This summer, students from across the country have come to the North Dakota State University ta to participate in a ten-week intensive Research Experience for Undergraduates

program where they learn how to research and develop software for attacking, defending and detecting attacks against cyber-physical systems like robots and industrial controllers for water and power, including West Fargo native Nicholas Snell.

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Snell's project focuses on detecting illegitimate and intentionally falsified news. To do this, he used machine learning artificial intelligence techniques. He is developing a program to analyze any internet article and determine its likelihood of being false. The technology Snell is creating could help citizens make more informed decisions based on better understanding how accurate the news that they are reading is.

"Fake news is everywhere on social media and has a major impact in our world," Snell said in a release from NDSU. "After I saw my friends and family falling for fake news articles, I wanted to stop this misinformation from spreading. Through developing this program, I learned that there are many ways to create fake news. I've also learned how powerful the media is in our world today's technology also has applications to national security. The technology could help the U.S.

Government identify illicit and inaccurate news created by foreign governments as propaganda."

The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Students research and learn software development best practices.Poorly written or faulty code can prevent software from performing its defensive function or even provide an entry point for an attacker. Students learn technology security, to understand the importance of development accuracy and testing.

"Cybersecurity is an area of key national need. This is particularly true for cyber-physical systems, where a successful attack can injure - or even kill - people in the real world," NDSU assistant professor Jeremy Straub said in a release. Straub is also the associate director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research.

Student participants traveled to the National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Ala. where learned about others' cybersecurity research and participate in a cybersecurity 'capture the flag' competition. The students also visited the Oscar Zero decommissioned missile site, where they learned about the importance of mission critical systems' security.

The students were selected for admission to the program based on their current skillset and the value that they show the program will have for them. The goal is to show students the options that a degree in computer science and related fields provides and to allow them to determine whether they may want to pursue graduate studies and a career in computing research.