Many computer users are unaware of the varied and serious threats that their computers are exposed to. To help raise awareness of computer security, Leah Wolf ’14 is working this summer with Associate Professor of Computer Science Mark Bailey on curricular work for the introductory class Secrets, Lies and Digital Threats. She is preparing all the materials for this course to be available online for other educators.
Several years ago, Bailey received a grant to design and teach a class on computer security with the intention of ultimately uploading the entire course online so that others may teach it as well. Over the past few years, students have spent their summers designing and writing the course materials, and now Wolf is editing and compiling all this information into one resource.
Wolf’s work involves reading all the course materials and smoothing out any unclear or unhelpful elements of the course. Her task is to synthesize one cohesive whole out of several students’ efforts. She is also adding notes to future professors to clarify material and provide tips.
Some of the course material was written several years ago, and so Wolf is also updating the information to include modern threats. However, she explains that digital threats have changed very little in nature, and attackers have only adapted old threats to new technologies. For this reason, Wolf can make notes on how to keep the course updated while working from older textbook.
Though Wolf opted to take Introduction to Computer Science instead of Secrets, Lies and Digital Threats, she believes that the class offers an invaluable experience to any computer user. Though many people frequently use and even rely on computers, most do not know much about computer security. Many Internet users also fall into easily-avoided traps that expose their personal information or leave them at risk of digital threats.
Wolf hopes to finish all work for this course over the summer so that the course can be put up online. She enjoys working toward a sizable goal and she feels a sense of accomplishment from her work. Wolf also appreciates the process of writing for a real course, knowing that her efforts will have practical applications and help inform others of the computer threats they face.
In her free time,Wolf enjoys music and she plays the violin. She plans to play on the women’s rugby team, works at the rock wall, and is a computer science TA.
Despite how prevalent computers are in homes and workplaces, many users remain unaware of the threats that can invade their computers. Wolf is working toward spreading awareness about computer safety while learning more about how to keep her own computer secure.
Leah Wolf is a graduate of Bemidji High School (Minnesota).