Grant could help firm pro­tect pri­vate data

Orlando Sentinel - - CENTRAL FLORIDA BUSINESS - By Marco San­tana

An Orlando com­pany has landed a $225,000 grant to de­velop meth­ods that would keep peo­ple’s con­fi­den­tial data while it’s be­ing an­a­lyzed by com­puter al­go­rithms.

The al­go­rithms are widely used in health re­search, fi­nan­cial stud­ies, mil­i­tary train­ing and tar­geted ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns.

While en­crypted data is rel­a­tively safe in tran­sit or in stor­age, it is tem­po­rar­ily ex­posed as the al­go­rithms an­a­lyze it.

The Na­tional Science Foun­da­tion grant to the com­pany, USEn­cryp­tion, will help it con­tinue to re­search the tech­nol­ogy.

“Data is the most valu­able re­source in the world to­day and needs to be pro­tected through en­cryp­tion at all times,” said Le­an­dro Verti, co­founder of USEn­cryp­tion, in a news re­lease. “We are fill­ing that last gap in data se­cu­rity for data in use.”

Uni­ver­sity of Cen­tral Florida pro­fes­sor of physics Ed­uardo Muc­ci­olo has helped lead the re­search along with Clau­dio Cha­mon of Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity.

The grant could also open the door to fu­ture fund­ing, as the fed­eral Phase I grant is a re­quire­ment for busi­nesses to ap­ply for a Phase II grant, which can be worth much as $750,000. as

Florida Polytech­nic Uni­ver­sity’s video game de­vel­op­ment stu­dents held a show­case Thurs­day of the ti­tles they have built dur­ing the most re­cent se­mes­ter.

The projects in­cluded games that took play­ers into vir­tual worlds, rhythm-based games sim­i­lar to the pop­u­lar Dance Dance Rev­o­lu­tion and oth­ers that re­quired in­ter­con­nected net­works.

The pur­pose is to of­fer real-world ex­pe­ri­ence to stu­dents hop­ing to make it in the com­pet­i­tive video game in­dus­try.

“We do this to have them see and un­der­stand the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence,” com­puter science Pro­fes­sor Brad­ford Towle Jr. said. “They get to make a game and then present it as they would for in­dus­try or on an expo floor.”

The expo was a show­case of stu­dents in the school’s game de­sign 1 and 2 classes, with 30 games be­ing show­cased.

For se­nior com­puter science ma­jor Omar Mon­tesinos, the game he built was a way to bring aware­ness to the de­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion of wolves by arm­ing a ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied wolf with a high-tech ma­chine gun.

“Games are a good way to ex­press your­self,” said Mon­tesinos, who hopes to land in a game stu­dio af­ter he leaves school. “It’s an­other form of art.”

Stu­dents de­vel­oped their games over a course of about four months.

Ac­cord­ing to Glob­alData, the video game mar­ket could be $300 bil­lion by 2025, and more schools and busi­nesses are sup­port­ing pro­grams that con­trib­ute to the in­dus­try.

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