An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | July 14, 2017

NSA recognizes future cyber experts and mathematicians at Intel ISEF 2017

The National Security Agency Research Directorate (RD) recently awarded rising science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) stars for their projects in cyber security and mathematics research at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, CA. ISEF brings together thousands of students from around the world to showcase their innovative ideas to the STEM community.

Rucha Joshi, from Westwood High School in Austin, Texas, took home the 1st place Science of Security award for her project, titled "Power-efficient, Delay and Spatial Error Tolerant, Dynamic 3D Network Analysis." Joshi designed and coded an algorithm to determine optimal low-power communication solutions in evolving networks.

Shobhita Sundaram, from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, received the 1st place Mathematics award for her project, titled "Detection of Premalignant Pancreatic Cancer via Computational Analysis of Serum Proteomic Profiles." Sundaram built a model that helps identify significant pancreatic cancer biomarker proteins quickly, enabling earlier diagnosis.

Other awardees include: Holly Jackson of San Jose, California (2nd place in Science of Security); Mihir Patel and Nikhil Sardana of Alexandria, Virginia (2nd place in Science of Security); Nicky Wojtania of Plano, Texas (Honorable Mention in Science of Security); Mary Lorio of Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Honorable Mention in Science of Security); Michael Litt of Pepper Pike, Ohio (Honorable Mention in Science of Security); Carson Cato of Hot Springs, Arizona (Honorable Mention in Mathematics); and Tassilo Schwarz of Germany (Honorable Mention in Mathematics).

This was the first year RD recognized outstanding projects in mathematics. Adam Tagert, Science of Security Technical Lead, explained, "These awards we hope inspire the greater science community to think about cyber security in their work and advancing cyber security in their projects."

NSA RD awarded a total of $6,000 to ISEF participants this year.

The cyber domain is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is imperative for current STEM professionals to seek future talent. NSA RD is committed to this search.

The Research Directorate's Science of Security initiative is dedicated to developing a scientific discipline focused on cyber security. The Research Directorate uses ISEF to spark student interest in research protecting, "cyberspace interactions in an increasingly interconnected world." At Intel ISEF 2017, members of RD engaged with students, parents, and other STEM enthusiasts, to educate participants on the career opportunities that exist within the Agency and the cyber security profession as a whole.

"We look to grow a community of researchers doing scientifically backed research and support rigorous security research measures," says Tagert. "We advance these two goals with our participation at ISEF."

For more information on the Science of Security initiative, visit the Science of Security and Privacy website.