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Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) at Dartmouth College

Director: Smith, Sean


The Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) at Dartmouth College is dedicated to pursuing research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society.

ISTS engages in interdisciplinary research, education and outreach programs that focus on information technology (IT) and its role in society, particularly the impact of IT in security and privacy broadly conceived. ISTS nurtures leaders and scholars, educates students and the community, and collaborates with its partners to develop and deploy IT, and to better understand how IT relates to socio-economic forces, cultural values and political influences. ISTS research improves our ability to:

Design and deploy secure, usable computer systems and protect them from tampering, disruption and attack
Enable people and organizations to communicate and exchange information securely and privately across networked computing devices
Address social, economic and policy issues that arise in the development, deployment and regulation of such information technology

Goals of ISTS

RESEARCH, to extend knowledge and provide insight and innovation in the area of information security
EDUCATION, to increase the number of students and faculty involved in technology research, and to increase community awareness of privacy and security challenges and solutions related to IT
OUTREACH, through collaborations that deploy technology and encourage knowledge transfer for both public and private benefit



Research Opportunities

  • The Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) ( Research Opportunity )

    "Information assurance (security) is considered so important to our national defense that a formal Department of Defense (DoD) Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2001 (Public Law 106-398). The purpose of the program is to promote the education, recruitment, and retention of rising junior and senior undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students in information assurance studies and of students seeking graduate certificates in information assurance disciplines.

    The DoD is seeking rising junior and senior (third and fourth year) undergraduate and graduate/doctoral students for concentrated studies in information assurance. Students selected for the program will receive full scholarships and will be provided a stipend to cover room and board expenses: undergraduate students will receive a stipend of $14,000, and graduate (master’s and PhD) students will receive a stipend of $19,000 per academic year. This requires the student to agree to serve one year of service to the DoD, upon graduation, for each year of scholarship received, in addition to the internship identified below. An opportunity also exists for scholarship payback through military service. Individuals choosing to enlist or accept a commission to serve on active duty in one of the Military Services shall incur a service obligation of a minimum of 4 years on active duty in that Service upon graduation. The Military Services may establish a service obligation longer than 4 years, depending on the occupational specialty and type of enlistment or commissioning program selected."

  • The ISTS - Neukom Institute Internship Grant Program ( Research Opportunity )

    "The Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) and the Neukom Institute offer leave-term funding each term to support an undergraduate, or graduate student, in pursuing an unpaid internship with a non-profit organization. We do not consider funding for unpaid internships at for-profit companies.

    Established in 2000, ISTS is dedicated to research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society. The Neukom Institute was founded in 2007. Its primary goal is to enable Dartmouth students and faculty to integrate computational technology into their scholarship.

    This internship support can be used to help one gain work experience to become familiar with a new area of information technology. Topics as diverse as the following will be considered:

    the use of computational thinking in academic disciplines (i.e., the sciences, social sciences, and humanities) or in real-world applications
    the impact of information technology on security and privacy throughout society
    the relation of information technology to socio-economic forces, cultural values and political influences

    In every instance, a company, organization or advisor must be located before an application can be submitted."

  • Trustworthy Health and Wellness (THaW) ( Research Opportunity )

    This NSF-funded project tackles many of the fundamental research challenges necessary to provide trustworthy information systems for health and wellness, as sensitive information and health-related tasks are increasingly pushed into mobile devices and cloud-based services. The interdisciplinary research team includes expertise from computer science, business, behavioral health, health policy, and healthcare information technology to enable the creation of health & wellness systems that can be trusted by individual citizens to protect their privacy and can be trusted by health professionals to ensure data integrity and security. Although these problems are motivated by a nationally important application domain (health and wellness), the solutions have applications far beyond that domain.

    This project is developing methods to authenticate clinical staff to tablet computers in a continuous and unobtrusive way, and to provide patients a usable way to control the information that mobile sensors collect about them. One of the goals is to manage security of healthcare devices in the home and in remote clinics, without adding burden on the homeowner or clinical staff; towards this end the investigators are developing methods to verify medical directives issued to remote devices. One approach being investigated is segmenting access to medical records from mobile devices to limit information exposure, and developing methods to audit behavior of this complex ecosystem of devices and systems. The investigators will design tools to handle genomic data in the cloud while enabling patient control over information, detect malware in medical devices through power analysis, and provide contextual information to those who use health data collected in the field.

    The THaW project will have opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and research staff.


  • Secure Information Systems Mentoring and Training (SISMAT) ( Training service )

    Business, government, and non-profit institutions have expressed difficulty finding personnel with appropriate training in cyber security tools. Such training requires hands-on experience with secure systems work, yet many institutions of higher learning lack the resources to provide that experience. This initiative aims to meet regional and national needs through a program in mentoring and training that brings the extensive expertise of researchers and teachers at Dartmouth College in the areas of PKI and trusted systems together with students and faculty from other primarily undergraduate liberal arts colleges, as well as interested corporate and non-profit partners.

    We explicitly target northeast regional colleges whose curricula will have prepared upper-level undergraduates for this hands-on work but cannot offer it themselves; we target cyber security focus areas in which we have leadership and expertise; and we target external partners that have communicated a need for training in these areas. The training program will provide undergraduates with the knowledge and support needed to participate in internships, provide opportunities for secure systems research and development to traditionally underrepresented student populations, and facilitate the development of secure systems curricula at other academic institutions. The course is offered at no charge to accepted students (the course and room and board are free; travel expenses to and from Dartmouth will be reimbursed up to a set amount.

  • Securing Information Technology in Healthcare (SITH) ( Service )

    The Securing Information Technology in Healthcare (SITH) workshops, hosted by ISTS, were created to provide a forum to discuss security and privacy of health information for experts from a broad range of perspectives, from officers at large healthcare companies, startups and nonprofits, to physicians, researchers and policy makers. The SITH (May 2010) and SITH2 (May 2012) workshops focused on the security and privacy challenges of health IT in a variety of healthcare settings. SITH3 (May 2013) focused more specifically on mobile health (mHealth), considering the security and privacy implications of mHealth as well as a range of other challenges relevant to mHealth. All three workshops were held on the campus of Dartmouth College, and included invited speakers from across the US and beyond.

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Last updated: 2015-05-18T15:29:34.221-04:00

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