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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
September 27, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Faculty To Give Medical Writers Tips About Keeping Computers Cybersafe

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Pradeep Khosla and Stephen Fienberg will tell 1,000 medical and technical writers how to keep their data safe during a panel discussion Oct. 1 at the 65th Annual Conference of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) at the Pittsburgh Hilton.

Khosla, dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering and co-founder of CyLab, and Fienberg, a university professor of statistics and social science, will discuss what it takes to make the Internet more cybersecure. Their session is from 3:45 to 5 p.m. at the hotel's Kings Gardens room.

"As industry and government seek to repel the attacks for which the Internet is the launching pad, much of the effort involves understanding those who unleash the malicious codes and attack digital doorknobs," Khosla said. "Our researchers are creating tools that will ultimately help track cybersleuths and prevent another 'digital Pearl Harbor.'"

The conference begins Sept. 29. Sixty AMWA members will tour Carnegie Mellon's medical robotics research labs Sept. 30.

On Oct. 1, in addition to Khosla and Fienberg, Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of education training and outreach for Carnegie Mellon CyLab and head of the Information Networking Institute (INI), is scheduled to speak from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on international education and long-distance learning. Jim Hudson, an AMWA conference organizer and a principal in California-based Medical Writing Associates, said he is pleased and honored to have Carnegie Mellon participate in the program designed to educate members about the newer and exotic cybervillains, and new long-distance learning initiatives.

"Attacks of all kinds can cripple our computers, so we are very interested in learning about some of the more practical strategies on how to protect ourselves," Hudson said. The 5,000-member AMWA, founded in 1940, is the leading professional organization for biomedical communicators worldwide.

Khosla will talk about a variety of technologies, including the need for software measurement that can effectively reduce the number of bugs and the need for increased software assurance that will help by detecting malicious code.

Much of Carnegie Mellon's cybersecurity research is being conducted through Carnegie Mellon CyLab, a university-wide, multidisciplinary initiative that builds on more than two decades of Carnegie Mellon's leadership in information technology and involves more than 200 faculty, students and staff from six departments and three colleges within Carnegie Mellon.

CyLab's comprehensive research program spans technology, management and policy issues. CyLab offers professional master's degree programs in networking and security through the INI, the education arm of CyLab, and a cache of executive education programs. CyLab also participates in the Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service (SFS) program for graduate information security education and offers an education and research capacity building program for faculty and members of minority serving institutions. Carnegie Mellon has been designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency.


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