Archives—December 2017


Alexander Larkin places 101 out of 3,449 in the National Cyber League (NCL)

My name is Alexander Larkin and I am currently finishing up my first semester, at Michigan Tech, as a Computer Science major.  I transferred from Waukesha County Technical College, WI where I spent a few years studying networking, programming, and cybersecurity.  During my first semester, at Michigan Tech, I competed in the NCL(National Cyber League) and placed 101st out of 3,449 competitors.  NCL is a cybersecurity competition that assesses an individual’s skill in cryptography, network traffic analysis, task automation, exploitation of vulnerable systems, and much more.  Participating in NCL is an incredible way to learn about cybersecurity concepts and is an absolutely great experience.  I began competing in NCL when I was sixteen years old.  I have continued to compete in most NCL games since that time and I always look forward to the next competition.  The competition gives a competitor a set of tasks to complete, via a clean and intuitive web interface.  For every task completed, points are given based on the difficulty of the task.  Sometimes the competition demands an individual learn about some strange technologies such as Voice-Over-IP.  During this last competition, I found myself researching how Voice-Over-IP works, so I could track phone calls, stored in a packet capture.  Every time I compete in NCL I find myself learning about cool technologies.  Over the years, I have learned how to become a master at the art of “Google-Fu”.  Over the years of competing, I have learned just how important it is to do research on unknown topics and technologies.  NCL also taught me that it is OK to not know something and to not admit defeat, but to do some research, learn the topic, and apply what I learn on the fly.  Learning how to “learn on the fly” has helped me immensely in all aspects of my life and is enormously valuable in Computer Science.  I would consider it to be a pseudo-required skill to possess in the dynamic world of computing.  I am happy to be competing in National Cyber League here at Michigan Tech and I am looking forward to competing in the Spring of 2018.  Additional information about National Cyber League can be found at www.nationalcyberleague.org.  I would like to personally thank Professor Min Song and Professor Bo Chen for providing faculty leadership during this last competition and I look forward to working with them again in the Spring.

Congratulations Alexander!


Michigan Tech Among Best Computer Science Programs

33BestValueSchools, a website that evaluates colleges and universities for the return on investment that their education offers, has ranked Michigan Tech’s computer science program 14th among the top 30 computer science programs in the country.

The rankings took into account program demand, computational aptitude of students, research and development, and the return on investment based on salary reports by Payscale.com.

Describing Michigan Tech’s computer science program, BestValueSchools said

If you’re interested in gaming, take a close look at Michigan Tech’s concentration in Game Development. You’ll get plenty of hands-on experience at this accredited computer science school as you learn to design and develop cutting-edge interactive games. A team-based approach leaves you well-prepared for a collaborative work environment after graduation, and some of the skills you learn can transfer to other fields besides gaming (virtual reality, for example). Michigan Tech also runs a few notable master’s degree programs, including a popular MS in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity. This degree even includes three subspecialties, so you can further refine your studies.