CSC News

December 01, 2004

Vail receives CISCO scholarship

Photo of Matthew VailMatthew Vail, senior in computer science at NC State University, was awarded a competitive Cisco Systems Information Assurance Scholarship for fall 2004.

Four scholarships are awarded by the Cisco Information Assurance Group each fall and four each spring to students who are making a significant contribution in the field of information security information assurance. The scholarships are available to both undergrad and graduate students.

Scholarship requirements include prior intern or work experience, and research in the field of information assurance or information security. During the 2003-04 academic year, Vail led a multidisciplinary team of undergraduate researchers in the evaluation of online healthcare privacy policies that evolved in response to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Other students on his team were Neha Jain and Jack Frink in computer science, and Carrie Gheen in the College of Management at NC State.

Their research was performed under the direction of Dr. Annie Anton, associate professor of computer science and a leader in privacy and security research. The team's objectives were to examine privacy policies to evaluate the compliance of specific healthcare organizations with HIPAA, investigate the evolution of the organizations' privacy practices before and after HIPAA went into effect, and to quantify each policy’s level of readability and clarity.

A summary of their discoveries is published in Technical Report 2004-21, “An Analysis of Web Site Privacy Policy Evolution in the Presence of HIPAA,” posted on the computer science departments website. The article is also currently under review for publication in IEEE Security and Privacy.

Vail is working full time as a distributed computing services engineer in the Administrative Offices of the Courts for the State of North Carolina and carries a full academic load at NC State.

Neha Jain, currently in the Accelerated Bachelors/Masters computer science program, received a CISCO scholarship in fall 2003. She has a co-op position at SAS this semester. Vail also is in the computer science department’s Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program and will begin working on his graduate studies in 2005. CISCO is a computer science department Super ePartner company.

- rzewnicki -

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