Recent Events in Computer Science
Midshipmen Train Cyber Operators in Hawaii
Midshipmen 1/c Lucas Foppe (ECE), 1/c Danny Flack (SCS/SIT dual), and 2/c Lamont Brown (SCS) of the USNA Cyber Security Team (CST) traveled to Hawaii in October 2016 to provide some hands-on training in advanced network analysis to a group of military and civilian DoD cyber operators. The midshipmen prepared a course website, lecture material and notes, demos, exercises, labs, daily homework assignments, and review sessions for a two-day seminar conducted at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. Attendees included members of Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii, a Cyber Protection Team, National Security Agency (NSA) Hawaii, a USMC Radio Battalion, Navy Special Warfare Group Three, and the Coast Guard Cryptologic Group. The midshipmen discussed analysis techniques for identifying features in cellular and wireless traffic, part of their ongoing networks research, under the supervision of LCDR Jeremy Martin of Cyber Science and Captain Erik Rye (USMC) of Computer Science. View the full press release.
1st Place in the 2015 ACM Programming CompetitionThree Naval Academy computer science majors competed against 188 different 3-person teams from universities and colleges across North Carolina to Pennsylvania. The ACM programming competition is the premier international competition that requires competitors to solve challenge problems with computer programs that they write from scratch in a 5 hour time period. The team that solves the most problems in the least time wins. The USNA team consisted of MIDN 1/C King, 1/C Mason, and 2/C O'Leary. Over 180 teams from schools in PA/MD/VA competed, including Johns Hopkins, UMD, Swarthmore, and other top colleges. The USNA team was 1 out of only 18 teams (less than 1 in 10 teams) to correctly solve 5 challenge problems. Further, they were quicker than the others to rank 9th overall. The USNA team was 1st place in its local site of 25 teams (9th out of 188 teams overall), 1st place over other Patriot League schools, and they beat top research universities like Johns Hopkins and the Univ of Maryland. Congratulations to our midshipmen!
Award for Supercomputing AdvancementU.S. Naval Academy Distinguished Visiting Professor of Information technology Dr. Carl Albing was recently recognized with a Significant Event Award along with his colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Albing and his team made notable efficiency improvements to Titan, a High Performance Computer (HPC) operated by the lab. Titan is 2nd fastest HPC system in the world, and #1 in the US, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) in Tennessee. A team of researchers at ORNL was investigating performance variability and reached out to Dr. Albing, who does research in the area of application placement. Together, the team devised and implemented a novel algorithm to segregate small, short-lived jobs from larger, longer-running jobs in hopes that this would reduce fragmentation and variability, and thereby provide more consistently faster runtimes.
1st Place in Cyber Stakes Competition (again)Three USNA midshipmen finished in the top 10 of the 2015 CyberStakes Online competition on October 20, 2015. CyberStakes is a competition between service academies and other cyber security units where individuals solve a variety of challenge problems on topics ranging from cryptography to injection attacks. Blair Mason, a computer science and aero double major, was the #1 finisher out of 182 participants this year. He has now won the competition three years in a row. He is not alone, however, as MIDN Flack and Foppe also finished in the 5th and 7th place positions.
First Place in CDX: Cyber Defense ExerciseOur midshipmen from the Information Warfare Group won the 2015 Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), outperforming the other service academies, including last year's winning team, West Point. Led by Computer Science majors 1/C Zane Markel and 1/C Devon Budzitowski, the team completed several cybersecurity tasks ranging from network security to computer forensics. Teams are scored based on successful completion and defense of their respective networks. The NSA's Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) sponsors the annual event. The USNA last won the event in 2010.
Top Finish in 2014 Cyber Captain's CupThe 'Anch0rm3n' cyber team from USNA placed 2nd out of 11 teams at the highly competitive, DoD-invitational Fort Meade Cyber Captain's Cup. The team competed against top cyber experts from all of DoD in the event's second year. The event was created and hosted by LTJG Justin Monroe (USNA 2010 - SCS and SIT dual major) and his team from NIOC-MD, a Fort Meade tenant command. The competition featured a number of challenges in digital forensics, network traffic analysis, binary reverse engineering, and similar topics.