Chair’s Message | Digital Transformation has a Role in School’s Curriculum

Jan. 22, 2021 

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community, 

Digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, continues to play out in front of us, forcing organizations to rethink how they operate, and creating space for new industries to innovate in ways that would have been improbable a few years ago.  

During last week’s open office hours, we talked once again about the SolarWinds breach (building on the conversation we had started with Georgia Tech CISO Jimmy Lummis the week before) and how it might affect SCP’s courses and curriculum. I would like to say we were able to wrap the discussion up, but it was soon apparent that vertical industries (new and old) must have a say in how they deal with the vulnerabilities that come with digital transformation.  

I have encouraged the school’s Curriculum Committee to reach out to the university community broadly to gauge the gaps that our classes might fill. If you have ideas to share, please send them directly to me or one of the committee co-chairs, Professors Sy Goodman and Annie Antón. I am hopeful that we can host a roundtable or other events later this year to continue the conversation in person. The Curriculum Committee has set an aggressive schedule for launching new undergraduate courses, so your input right now can have a major impact. These meetings are an excellent way to build community and define our culture. We will continue to meet virtually every Friday afternoon at 1PM EST. You can find the link here.  

January and February tend to be slow months for conferences and symposia. I am taking advantage of this slower pace to ask school committees to accelerate their agendas. You should be hearing more from them in the coming weeks. In the meantime, there will be virtual visits and colloquia from cybersecurity researchers (spoiler alert: some of these visitors are job candidates, so consider attending a talk or two to meet future professors). There will also be some surprise announcements in February that will help cement Atlanta’s growing reputation as the North American cybersecurity hub.  

Monthly faculty meetings begin next Tuesday. Remember that SCP faculty members include all instructional staff, tenure-track academic faculty members, research faculty and many professionals in administrative roles. Most have received their invitations by now. If you missed yours, please send Kenya Payton a note and we will get one sent out to you right away. Faculty members should also keep their eyes peeled for a “Save the Date” notice for our first school retreat. 

Another interesting development concerns a new alliance with the National Security Innovation Network. NSIN will offer programs, events, and resources to student entrepreneurs at Georgia Tech. These include fellowships, employment and recruiting events, training workshops, and hackathons, the first of which is scheduled next month. 

I hope you’ll find a free moment to connect with us. In addition to the events mentioned above, check out the weekly virtual cybersecurity lecture series. You can find details on the school’s website.  


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