David Levin Receives the NCWIT 2020 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Descriptive image for David Levin Receives the NCWIT 2020 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Assistant Professor David Levin was recently selected as one of the awardees of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) 2020 Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award under the Junior faculty at a PhD granting institution category.

The award recognizes the academic alliance (including Non-Profit U.S. Institutions) representatives for their outstanding mentorship, cutting edge research opportunity, encouragement and inclusion of women and minority students in computing related fields.

“I consider this aspect of my work to really be what the job is all about to me, — being recognized by a group like NCWIT is just amazing”! said Levin on winning the prestigious award.

Levin has dedicated much of his work towards enabling more undergraduates to get research experience. He is the Co-Chair of the UMD Computer Science departmental Honors program, through which he and his fellow Co-Chair, Leilani Battle, teach a research seminar every semester. In addition, he founded and runs Breakerspace, a lab dedicated to group undergraduate research in his area of network and systems security. “I realized that one of the primary reasons that students do not get involved in research is that there simply aren’t enough faculty to advise them one-on-one!” said Levin. “With Breakerspace, I am able to bring research experiences to many more students than I ever could before.” There are currently over two dozen undergraduate researchers in Breakerspace, half of whom are women.

Levin’s research focuses on empirically measuring and improving Internet security, with projects ranging from combatting Internet censorship, improving anonymous communication, and securing online authentication, which allows users to know with whom they are communicating online. Breakerspace undergraduates are involved in all of these projects.

In addition to being an Assistant professor in computer science Levin holds joint appointments in University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and is a faculty in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.

As an honor Levin will receive a $5,000 gift, courtesy of the 2020 URM Award Sponsor AT&T towards his research.

The award will be formally presented on May 18th, at the NCWIT Summit that will take place in Detroit, MI.

More about Levin’s research- Here

More about the award- URM webpage


The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections.  Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.