S&T students shine in case study competition

Participating students and judges for the BIT competition. Photo from the BIT Facebook page.

Fifteen Missouri University of Science and Technology teams, comprised of 57 students, recently competed in a cybersecurity case study competition for the chance to earn a $1,000 prize and a mentoring session with executives from AT&T Inc., the event’s sponsor.

The event, hosted by Missouri S&T’s business and information technology (BIT) department, was held March 6-10. The winning team consisted of S&T students Karthik Chandrasekaran, Santosh Kumar, Ripal Patel and Dixit Verma.

“I would like to personally congratulate all the participants for their hard work and innovative ideas,” says Dr. Keng Siau, chair and professor of BIT. “The department is excited to highlight students’ multifaceted skills and believes that AT&T’s choice of cybersecurity for this year’s case study theme is both timely and important for students’ futures.”

During the competition, teams were presented with a cybersecurity incident exercise based on a possible disaster scenario. Each team had to develop a quick response for a fictional IT department. The teams had to measure the scale of the cybersecurity incident, check what it would impact, find the sources of various problems and mitigate any crisis issues. Teams then had to estimate the business impact and complications from the security breach. No experience in coding or information technology was required to compete.

“Case competitions help students improve not only their problem-solving skills, but also their presentation style, teamwork skills and professional development,” says Dr. Stephen Roberts, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business. “Members of these interdisciplinary teams, tackling the critical issue of cybersecurity, are demonstrating their ability to help solve complex problems in a dynamic setting – a great indicator of their capacity for future professional success.”

Representatives from AT&T and BIT judged the teams on their understanding of the concepts and presentation slides. After a paring down from 15, the top six teams presented their findings to a panel of experts.

“It was a great first run for the competition at our campus, and the sponsor representatives all seemed impressed with our students,” says Dr. Rebecca Crosthwait, senior academic advisor for BIT. “If the student teams’ palpable energy before the competition started and excitement during the awards ceremony are any indication, the S&T students were well-prepared, took it very seriously and were truly ready for the competition.”

After the competition, students on the winning team will attend a mentoring session with both a vice president and a director from AT&T to talk about the real-world applications of the competition and learn more about the industry.

“I’m happy that so many participants stepped up to a challenge that provided them an opportunity to improve in a variety of areas such as problem-solving skills, presentation style, teamwork and professional development,” says Kim Rakers, a college recruiting manager for AT&T. “AT&T is excited to continue this partnership with Missouri S&T and host similar events in the near future.”

Learn more about the competition and see photos from the event on the BIT Facebook page at facebook.com/MSTBIT.

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