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Meet Dr. Nate Evans

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Ritchie School Communications Team

Bringing Students of Varying Backgrounds into the World of Cybersecurity

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Prefer reading over video? Check out the transcript below. 

Dori Othman 

I'm Dori, and this is Nate Evans. He's a new teaching professor at the Ritchie School of Engineering. So what were you doing before going to DU?

Nate Evans 

Well, I used to work at a company called Symantec. They make Norton Antivirus, if you've heard of that before, and I was a research engineer there for about six years, primarily doing government funded research on projects for DARPA and IARPA. So yeah, that's what I was doing before I came here.

DO

Can you tell us what initially got you interested into cyber security?

NE

I sort of fell into it. To be honest. When I started doing my graduate level school, here at DU actually, there was a professor who was doing networking and security. So I sort of fell into it. I've always been interested in computers. And, you know, 10, or 15 years ago, kind of security started to be sort of a bigger issue on the in computer science. So I sort of fell into doing it for my master's degree, and then continued for my PhD. And I just kind of got hooked. And that's where the jobs have taken me in cyber security. So that's where I still am.

DO

So you're a teaching professor, what do you like about teaching?

NE

I really like to engage with students, I like to get to know the students that I'm teaching. I've been working in the cybersecurity master's degree program here, and we get a lot of people that don't have a computer science background. So I'd like to learn about the different backgrounds that people have and learn about why they want to be in cybersecurity or computer science, and help them learn the first steps and make their way in the world. What are your research interests? That's a great question. I have a lot of things that I've done research in software security, is one of the things that I've done previously, I've been involved in automotive security in various ways in the past five years or so. I think that's a really interesting topic. Because automobiles are becoming more and more connected with modules that actually talk to the internet and talk to each other. I think that's a really interesting place where computer science and security kind of meet, its kind of like an IoT information of things area that's aligned with mobile security as well. But something I really like my PhD was in peer to peer distributed systems, like things. So a lot of the newer if you've heard of blockchain, or cryptocurrencies, those are sort of the next evolution of peer to peer. So that's something that I also like to dabble in a bit. So yeah, those are my research interests.

DO

So what courses are you generally teaching?

NE

I mostly been teaching in the cybersecurity master's program. So I do computer security, some of the intro sequence for the cyber security students. So comp, org, c++, I usually teach networking as well. And over the summer, I taught ethical hacking, which was the first time I taught it, but it's a really interesting course. Because it's kind of a hands on how to break into systems and learn how to hack things. So that was really cool. So those are most of the things I have been teaching.

DO

What are your interests outside of DU?

NE

I really like being in the mountains. So hiking, biking quite a bit. I do skiing, but it's a little too expensive for me. So I don't usually get out to do that too much. I ride motorcycles. That's something I do for fun. Also in the mountains. I have a great dog I hang out with quite a bit. So yeah, those are kind of my interests.

DO

What advice do you have your students?

NE

Pay attention in class, go to class, and start all of your programming assignments early. And I guess for for CS students, that's the biggest piece of advice I could give, which is the programming assignments are always going to take you more time and be more difficult than you think they are. So start early, go to the office hours of the GTA or the professor as soon as you can, and get help. Because the worst thing to have is somebody turn in an assignment, a programming assignment that doesn't compile. So.

DO

Very true.

NE

Yes. Make sure your code compiles before you submit it.

DO

Well, thank you, Nate. And welcome to DU.

NE

Thank you.