Chair’s Message | Welcome to a New Type of Academic Unit

Oct. 9, 2020 

Dear GT Cybersecurity and Privacy community, 

The School of Cybersecurity and Privacy (SCP) was announced this September. SCP is Georgia Tech’s newest (and in many ways its most ambitious) academic department. I have the privilege and responsibility of serving as interim chair.   

We will meet new students and develop new programs even as we build on existing strengths. Georgia Tech’s commitment to cybersecurity predates the term, extending back more than 20 years to the Sam Nunn Forum which drew attention to the vulnerabilities of emerging financial computerized financial systems. In the intervening years, it’s become more important than ever to prepare and equip future professionals to help keep safe our personal and national interests.   

There is much work ahead of us to establish the school and to create a truly inclusive model for an academic unit that reaches every corner of the institute and leverages our combined strengths. We are positioned well as we prepare to advance our leadership in cybersecurity and privacy.  

I invite everyone who is interested in the mission and work to get in touch with us. I will share a chair’s message on a weekly basis and the school will communicate regularly about Georgia Tech’s new investment in cybersecurity and privacy through all our channels. Find out more ways to engage.   

What’s in store for this month:   

Over the next couple of weeks, an executive committee will be appointed to begin creating the committees and processes that all academic departments need. We will launch an industrial advisory board to focus on our ties to commercial, government, and educational stakeholders. We will also begin identifying research and academic faculty members whose work will form the foundation for growth. Seed funding and support for R&D projects will be provided by GTRI. If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Lee Lerner, the CTO of GTRI’s Cyber Lab, contact the chair’s office for an appointment to discuss your interests. Finally, as we prepare for an eventual return to post-pandemic campus operations, SCP will move into its new home on the 9th Floor of the Coda Building.  

Parting thoughts:   

Take a minute to read about the school’s announcement and some insight from institute and Atlanta leaders on why the new school is vital.   

Also, through a bit of good timing, the announcement of the school coincided with U.S. News & World Report’s first college rankings for cybersecurity and computer science undergraduate programs. Our placements in both (#1 and #5 respectively) bode well for attracting future students and establishing more degree offerings.    

Rankings without context though mean little. We developed an interactive graphic to show some context. Explore for yourself how we fare among our peers, not only in rankings, but tuition costs. Hint: Our value proposition is unmatched.   


Richard DeMillo
Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair of Computing 
Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy    

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Follow me on Twitter @rad_atl and @richde