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Reflecting on 30 years


One of my students sent me a weblink (in the story, below). It caused me to reflect a little on the past. Here is some text I shared on a few social media feeds.

30 years ago, when I started COAST (which became CERIAS) at Purdue, we identified a need for personnel trained in information security. There was no academic degree program at the time so we started one. We reached out to over a dozen other universities to help build their programs.

Today, many of the existing programs in the US (and some elsewhere) trace back to what we started; they have Purdue grads as their prime movers.

Now, a quarter of a century later, look at the #1 best job according to US News.

We still have a huge shortfall of people working in the field, but that is a result of many factors, including a "leaky pipeline," not nearly enough support of students from underrepresented groups (including women), and market failure for secure-by-default systems.

I am sure my self of 3 decades ago would be astonished by the growth of the field, yet disappointed that we still have some of these problems. And I would definitely be surprised that CERIAS now has over 120 associated faculty and many hundreds of students involved in research, and a half-dozen degree programs in this space.

This is the 30th anniversary of the founding of COAST. I hope I'm around to see what the 50th and beyond hold!