Meet the 2020 Team

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)
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 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 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)
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.
Annamaria Iezzi, PhD (Lead Instructor)
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. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics & Statistics department of USF.
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. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Mathematics & Statistics department of USF.
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 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.
Teresa Flaitz
Teresa is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida pursuing 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.
Nadia Thomas
My name is Nadia Thomas and I am a fourth year Computer Science major and Mathematics minor at the University of South Florida. My interest in cybersecurity and love for helping others propelled my heart to participate in developing the curriculum for the CodeBreakHERS.
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.
Peter Kavanagh
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.
Chloe Thomas
Chloe is an undergraduate at USF finishing up my last year for a BA in Studio Art with a focus in graphic design. She is currently working on the social media design for the CodeBreakHERS Summer Camp.
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Meet Past Members

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 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 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 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.
Micaela Newman
Micaela is graduating with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from USF in May 2019. She is the president of the Maths Club. She is in charge of curriculum development regarding Coding Theory and Error Correcting Codes.
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Nadia Thomas

My name is Nadia Thomas and I am a fourth year Computer Science major and Mathematics minor at the University of South Florida. My interest in cybersecurity and love for helping others propelled my heart to participate in developing the curriculum for the CodeBreakHERS.