Nygard Named Computer Science Chairman, Founding Director of NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research

Fargo, ND, July 15, 2017 --(PR.com)-- Kendall E. Nygard has been recently named Computer Science Department chairman and the founding director of the North Dakota State University’s new Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research.

The NDSU Computer Science Department was founded in 1988 (though computer science courses were offered as part of Mathematical Sciences since 1973). It occupies 7,460 square feet of space on the first and second floors of the Quentin Burdick Building and has approximately 600 graduate and undergraduate student majors.

The new cybersecurity institute will coordinate efforts at NDSU and across the North Dakota University System related to network, infrastructure, software and other computer security education and research.

Nygard joined NDSU in 1977 and has served previously as department chair from 1996 to 2005. He is a U.S. State Department Jefferson Science Fellow and served as a senior science adviser for the U. S. Agency for International Development. He recently was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Service Award by the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a summer research fellow for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Air Vehicles Directorate, conducting research in mission planning and control for formations of unmanned air systems.

Nygard was asked by North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott to lead cyber security efforts within the state. He and NDSU Computer Science Assistant Professor Jeremy Straub, who serves as the Associate Director for the institute, have been working to stand up the institute’s initial educational programs and outreach efforts.

“The institute broadly serves as a nexus for cyber security excellence to serve the state, the upper Midwest, the nation and the world,” noted Nygard. “It builds upon the strengths of the university and its land grant mission to meet the needs of the public for leading-edge cyber security practices.”

Initial institute focuses will include a graduate certificate program in cyber security, as well as cyber security recognition as part of the NDSU Computer Science Department’s bachelors’ degree programs. The graduate certificate program is led by Nygard and is a collaboration between NDSU, Minot State University and the University of North Dakota, who will all offer courses for students in the program.

“A key goal of the institute is engagement,” noted institute Associate Director Straub. “Cutting-edge technology development that also prepares a group of students to serve as leaders in the related field is far more beneficial than either research or educational activities alone.”

Nygard received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics in 1969 from Moorhead State University. He completed a master’s degree in mathematics in 1973 from Mankato State University and a Ph.D. in operations research at Virginia Tech. While at NDSU, Nygard has advised over 160 masters students and 22 Ph.D. graduates. He has been awarded approximately 4.5 million dollars in research grants and contacts and published 29 journal articles, one book, seven book chapters and 128 refereed conference papers.
NDSU Computer Science
Betty Opheim