Education - Page 9 - Technology, from page 2

Education
- Page 9
Technology, from page 2
empower better user experiences,” says Adantor.

The program course requirements include three on-campus residencies, at the beginning, middle and end of the program, which allows students to connect with their cohort and utilize campus resources. The online component of the MPS UXD program, however, is what makes it so friendly and adaptable for working students, and the symbiotic relationship that their work and courses have in the refining and application of the UX design skill set.

“Being the first cohort, I was very pleased with how much effort and work Crystal Shamblee and the MICA administrative staff did to prepare this program. They are curating an experience that truly reflects the word ‘mastery.’ We are learning how to master the tools to become better user experience designers,” says Adantor, who will begin a job this summer at KPMG as a UX designer.

The interdisciplinary focus at MICA is echoed across various innovative technology and training programs and degrees in Maryland, whether it’s in creative work, security or computer science. The Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program at University of Maryland is a leader in this approach.

“We need to redefine cybersecurity as multidisciplinary and really focus on the human aspect. This should be a team based field with more women, more diversity, offering creative solutions,” says Michel Cukier, Ph.D., ACES director and associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland.

The ACES program begins for approximately 75 hand-selected freshmen who are chosen to be a part of the ACES Living-Learning Program through the UMD Honors College. After two years, these students will receives an Honors College Citation in Cybersecurity. For juniors, the program opens up to those qualified and interested in a cybersecurity minor, offering the opportunity to a larger group. These students’ majors run the gamut from computer science to engineering, psychology and math.

ACES began in 2013 with a generous gift from Northrop Grumman, who remains a vital partner through internship and research opportunities, along with other companies and agencies in Maryland. “We bring experts to the classroom and have an exclusive agreement with the NSA – instructors, mentors, internships, research topics classified just for us, and eight classes taught by instructors from the NSA. Students really want to hear from experts and companies love it, because they can share with students what it really means to work in this environment, as well as recruit,” says Cukier.

Sydnee Shannon, a senior in the program, was recently hired by ManTech in Hanover, Md., where she had previously interned. A math major, Shannon began in the ACES program as a freshman, and knew she wanted to combine her math skills with computer science and ACES seemed the perfect fit. “ACES was actually one of the main reasons that I chose to attend the University of Maryland. The opportunity to be a part of the first honors program in interdisciplinary cybersecurity was something I knew I had to be a part of. The ACES program has increased my self-confidence and really showed me that cybersecurity is a field I have a passion for,” says Shannon.

True to ACES intent, Shannon was able to understand more fully how her major would work in the cybersecurity world. “When I first started the program as a freshman I didn’t entirely grasp how my mathematics background could be applied to problems in the real world. ACES gave me a chance to experiment within the field of cybersecurity and figure out where I fit in. It is due to the corporate panels, hands-on classes and interaction with other students that I found a home working in computer network operations and decided I wanted to work in the government contractor environment,” says Shannon.

In a world that requires an almost innate understanding of computers and technology, the data scientist is more in demand than ever. Loyola University’s brand new master of science in data science program aims to deliver into the workforce just that. “Data science is a mixture of statistics, analytics, math and business. It’s deeper than just the counting of things. It’s about understanding the relationships between these things in a business environment so that you can target your market differently, and try to understand what’s going on with a lot of different variables and gain an advantage,” says Christopher Morrell, Ph.D., professor in the department of mathematics and statistics, and director of the data science master’s program.

The master’s in data science is aimed at people already in the workforce, who may be looking to change directions or enhance an existing career. The expectation is that the 31-credit program can be completed within two years, and entry into the program generally requires some math, statistics and computer science, but it isn’t a demanding entry process, as the program is designed for the business major or similar who is looking for a career change.

The program requires a capstone project, guided by a member of the advisory board, which includes mentors from Booz Allen, Constellation, Red Owl and others. Students will solve a real world problem within these companies, getting hands-on experience, and an opportunity to see the inner workings of the field they’ve chosen.

True to the Jesuit mission of Loyola, students will also be encouraged to work with non-profits and community organizations, as well as understanding the ethical implications that can come with having so much information at your fingertips. •