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Polytechnic Dubbed National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by NSA

There was good reason to celebrate on August 14, 2014, when the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering was officially honored as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency (NSA). The school was the first in New York to earn that prestigious designation, which will be limited to just 25 institutions across the country. Additionally, it is now one of only a handful to have earned all three CAE designations, having been previously named a CAE in Information Assurance Education and a CAE in Information Assurance Research.

The newest laurel, signaling that a school boasts a deeply technical, interdisciplinary program with extensive opportunities for hands-on learning, was presented at a celebratory luncheon by Steven LaFountain, the Distinguished Academic Chief for Information Assurance and Cyber in the Associate Directorate for Education and Training (ADET) at the NSA. Also in attendance were Peter Bloniarz, the Executive Director of the New York State Cyber Security Advisory Board, and a host of security-industry leaders from such firms as Goldman Sachs and UBS as well as such public agencies as the Department of Defense and the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications.

Speaking to the attendees, who were also treated to poster presentations by students in the School of Engineering’s cybersecurity program, Professor Nasir Memon excitedly outlined his vision for the future of cybersecurity studies at NYU. “We’re thinking of instituting an undergraduate cybersecurity degree in addition to our graduate program,” he explained, “and one day we plan to have industry leaders in residence, much like some schools have artists or writers in residence.” He also stressed the need for industry to partner with academia. “Businesses will need the next generation of experts we are educating,” he asserted. “There is a strong case that now is the time for collective action.”