Meet the 2021 Team

Jean-Francois Biasse (Co-Director)
Jean-Francois Biasse (Co-Director)

Jean-Francois Biasse is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics. His research interests are the mathematical aspects of cryptography. At USF, he has taught MAD4471 (Introduction to Cryptography & Coding Theory) as well as MAT5932 (Applied Cryptography). He is the recipient of the CAREER award of the National Science Foundation. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, The Florida Center for Cybersecurity and Simon Foundation

GiacomoMicheli (Co-Director)
GiacomoMicheli (Co-Director)

Giacomo Micheli is an assistant professor at USF. His research interests spans from pure number theory to applied algebra, with particular emphasis on applications to cryptography and coding theory.

Mehran Mozaffari Kermani (Co-Director)
Mehran Mozaffari Kermani (Co-Director)

Mehran Mozaffari Kermani is an Assistant Professor with the Computer Science and Engineering Department (College of Engineering) at University of South Florida, where he is the PI for the Cryptographic Engineering and Hardware Security Lab. Currently, he is serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE TVLSI (2016-present), the IEEE TCAS I (2016-present), and the ACM TECS (2015-present). He has been Guest Editing (Cryptographic Engineering and Hardware Security) special issues for the IEEE TCBB.

Attila Yavuz, PhD (Co-Director)
Attila Yavuz, PhD (Co-Director)

Attila Yavuz is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. His research interests are the practical applications of cryptography. At USF, he has taught COP4931 (Information Privacy and Trustworthy Systems) and CIS4930 (Privacy-Preserving and Trustworthy Cyber-Infrastructures). He is the recipient of the CAREER award of the National Science Foundation. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and Bosch.

Ruthmae Sears (K-12 pedagogical expert)
Ruthmae Sears (K-12 pedagogical expert)

Dr. Sears is an associate professor at the University of South Florida. She has also 4 years of experience teaching at the high school level (the age group of the CodeBreakHERS campers). Currently, she coordinates developmental mathematics courses (Introduction to College Mathematics and Intermediate Algebra) and is the coordinator of the Bachelor’s (Grades 6-12) and Masters program in mathematics education. She serves as a lead sectional judge for the Florida VEX Robotics competition.

Megan Cannon (Lead Instructor)
Megan Cannon (Lead Instructor)

Megan Cannon is a recent graduate of USF with a PhD in Mathematics Education and a Masters in Mathematics. She has extensive experience teaching at the high school, community college, and university level. Additionally, Megan has mentored and supervised preservice middle school mathematics teachers during their internships in Hillsborough county classrooms.

William Youmans
William Youmans

William is a PhD student in the Mathematics and Statistics department of USF. William is in charge of the development of hands on activities and CTF challenges in applied cryptography.

Kevin Dennis
Kevin Dennis

Kevin is a PhD student in Computer Science and the Vice President the Whitehatters Computer Security Club (WCSC) at USF. He provides us with instructional assistance.

Keller Blackwell
Keller Blackwell

Keller Blackwell is a senior at the University of South Florida studying mathematics. They have authored several papers spanning the fields of partial differential equations, random matrix theory, and code-based cryptography. Their research has attracted invitations to speak at the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical society, and in 2019 won national recognition in the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship.

Sayde King
Sayde King

Sayde is a PhD student at the University of South Florida (USF), studying Computer Science and Engineering under the advisement of Dr. Tempestt Neal. Sayde graduated with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and minor in International Studies from USF in 2019. As a member of the Cyber Identity and Behavior Research (CIBeR) Lab, Sayde conducts research in wireless sensing, behavioral biometrics, and affective computing. As an undergraduate, Sayde participated in BullsEYE, an Engineering Summer Boot

Brooks Olney
Brooks Olney

Brooks Olney is a 3rd year PhD student in the department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of South Florida. His research interests and publications span multiple disciplines - including hardware security, reconfigurable computing, and adversarial machine learning. He has been invited to present his research at venues such as Design Automation Conference (DAC) and the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He has also received several awards for his research, including an honorable men

Meet Past Members

Annamaria Iezzi, PhD
Annamaria Iezzi, PhD

Annamaria Iezzi graduated with a PhD in mathematics from the University of Marseille in 2016. She has extensive experience in outreach projects, including the production of a maths-inspired musical played in the three largest French cities: Paris, Lyon and Marseille. From 2017 to 2020, she was postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics & Statistics department of USF. She is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of French Polynesia.

Ben Pring, PhD
Ben Pring, PhD

Benjamin Pring completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Bath in 2019. His area of research concerns the security of cryptographic schemes under the attacks of quantum computers. From 2019 to 2021, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics & Statistics department of USF. He is currently a Heilbronn fellow at the University of Bristol.

Teresa Flaitz
Teresa Flaitz

Teresa graduated in 2020 from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics, a minor in Computer Science, and a certificate in Visualization & Design. She was employed at USF’s Academic Success Center for two years, where she worked as a calculus tutor and study skills mentor. Teresa was an officer of the student organization Society of Competitive Programmers, through which she competed in multiple hackathons.

Chloe Thomas
Chloe Thomas

Chloe graduated from USF in 2020 with a BA in Studio Art with a focus in graphic design. She worked on the social media design for the CodeBreakHERS Summer Camp.

Peter Kavanaugh
Peter Kavanaugh

Peter is an undergraduate at USF, he is studying Information Technology and Cyber Security. Peter has a background in networking and computer building. Peters is Whitehatters Computer Security Club (WCSC) at USF. He provides us with instructional assistance.

Nadia Thomas
Nadia Thomas

Nadia Thomas graduated from USF in 2020 with Computer Science major and Mathematics minor at the. Her interest in cybersecurity and love for helping others propelled my heart to participate in developing the curriculum for the CodeBreakHERS.

Danilo Gligoroski, PhD
Danilo Gligoroski, PhD

Danilo Gligoroski is a professor of Computer Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. He is an expert in applied cryptography, and in the development of cryptosystems resisting attacks from quantum computers. He is a member of Norwegian Cyber Security Challenge (NCSC) committee and was the coach for the Norwegian team on European Cyber Security Challenge in 2017. Cyber Security Challenge competitions include CTF tasks, cyber attacks, cyber defense and ha

Caitlin Cook
Caitlin Cook

Caitlin is an undergraduate student in the Cybersecurity program at USF. She is a volunteer member of the Whitehatters Computer Security Club (WCSC) at USF. She provides us with instructional assistance.

Julie Gonzalez
Julie Gonzalez

Julie is an undergraduate student in the Cybersecurity program of the USF. She is the Public Relations Officer of the Whitehatters Computer Security Club (WCSC) at USF. She is in charge of our online presence and of the coordination between the camp and the Whitehatter club.

Rachel Klesius
Rachel Klesius

Rachel is graduating in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Computer Science from USF. She is the Vice-President of Internal Affairs for Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WICSE). She is in charge of the development of activities pertaining to networks and linux-based architecture.