Blog Feed Post

SMU Continues To Innovate In Cyber Security Innovation: Launches new institute and innovation gym

By Bob Gourley

We read with enthusiasm about the continued positive news coming out of SMU on the topic of computer engineering, specifically the establishment of a new institute for cyber security and an innovation gym led by friend and renowned engineer Fred Chang. Press release is below:

Darwin Deason contributes $7.75 million to fund Cyber Security Institute, Innovation Gym

January 30, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – A $7.75 million gift from Darwin Deason, founder of Affiliated Computer Services, will launch the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and support the Deason Innovation Gym in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Deason’s gift provides a $5 million endowment, as well as $1.25 million in operational funding, for the new institute, headed by renowned cyber security expert Frederick R. Chang. Formerly research director at the National Security Agency (NSA), Chang joined SMU in fall 2013 as the inaugural Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security with the goal of creating the Institute that now bears Deason’s name.

The gift provides another $1.5 million to support the operation of the Innovation Gym, also named in honor of the Deason family. The Innovation Gym is a facility in which students are immersed into a fast-paced environment to solve engineering problems.

“This support immediately positions the Lyle School to make significant contributions to the science of cyber security,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.   “Darwin Deason’s generous gift of operational funding, in addition to the endowment, allows the Institute to begin addressing critical cyber security issues from day one, advancements that will have an impact far beyond our campus nationally and globally.”

“Darwin Deason’s gift will support important research and education across a broad spectrum of student involvement,” said Lyle School Dean Marc Christensen.  “The institute will attract the best minds to address the threats of cyber crime and cyber terrorism. The Innovation Gym helps develop young minds, turning students loose to solve real-world problems under tight deadlines, overcoming intermediate failures as they learn to innovate. By supporting the institute, this gift recognizes the importance of research at the highest level to solve a global challenge. By funding the Innovation Gym, the gift helps to develop the next generation of innovators equipped to solve emerging problems.”

Deason is the founder of Affiliated Computer Systems, launched in 1988 to handle business processes for clients such as E-ZPass, 7-Eleven, United Parcel Service (UPS), the City of Dallas and numerous state and federal agencies. Serving in a variety of executive positions, including as chairman of the board and CEO, Deason took the company public in 1994 and sold it to Xerox for $6.4 billion in 2010.

Previously, Deason worked for the data-processing firm MTech, where he was promoted to CEO at the age of 29. Before joining MTech, Deason worked in data processing for Gulf Oil in Tulsa, having started there as a mail clerk.

“My business career was built on technology services, so clearly the issue of cyber security is something I take very seriously,” Deason said. “The work of the institute will have a far-reaching impact, spanning retail, defense, technology, healthcare, energy, government, finance and transportation – everything that makes our world work.”

Deason is Chairman of Deason Capital Services (DCS) and President of the Deason Foundation, which supports Christian agencies and churches, education and medical research. Deason’s son, Doug Deason, President of DCS and vice president of the Deason Foundation, helped coordinate this extraordinary gift.

Deason was born in Rogers, Ark. He and his wife, Katerina Panos Deason, divide their time between their home in Dallas and their other residences. Several members of Deason’s family have SMU connections: Deason’s son, Doug, is married to Holly, who is an alumna. Doug’s son, Preston, and Holly’s daughter, Fallon, both currently attend SMU.

The gift counts toward SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which has received more than $800 million toward a $1 billion goal to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign continues to work toward raising the number of endowed faculty positions at the University to 110; raising the number of endowed student scholarships to 500; and completing 15 major campus facilities.

“Mr. Deason’s generosity and foresight will help ensure that the Second Century Campaign further positions SMU at the forefront of U.S. higher education, contributing research and solutions that are essential in meeting society’s challenges.” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs.

“The reach of this gift means that SMU students will benefit from a unique combination of learning opportunities at SMU,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden. “It supports both important research and the spark of student creativity in one step.”

The Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security

The Lyle School’s cyber security program has been one of the University’s centers of academic excellence for 15 years.  The program, supported by a core of highly regarded faculty engaged in advanced research, has garnered attention from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Under the leadership of institute director Frederick Chang, the Deason Institute will expand SMU’s work in this area, incorporating a broad, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and building relationships ranging from campus-wide to worldwide. The institute will educate leaders who understand the complexities of cyber-related issues, whether they take their degree in computer science or philosophy.  The institute also will incorporate elements from law, business and the social sciences to promote development of an educated citizenry in the issues of cyber security.

In addition to directing the Deason Institute, Chang also teaches computer science and serves as a Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Institute goals include:

  • Developing techniques to prevent, protect and recover from cyber attacks on infrastructure.
  • Creating software and hardware designs that incorporate security and ensure protection and proper operation of mission-critical hardware components.
  • Understanding and addressing critical issues in both psychology and economics to establish a deeper grasp of cyber security phenomena.
  • Employing data mining, machine learning and other technologies as tools to respond to complexities of information security.
  • Providing global leadership in the dialogue between law and policy institutes regarding cyber security, ethics and intellectual property

The Deason Innovation Gym

The Deason Innovation Gym in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, is where where engineering students, as well as those in other SMU disciplines, come together to work on immersion design projects and competitions. Located on the ground floor of Caruth Hall, the large physical space incorporates computerized design equipment as well as access to traditional mechanical tools and 3-D fabrication equipment, allowing students to take a project from the idea stage to rapid prototyping in the same space.  Kate Canales is director of design and innovation for the Lyle School and Greg Needel is director of the Deason Innovation Gym.

The gym has been home to a variety of immersion design experiences (IDEs) and competitions, including:

  • A group of Lyle students worked with nonprofit design group bcWORKSHOP to design and prototype a sensor network to gather data about noise, light and other factors impacting safety and quality of life in Dallas’ Dolphin Heights neighborhood.
  • A team of SMU students calling themselves Mustang Developers worked in the gym to win a 24-hour, round-the-clock Ericcson North America competition known as a “hackathon.” The app developed by the SMU team, BiteBlast, is an automated donation alert system that notifies food recipients when certain items are available and notifies both donors and the public when specific items are needed.
  • Five teams of SMU students participated in the World’s Tallest Toy Competition in partnership with toy company WABA Fun LLC, answering the challenge to prototype a structure built from Superstructs toy components aimed at setting a Guinness World Record.

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

 SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 20 graduate programs, including masters and doctoral degrees.



Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

Latest Stories
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU’s GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes.
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?