http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/tech/news/1012562 Knight Ridder Tribune Aug. 18, 2001 TULSA, Okla. -- The first group of cyberterrorism students reporting for "duty" this week at the University of Tulsa pulls together an eclectic mix of computer talent. The 14 students were hand-picked as part of the University of Tulsa's $5 million federally funded program to conduct cyberterrorism research and to help develop "soldiers" for a national "cybercorps." The university was designated as a Center for Information Security by the National Security Agency. The NSA has designated 14 such centers at public and private schools across the United States, including Carnegie Mellon University, Iowa State University, Purdue University, the University of Idaho and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. The University of Tulsa cadets have qualified for full scholarships for master's or bachelor's degrees in computer science, said John Hale, a TU computer science professor and a co-director of TU's Center for Information Security. The students are expected to graduate in two years, and then to work for the federal government for two years. TU's fall 2001 semester begins Monday. The group includes graduate student Julie Evans, 42. The working mother said she enrolled in her first computer programming course in 1975, when Apple was just a seed. Determined to graduate, she attended night classes for 21 years, finishing her computer science degree at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1998, she said. "This is a dream come true for me," said Evans, who became intrigued by computers as a sophomore in Colorado. "It's my turn. I finally get to go full time. It won't take 21 years to finish this degree." Student Howard Barnes, 63, retired from Boeing Corp. in 1995 as a software engineer. Barnes, a Kansan with a bachelor's degree in physics, said he thought it was "time for a change." He and his wife of 44 years, Joyce, are moving to Tulsa. Another "cadet," 30-year-old Rick Ayers, played lead guitar for the rock group Apache Rain. Ayers is a TU senior majoring in computer information systems. He toured the western United States with Apache Rain until 1993, covering songs from the '60s through the early '90s. TU has also recruited younger students such as Brett Edgar, 20, Ryan Larson, 20, and Kris Daley, 21. All are computer science undergraduates with sterling grades in math and computer science. Edgar, of Tulsa, said he learned to program in Logo and Apple Basics when he was in first grade in 1987. Larson said he programmed a calculator at age 13. "The common element among all of them is their commitment to national service," Hale said. "In addition to their qualifications, we were looking for students with a commitment to a national goal of controlling or eliminating cyberterrorism." The research will involve developing network firewalls and detection systems to protect telephone, banking and other critical communications systems connected to the Internet. Problems with hackers and attacks such as that carried out by the recent Code Red worm underscore the urgent need for better defenses, Hale said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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