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01/02/2006 - Triangle Team Tempts Network Nabobs

Powered by a recently awarded grant from the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating (HEC) board, the Eastern Washington University (EWU) department of computer science is seeking a PhD expert in computer networks to hold a newly created faculty position in that EWU department. In the state of Washington, EWU is the fastest growing university and the EWU Masters in Computer Science (MSCS) is among the states fastest growing computer science degree programs. Due to both rapid growth and the department’s ongoing initiative in computer networks and cyber security, HEC has awarded EWU a grant supporting “high demand enrollment” areas at the university.

EWU is recruiting in partnership with VPnet and the Spokane Economic Development Council (EDC). According to Dr. Steve Simmons, Director of the EWU Center for Network Computing And Cyber Security (CNCACS) and chair of the recruiting committee, “VPnet and EDC are excited about the opportunity to help recruit more computer network expertise to this region. There is an existing cluster of network industry and research activities, and this new faculty position will serve to support the cluster in many ways – including workforce development, research, and consulting.”

In addition to teaching courses in computer networks and cyber security, and directing graduate work in computer networks, the new faculty is expected to add to the momentum in applied network research. EWU CS is a department of 18 faculty, 17 graduate assistants, and 380 majors in several computing-related areas, including graduate and undergraduate programs. Existing EWU CS research areas include distributed computing, distance education via multimedia networking, and intelligent systems approaches to cyber security.

VPnet and the EDC will help recruit in two ways. First, the two organizations will help publicize the existence and nature of the new networking position to their base of contacts. The EDC will specialize in the network industry base, both nationally and locally, and VPnet will specialize in the university and research community. Later, when selected candidates are flown in for close range recruiting, EDC and VPnet will meet the candidates, and describe the riches of the Inland Northwest for network industry interaction, research, student employment, and joint projects.

Adding to the temptation level will be three major research and development tools for computer networking. The most mature is VPnet, a 200 mile gigabit network for research, education, incubation and collaboration, founded via an Avista donation in 2002. The newest is the “Green Network,” a private, closed and experimental state-of-the-art gigabit network based in the new Computing and Engineering building at EWU. This network is intended for networking experiments too demanding or too dangerous for a production-oriented network, and is operated exclusively by the EWU department of computer science. A still-developing tool is the Eastern Washington GigaPop (EWG), a planned link from the Pacific Northwest GigaPop in Seattle to Spokane, operating at 10 gigabits per second or faster. Though not yet in operation, the EWG has received initial funding via a one million dollar appropriation by the Washington State legislature, and is expected to receive further funding and to be operational within the next 18 months.

For further information, see the EWU CS Web site (at ) or e-mail

Billie Moreland
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