The ITSEED: Active Learning Laboratory Experiments for IT Security Education


Xinli Wang, PI

Guy C. Hembroff, Associate Professor, College of Computing

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Amount of Support: $199,934

Duration of Support: 4 years

The goal of this research is to enhance the security component in undergraduate IT education to meet the strong demand for security professionals in IT fields.

It has been widely admitted by researchers, educators and students that the benefits of hands-on lab experiments are threefold in IT security education:

  • They expose students to the real-world challenges of computer and network security.
  • They help students consolidate and gain in-depth understanding of the knowledge presented in class lectures.
  • These hands-on activities help students to be better prepared for their careers in industry.

This project will develop a collection of instructional hands-on laboratories for undergraduate IT security education to achieve the following objectives:

  • To provide students with an active-learning environment by challenging them with real-world problems in the field of IT security.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to learn from experiences with advanced technologies and well developed tools which will make them better prepared for their careers in industry.
  • To help instructors prepare and deliver security courses more effectively and efficiently by making the lab experiments publicly accessible through the Internet.

This project is a collaborative effort between Michigan Technological University and the University of Washington Tacoma.

Visit the National Science Foundation page for this research.

Publications and Presentations

Teaching Offensive Security in a Virtual Environment. A Tutorial Presentation at the Seventeenth Annual CCSC Northwestern Regional Conference in Seattle, WA, USA, October 9-10, 2015 and published on the Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, October 2015.

Hands-on Exercises for IT Security Education. A paper presented and published on the Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference on Information Technology Education, in Chicago, IL, USA, September 30 – October 3, 2015.

Certification with Multiple Signatures. A paper presented and published on the Proceedings of the 4th Annual ACM Conference on Research in Information Technology, in Chicago, IL, USA, September 30 – October 3, 2015.

Domain Based Certification and Revocation. A paper presented and published on the Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Security and Management (SAM/15), in Las Vegas, NV, US, July 27 – 30, s015.

ITSEED: hands-on labs for IT security education. A workshop at the ACM SIGCSE 2014 in Atlanta, GA, US, March 5-8, 2014.

ITSEED: Development of Instructional Laboratories for IT Security Education. A presentation at the “2013 USENIX Summit for Education in System Administration”, Washington, D.C., US, November 5, 2013.

Administrative Evaluation of Intrusion Detection System. A paper presented on the ACM SIGITE/RiIT 2013, in Orlando, Florida, US, October 10-12, 2013.