NYU-Poly professors receive NSF grant

The National Science Foundation recently awarded NYU and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU a three-year, $2 million grant to fund a multidisciplinary program in technology.

The grant aims to increase the number of qualified students entering the fields of information and computer security, while also encouraging collaboration between the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses. NYU-Poly professors Nasir Memon and Ramesh Karri will work with Anindya Ghose, a Stern assistant professor of information, operations and management sciences; Helen Nissenbaum, a Steinhardt professor of media, culture and communication; and Rae Zimmerman, a professor of planning and public administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

The program approaches information technology from a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective, designed to be flexible in nature and to produce a "category of scholars," Ghose said.

"Security is not just about technology," Memon said. "It's more than that. You need an understanding of human institutions, business, law and public policy."

Ghose also said that part of the grant includes money for scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career related to information security and privacy.

The program recently offered a scholarship through which approximately 60 students graduated. Many of them have gone on to work for the federal government for organizations such as the NSA, CIA and the U.S. Army.

Eight scholarships will be awarded in the next three years. The application process, which will begin in several months, will require students to submit a transcript and a statement of purpose. An internal committee will review the applications.

According to Memon, the committee is looking for students who are passionate and committed to serving the country.

Stern senior Moses Lo expressed his interest in the scholarship program as well as in a multidisciplinary program that focuses on security and privacy, particularly in information technology.

"Privacy on a personal level is interesting because as the world becomes more IT-orientated, our lives are stored in the IT format, from Facebook to job-finding," Lo said. "A lot of data can be retrieved about a person online."

Lo said receiving the scholarship would be a great honor.

"It would put me working with probably some of the country's best and brightest, in terms of dealing with potential security threats to some of the most secure systems in the United States," he said.