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City Tech Student Was Finalist in National Cyber Security Awareness Week Competition

Student Ibrahim Sanou, right, with Professor XiangDong Li

City Tech Computer Systems Technology student Ibrahim Sanou, 30, was named a finalist in the fall 2010 Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) national student competition Quiz Tournament hosted by neighboring NYU-Poly in Downtown Brooklyn. Sanou, a native of Burkina Faso, West Africa, previously was a finalist in the 2009 CSAW competition and the only student of African descent in the 2010 Quiz finals.

Sponsored by the federal government and private sector companies, the CSAW competition participants will lead the next generation of computer science professionals who think of proper cyber-security measures as a necessity, not an afterthought. The Quiz Tournament tests the breadth and depth of their knowledge in a broad range of digital security topics, including network security, cryptography, malware, application and web security, protocols, the history of digital security, digital forensics, policy, risk management and standards.

City Tech Professor XiangDong Li, coordinator of the College’s Security Course Module and NSF S-STEM program director, has helped to prepare students to participate in the national CSAW competition for several years. Previous City Tech student participants have done exceedingly well, and Pedro Peralta, who graduated in 2009 and is now employed as a security analyst for Goldman Sachs, placed second in the competition finals in 2008. 

The students from some of the country’s top universities entered the final competitions, including NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Columbia, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Penn State, the University of Massachusetts, Case Western Reserve, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Sanou was in competition with students from some of them.

A resident of Richmond Hills, Queens, Sanou transferred from Borough of Manhattan Community College with an associate degree in computer and network technology and plans to pursue a master’s in cyber security following graduation from City Tech in June 2011. He is a trained student leader through City Tech’s NSF-funded S-STEM program.


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