The INI's first class MS01 proudly sported their nickname on softball team uniforms.
With extraordinary agility, the Information Networking Institute (INI) has navigated the changing landscape of technology from wired communications in the 1980s to wireless, mobile and Internet of Things in today’s world.
The INI was established in 1989 in response to a demand from industry for professionals skilled in both computing and communications. What began as a small fledgling program has evolved over the past three decades to become an integral department of Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering and home to over 300 students each year from across the world. Throughout its history, the INI has adapted to meet global demands for engineering professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills – characteristics that are foundational to its programs.
1993 - INI receives a $500K government grant to start the Wireless Research Initiative, later known as Wireless Andrew.
2001 - The NSF Scholarship for Service at CMU welcomes its first cohort.
2002 - INI establishes CMU's first international degree program in Athens, Greece.
2005 - Women@INI established.
2006 - INI partners with Alta Associates to create the Executive Women's Forum INI Fellowship.
2007 - INI launches bicoastal programs.
2017 - Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis receives the Barbara Lazarus Professorship in Information Networking.
Explore important moments in INI's history:
William Sanders is appointed dean of the College of Engineering.
- The INI announces academic program updates to go into effect for all future cohorts beginning in Fall 2020, including transitioning to a three-semester 122-unit model and renaming the M.S. in Information Technology-Mobility (MSIT-MOB) to the M.S. in Mobile and IoT Engineering (MSMITE). The curriculum has also been revised to reflect the core competency areas for MSMITE students.
Three INI security students represent Carnegie Mellon as RSAC Security Scholars at RSA Conference.
- First ever virtual INI graduation celebration honors the graduating MS30 class.
- INI Students Place First in Autonomous Checkout Competition.
- INI teams up with Delphi Research Group to host a COVIDcast Hackathon, where INI students and alumni competed on speed optimizations, coverage and configurability in order to help Delphi continue to develop their prototype.
- Three new faculty join the INI: Ehab Al-Shaer, Cynthia Kuo and David Varodayan.
INI introduces new Academic & Professional Development course taught by Dena Haritos Tsamitis focused on providing INI students with a foundation in essential academic and professional skills for lifelong learning and stimulating critical thinking on relevant topics as they embark on their professional journeys.
First cohort (MS32) in new three-semester program model enters the INI.
- INI student Ruchi Banerjee recognized as the 13th EWF INI fellow.
- INI hosts first-ever virtual Practicum Showcase, where bicoastal students present their practicum work in computing, mobile systems and security through dynamic presentations and project exhibits.
- CMU hosts the sixth annual Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference, which highlights the work of accomplished women across academia and industry. Dr.Dena Haritos Tsamitis, the Barbara Lazarus Professor in Information Networkingand INI director, serves as program co-lead for WiCyS 2019 alongside Bobbie Stempfley, the director of Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute’s CERT Division.
- INI alumna Roseanne Silva receives CMU Alumni Service Award.
- A team of CMU students, including four from the INI, finish in second place overal lat the 2019 MITRE Embedded Capture the Flag (eCTF) competition, which ran fromJanuary to April. They were also recognized for their achievements throughout the event with the Best Writeup Award and the competition’s first ever 0day Award.
- Five INI students and alumni, as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s competitive hacking team the Plaid Parliament of Pwning (PPP), are crowned the champions at the 2019 DefCon “World Cup” of hacking, the team's fifth world championshiptitle in seven years.
- The INI participates in the United Negro College Fund's (UNCF) Computer Science Academy in Silicon Valley, a pilot program aimed at building professional andtechnical skills for computer science undergraduates from historically blackcolleges and universities (HBCUs).
- The INI celebrates CyLab's 15th year as Carnegie Mellon University's security and privacy research institute.
- INI students brave the cold to capture the famed CMU Fence.
- Farnam Jahanian named 10th President of Carnegie Mellon University
- INI security students Goldy Lim and Tiemoko Ballo represent Carnegie Mellon University as RSAC Security Scholars at RSA Conference.
- INI hosts 15 middle and high school girls to showcase careers in cybersecurity for "Tour Your Future" in partnership with Carnegie Science Center.
- MS08 Marachel Knight is the INI’s diploma ceremony speaker.
- INI director Dena Haritos Tsamitis is recognized as a 2018 Women in IT Security Power Player by SC Media.
- Our 10th bicoastal class heads to CMU-SV
- The INI secures a $5 million NSF award for the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program.
- In partnership with BitClave, the INI hosts the first BitClave Active Search Ecosystem (BASE) Developer Hackathon at CMU-SV
- INI professor Dr. Martin Carlisle speaks about picoCTF at Global CISO Executive Summit.
- INI director Dena Haritos Tsamitis speaks at the International Consortium of Minority Computing Professionals (ICMCP) Conference and Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC).
- MS30 Carolina Zarate is selected as the 11th recipient of the full-tuition EWF INI Fellowship.
- Under the direction of INI teaching professor and picoCTF Education Director Martin Carlisle, nine INI students served as problem developers for the 2018 middle and high school hacking competition.
- INI director Dena Haritos Tsamitis joins RSAC Advisory Board.
- INI hosted its second Practicum Showcase & Networking Reception at CMU Silicon Valley, featuring the work of student teams for 11 industry and research sponsors.
- Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis is appointed to serve on the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) Board of Advisors.
- The INI launches its five-year strategic plan, entitled, "Strategic Plan 2021: Together We Can Shape The Future."
- The INI’s staff and faculty members complete a months-long project, Building Our Bridges, taking elements from the new strategic plan and incorporating them into real life practices that will improve the overall student and alumni experience.
- Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis is the first to receive the Barbara Lazarus Professorship in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University.
- Over 18,000 middle- and high-school aged students participate in the 2017 picoCTF led by the INI’s Dr. Martin Carlisle as well as leadership from CyLab, breaking previous attendance records.
- INI students place third overall in MITRE Embedded CTF.
- MS21 alumnus and Arconic CISO, Ryan Shaw, is named the 2017 INI Graduation Speaker.
- Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis participates in EWF’s Cybersecurity Women on Capitol Hill Public/Private Symposium.
- Roberta G. Stempfley is named as the new director of SEI’S CERT Division.
- Farnam Jahanian is appointed as Interim President of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Laurie Weingart is appointed as Interim Provost of Carnegie Mellon University.
- Greg Kesden joins the INI as Associate Teaching Professor.
- Student Nisha Tanjirala receives the EWF INI Fellowship.
- Student Rachel Eaton receives the Director’s Fellowship.
- INI alumnus Alain Kajangwe is elected president of Carnegie Mellon Africa’s Alumni Association.
- The INI welcomes 145 students into its MS29 class.
- The INI Strategic Planning Committee is formed, and begins work on the INI’s new strategic plan.
- The INI renews its valued international partnership with University of Hyogo, in Kobe, Japan.
- Martin Carlisle joins the INI as Director of Academic Affairs and Teaching Professor.
- Student Pouria Pezeshkian receives a Presidential Fellowship.
- Students Goldy Lim, Patricio Chilano Mateo, Momina Haider, and Caleb De La Cruz Paulino are the first recipients of the Director’s Fellowship.
- Student Caitlin Hanley receives the 9th EWF INI Fellowship.
- The INI Strategic Plan is finalized and the plan for its public debut is made for early 2017.
- Farnam Jahanian is named Provost for Carnegie Mellon University. He succeeds Nathan Urban, who served as interim provost from 2014-15.
- The INI 25th anniversary celebration takes place over Carnival weekend at Carnegie Mellon.
- Student William Parks receives a Presidential Fellowship.
- Carnegie Mellon partners with the NSA Day of Cyber, which works to inspire future generations to consider careers in STEM and cybersecurity.
- The INI establishes the Director’s Fellowship.
- Student Melanie Rich-Wittrig receives the 8th EWF INI Fellowship.
- Women@INI (WINI) celebrates its 10th anniversary.
- The INI sets plans for celebrating its 25th anniversary on April 18, 2015.
- The MSISTM program adopts a new name, the Master of Science in Information Security, or MSIS.
- Carnegie Mellon University is redesignated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education (CAE-IA/CD) and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R).
- The 7th EWF INI Fellowship is awarded to Hana Habib.
- James H. Garrett Jr. becomes the new dean of the College of Engineering. He succeeds Pradeep K. Khosla who left in August 2012 to become chancellor of the University of California, San Diego.
- Alumna Marachel Knight (MS7) receives the President's Award at the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA).
- The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designates Carnegie Mellon University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-Cyber Ops) based specifically on the program requirements for the INI's MSISTM program.
- Dr. Subra Suresh becomes the university's ninth president.
- Limin Jia, assistant research professor, joins the INI as a faculty member.
- Marullus A. Williams becomes the first INI alumnus to be recognized at the university's annual Alumni Awards. He receives the Alumni Service Award at the awards ceremony held during Cèilidh Weekend. In total thirteen Carnegie Mellon alumni receive awards for exceptional career achievements and service to the university.
- The EWF INI Fellowship is awarded to Grace Kihumba, the sixth EWF INI Fellow.
- Faculty members Rajeev Gandhi and Patrick Tague accept leadership roles as associate directors of the INI. Nicolas Christin leaves the role in order to focus on research in a position with ECE.
- INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis receives the 2012 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring through the university's annual Celebration of Education awards.
- Student Erye Hernandez becomes the fifth recipient of the EWF INI Fellowship.
- The MITS cohort graduates.
- The INI hosts a panel of business leaders at the Women and the Economy Forum.
- The INI welcomes five students from the U.S. Navy for the Master of Information Technology Strategy (MITS). The pilot program is a cooperative endeavor of the College of Engineering, School of Computer Science and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Student Dolly Karaba receives the fourth EWF INI Fellowship
- Lockheed Martin awards five fellowships to INI students.
- The INI 20th Anniversary Celebration takes place over Spring Carnival Weekend.
- The second EWF INI fellow, Tyelisa Shields, graduates and takes a position at Hewlett-Packard as a system qualification engineer.
- The eighth edition of the Information Assurance Capacity Building Program takes place.
- WINI hosts visiting Engineering alumna, Dr. Erin Fitzgerald, for an event to kickoff the new 'computer engineer' Barbie by Mattel. Dr. Fitzgerald, who had a hand in the new doll's design, led a discussion with fifty students, faculty and staff on the topic of women in technology careers.
- Student Krystal Ying is the third recipient of the EWF INI Fellowship.
- Several INI students compete on CMU's Capture the Flag team.
- The staff begins plans to mark the 20th anniversary of the INI.
- The INI hosts regional alumni events in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley and Seattle during spring semester.
- Carnegie Mellon is re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and designated for the first time as a Center for Academic Excellence in Research.
- The INI website and CarnegieCyberAcademy.com win 2009 Silver Communicator Awards.
- The INI announces a cyber forensics and incident response track option for Pittsburgh MSIN and Pittsburgh MSISTM students, and an Integrated Master's option for ECE and CS undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon.
- The INI hosts the first-ever global diploma ceremony in Pittsburgh that includes graduates from our programs in Athens, Kobe, Aveiro and Lisbon.
- A team of INI students in the Kobe MSIT-IS program win the incident-handling contest at Shirahama Cyber Crime Symposium.
- CyLab and the INI hold the seventh offering of the Information Assurance Capacity Building Program.
- Students along with staff advisors organize GOINI (Graduate Organization@INI), a student-run organization to nurture leadership and social networking skills among students.
- Professor Nicolas Christin is promoted to Associate Director of the INI. In July he moves to Pittsburgh from Japan where he had been positioned since 2005 as an INI faculty member and faculty advisor for the Kobe MSIT-IS program.
- The INI celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Athens Master of Science in Information Networking program (Athens MSIN). An alumni reception was held at the Arion Resort and Spa in Athens, Greece, on June 12, 2008, the day after the Athens MSIN graduation ceremony.
- The INI launches bi-coastal Pittsburgh-Silicon Valley MSIT programs in Mobility, Information Security and Software Management. The first class arrives in August.
- The INI hosts the first global orientation, Destination 2008, and convenes graduate students from all six global locations. International students who accepted the invitation to attend participated in the two-day orientation with their Pittsburgh classmates and attended classes with them for a week.
- The first class graduates from the programs in Portugal, the Aveiro MSIN and Lisbon MSIT-IS.
- The first EWF INI fellow, Amy Rambhia, graduates and joins Microsoft as a project manager in the Networking Group.
- The INI renovates the lower level of the INI building to add another Distributed Education Center (DEC). The space includes distributed education equipment, lab space, a classroom and conference room, as well as reception area, kitchen and restrooms.
- The INI graduates its first class of students from the Kobe MSIT-IS program.
- The INI launches two graduate degree programs in Portugal to begin in fall 2007.
- The INI and CyLab celebrate the official launch of Carnegie Cadets: The MySecureCyberspace Game. Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett attends the kickoff event at a local elementary school.
- The INI announces new professional graduate degree programs in information technology (INI Pittsburgh-Silicon Valley Master of Science in Information Technology programs) that will give students the experience of two locations: the rich academic setting at Carnegie Mellon's main campus in Pittsburgh and the unique professional exposure at Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley campus.
- The INI and Carnegie Mellon CyLab partner with Alta Associates to create the Executive Women's Forum INI Fellowship.
- The INI graduates its third class of students from the Athens MSIN program.
- The INI reports 100 percent career placement rate for 2006 graduates.
- The INI celebrates its 15-year anniversary.
- Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the INI and CyLab launch MySecureCyberspace.com, which includes a prototype of the online MySecureCyberspace game.
- Dena Haritos Tsamitis and faculty Chenxi Wang found the student-run organization Women@INI (WINI).
- The M.S. in Information Technology - Information Security (MSIT-IS) program is created and offered in Kobe, Japan.
- The INI graduates its first Athens MSIN class of 19 students in Athens, Greece. This is the first Carnegie Mellon graduation ceremony on foreign soil.
- Dena Haritos Tsamitis becomes director of the INI when Pradeep K. Khosla is appointed dean of the College of Engineering.
- The INI becomes the educational partner of Carnegie Mellon's newly created CyLab Research Initiative and begins development of MySecureCyberspace®.
- The INI creates the M.S. in Information Security Technology & Management (MSISTM) program in response to growing concerns in the U.S. about cybersecurity.
- The INI moves back to 4616 Henry St., occupying two floors. The building is made wireless; students, working in shared offices and clusters, are provided with Dell computers.
- The INI, in collaboration with Athens Information Technology (AIT), offers the MSIN degree in Athens, Greece. The program becomes Carnegie Mellon's first international degree program. Core courses are taught via real-time video teleconferencing.
- Dena Haritos Tsamitis, who was involved in the planning and design of the Athens MSIN program, is hired as Associate Director of the INI.
- Carnegie Mellon is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency.
- The first INI students are awarded the NSF Scholarships for Service.
- Wireless Andrew Phase II is completed.
- Pradeep K. Khosla becomes the fifth director of the INI. The INI, previously a university initiative, becomes a part of the College of Engineering.
- The INI holds its first reunion of 10 years.
- The INI conducts research into future markets for packet switched data networks for Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems.
- The INI conducts research for ABB, Zurich to develop wireless infrastructure for the power industry.
- The INI receives an equipment grant from Lucent for Wireless Andrew Phase II, the 802.11 system. Implementation begins.
- The INI signs a contract with Caterpillar, the biggest INI contract to date. The contract involves significant work in mobile communications and includes INI students and INI alumni pursuing PhD degrees in CS and ECE.
- In partnership with CMU Computing Services, the INI completes and makes operational campus-wide Wireless Andrew Phase I, the 900 MHz system. The system is the first campus-wide wireless network in the world.
- The Bellcore contract ends, having provided startup funds and support for research and scholarships. The INI becomes an independent program with a focus on student admissions and research and boosts recruitment efforts around the world for the MSIN program.
- The INI begins the Netbill research project on electronic commerce.
- In the nineties, the INI was involved in some path breaking research projects, including the Coda file system, patented work on image compression, fiber-to-the-home, mobile Internet protocol, and work on the socially isolating impacts of the Internet.
- The INI receives a $500K government grant to start the Wireless Research Initiative, later known as Wireless Andrew. The initiative develops a campus-wide research structure and gains visibility for the INI.
- January: The INI moves to Hamburg Hall. The students work in open clusters equipped with DEC Alpha workstations.
- Spring: The Carnegie Mellon Curriculum Review Committee redesigns the MSIN program to introduce more flexibility.
- INI students work on an electronic billing system, a project that later becomes NetBill.
- August: The second MSIN class enters the INI graduate program. The INI moves off campus to a floor of 4616 Henry St. The new offices are equipped with Steve Jobs' NeXT workstations.
- October: The first MSIN class graduates.
- The first MSIN student project, on electronic publishing, is cited as the most comprehensive study of the subject that had been published up to that time.
- April - August: The Information Networking Institute is founded by Marvin Sirbu. Alex Hills becomes the first director. A contract is signed with Bellcore calling for a master's-level program in information networking.
- August: The first MSIN class is housed in the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). Students use Vax 2100 personal workstations with .25 MIPs processor, 16 MB RAM running Digital Ultrix.
- October: The first ATI (Bellcore executive education program) class enters the INI.
- A four-month mid-career program for employees of Bellcore begins, called Advanced Technology Innovation (ATI), as well as a one-month program for employees of Digital Equipment Corporation. ATI runs until 1994, graduating 10 classes of up to 40 students each.
- July: Bellcore sends a Request for Proposal (RFP) out to a dozen universities.