Data is growing exponentially at unprecedented levels. In the recent years, we have been witnessing a huge proliferation of digital data capturing our lives and our surroundings. While this provides promising opportunities for path-breaking innovation using data science and data-driven technologies, ensuring data security and data privacy has become a critical barrier. Cybersecurity is a key component of data science and security-assured data science impacts all aspects of personal, organizational, community and national life. The workforce capable of impacting security-assured data science is significantly understaffed, while the demand for workforce with required skills is fast increasing. This project creates a new model and curricula for foundational education in security-assured data science to young professionals that provides an opportunity to create a workforce trained to make innovative solutions leading to smarter health care, improved social good, smart transportation, advancements in social, behavioral, and economic sciences and smarter analytics for security. The project thus serves the national interest, as stated by NSF's mission: to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; or to secure the national defense.
To address this growing national challenge to enable the next generation data-enabled innovation and research with qualified talent, it is critical that regional collaborations be formed to streamline and support sharing of data science and cybersecurity resources in the context of security-assured data science training and education. This project expands upon existing partnerships with local school districts to increase digital literacy and cybersecurity awareness at the secondary level and induce high school students to initiate activities that would enable them to pursue cybersecurity and data science education at the postsecondary level. The project aims to collaboratively develop an integrated curriculum on Security Assured Data Science Education and Training (SADET), an undergraduate level curriculum to be offered to high school students as part of Pitt's College in High School (CHS) program. The key goals and activities of the project include (a) developing interdisciplinary curriculum components focused on security-assured data Science education to be offered through University of Pittsburgh's College in High School (CHS) program, (b) enhancing and widening University of Pittsburgh's existing offering of introductory cybersecurity and information science courses in this area, (c) promoting and increasing the adoption of SADET modules through the CHS program, (d) conducting a security-assured data science materials competition for high school teachers to develop additional educational and training materials for use in classroom teaching, and (e) creating an online repository and a regional alliance to share security and data science training resources and expertise, and to increase the awareness, training and education in the western Pennsylvania region through workshops. The proposed framework will provide a model for more regional collaborations at the intersection of data science and cybersecurity areas in the context of security-assured data science education, training and research. The framework will also provide a basis to reach to broader communities including schools, colleges, industries and government related organizations. Long-term impact of the project includes bridging the gaps between high school and college level curricula in this rapidly emerging field. The project also provides a model for increasing the participation in data science and data security related fields at the undergraduate level leading to a focused workforce development in this important area.