PHILADELPHIA The National Security Agency has designated the University of Pennsylvania as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, part of a program intended to safeguard the nations information infrastructure by encouraging universities to offer coursework in computer security. Penn becomes one of about 30 such centers nationwide.
The three-year designation reflects the NSAs assessment of Penn as a national leader in training students for careers in computer security, said Steve Zdancewic, assistant professor of computer and information science and NSA liaison on this effort. It also makes Penn eligible for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense and other agencies within the federal government.
The Centers of Academic Excellence program is intended to reduce vulnerabilities in the nations information infrastructure by producing a growing number of professionals with expertise in computer security, Zdancewic said, helping computer security technology evolve to meet threats as they arise.
Zdancewics colleagues on the NSA project include Michael Greenwald, assistant professor of computer and information science; Carl Gunter, associate professor of computer and information science; Andre Scedrov, professor of mathematics; and Jonathan M. Smith, professor of computer and information science.