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Two UMFK faculty among only 25 in the nation selected to participate in information security program

June 13, 2003


University of Maine at Fort Kent associate professor of computer science, Raymond Albert, and assistant professor of electronic commerce, Tony Gauvin, are two of only 25 college and university faculty members nationwide selected to participate in a prestigious information security summer institute that gets underway this week at Purdue University.

Albert and Gauvin will be attending the Information Assurance Education Graduate Certificate program, which runs June 16 through August 8, at the West Lafayette, Indiana campus Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS).

CERIAS is currently viewed as one of the world's leading centers for research and education in areas of information security that are crucial to the protection of critical computing and communication infrastructure. The center is unique because of its multidisciplinary approach to the problems, ranging from purely technical issues (e.g., intrusion detection, network security, etc) to ethical, legal, educational, communicational, linguistic, and economic issues, and the subtle interactions and dependencies among them.

"Ray and I are both very excited. This is a very select group of individuals. To say that of only 25 participants, UMFK will have two representatives at this graduate program is impressive and speaks highly for our institution," said Gauvin.

The two UMFK professors applied to the program jointly after Albert learned about the summer offering.

"This program is an excellent fit for UMFK, its students and the local community. It will bring state of the art information security expertise to our area, and will likely result in new national funding streams to support our local research and scholarship efforts. Additionally, it will likely lead to new educational offerings that will be highly compatible with the existing e-commerce, computer applications and public safety administration programs," said Albert.

According to the computer science professor, he and Gauvin hope to take the information they obtain this summer to begin planning and offering courses in information security and assurance, as well as submit a successful grant application in support of a new technology lab on campus and other related research and scholarship efforts.

Albert was instrumental in developing the original computer applications and the new e-commerce degree programs at UMFK. Gauvin was hired to further develop the e-commerce program and has developed, with the help of colleagues, a complete course of study, several new courses, methods of evaluation, internship opportunities and community outreach programs.

Both faculty members teach courses in UMFK's recently constructed Northern Aroostook Center for Technology, which houses several new computer labs that serve several academic programs.

An advanced computer technology lab houses the latest workstations used in a variety of computer science and e-commerce courses. The center also contains a superior teleconferencing center.

These facilities, along with Albert and Gauvin's selection to participate in the CERIAS graduate program, work in concert with campus discussion about the creation of a network security and e-commerce lab at UMFK.

"This program is a nice fit for what Ray and I do. We hope to gain information that would help us create a new lab that would serve the educational needs of our students and also facilitate research into new information assurance and security technologies. We hope this lab will provide a service to local commercial entities through simulations of current and cutting edge e-commerce technologies," said Gauvin.

According to Albert, his and Gauvin's participation in the CERIAS program will have a positive and direct impact on the students they teach.

"The benefits of the CERIAS program to the campus community will include the establishment of local expertise in information security and assurance and an improved ability for students to tailor their education to better meet the nation's growing interest and need for highly trained information security and assurance professionals," said Albert.

In addition to the graduate summer program in which Albert and Gauvin will be participating, CERIAS has leading programs in various levels of security and assurance education, including undergraduate, K-12 and professional development. Purdue University and CERIAS have program offerings at the master's and bachelor's degree levels. CERIAS also offers certification programs, workshops and seminars on a variety of topics.