Information Assurance at the University of New Orleans
Information Assurance (IA) is the practice of managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information or data and the systems and processes used for those purposes. More simply, IA is concerned with deeply understanding threats to computer systems, such as viruses and computer criminals, and formulating and deploying solutions to protect cyberspace. Information Assurance encompasses work in operating systems internals, cryptography, penetration testing, reverse engineering, digital forensics, and social engineering.
Why Study IA at UNO?
The University of New Orleans has the strongest Information Assurance (IA) program in the region and is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Infor-mation Assurance Education (CAE) and Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—the only university holding these designations in the State of Louisiana. Faculty and stu-dents in the IA program at UNO work together on cutting edge problems involving reverse engineering malicious soft-ware, developing better digital forensics tools to help investi-gators recover data and solve computer crimes more efficiently, and creating new strategies for battling computer viruses.
In addition to our research, the department offers a variety of exciting IA courses, including reverse engineering, operating systems internals, digital forensics, and network security.
Research and instruction are carried out in two state-of-the-art facilities: The Greater New Orleans Center for Informa-tion Assurance (GNOCIA) and the Networking and Security Laboratory (NSSAL). These labs provide workstations with an extensive array of commercial and open source software, including IDA Pro, AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit, and zynamics BinDiff and BinNavi, to expose students to the same tools that IA professionals use in their day-to-day jobs. All of our IA classes contain extensive laboratory components…you will do IA, not just sit and listen to lectures.
Career Opportunities in IA
Information Assurance professionals are in great demand in a wide range of jobs in the private sector, law enforcement, and in government. Digital forensics experts are employed to recover and analyze digital evidence for civil litigation, in criminal cases, and to support homeland security. To perform digital investigations, they rely on advanced knowledge of forensic techniques, operating systems, filesystems, and networking.
Network security experts design secure networks and protect these networks from ever-evolving threats, using a variety of mechanisms, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and penetration testing.
Reverse engineers analyze malware to understand how it op-erates, how to recover from its effects, and how to construct defenses to prevent future infection. They rely on extensive knowledge of operating systems internals, assembler, and static and dynamic analysis tools for reverse engineering.
Software engineers with a foundation in IA design and im-plement secure software using techniques that increase the re-silience and reliability of both operating systems and applica-tion software. This requires deep understanding of program-ming languages as well as IA.
Our IA program prepares you for the job market by provid-ing a solid foundation in all aspects of Information As-surance.
Information Assurance Faculty @ The University of New Orleans
IA Programs at UNO
Academic programs in IA are available at all levels in the Department of Computer Science. A concentration in Information Assurance may be obtained by students pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. Likewise, students working towards an M.S. in Computer Science can do so with a Concentration Area in Information Assurance. Graduate students can also elect to enter the DENAS Ph.D. program and intensively study IA during their doctoral studies, ending with defense of an IA-oriented dissertation.
B.S. with Concentration in IA
Undergraduate students in the B.S. in Computer Science program may fulfill a Concentration in Information Assurance by earning credit in the following required courses (all of these can be accommodated in the regular B.S. curriculum):
- Completion of the following two courses: CSCI 4621 (Computer Security ) and CSCI 4623 (Introduction to Computer Forensics)
- Completion of one project-oriented elective course. The following courses may be chosen for this requirement: CSCI 4622, CSCI 4402, or CSCI 4460. Other courses may be substituted upon approval by the Department
- Completion of one non-technical elective course, which can be selected to complement a particular student's plan of study. Courses in this category include Mathematics 4360 (Mathematical Information Theory), Management 4407 (Management of Technology and Innovation), and Political Science 4410 (American Constitutional Law).
Other courses may be substituted upon approval by the Department.
M.S. with Concentration in IA
Students enrolled in the M.S. program must fulfill, in addition to the standard M.S. "breadth" requirement, a "depth" requirement in a particular area of concentration. For the IA concentration, this includes three courses from the following list:
- CSCI 4621 Computer Security
- CSCI 4622 Reverse Engineering
- CSCI 4623 Introduction to Computer Forensics
- CSCI 6130 Data Encryption & Cryptology
- CSCI 6621 Network Security & Forensics
Students in this program will also write an IA-oriented M.S. thesis under the direction of one of the IA faculty.
Ph.D. with Concentration in IA
Students pursuing a Ph.D. with a concentration in IA enroll in the DENAS program and complete most of their graduate coursework and research in the Department of Computer Science, with some additional courses in the Engineering Department.
For More Information
Please contact the Department of Computer Science:
Contact information for the Director of the GNOCIA,
Prof.Golden G.Richard III:
For admission to UNO, contact the Admissions Office:
Telephone: (504) 280-6595 or 1-800-256-5-UNO
Bioinformatics @ UNO
bio•in•for•mat•ics: The research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data. [Definition by the NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative Consortium released on July 17, 2000.] http://www.bisti.nih.gov/CompuBioDef.pdf
The Department of Computer Science at the University of New Orleans is taking an active role in the effort to establish the university as a national leader in Bioinformatics.
The department has developed a core group of scientists with expertise in bioinformatics, in disciplines ranging from DNA sequence analysis to cheminformatics, proteomics, statistical-learning models and applications to high-throughput data analysis, and protein structure prediction and design.
These programs exist at the undergraduate and graduate levels and are now being offered to qualified students.
One major area of bioinformatics, which lies at the nexus of computer science and biological science, focuses on providing tools for the storage, retrieval, manipulation, and distribution of information related to biological macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Here, the use of computers is indispensable because most of the tasks in genomic data analysis are highly repetitive or mathematically complex. This includes the development of computational techniques and databases and their application in generating biological knowledge to better understand living systems. Bioinformatics has not only become essential for basic genomic and molecular biology research, but is having a major impact on many areas of biotechnology and biomedical sciences as well. [cf. Xiong, Jin. Essential Bioinformatics. Cambridge Press (2006).]
Career Opportunities in Bioinformatics
The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006-2007 Occupational Outlook Handbook classifies careers in Bioinformatics within the larger category of "medical scientist." With this in mind, it is instructive to learn the following:
Employment of medical scientists is expected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through 2014 ... The Federal Government funds much basic research and development, including many areas of medical research. Recent budget increases at the National Institutes of Health have led to large increases in Federal basic research and development expenditures, with the number of grants awarded to researchers growing in number and dollar amount ... [M]uch of the basic medical research done in recent years has resulted in new knowledge, including the isolation and identification of new genes. ... Medical scientists will be needed to take this knowledge to the next stage - understanding how certain genes function within an entire organism - so that gene therapies can be developed to treat diseases. Even pharmaceutical and other firms not solely engaged in biotechnology are expected to increasingly use biotechnology techniques, thus creating employment for medical scientists. [emphasis added]
The job outlook looks to be rosy indeed and will remain so for a sustained period of time. [cf. http://www.bls.gov/oco]
Programs in Bioinformatics at UNO
Academic programs with Bioinformatics content are available at all levels in the Department of Computer Science. A Concentration in Bioinformatics may be obtained by students pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science. Likewise, students working towards an M.S. in Computer Science can do so with a Concentration Area in Bioinformatics. Graduate students interested in obtaining a Ph.D. degree can enlist in an interdisciplinary, integrative program involving faculty from the College of Sciences (where Computer Science is located), and the College of Engineering, that grants a Doctorate in Engineering and Applied Science while undertaking research with the Computer Science Department in Bioinformatics.
B.S. Concentration in Bioinformatics
Undergraduate students in the B.S. in Computer Science program may fulfill a Concentration in Bioinformatics by earning credit in the following required courses:
- Completion of the following science sequence in Biology: BIOS 1083 (Form & Function), BIOS 1081 (Form & Function Lab), and BIOS 2114 (Cell and Molecular Biology)
- Completion of BIOS 3104 (Introduction to Biochemistry) or BIOS 4153 (Molecular Biology). These can be counted towards "other science electives" required in the B.S. curriculum. Other "molecular biology/biochemistry" courses may be substituted upon approval by the Department
- Completion of the following two courses: CSCI 4567 (Bioinformatics I) and CSCI 4569 (Bioinformatics II). Other courses may be substituted upon approval by the Department
- Completion of the following two "project oriented" courses: CSCI 4589 (Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinformatics I) and CSCI 4590 (Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinformatics II). Other courses may be substituted upon approval by the Department.
M.S. Area of Concentration in Bioinformatics
Students enrolled in the M.S. program must fulfill, in addition to their "breadth" requirement, a "depth" requirement in a particular area of concentration. This consists of three courses (9 cr. hrs.) and may be in Bioinformatics. Courses in this area include the following:
CSCI 4567 Bioinformatics I
CSCI 4568 Bioinformatics II
CSCI 4587 Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinformatics I
CSCI 4588 Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinformatics II
CSCI 4595 Topics in Bioinformatics
CSCI 6587 Adv Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinf I
CSCI 6588 Adv Machine-Learning Methods in Bioinf II
CSCI 6595 Advanced Topics in Bioinformatics
Ph.D. with Research in Bioinformatics
Students may enroll in the Doctorate in Engineering and Applied Sciences (DENAS) and complete their graduate coursework with the Department in the area of Bioinformatics. This parallels the M.S. "depth" requirement. Ph.D. candidates may then choose to be directed by faculty who have a Bioinformatics research emphasis for their dissertation work. The Department is particularly strong in the following areas:
- Dr. Stephen Winters-Hilt:
Machine-Learning Based Signal Analysis
Cheminformatics – Nanopore Biotechnology
Bioinformatics – Computational Genomics
- Dr. Christopher M. Summa:
Macromolecular Structure Prediction
Computational Macromolecular Design and Engineering
- Dr. Dongxiao Zhu:
Statistical Learning Methods and Applications to Bioinformatics
- Dr. Christopher M. Taylor:
Algorithms for High-Throughput Sequencing
DNA Tiling Microarrays and Analysis
GPU-Accelerated Sequence Mapping
For More Information