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Oct. 15: Carnegie Mellon Information Networking Institute's Cyber Academy a Finalist for Prestigious Japan Award


Chriss Swaney

Carnegie Mellon Information Networking Institute's
Cyber Academy a Finalist for Prestigious Japan Award

PITTSBURGH—Through the creative efforts of Carnegie Mellon University's Information Networking Institute (INI) and CyLab, a novel interactive cybersecurity portal for children, The Carnegie Cyber Academy, has been named a finalist for the Japan Award.

The Carnegie Mellon entry is one of more than 300 innovative research tools competing for top honors in an international competition designed to encourage higher standards for educational multimedia content.

"I am delighted that our INI team is a finalist for such a venerable award because this designation recognizes our strength in fostering outstanding educational programs that support the world's cybersecurity needs," said Dena Haritos Tsamitis, INI director and director of education, training and outreach for Carnegie Mellon CyLab.   

The MySecureCyberspace game and companion Web site ( were designed to teach Internet safety and computer security to children and adults. Created by the INI and Carnegie Mellon CyLab, the interactive materials teach users how to avoid cyber predators and malicious viruses. Cyber hackers attack some Web sites more than 350 million times per day and thousands of child predators troll Web sites for unwary victims every hour.

"We launched the game in October 2007 with the endorsement of Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, and since then schools around the world have downloaded the game for use in classrooms," said Tsamitis, who was instrumental in helping the university be re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance, and designated for the first time as a Center for Academic Excellence in research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Sally Yanagihara, a second-year student in the INI Masters of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program at CyLab Japan, will give a short demonstration of the cyber game to media professionals and educators Oct. 23 in Tokyo as part of the final stage of the competition. Award winners will be announced Oct. 26 in Tokyo.

Ames Kraemer, the INI creative lead for the game and companion Web site, said the team is extremely excited and honored to have made it to the final round.