In June 2022, the School of Information hosted its first in-person immersion event for online degree program students since Fall 2019 when the pandemic required they be made virtual.
Almost 60 Master of Information and Cybersecurity students, hailing from around the country, came to UC Berkeley for three days of academic programming, experiential learning, networking, and community building.
After check-in and lunch on Friday, June 17, the students participated in a cross-cultural communication workshop focused on creating space for diverse viewpoints in cybersecurity. Then, they had an opportunity to mingle with faculty, staff, and MICS classmates while taking in panoramic views of the Bay Area, as well as a keynote by Lakshmi Hanspal, Global Chief Security Officer at Amazon Devices & Services, at the welcome dinner and reception at the University Club at Memorial Stadium.
On Saturday after breakfast, students engaged in cybersecurity “capture the flag,” a competitive and collaborative cybersecurity challenge facilitated by current and former faculty members Pascal Issa, Max Hils, and Nathan Good, followed by an afternoon workshop on Communications Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Professionals facilitated by faculty member Kim Jones.
The final day included a series of lightning talks on research and new work in cybersecurity from the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity and MICS affiliates. Topics included Global Security Policy and Regulatory Trends, Privacy Controls for Always-On Devices, Side Channel Attacks on Cryptographic Algorithms, Zero Trust Architectures, and Quantum Sensing.
Immersion is a hallmark of the MICS and MIDS programs, and while students in these online programs are already remarkably close-knit, the opportunity to be together in person serves as icing on the cake for many. “I learned way more than I expected I would,” said MICS student Thor Peterson, “and in such a dynamic environment — I’m truly inspired! And thank you to everyone I was able to connect with and form deeper bonds with, knowing all of you better gives me so much confidence in all of your futures!”