Chair’s Message | Welcome Back

Aug. 23, 2021

Dear Cybersecurity and Privacy community,

Welcome to the new semester for the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy!

Classes start this week. So do dozens of other routines that mark an academic year. Of course the “routines” are not so routine for us yet. It may not have been apparent to you last semester, but your school was being run by volunteers. I am personally grateful to all the faculty, students, administrators, and staff who worked behind the scenes last year to get this new venture launched. We will have a genuine launch party this fall where I will thank everyone properly. Over the next few weeks, you will see news about elections and appointments for new committees and offices. These will be the places you will go for help and advice or just to hang out with other cybersecurity folks.

For the last few weeks we have been talking about a focus on cybersecurity students, so it’s fitting that our first regular event was student-centered. We hosted SCP graduate student orientation last week. It was good to see so many of you in person. We’re thrilled that you share our excitement for the future of cybersecurity and privacy education at Georgia Tech. I hope you enjoy your shirts, bags, and other SCP goodies. There will be more SWAG as time goes on, which I hope will help spread the word that SCP is the place to go for all things having to do with cybersecurity.

Speaking of places to go. We are now live on the fifth floor of Coda. People are moving into new offices and labs, and the furniture for the Center for Deliberate Innovation (SCP’s own incubator and entrepreneurial studio) has already claimed its spot on the northeast corner. When you get off the elevator, you will see the WeWork™ entrance to the west and SCP in the other direction. Other fifth-floor tenants will be announced shortly. The SCP reception area is still on the 9th floor. You will see it immediately when you enter through the double glass doors. Those of you who have been in Coda know that it’s a little hard to just drop in because of the badging requirements. We are working with the building management on ways to make SCP’s offices more accessible to casual visitors and students. We will set up a messaging app to make it easier to let us know you are waiting to be admitted.

We welcomed five new faculty members to the school this summer, and the first three have begun to move into their new offices in Coda:

Dr. Daniel Genkin is joining us as an Associate Professor from the University of Michigan, where he established a national reputation for his analysis of hardware and system vulnerabilities. He was already collaborating with Georgia Tech researchers, so his transition to SCP is a chance to strengthen the hardware security area even more. Dr. Genkin’s lab is on the 5th floor of  Coda.

Dr. Joseph Jaeger arrived from his post-doc position at the University of Washington to become an Assistant Professor. His area is cryptography and includes fundamental contributions to applied and theoretical problems. He joins SCP’s world-class cryptographers to form one of the most formidable research groups in the country.

Dr. John Lindsay also arrived this week. He is an Associate Professor who specializes in cyber conflict and warfare. He joins us from the University of Toronto, where he established himself as one of the world’s experts in those areas. His analysis of Stuxnet stands out as a signal contribution to this important field. 

The two remaining new faculty members will arrive in 2022.

There was a faculty retreat last week to talk about the new services that will be available this year and to hear ideas about how to improve the existing ones. I read all of your comments and suggestions, and many of the changes in the works are due to input from you. The pandemic slowed some things down a bit, but not for our online students. We will continue to look for ways to make the OMS experience better.

It’s worth looking at just how many students the school is serving based on majors, courses, and faculty advisors. SCP is the first touchpoint for these students and their overall experience at Georgia Tech.

 General Enrollment Overview:

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science (Security/Crypto): 41 students
  • MS in Cybersecurity: ~100 students (151 applicants for AY 22)
  • Online MS in Cybersecurity: ~ 1200 unique students for lifetime enrollment of program
  • Several thousand students are taking our undergraduate classes each year (3,000+ in Introduction to Information Security alone)
  • Undergraduate thread in cybersecurity being developed for Fall Semester 2021

Also, a note on entrepreneurship for faculty and students:

  • Get plugged in right away on startup opportunities if you have an interest in seeing how projects are commercialized at Georgia Tech. The CREATE-X virtual Demo Day on Aug. 26 includes about 80 projects where teams pitch their startup efforts developed over the year. Among the presenters is Airbox Inc., offering a new way to identify and eliminate gaps in security for identities & secrets across cloud environments.
  • The Center for Deliberate Innovation has a unique approach to “engineering” new companies for success. They will be a direct pipeline for the SCP community to put its startup ideas into action.
  • A major new opportunity for our community involves the wider Atlanta ecosystem. Alumni Chris Klaus, Paul Judge, Mark Buffington and others were on a panel moderated by College of Engineering Dean and SCP faculty member Raheem Beyah earlier this year. It was focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and covered a lot of ground over the course of the day, including the news of more venture capitalist funding sources in the region. You can bookmark and watch a video of the whole program here.

The college launched its new website Friday in preparation for the start of the new school year, and many of you may already be kicking the tires on it. It’s designed to be more audience-centric, so if you have any feedback, you can send it here.  

I hope everyone stays safe and has a good first week of classes. There will undoubtedly be a lot to navigate.

At the end of the week, please join me and guest Brendan Saltaformaggio for my first virtual open office hour of the semester. It will be Friday at 1 p.m. (The chair’s virtual open office hour will take place regularly on Thursdays at 1 p.m. for the fall). I look forward to hearing about your start to the semester.

Go Jackets!


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

Visit me at
Follow me @rad_atl and @richde