Bridge Program Graduate Earns Prestigious Scholarship

Yin Mei, recipient of the 2017 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security

When Yin Mei first learned to code in 2014, she never imagined she would be pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity in 2016. She credits much of that welcome turn of events to "A Bridge to NYU Tandon," an accelerated and affordable online course aimed at helping those with little to no computer science background enter the field.

Mei, who holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and previously worked in media and public relations, says, “Step by step, I broke preconceived notions of my ability — especially my own preconceived notions.”

Any student who completes the Bridge Program with a grade of B+ or better and meets all other School of Engineering admission requirements is eligible for admission to a Tandon master’s program, and Mei, who was still working full-time, made that leap. “While there is enormous practical value in learning to code and make web applications, I wanted to understand the science behind the technology,” she says. “I realized computer science would help me understand the solutions to problems that are involved, and a focus on security would help me merge this knowledge with much needed real-world application.”

She plans to pursue her degree as a full-time student next year, and recently she was awarded the 2017 Scholarship for Women Studying Information Security Program (SWSIS), which is supported by the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) along with several industry partners. The SWSIS program aims to increase the number of women in the field by funding and mentoring promising female students who are joining the growing computer security industry.

Mei, who has also been chosen for the interdisciplinary NYU Cyber Scholars Program, foresees combining her technical abilities with her people-oriented soft-skills upon graduating, which she anticipates doing in 2018. She says, “Computers were designed to help people, and the more I learn the more I can unlock that potential.”