Orlando Sentinel

Grant could help firm protect private data

- 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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