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CSU and CWRU offer unique cybersecurity curriculum for undergraduates

Can you hack it?

We’ll see this fall, when Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University introduce the first of three courses in which engineering and computer science students will learn how to break into — and protect — computer hardware, software and data.

This new curriculum is among the first cybersecurity education programs in the country for undergraduates. Graduate-level versions of the courses are in the works, too.

“The curriculum is comprehensive and uses a hands-on teaching approach,” said Dr. Sanchita Mal-Sarkar, associate lecturer of computer and information science at CSU. She developed the courses with CSU colleague Dr. Chansu Yu, chair of electrical and computer engineering, as well as CWRU’s Dr. Swarup Bhunia, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

“We’re doing a lot of computer security research, but we’ve failed in the need to educate and train students — the future users, developers and controllers of these systems,” Dr. Bhunia said.

The National Science Foundation awarded a total of $200,000 in grants to the researchers to develop and support the courses.

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