First-year student receives Discovery research grant

Samantha Weirman, a first-year Security and Risk Analysis student, has received a 2009 Undergraduate Discovery Summer Grant to pursue cryptography research with Stan Aungst, professor of practice in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

Weirman said she’s always been interested in puzzles and developed an interest in math in middle school. When she got to high school, she stumbled upon the college by accident at a prospective student information fair. She immediately knew the SRA program was for her.

“I was so excited to learn that there was a program for exactly what I wanted to do,” she said. “I was originally coming to Penn State as a math major, but I switched right away when I found out about the SRA major.”

This summer, Weirman will be tasked with mathematically proving three Elliptic Cryptography Curves recommended for use by the U.S. National Security Agency. She hopes to make this work a foundation for future research in this area.

Discovery grants are awarded by the Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education to help undergraduate students take advantage of the University’s research environment and encourage collaboration with faculty. Funding is provided by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education.

Last Updated April 23, 2009