Archive for February, 2017

Feb 02 2017

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. – Rabindranath Tagore

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(This post was authored by Dr. Ambareen Siraj)

For me, the sea to cross has been changing at various stages of my life – but my determination has not.

When I came to this great country which has been my home for 20 years, the sea was graduate school at Mississippi State. I came from a different country (Bangladesh), different language (Bengali), different undergraduate degree (Applied Physics and Electronics), and with a family (husband Sheikh Ghafoor and a 2 year old son). Why did I move to CS from Physics? Well, I worked with computers during my undergraduate thesis; I guess my “bossy” personality loved the fact that you can tell a machine exactly what to do, and it will do it! Well, as we all know now, computers of today can think ahead of men!fulltextlogo[2]

Back to my story of growing up. My first semester at graduate school, I worked for an insect researcher in Agricultural Research and analyzed insects with software after my classes. My husband would keep our toddler busy with trees and flags flying high in the park while I did my study chores. Later, I started working as a Teaching Assistant and graded C++ data structures programs to pay for grad school.  After sometime, I took the first class ever offered in Computer Security in Mississippi State (it was the same case with many schools back then) by one of the pioneers in CyberSecurity Education, Dr. Rayford Vaughn. I was hooked!  There was no looking back. I found what I loved, and I started working in the field as a Research Assistant for Dr. Vaughn. The best lesson that I learned from him was the power of a “pat on the back”.

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