UMBC Cyber Dawgs defend title as Mid-Atlantic cyber champions

Published: May 6, 2021

A student using a computer. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC. (A student using a computer. Photo by Marlayna Demond '11 for UMBC.)

UMBC’s Cyber Dawgs took first place in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) earlier this month. The team participated in the competition virtually, working to protect their networks from simulated cyber threats and attacks. The Cyber Dawgs earned their win against teams including George Mason University and the University of Pittsburgh. 

The team advanced to the national competition, vying for the title against Rochester Institute of Technology; the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Central Florida, and others. While UCF brought home the national title this year, RJ Joyce ‘18, M.S. ‘20, Ph.D. ‘23, computer science, says the team is already preparing for the next competition. 

“This is my fourth year competing in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and my first as team captain. I’m incredibly proud of my team, who put in countless hours of preparation, adapted quickly to unexpected situations during the competition, and placed 7th out of the 168 teams who competed across the nation,” he says. “We’re already making plans for how to improve next year!”

The Cyber Dawgs team includes Henry Budris ‘22, computer science; Nikola Bura ‘21, computer science; Rob Shovan ‘23, information systems; Richard Baldwin ‘23, computer science; Robert Joyce ‘18, M.S. ‘20, Ph.D. ‘23, computer science; Chris Hamer ‘22, mathematics; Adam Sachsel ‘21, computer science; and Chris Skane ‘21, computer science. Their advisors are Charles Nicholas, professor of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE), and Rick Forno, senior lecturer in CSEE.

This is the fourth time in seven years that the Cyber Dawgs have won the MACCDC, including in 2020. The UMBC team won the national championship in 2017.

Banner image: A student working on a computer. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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