Friday, March 29, 2013

A Couple of Really Cool Events

Georgia Tech knows how to have fun with its serious events.

I went to the finals of the Inventure Prize, an innovation contest for the undergraduate students. Computer science was represented by Steven Wojcio of BioPIN, a smart phone app that prevents a stranger from logging into a phone even if they know the PIN. The contest runs like a game show, similar to American Idol, with judges and broadcast on Georgia Public Television. All the teams were coached by SCS professor Merrick Furst, who runs Flashpoint. BioPIN won the People's Choice award and first place went to Christopher Taylor (pictured above) for Chewbots, robotic dog toys.

Yesterday was the Georgia Tech Cyber Security Symposium, highlighted by a talk by General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA and commander of the US Cyber Command. Of course he couldn't tell us the great secrets of the NSA, so instead he focused his engaging talk on what he needed: companies to report security issues so the US could defend against these threats. The day ended with IC chair Annie Anton hosting a panel/debate on the tradeoffs on privacy and security at the governmental level. Tough issues indeed.

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