New Co-Principal Investigator Added to SFS Grant: Dave Levin

Dr. Dave Levin has been added as Co-Principal Investigator for the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program’s Scholarship for Service grant.

The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) grant is funded through the National Science Foundation to provide educational and professional development funding for exceptional students within the ACES Minor. When receiving this scholarship, the student is given the opportunity to participate in experiential learning funded through the grant, including research and internships with government agencies.

Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) aid the ACES program in demonstrating the myriad of benefits behind cybersecurity education. Levin’s work will contribute to showing how cybersecurity education helps to prepare and employ federal agency employees in cyber fields.

Dr. Dave Levin is an assistant professor in the department of Computer Science. as well as the Chair for the UMD Computer Science Undergraduate Honors Program. His research interests include securing the web's public key infrastructure and defending against nation-state censorship.Two projects that Levin specifically plans to SFS curriculum involve combatting Internet censorship, and helping users truly know with whom they are communicating online.

“I am very excited to be part of the SFS team, and to bring to it my efforts to create more opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in academic research,” Levin stated.

Nevertheless, Levin recognizes that ACES students who are involved with computer science do not always get personalized mentoring: “Computer Science is the largest undergraduate major on the UMD campus, which creates a fantastic opportunity for us to teach such a large number of the next generation of computer scientists.  However, it also means that our student-to-faculty ratio is very high, making it challenging for many students to engage in what is typically one-on-one advising on research.”

As a response to this problem, Levin created a lab called Breakerspace where over two dozen students have the opportunity to work in groups on academic research projects, with Levin as the sole advisor. These projects span a wide variety of topics dealing with network security and systems security with one goal: making the Internet more secure for all users.

“The work the Breakerspace students have done is being published in top-tier venues (including ACM CCS, ACM SIGCOMM, and NDSS), and several of the students have continued on to graduate school.  I am excited to bring this initiative to SFS!” Levin noted.

ACES is thrilled to welcome Dr. Levin to the SFS community and looks forward to making further progress toward training a new generation of cybersecurity professionals.


Published June 8, 2020