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Research Centers

Center for Materials Research (CMR)
Materials Science is a highly interdisciplinary field based on perspectives from physics, chemistry, electronics, optics and biology. The Center for Materials Research (CMR) at NSU conducts pioneering research in materials science and engineering and provides graduate education on the master’s and doctoral levels. CMR research falls into four categories: Optics, Plasmonics and Metamaterials; Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology; Advanced Functional Materials and Devices; and Semiconductor Materials and Devices. CMR researchers seek to understand fundamental science and develop new solutions for technical challenges. Through cutting-edge research endeavors, internationally known faculty and working relationships with Research I institutions, national laboratories and the private sector, CMR students emerge equipped and trained in the synthesis and characterization of new materials and the development of innovative devices.

Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity
We have created a collaborative effort with Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) - Old Dominion University (ODU) to establish and operate a Center of Excellence in Cyber Security (COE-CS) with an emphasis in Cyber Modeling, Simulation, Analysis, and Experimentation (CMSA&E). Cyber modeling and simulation (M&S) offers great benefits in predicting, preparing for, and defending against cyber threats by facilitating the training and assessment of cyber technologies and operations that would be impossible or very difficult to conduct in a real life setting. For example, a simulation environment is often the most feasible (to avoid losing sensitive information or causing adverse impact upon existing infrastructure) or cost-effective (when dealing with large-scale challenges such as distributed denial of service attacks) alternative when studying the effects of cyber attacks or evaluate scenarios in both cyber-attack and cyber-defense.

Cyber attacks have become more sophisticated than ever and often include attack steps to evade detection by traditional security mechanisms. It has been reported by Pentagon that their computer systems and networks have been the subject of over 10 million attacks per day. Modern large-scale cyber attacks are sometimes organized and coordinated through social media which is another example of the changing landscape in cyber security that requires an expanded view of what is happening not only locally but also globally. There is a critical need to enhance the cyber systems to protect and defend against these attacks. Cyber security analytics is one of the emerging technologies designed to help defend against these attacks by combining big data analytics and security technologies. CMSA&E is the next evolutionary step in order to enhance situational awareness and provide better support for rapid decision making.

The main research objective of the COE-CS is to develop a cloud-based, big-data analysis capable Cyber Analysis, Simulation and Experimentation Environment (CASE-V) to enhance situational awareness and decision support capabilities for cyber defense and cyber training. To accomplish this objective, the Center will focus on the following research areas:

  • Develop analysis, detection and response capabilities to counter future advanced persistent threats leveraging big data analytics, modeling and simulation, and cloud computing.
  • Design and develop a Live-Virtual-Constructive CASE-V testbed to conduct cyber planning and training activities using in-device emulators and multi-agent simulations.
  • Develop integration mechanisms to enable CASE-V to interoperate with existing semi-automated forces to enhance the effectiveness of cyber defense and training operations.
  • Use CASE-V as a synthetic environment to explore new cyber theories, methodologies and techniques in a distributed and virtualized infrastructure at large scale.

Information Assurance Research and Education Development Institute
The Information Assurance Research and Education Development Institute (IA-REDI) provides opportunities for students to learn about the theory and practice of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. It has also advanced the discipline of IA/Cybersecurity via research, and is rapidly positioning NSU to be a national leader in cyber related research and education. The programs with cybersecurity focus will address the nation's growing need for a diverse group of qualified computer, network security and cybersecurity professionals. In April 2009, NSU was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education and was re-designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through 2020.

The goal of the CAE program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance and cyber defense while producing a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines.