24 Jul 2017
During the Spring semester of the 2016/2017 academic year, I collaborated
(Adelphi University, Mathematics) on a study that investigated if realistic
gamified simulations of cybersecurity attack scenarios enhances outcomes of
cybersecurity education. Such simulations are increasingly popular in
cybersecurity training and are referred to as Capture-the-Flag (CTF)
Intuitively and anecdotally, the answer is affirmative. It only makes
sense that playing a game based on realistic scenarios has a positive
outcome of a player's abilities.
However, as important as intuition is, science looks for measurable facts.
Our study was designed to look at a few criteria:
- Do students enjoy the subject matter more by participating in a CTF?
- Does participating in a CTF deepen understanding of theoretical
- Does participating in a CTF develop offensive and defensive cybersecurity skills?
While our sample size was relatively small, the study confirmed that
participating in a CTF does indeed, through enjoyment and engagement,
students are willing to spend more time on mastering the practical skills
discussed in class. Our research were less definitive about deepening
theoretical understanding, but we are currently designing a follow-up study
that focuses on those aspects.
Based on our study, we wrote a paper that will be published in the
conference proceedings of the Special Interest Group for IT Education
(SIGITE) and Research in Information Technology (RIIT), which is part of the
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
When the paper is published, I'll post full details here.
21 Jul 2017
I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend this past week at
Brookhaven National Laboratories with several of my
Adelphi colleagues. Brookhaven (BNL) is one of 17 U.S. National Laboratories
that is tasked by the Department of Energy to conduct research in a wide
range of topics.
BNL describes its mission as "to advance fundamental research in nuclear and
particle physics to gain a deeper understanding of matter, energy, space,
and time; apply photon sciences and nanomaterials research to energy
challenges of critical importance to the nation; and perform
cross-disciplinary research on climate change, sustainable energy, and
We spent the week learning how BNL could benefit from introducing more
scientific computing into academic curriculae.
Scientific Computing is an interesting field, since it brings together the
Sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, etc.) with Computer Science and
Mathematics. Most cutting-edge research requires researchers to be
proficient in mathematical and computational techniques. Unfortunately, that
is not always how colleges and universities teach their undergraduate
By engaging in a week-long workshop with colleagues from different
disciplines, we developed a deeper (and better) mutual appreciation of the
nature of the work that we all do, and we identified a variety of skills
that may be useful across the disciplines.
We have some ideas how we can improve ways in which we collaborate, and how
we can incorporate teaching scientific computing in our daily practices. It
was a week well spent.
Updated July 22, 2017: Typo fixes
17 Jul 2017
As of today, my academic writings will be separate from my other public
work. This blog is solely related to my academic research portfolios, which
revolves around research that is grounded in conceptual modeling and
knowledge representation, and which is most commonly applied to defensive