Georgetown Expands Its Multidisciplinary Cyber Research

Author: CyberSMART

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The Cyber SMART Research Center was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an Industry University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), awarding the center a $1 million grant to expand its capacity for multidisciplinary cyber research.

“Being an NSF IUCRC significantly enhances the national and international standing of the center,” says Ophir Frieder, director of Cyber SMART and professor in the Department of Computer Science. “It is a major achievement that Cyber SMART is the first multi-discipline cyber IUCRC, especially because a cross-discipline approach to cyber is a major new focus for the NSF.”

In addition to Frieder, the principal investigators of Cyber SMART include Eric Burger, research professor of computer science; James Giordano, professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry; and Shin’ichiro Matsuo, research professor of computer science; and Clare Sullivan, visiting professor at Georgetown Law and executive director of the center.

‘Complementary Abilities’

The IUCRC designation also establishes a new additional center site at the University of Notre Dame – the first of a number of additional sites Cyber SMART plans to establish across the United States and internationally. 

“By adding new sites with additional complementary abilities, Cyber SMART increases its overall multidisciplinary expertise and collaborative research capability,” says Sullivan. 

‘SMART’ Cyber Research

Clare Sullivan Portrait
Clare Sullivan is executive director of Cyber SMART and a visiting professor at Georgetown Law.

Established in 2019, the center’s name reflects its multidisciplinary approach and the five core elements covered in all its research: science, management, application, regulation and training (SMART).

Cyber SMART has specific capabilities in law, economics, management, neuroscience, psychology and ethics in addition to its world-leading computer science expertise in distributed ledger technology, digital identity and security.

“By combining computer science and all the relevant NSF social and behavioral sciences, Cyber SMART is able to develop solutions that are legally and operationally effective from the outset,” says Sullivan. “This approach enables a deeper understanding by researchers, industry, government and the education community of the full impact of cyber technology; and opens significant new and under-utilized avenues of enquiry and cross-discipline collaboration.”

“Cyber SMART builds on, and advances, a rich history of cyber research and major achievements at Georgetown.”

– Clare Sullivan, Executive Director of Cyber SMART and Visiting Professor at Georgetown Law

Cyber at Georgetown

Cyber SMART is the latest success for Georgetown in cyber research, which included the earlier Security and Software Engineering Research Center – also a Georgetown-affiliated IUCRC site from 2014-2019.

“Cyber SMART builds on, and advances, a rich history of cyber research and major achievements at Georgetown,” says Sullivan.

Also founded in 2019, the Georgetown Initiative on Tech & Society is a university-wide collaboration among Georgetown’s campuses, schools, centers and institutes with a shared goal to shape technology’s promise for a better world.

The Center for Security and Emerging Technology, housed at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, became the largest center in the United States focused on artificial intelligence and policy when it was established at Georgetown in 2019.

Other university efforts, including the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, the Massive Data Institute at the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation also advance research and solutions at the nexus of policy, technology and the public good.