Friday, September 30, 2011

A Full Ride, Living Stipend and a Job in Information Assurance

How does a full ride scholarship, a living stipend (because the funding organization wants you to work on research and studies) and employment once you’ve earned your degree sound? That’s what the Information Assurance Scholarship for Service program does, and is doing for two graduate students currently at the Institute of Technology. And there is more to come in the next three years.

To create a powerful incentive for students to enter the Information Assurance field, the Department of Defense is offering the program described above. As they put it:

Nearly every day, the United States faces growing threats and attacks against our critical government systems. DoD’s mission is to address the Nation’s urgent security challenges and to proactively seek solutions to protect and defend our information and information systems. One of the key security challenges DoD faces daily is assuring that the Department's information, information systems, and information infrastructure are protected and available in order to support the Department's transformation to a secure net–centric environment.

To continue to provide the growing number of trained personnel needed, DoD is working with universities across the country, known as, often referred to as CAEs, to develop and expand IA–related curricula and to offer programs of study for future IA professionals.

Universities must qualify in order to provide the scholarships and earn a National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designation. Then that university has to pass muster during an NSF (National Science Foundation) site visit to be vetted to provide that opportunity. If you would like to apply for the scholarship, you must attend a qualifying institution.

As it happens the University of Washington has qualified as one of the universities to offer it. Last June, led by Dr Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, the Director of Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the UW, the site visit by the NSF was conducted and included visits to the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

The visit was such a success that they asked that Barbara increase the budget in her proposal.

Three months later Barbara sent out the announcement:
The NSF has officially awarded us $2.1M to fully fund 18 graduate-level scholars over the next 4 years to fully immerse in information assurance (IA) studies! Further, we received an additional $ ½ M on top!! This truly launches us on the national scene as a significant IA presence in the Northwest and in the field at large!
There are only 30+ schools in the US who have had similar awards, our sister iSchool—Syracuse University—being one of them, along with CMU, Johns Hopkins and Purdue. There are only 200+ such scholars in the US at any one time—we’ll have 4 this year—we are in elite company!!

Once again I am reminded of the strengths we have in the South Puget Sound to help generate success in research and technology in the area of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. With our partners in academia to the North, and in particular UW Seattle’s Information School, we can be part of future solutions to the challenges described on the CISC (Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity) site:

The challenges of information assurance are not going to be solved easily, quickly, or independently. Solutions will require new research, new capabilities, new products and services, a spectrum of broadly and specially educated professionals, a much more aware public, and much innovation and broad collaboration. Washington is a convergence of international commerce, military defense, and network-based software development. As such, it is both vulnerable to disruption, and is the home of a spectrum of professional talent and organizations that can be well served by the presence of a national center of excellence.

If you are interested in applying for the program, consider applying to the graduate program at the Institute of Technology at the UW Tacoma or the Information School at the UW Seattle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tech Events Calendar for the South Sound

Earlier this year, at the 2011 South Sound Technology Conference, a small group of people met in one of the breakout rooms in order to talk about the technology event calendar for the next year. That year being more of a Summer to Summer span as opposed to calendar, but I am already digressing.

My intent was to try and publish a straw man calendar so that a more firmly established annual list of meetings could be drafted, vetted and adopted. Also, edited, enhanced and engaged. Not to mention perused, published and... ok, never mind.

So poster boards were put up and people wrote down events, organizations and ongoing meetings. However, the end result was not really easy to digest and articulate into a calendar. I will give you the raw results first. If it is too much for you just skip down:

  • EDB Annual Meeting
  • A Funding Seminar
  • ISSA Training – 1st Tuesday of every month in the Tacoma Room
  • Pacific NW Cybersecurity Challenge
  • PNW Cybersecurity Symposium
  • City Club – a technical based presentation (social networks, online privacy, cybersecurity)
  • Technology Career Fair (put on by Workforce?)
  • Group meetings – Tacoma Tech Consortium
  • - South Sound WTIA
  • - Tacoma Angel Network

  • Ruby on Rails coding meetup
  • Startup Weekend
  • Suite 133 –
  • William M Factory Incubator
  • Tacoma Angel Network

  • Gaming – Intel
  • Kinects – Microsoft
  • Have an out of town big tech event meet up. Whether going to a Washington Technology Industry Event like the Industry Achievement Awards or the Technology Alliances Annual Luncheon, coordinate a group to attend the event together.
  • Hold a digital government summit in Tacoma
  • Washington URISA

  • Shift Awards – Honoring Innovation
  • Meet ups – unstructured
  • Look at the online calendar
  • Harmon: Science CafĂ©
  • Dorkbot
  • South Sound Technology Conference 2012

  • Startup Weekend
  • Barcamp X 4
  • Alliance of Angels pitch session in Tacoma
  • Social Media Outlets
  • Tacoma Library meetings (books?)
  • FIRST Robotics – Intel Dupont SOTA Winners
  • End of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology at the UWT
  • PLU


You see. Plenty of stuff there, but where to start?

It seems to me, there are several organizations listed. Whether they put on events or might put on events that focus on the technology sector, they are part of what aggregating a calendar might look like. Now I don't know if dorkbot is an organization or an ongoing event, but they have not done anything around town for several years. I just know I enjoyed going to the meetings that they had. To the point, each of these organizations holds multiple meetings and events, and could contribute to a calendar.

  1. The Tacoma Angel Network
  2. Institute of Technology
  3. Economic Development Board
  4. Dorkbot
  5. City Club
  6. Grey Hat Group
  7. Tacoma Tech Consortium
  8. Tacoma Workforce
  9. William M Factory
  10. Suite 133
  11. Washington Technology Industry Association
  12. Technology Alliance
  13. Washington URISA
  14. Alliance of Angels
  15. Tacoma Library
  16. PLU
  17. Not to mention, but I will, Microsoft and Intel.
Several ongoing events were listed as well. These are usually bigger events and have some history to them. These alone would be almost one big tech event per month.

  1. The Pacific Northwest Cybersecurity Collegiate Challenge
  2. FIRST Robotics Competition
  3. PNW Security Symposium
  4. The South Sound Entrepreneurs Weekend (A StartUp Weekend like event)
  5. The South Sound Technology Conference
  6. The Economic Development Boards Annual Meeting (listed, though not tech focused)
  7. The SHIFT Awards (put on by SiteCrafting)
  8. A Technology Career Fair
Not finally, but about as much as I want to cover right now, are events or meetings that take place several times a year. For example, the end of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology happens four times a year. Each event, though student presentation based, brings about 70 people together during the course of the day. It should probably be more.

  1. End of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology
  2. Barcamps (suggested we have one quarterly. The last was great.)
  3. City Club meetings (on occasion tech subject matter)
  4. Science Cafe at the Harmon (is this still going on?)
  5. ISSA Training (Tuesday of every month)
That's about it for now. Please feel free to comment on edits, additions or subtractions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do the Puyallup (Again)

For the last few years I have posted the lyrics to the Puyallup Fair's most well known theme song here on the blog. Yes, it is time once more to review the lyrics to the "Do The Puyallup" song of yesteryear.. I will be going to the Puyallup Fair with the family and riding rides (and getting ill), watching shows, checking out the booths for Sham-Wow or a Magic Bullet demonstrations, eating ears of corn and scones and generally having a good time.

Last year my second oldest wanted to go on the giant slingshot for her birthday. Who knows what this year will bring.


"Do the Puyallup"
musics and lyrics by Saxon Rawlings, (slogan by Denny Hinton)

Oh you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

All the people and the animals down at the fair,
They do the Puyallup like they didn’t have a care
And it looks like so much fun to do
I think I’m gonna learn how to do it too.

I saw a duck and a chicken down by the farm,
A kickn' up the hay and a raisn' such a storm,
That I asked the farmer what they were up to
and he said "Puyallup, That's what they do."

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

Asked the farmer if he’d show me how to do it
And he said "why son their ain’t nothin to it.
Just move to the music and jump in the air
Like everyone else who comes to the fair"

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

You can do it in the rain or the sun or the fog
It comes real easy like rolling off a log
Get a partner from Tacoma or Seattle or Fife
Even let you do it with your husband or wife.

It’s a natural thing there isn’t any doubt
Folks do it while they’re sittin’ or walkin’ about
While over on the midway on the merry go round
Kids are doin it in circles going up and down.

Now it don’t matter if it’s rain or shine
When you do the Puyallup you have a good time
So guys grab get gals and gals grab a fellow
If you’re worried ’bout the rain just bring an umbrella.

You can do it with a mouth full of cotton candy
Caramel apples, salt water taffy
Hot dogs, hamburgers, man oh man
Hot buttered scones with strawberry jam

I do the Puyallup cause it feels real neat
Put a smile on my face and a tickle in my feet
Ain’t no way not to do it right
You can do it all day and into the night

you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

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