Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 6, 2004
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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
May 6, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Builds Bridges with Academia, Industry And Information Technology Researchers To Make Region a Cybersecurity Leader

PITTSBURGH—Three years after that day in September, the nation is still worried about terrorism. At the airports we're taking off our shoes, at work we're flashing our badges and at home we're creating emergency kits. But these measures seem inadequate against a mind-numbing array of potential threats. Because terrorists can pick targets anywhere, counterterrorism programs and technology must defend everywhere—from office buildings to airports to cargo ships to hospitals and to the Internet.

Carnegie Mellon University is creating the next wave of cybersecurity defense by using technology to meet emerging security challenges related to networks and the Internet. University researchers are creating a critical mass of technologies that will improve the security of the Internet, transportation systems and the environment. Already, multidisciplinary teams at Carnegie Mellon are working on biometric systems that zero in on the human iris for identification and self-securing computer programs that are robust enough to detect and recover from attacks. Carnegie Mellon is one of the first universities in the world to offer graduate degrees in information networking, security and policy through the Information Networking Institute and the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.

Under the auspices of the Carnegie Mellon CyLab, researchers from the university's top-ranked schools in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and public policy collaborate across disciplines and work closely with government, business and other sectors to ensure security with every computer logon. Here's an outline of ongoing activities that show how the university's CyLab—a new cache for advances in computer and communications technology—will make Carnegie Mellon and the Pittsburgh region a force for cybersecurity solutions:

  • In April 2002, Carnegie Mellon received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service program to help build capacity in Information Assurance education and research at historically black colleges and universities and hispanic institutions. Eighteen faculty members from Howard University, Morgan State University, Hampton University, the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M at Corpus Christi and California State University at San Bernardino spent a month in the summers of 2002 and 2003 at Carnegie Mellon learning how to teach information assurance.

  • In October 2002, The U.S. Army Research Office awarded Carnegie Mellon $35.5 million to develop new technologies and paradigms for computer and communications security. The five-year grant, combined with other federal and state grants, as well as private funding, provides Carnegie Mellon's CyLab with a yearly research budget of about $8 million. Four new faculty members were hired to conduct cybersecurity research.

  • In September 2003, Carnegie Mellon and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a partnership with the university's Software Engineering Institute CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) to create U.S. CERT, a coordination point for prevention, protection and response to cyberattacks across the Internet.

  • In October 2003, Carnegie Mellon's CyLab Cybersecurity Center was formed to pursue an aggressive, future-looking research program aimed at developing new technologies for measureable, available, secure, trustworthy and sustainable computing and communications systems, and to educate individuals at all levels.

  • In May 2004, Carnegie Mellon teamed up with the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse to create the Pennsylvania Cybersecurity Commercialization Initiative, an initiative designed to accelerate commercialization of technologies developed via student projects at the university.

  • In October 2004, Carnegie Mellon's CyLab will continue its annual CyLab Cybersecurity Journalism Awards program honoring print, online and broadcast media for educating the public about America's ongoing war against terrorism. This is the second year for the awards. CyLab also is creating an educational exhibit and computer game to help educate America's youth about Internet viruses.

About Carnegie Mellon: Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in computer science, robotics, engineering, the sciences, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions to solve real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 110-acre campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities because of conservatory-like programs in its College of Fine Arts. For more information, visit


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