NSA participates in fourth annual Air Force Academy Computing Symposium for Women, Minorities

US AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The National Security Agency’s (NSA) College of Cyber ​​National Cryptologic University (NCU) joined partners from across the US military and intelligence community to train over 100 military cadets during the 4th annual Jean Bartik Computing Symposium (JBCS) earlier this month.

The symposium honors Bartik, who in 1945 led a team of six women to program one of the first computers – the US Army’s ENIAC – and inspired future generations to pursue their studies and careers in computers. JBCS recognizes minority students at the US Air Force Academy, US Military Academy, US Coast Guard Academy and US Naval Academy for their academic achievements in computing.

During her keynote address, YuLin Bingle, DSc, Dean of NCU’s College of Cyber, commended the symposium’s mission to promote camaraderie among women of the service academy and underrepresented minorities in the computer science and cyberscience fields.

“Take this opportunity to expand your professional networks with your peers in the military, government and industry,” she said. “At NSA, diverse partnerships and cross-collaboration are key components that drive our efforts to build a diverse, knowledgeable workforce.”

For the past three years, the NSA has partnered with JBCS to bring together women and underrepresented minorities from computer science disciplines at the service academies with their military and government counterparts. The partnership also provides technical training that will make these groups competitive for future careers in the service of the nation.

During this year’s symposium, Bingle led an interactive discussion on the importance of balancing computing and cyber skills with soft skills. The two-day event also included student presentations, speed mentoring sessions, and several skill-enhancing workshops including quantum and high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and cyber operations.

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“Connecting and sharing knowledge with students is the most rewarding part of attending JBCS,” said Bingle. “We have been very fortunate to help shape the careers of hundreds of students year after year who will eventually start computer careers here in the NSA and the military to protect our nation.”

Kelly Hughes, DCS, NSA visiting professor at the US Air Force Academy, facilitated a hands-on workshop using a cyberphysical environment called Cyber ​​City to demonstrate how vulnerabilities can be exploited to gain access to SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) to obtain systems.

“Cyber ​​City provides students with unique insights into the collaborative, critical thinking, and proactive risk assessment and mitigation skills required to conduct effective real-world cybersecurity operations,” said Hughes. “Although no prior cyber experience is required to participate in this exercise, students will leave critical skills on which to build a rewarding career.”

At the symposium, students gained a better understanding of the importance of cyber hygiene to protect US infrastructure as well as their own privacy.

“Our nation needs leaders like you to bring your mastery of technical and social skills to strengthen the future of national defense,” Bingle told the students.

The Jean Bartik Computing Symposium is just one of many paths NSA is taking to build the diverse, knowledgeable workforce needed to maintain our nation’s competitive advantages today and into the future.

To start a career with the NSA, visit NSA.gov/careers or intelligencecareers.gov/NSA for more information on employment opportunities.