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New UMD Cybersecurity Center Aims at Public-Private Partnerships

New UMD Cybersecurity Center Aims at Public-Private Partnerships

Stresses 'More-than-Tech' Solutions for Government and Private Sectors

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland is launching a new cybersecurity initiative that aims to stimulate public-private partnerships and address national vulnerabilities, including those facing industry. The idea is to help connect the dots in the region's burgeoning federal and private cyber sector.

The focal point of the initiative, the new Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC?), will adopt a holistic approach to cybersecurity education, research and technology development, stressing comprehensive, interdisciplinary solutions.

MC? will bring together experts from engineering and computer science with colleagues from across campus in fields such as information sciences, business, public policy, social sciences and economics to develop new educational and research programs. It will also draw on the university's technology commercialization resources.

"The nation's information systems have outgrown our ability to assure their security, and no one institution or sector can undertake a task of this magnitude alone," said Nariman Farvardin, interim president of the University of Maryland, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "As one of the nation's top research universities, and with our strategic location, we are perfectly positioned to provide the education, expertise and collaboration that will help advance national and regional cybersecurity efforts."

The university's proximity to the nation's capital and close interactions with key federal agencies make College Park a unique place for cybersecurity education, research and technology development. Maryland leads the nation in information technology jobs, while more than half of the nation's internet traffic passes through the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


The MC? initiative will build on growing national and state commitments to address critical vulnerabilities of U.S. information systems.

"Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats facing our nation, but also one of the greatest opportunities for Maryland universities, businesses and federal labs to work collectively and strengthen our national defense and economic security," said Gov. Martin O'Malley, whose CyberMaryland plan envisions the state as the epicenter of work in the field. "This bold initiative will complement the work of CyberMaryland, and I look to it as a national model for developing a response to the threat of cyber disruptions."

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate's Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee and a member of the Cyber Security Task Force agreed.

"The University of Maryland initiative is so important in our war against cyber terrorists, cyber thugs and cyber thieves," Sen. Mikulski said. "Maryland is the global epicenter for cyber security, and the University of Maryland will play a key role in training the cyber warriors of tomorrow. The center will bring new economy jobs to Maryland and help keep America safe."


MC? will draw on extensive cybersecurity research already underway at the university, including wireless and network security, cryptography, secure programming, mechanisms for ensuring citizens' privacy in social networks, cyber supply chain research, attacker behavioral analysis, cybersecurity policy and economics, multimedia forensics, among other areas.

The research will have applications in the commercial world, as well as in nation security. The center's work will have special relevance for health care IT, where privacy is vital; as well as the utility, telecommunications and banking sectors, which are particularly vulnerable to electronic disruptions. MC? researchers also will focus on helping manufacturers assure the integrity of software and hardware components they buy from suppliers.

University of Maryland students will participate in the center's research, which will help prepare them for employment in the field. Additional graduate and undergraduate educational programs that emphasize unique, hands-on experience in cybersecurity systems will augment current courses.

"While there's a shortage of qualified workers in a rapidly growing field like this, the most acute need is for graduates with advanced degrees and very high skill sets," Farvardin said. "We're particularly well equipped to help meet this need."

Initially, MC? will be led jointly by Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Patrick O'Shea and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science Larry Davis. A national search is underway to hire a permanent director.


The university is beginning to line up private sector research partners to work with the center, including
"The University of Maryland is a highly valued academic partner in this critical area

Stanley Unwin

Stanley Unwin

Stanley Unwin, in his only Carry-on appearance, as the Landlord of the Helping Hands agency, in Carry on Regardless

Stanley Unwin (1911 - 2002)

To say that Stanley Unwin, who has died aged 90, was a comedian gives no idea of his unique brand of plausible malapropisms, grammatical distortions and straightfaced nonsense. As a prewar BBC sound engineer, he befuddled private conversations and entertained his children, but, from the 1950s, he delighted a much larger audience on radio, television, stage and in films.
Often styled "The Professor", he would talk at length on subjects like "What is the use of atoms?" or "How many beans make five?" Very occasionally, his humour was rendered straight, as when he was asked about castrati during a music lecture. "I'm not cut out for that sort of thing," he instantly replied.

Unwin was born in South Africa, the son of a feckless father he scarcely knew and a mother who, on her return to England, dispatched him to boarding schools and children's homes. At the end of that chilly time, he wanted to go to Canada, but was sent to the Gibbs nautical training school, in south Wales, to learn wireless telegraphy and sailors' knots. Briefly a seasick merchant seaman, he got an engineering job ashore, but was fired after exploding some gas inside a box his boss was sitting on. When he asked for a reference, his boss replied: "Reference? I'll give you a reference - as a comedian."

After joining the BBC, Unwin travelled the world during and after the second world war. On a royal visit to South Africa in 1947, he was chatting with a colleague at the hotel bar when a stranger barged in between them, his back to Unwin, and interrupted the conversation. Unwin gently tapped him on the shoulder: "What is the curriulode where the childers schools here?" he asked.


"Curriculode. Schools for the childers 'n teachit."

"All of them," the intruder replied, though in the face of more such remarks, he soon retreated.

Unwin had his mother - and Edward Lear - to thank for his gift. She had once returned home injured, and reported to her son that she had just "falolloped over" in the street - an amalgam of falled and flopped - and "grozed" her knee.

At first, Unwin used the same technique merely to amuse his BBC colleagues. Then, the radio producers Peter Cairns and David Martin persuaded him to meet the scriptwriter Ted Kavanagh, who wrote material for Tommy Handley, and see if he could make him laugh. Kavanagh thought Unwin "a minor comic genius".

The resultant publicity led to Unwin being offered a spot at the Windmill Theatre, Soho. He declined but, in 1949, made his professional debut with a spoof sports commentary for BBC Midlands. "He talks gobbledygook without script or rehearsal," wrote one critic. "But it is so cleverly done that it is hard to realise it is gibberish."

Unwin became Uncle Stan on the radio programme Children's Hour and did what he called "short bursts" on other broadcasts, as well as public dinners and variety shows. Recognising that his talent was best in small doses, he appeared briefly in many comedy films, including Carry On Regardless (1961), and as the Chancellor in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

Later, he had his own television show, Unwin Time, and guested for other entertainers, including Bernard Braden, David Nixon, Jimmy Tarbuck and Ted Ray, who first described him as "The Professor". In 1967, he conducted a hilarious interview with Alan Abel, the American who had written the book, Yours For Decency, prompting a spoof organisation called the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, which believed that all animals should wear clothes. Only Abel - the hoaxer - remained unaware that his leg was being pulled.

Unwin wrote a number of books, including Rockabye Babel, The Miscellanian Manuscript and House And Garbage. He made several records - narrating the tale of Happiness Stan on the Small Faces' Ogden's Nut Gone Flake album in 1967 - and was still doing radio work, commercial voice-overs and conference entertainment into his 80s. With more time, he enjoyed listening to his favourite composers, "Beetehovey" and "Mozarkers", and he liked the occasional western starring "Clinty Eastwold, who goes trotty, trotty".

He remained a straight-forward, good-natured man, who lived in the same house near Northampton for more than 50 years, adored by his wife Frances, who died in 1993, and his son and two daughters.

Stanley Unwin, comedian, born June 7 1911; died January 12 2002

from The Guardian

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