TRUST, the Symposium on Curriculum Development in Security and Information Assurance, and the U.S. Cyber Challenge.

Interdisciplinary investment

Several units on campus have participated in the development of curriculum components and specializations in areas related to information assurance. SJSU recently made a major interdisciplinary investment in cybersecurity and related areas, hiring a cohort of nine faculty members across five colleges, forming the core of the SJSU Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center.

“Our aim is to address the critical shortages of information security professionals by creating career pathways into this field for students with a variety of backgrounds,” said Michael Parrish, dean of the College of Science and executive lead of this interdisciplinary endeavor.

President Qayoumi spearheaded the establishment of a big data and cybersecurity initiative at SJSU in 2011. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Hale Feinstein recently approved the elevation of the initiative into an Organizational Research and Teaching Unit given the need to integrate and coordinate the work of the recent cluster hires.

Competitive advantage

“The federal recognition of San Jose State University and its Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center makes the university more competitive when seeking funding supporting cybersecurity education and workforce development,” said Sigurd Meldal, the center’s director. “In addition, the recognition affirms SJSU’s reputation in the area of cybersecurity, attracting faculty candidates and students.”

Four faculty members played key roles in the application to earn the federal designation: Department of Computer Engineering Chair Xiao Su; Associate Professor of Management Information Systems Leslie Albert; Professor of Computer Science Melody Moh; and Department of Computer Engineering Associate Professor Magdalini Eirinaki.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.