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News | Feb. 24, 2023

NSA Participates in Fourth Annual Air Force Academy Computing Symposium for Women, Minorities

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.—The National Security Agency’s (NSA) National Cryptologic University (NCU) College of Cyber joined partners from across the U.S. military and Intelligence Community to recognize over 100 military cadets during the 4th Annual Jean Bartik Computing Symposium (JBCS) earlier this month.

The symposium honors Bartik, who led a team of six women in 1945 to program one of the first computers—the U.S. Army's ENIAC—and inspired future generations to advance their studies and careers in computing. JBCS spotlights minority students in the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and U.S. Naval Academy for their academic achievements in computing.

During her keynote address, YuLin Bingle, DSc, Dean of NCU’s College of Cyber, praised the symposium’s mission to promote fellowship among service academy women and underrepresented minorities in computing and cyber sciences.

“Take full advantage of this opportunity to expand your professional networks with your counterparts in military, government, and industry,” she said. “At NSA, diverse partnerships and cross-collaboration are essential components which drive our efforts to build a diverse, expert workforce.”

For the last three years, NSA has partnered with JBCS to unite women and underrepresented minorities from computing disciplines at the service academies with their counterparts in the military and government. The partnership also provides technical training that will make these groups competitive for future careers in service to the nation.

During this year’s symposium, Bingle led an interactive discussion about the importance of balancing computer and cyber technical skills with soft skills. The two-day event also involved student presentations, speed mentoring sessions, and several workshops to sharpen skills, including quantum and high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and cyber operations.

“Connecting and exchanging knowledge with the students is the most rewarding part of participating in JBCS,” Bingle said. “We have been so fortunate to participate year after year in shaping the careers of hundreds of students who will ultimately launch computing careers here at NSA and in the military to protect our nation.”

Kelly Hughes, DCS, NSA’s visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, facilitated a hands-on workshop using a cyber-physical environment called Cyber City to demonstrate how vulnerabilities can be exploited to gain access to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) camera systems.

“Cyber City offers students unique insights into the collaboration, critical-thinking, and proactive risk evaluation and mitigation skills required to deliver effective cybersecurity operations in the real world,” said Hughes. “Though prior cyber experience isn’t required to participate in this exercise, students leave with critical skills upon which they can build a rewarding career.”

At the symposium, students gained a greater understanding of the importance of cyber-hygiene in order to safeguard U.S. infrastructure, as well as their own personal privacy.

“Our nation depends on leaders like you to contribute your mastery of technical and soft skills to help strengthen the future of national defense,” Bingle told the students.

The Jean Bartik Computing Symposium is just one of many paths that NSA traverses to build the diverse, expert workforce required to maintain our nation’s competitive advantages today and in the future.
To start a career journey at NSA, visit or for more information on employment opportunities.