Younghee Park

Younghee Park with students

Mohit Mohan Ingale, ’21 MS Computer Engineering (center), places an electrode in the hand of Jasnoor Brar, ’20 MS Software Engineering (left), to record her electrocardiogram (ECG) signal. In the authentication system being developed in the research lab of Professor Younghee Park (right) with Assistant Professor Nima Karimian, a user’s ECG signal can be used to authenticate that user in order to grant access to a secured system such as a cell phone, tablet, or laptop.

Developing cybersecurity curriculum

Near the start of her masters degree studies in 2000, Younghee Park came across a news article about the dangers of internet hacking and the importance of cybersecurity. 

“At that moment, I knew that I wanted to become a sort of Ninja to fight against attackers in cyberspace,” she says. 

Since then, she has been committed not only to the field of cybersecurity, but also to enhancing academic curriculum relating to cybersecurity education. 

“Network infrastructure is undergoing a major shift away from ossified hardware-based networks to programmable software-based networks,” Park explains. “Emerging  network technologies introduce significant granularity, visibility, flexibility, and elasticity into networking, but at the same time bring new security challenges.”

To address these challenges, Park is building an open laboratory based on CloudLab, an NSF-sponsored cloud platform for security education, in collaboration with colleagues from two other universities. The team is designing corresponding hands-on labs and undergraduate research projects, and developing related curricula for use in both academia and industry. 

Park guides students in conducting practical research in her own lab, with a focus on building systems that protect usable devices and infrastructure from attacks. They gain critical thinking skills and hands-on experience while developing network security, and have gone on to both internships and full-time positions at companies such as Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Cisco. 

“It is imperative that security research results be brought into cybersecurity education to prepare our students – members of the future workforce – with security awareness and readiness sufficient to protect the emerging infrastructure.”

“Doing diverse projects at SJSU enabled me to enhance my skills that in turn helped me bag a job as a software engineer at one of the top companies in the world.”

Jasnoor Brar
’20 MS Software Engineering

SJSU Research Foundation 2020 Annual Report