In addition to taking courses (traditional or project-based), these students will form teams that will work on out-of-class research projects. Each team will be led by one of the PIs and will consist of PhD, MS, and BS students. The research projects will be drawn from the areas of interests of the PIs, such as cryptographic solutions to address various facets of secure data outsourcing to the cloud, secure and efficient content distribution in wireless networks, trusted mobile people-centric sensing, privacy protection in mobile computing, and cyber-security quantification and decision-making.
Such projects have many learning benefits for the funded students. First, they learn to solve challenging problems by applying the knowledge acquired in class and supplementing it with lessons-learned from state-of-the-art journal articles and conference papers read as part of the out-of-class activities. Second, since these projects have longer horizons than typical class projects, the students will learn to set and achieve long-term goals through detailed schedules that include sub-tasks, milestones, and deadlines. Third, the more senior students (e.g., PhD students and some MS students) will share their knowledge with the new students, thus providing student-to-student learning opportunities. The students will also have the opportunity to work in teams and gain experience in professional communication under the supervision of the PIs. While working on research projects, the BS students will register for independent study courses and, at the end, for the capstone project. The MS students will also register for independent study courses as well as for one of the two options available for graduation: MS project (one semester) or MS Thesis (two semesters).