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ISU Informatics Research Institute receives $1.2 million NSF grant

December 2, 2008
ISU Marketing and Communications

The Idaho State University College of Business Informatics Research Institute and National Information Assurance Training and Education Center have received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, announced Corey Schou, Ph.D., ISU professor of informatics and associate dean of information systems at the College of Business.

The IRI/NIATEC received the grant to continue their “scholarship for service” program, conducted in partnership with the U.S. government.

Dr. Corey Schou

The IRI is an interdisciplinary academic program at ISU established by the university and the Idaho State Board of Education to foster sharing and research synergy across campus. It is currently supporting research in computer security, information assurance, anthropology and education, among other disciplines.

ISU received the first half of the funding effective in November; the second half will be distributed later. Students in the special program receive a full scholarship for two years; participate in specialized learning opportunities and spend at least one semester in an internship, usually in Washington, D.C.

 Upon completion of their degrees, the students take positions in information assurance with the federal government. All applicants must be U.S. Citizens. The continuing support from the NSF reinforces the strong academic and research reputation of the IRI/ NIATEC program, for which there is currently a waiting list.

In other news from the College of Business, Schou, recently attended conferences in Korea and Saudi Arabia. Schou is the director of the IRI and NIATEC at ISU.

At the two-day Secure Asia conference in Seoul in October, Schou joined other global information security leaders to discuss the most up-to-date information security technologies and management strategies, with special focus on new technologies and regulatory compliance issues. Hundreds of information security professionals from throughout the Pacific Rim attended.

In Seoul, ISU IRI research professor Howard Schmidt delivered the keynote address. He spoke about the growth of risks worldwide based on his experience as the cyber security advisor at the White House. The second-day keynote by Schou was entitled “Designing secure systems from the ground up – making shared systems more robust.”

In November, Schou was a guest of the Saudi government and the distinguished keynote speaker at the inauguration of Center of Excellence in Information Assurance at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The inaugural ceremony was attended by hundreds of security professionals and academics from across the Middle East. It provided background to the attendees, including the Saudi Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communication, on leading information security research trends in education and awareness.

While on these trips, Schou was active in recruiting students from both Asia and the Middle East to attend ISU.  In response, the Saudi government offered to establish scholarships for ISU students to attend King Saud University.


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