• Water securityHolocaust survivors give historic $400 million gift to Ben-Gurion University

    A couple who survived the Holocaust and made a fortune investing with Warren Buffett left a $400 million bequest to Ben-Gurion University (BGU). The bequest, much of which is earmarked to fund water-related research, is expected to double the size of BGU’s current endowment. The university’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research focuses on sustainability of water resources, desalination techniques, and improving water quality.

  • CybersecurityNation’s elite cybersecurity talent participate in U.S. Cyber Challenge program

    A week from today, Illinois’ top cybersecurity talent will descend upon Moraine Valley Community College outside of Chicago to participate in the annual U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) Cyber Camp. During the week-long camp, individuals will participate in a variety of classes that cover such subjects as packet crafting and pen testing, and compete in a virtual Capture the Flag competition to demonstrate their cybersecurity abilities in a free-form environment in hopes of winning one of the limited (ISC)2 scholarship vouchers.

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  • ForensicsDHS announces $40 million funding opportunity for new Criminal Investigations Center of Excellence

    DHS S&T earlier this week announced a $40 million funding opportunity for an institution to lead a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis. This new COE will conduct end user-focused research to enhance investigation strategies of transnational criminal organizations’ (TCO) activities and other homeland security-related crimes.

  • Security studiesU.S., Saudi universities to promote security studies

    The University of New Haven will collaborate in the development of a new 4-year baccalaureate degree program in security studies, to be delivered at King Fahd Security College (KFSC) in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Experts from UNH’s Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences will advise their counterparts at KFSC on the creation and accreditation in Saudi Arabia of a baccalaureate degree in security studies with three specialization tracks: criminal justice, homeland security, and intelligence studies.

  • Muslims in EuropeMuslim students in Switzerland must shake female teachers’ hands

    Muslim students in Switzerland’s Basel Country can no longer refuse to shake a female teacher’s hand on religious grounds, according to the canton’s office of education, culture, and sport. If they refuse, they would face a fine of up to $5,000. The canton’s authority added that the public interest outweighed “considerably” the private interests of the pupils. This public interest included equal treatment of men and women, the integration of foreigners into Swiss society, and a well-organized school system. In addition, shaking hands was an important social gesture for one’s future career, the educational authority said in its statement.

  • Certificate programsMontclair State launches homeland security certificate program

    Beginning in fall 2016, Montclair State University will offer a fully online certificate program in Homeland Security aiming to prepare students for careers in what the school describes as “a growing and dynamic field.” The program will be taught by security professionals and practitioners, and it will accommodate up to forty students who already hold a bachelor’s degree. The school says that the application fees will be waived for those registering for the first cohort to begin this September.

  • CybersecurityRegistration opens for U.S. Cyber Challenge’s annual Cyber Quests competition

    U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) on Monday opened registration for the 2016 Cyber Quests online competition. The annual Cyber Quests competition determines who qualifies for the USCC Summer Cyber Camps, a leading nationwide program in cybersecurity workforce development.

  • RadicalizationIslamist radicals from Muslim countries tend to have engineering qualifications

    Islamist radicals born and educated in Muslim countries are seventeen times more likely to have an engineering qualification than the general population in these countries. A new book, which relies on a study of over 800 members of violent Islamist groups, challenges a widely held view that many terrorists are “poor, ignorant and have nothing to lose,” according to its authors. “There is little doubt that violent Islamist radicals are vastly more educated than the general population born and educated in the Muslim world, and engineers are dramatically over-represented,” the authors say.

  • STEM skillsNew rule permits STEM graduates to stay in U.S. for 36 months

    A new rule published by DHS this week allows foreign students in science and technology to extend their stay in the United States under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The new rule will go into effect in May, and it will allow STEM graduates to stay and work in the United States for up to thirty-six months.

  • Spooks & scholarsStudying collaboration between research, intelligence communities

    In 2013, NC State University and the National Security Agency (NSA) created the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) — a collaborative partnership focused on addressing the research challenges associated with “big data.” They soon discovered that a funny thing happens when academic researchers collaborate with the intelligence community: they feel like they are being spied on.

  • STEM educationStudents to learn coding - rather than a foreign language

    Florida lawmakers are about the authorize a measure which would allow students to study computer coding instead of a foreign language. Florida is not the only state considering such a measure, as support for similar changes is growing across the United States. officials in Kentucky, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington have also considered substituting foreign language studies with computer coding credits.

  • African securityBoko Haram attacks force more than 1 million children from school in northeastern Nigeria

    Violence and attacks against civilian populations in northeastern Nigeria and its neighboring countries have forced more than one million children out of school, UNICEF said on Tuesday. The number of children missing out on their education due to the conflict adds to the estimated eleven million children of primary school age who were already out of school in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger before the onset of the crisis. Across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, over 2,000 schools remain closed due to attacks by Islamist group Boko Haram and the military campaign conducted against it — some of these schools for more than a year — and hundreds have been attacked, looted, or set on fire.

  • CybersecurityU Wyoming could become cybersecurity hub

    Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has requested state funding to develop a program at the University of Wyoming to become a center of excellence in cyber defense. According to the Wyoming Cybersecurity Education Initiative, proposed curriculum in the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Computer Science would educate students to defend against such attacks and “provide meaningful and sustainable impact to Wyoming’s technology sector through cybersecurity and information assurance higher-education programs.”

  • TerrorismFBI investigates Kent State professor for ISIS connection

    Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State University, is currently under FBI and DHS investigation, which includes interviews with faculty members and students. Informed sources say that Pino has allegedly tried to recruit students to join ISIS.

  • R&DU.S. science and technology leadership challenged by advances in Asia

    According to the latest federal data, the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) enterprise still leads the world. The United States invests the most in research and development (R&D), produces the most advanced degrees in science and engineering and high-impact scientific publications, and remains the largest provider of information, financial, and business services. However, Southeast, South, and East Asia continue to rapidly ascend in many aspects of S&E. The region now accounts for 40 percent of global R&D, with China as the stand-out as it continues to strengthen its global S&E capacity. At the same time that China and South Korea have continued to increase their R&D investments, the United States’ longstanding commitment to federal government-funded R&D is wavering.