Summer Conferences Add to Learning for Students, Faculty
This summer, UTEP students and faculty from different majors and colleges attended and presented at some of the largest and most well-known national and international conferences. From a computer science student who learned from hackers and cybersecurity professionals to an engineering professor who heard from engineering faculty around the world about successful teaching practices, here are a few of the highlights.
Budding Cybersecurity Professional Learns from Experts
Brian G. Rodiles Delgado, a senior computer science major at UTEP, was one of only 300 people in the world to receive a scholarship to attend the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 9 and 10, 2023. One of the world’s most renowned conferences for individuals working in cybersecurity, Delgado had the opportunity to learn from cybersecurity professionals who work to protect power plants from being hacked, who have found alarming vulnerabilities in coding in electric vehicles and who have hacked into satellites currently orbiting space. He even had the chance to meet with hackers so renowned, they were once some of the FBI’s most wanted. They have now been contracted by the bureau to take down some of the world’s most dangerous hackers.
As a budding cybersecurity professional, Delgado wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities available to him on his trip. Every summer, Las Vegas transforms into a cybersecurity hub, with dozens of simultaneous conferences. While there, Delgado also attended DEF CON, one of the largest conferences for hackers and cybersecurity professionals.
“By going to these conferences, you can see that everything is hackable,” Delgado said. “We need to invest more in both our personal and organizational security. Thanks to the contacts and information I gathered there, I can bring back more advanced topics that are important to the safety of our community and also to the improvement of our future.”
Professor Gains Insights into Teaching Engineers
UTEP industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering Assistant Professor Sergio Alberto Luna Fong had the opportunity to learn more about educating future engineers at the American Society for Engineering Education conference in Baltimore, Maryland from June 25-28, 2023. Held annually, the conference serves as a convergence of engineering professionals, professors and companies with the goal to support future generations of engineers. An engineer by trade, he took advantage of the opportunities to learn more about techniques, methods, tools and processes to teach the next generation.
“I was trained as an engineer, but there’s much research about how to assess, how to measure, how to test different techniques,” Fong said. “It was a really great experience, and I was very grateful for the opportunity.”
Fong most enjoyed the opportunity to network with other engineers who not only had different backgrounds but also came from different countries, including Colombia and Chile.
“My favorite part was to see what other individuals were doing [in the classroom],” Fong said. “There are other people who focus on the same area as me that I’ve never met before, and there are many opportunities for collaboration.”
Beta Alpha Psi Member Learns from Other Chapters
Pedro Cuellar, a junior finance major, attended the annual Beta Alpha Psi conference from Aug. 3-5, 2023 in Las Vegas. A national organization designed to support accounting, finance and information systems students, Beta Alpha Psi hosts its annual conferences to give students the opportunity to learn, network, compete in challenges and engage in activities that positively impact their communities.
Cuellar particularly enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about recruitment. As an officer for UTEP’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, he works to bring more students to the association.
“I loved meeting new people, and being able to go to the conference allowed me to learn about other chapters and how we can take some other ideas and implement them into our own organization,” Cuellar said.
Last Updated on September 21, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published September 21, 2023
By Julia Hettiger UTEP Marketing and Communications