Become a Research Ambassador!

  • April 16th, 2019

Interested in taking your research knowledge and skills to the next level? Become an OUR Research Ambassador! Applications are available to join this team of esteemed student researchers at the University of Alabama. Check out the requirements, obligations and opportunities below, and reach out to our Program Director Jackie Harrison with any questions.

Requirements:

∗ Must be currently enrolled in a degree program at The University of Alabama

∗ Be in and maintain good academic standing with a current GPA of at least 3.5 on cumulative coursework.

∗ Must have completed 3 semesters of study at The University of Alabama or completed ESP

∗ Must be able to positively represent The University of Alabama and demonstrate a strong level of commitment to programs and initiatives within the office and UA through student participation and leadership.

∗ Must be willing to volunteer a minimum of 2 recruitment events (URCA, lectures, Get on Board Day) per semester or when situations arise

∗ Have strong public speaking and interpersonal skills

∗ Be available for service assignments at daytime, evening, and weekend events

∗ Must be actively conducting research with UA faculty member or research scientist.

∗ Must be able to commit to a one year term based on the academic calendar (Fall-Spring).

Obligations:

∗ Ambassadors must attend bi-weekly meetings on Wednesday at 5pm (this changes per semester to fit with the most Ambassadors’ schedules).

∗ Must hold 2 hours of office hours in 124 Burke West during each semester on set schedule.

∗ Be available to mentor students looking to get more involved in undergraduate research.

∗ Assist in developing new workshops and informational sessions that would assist students interested in undergraduate research.

∗ Contact and speak to 2 classes monthly to promote ESP/URCA/URRC

∗ Assist in publicizing undergraduate research via social media.

∗ Be timely in responding to e-mail queries from prospective and current students

∗ Be available to work with the respective Colleges on specific recruitment activities such as Bama Bound, University Days, Transfer Day, Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Conference, etc.

Opportunities:

∗ Gain public speaking, leadership, and mentoring experience

∗ Have the opportunity to aid in event planning

∗ Have an office on campus to hangout or study (OUR URRC Burke West 124)

∗ Participate in the coordination of a research conference

∗ The chance to work with and get to know some of the leading researchers at The University of Alabama

∗ Gain marketing experience

Valentine’s Meet-and-Greet Feb. 7th

  • January 28th, 2019

Please join us at the Undergraduate Research Resource Center in Mary Burke West room 124 for coffee, Valentine’s treats and a meet-and-greet with The Office of Undergraduate Research from 1-3pm Thursday, February 7th.

Ambassadors, student workers, and personnel will be available for any questions regarding Emerging Scholars Program and The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference (URCA).

 

Apply to the Emerging Scholars Program!

  • September 4th, 2018

The Emerging Scholars Program is an exciting opportunity for students at the University of Alabama that helps them get involved in research with a faculty mentor in their chosen field. The mission of the Emerging Scholars Program is to improve and enrich student learning and to nurture student success. The research opportunities allow a student to gain experience that deepens his or her understanding in a field of study, to develop the necessary professional skills to interact with a diverse group of other students and faculty members, and to learn appropriate methods and techniques for presenting professional research. The Emerging Scholars Program also benefits faculty by connecting them with students eager to learn and participate in research throughout their UA careers.

For more information and to apply, click here.

UA Cyber Researchers Delve Into the Dark Web

  • April 24th, 2018

The Office of Information Technology works to block dark web traffic from entering UA, but for five students in Cyber Hall, the dark web serves as a place of employment.

The Network Intrusion Lab, located in Cyber Hall, houses faculty and student researchers building mechanisms to monitor and analyze dark web network traffic. According to UA OIT, the dark web is a part of the internet that is only accessible by means of special software that allows users to remain anonymous to conduct mostly malicious activity.

The NIL consists of Dr. Diana Dolliver and Dr. Adam Ghazi-Tehrani, both of whom are assistant professors in cyber criminology and criminal justice, as well as five UA student interns:

  • Austin Rife, a junior studying computer engineering and mathematics from Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Jake Wachs, a sophomore studying computer science from Annapolis, Maryland
  • Austin Hose, a junior in New College studying cybersecurity from Meridianville, Alabama
  • Spencer Fuhriman, a sophomore studying computer science from Meridian, Idaho
  • Alex Dunbrack, a senior studying management information systems from Orlando, Florida

The First of its Kind

The NIL opened in January 2017 and is a joint project through the continued partnership between UAPD and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Office of Information Technology provides the NIL a secure research environment where students can work with faculty to build network analysis tools.

Dr. Diana Dolliver works with Austin Rife in the NIL.

“In the NIL,” said Wachs, “we get to see the real-world implications of what technology can do.”

The NIL strives to increase awareness and knowledge about cyber activity, particularly with law enforcement. The NIL is a function of the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force. Established in August 2014, the JECTF assists local and national law enforcement officials with processing digital evidence for use in cybercrime prosecutions.

“People become victims of cyberattacks just because they don’t know any better,” said Hose. “That’s what scares me, the lack of knowledge about cyber activity.”

The students in the NIL work not only to monitor network activity, but also to provide necessary information to local and federal law enforcement to prevent malicious activity and to help solve criminal cases.

“We take this data, and we determine how much of a negative impact it can have to society, and we share it with the proper audiences and law enforcement,” said Fuhriman.

The students working in the NIL bring a variety of experience and diverse majors of study to the group.

“I really enjoy working with the other students in the NIL,” said Dunbrack. “We’re all pursuing different majors of study, and when I hear their perspectives it really broadens my personal understanding of what cybercrime is becoming in this world. We’re all bringing different skills to the table.”

The research being conducted at the NIL is the first of its kind. Fewer than 10 academic institutions across the United States have a digital forensics task force, and the UA NIL, as a part of such task force, is the first of its kind.

“No one has done the research that we’re doing. We hope that our research opens up a new discussion in the cyber field of study.”   Dr. Adam Ghazi-Tehrani, assistant professor in cyber criminology and criminal justice at UA

Network Intrusion Lab Internships

Students in the Network Intrusion Lab

NIL internships are available to students in all majors of study.

“Through the NIL, we offer students a different way of thinking about problems,” said Dolliver. “There’s a difference between learning something in a classroom and actually applying the knowledge. These students are getting real experience.”

Undergraduate and graduate students can now apply for internships at the NIL at cybercrime.as.ua.edu.

“Students thinking about studying cybersecurity should have an interest in computer programming, and a passion for computing with a willingness to learn,” said Rife. “It’s so cool to learn how something works, and then reverse it to prevent somebody from getting in. You always have to think ahead. If there is something out there that you’re interested in, go after it. Ask a faculty member about it and start learning.”

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.

Undergraduate Research Resource Center: We’ve Moved!

  • January 17th, 2018

The Undergraduate Research Resource Center is open to provide  in-person assistance regarding the Emerging Scholars Program and to ask questions about the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Please visit us at the Undergraduate Research Resource Center located in room 124 of Burke West. We hope to see you soon! Hours include:

  • Monday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.