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Security and Software Engineering Research Center (S2ERC)

Ball State University

Georgetown University

Virginia Tech

Last Reviewed: (not done)

The S2ERC has served government and industrial affiliates with software engineering design and metrics projects since 1986 and, more recently, software and system security projects.

Center Mission and Rationale

S2ERC’s mission is to conduct a program of applied and basic research on cybersecurity, software security, system security and software engineering problems to enable technology gains in member organizations.

S2ERC is a mature center that began as SERC, the Software Engineering Research Center, in 1986. The software engineering focus of the research continues in S2ERC, carried on by many of the universities and researchers that conducted SE projects in SERC. Officially expanding the main focus of the center to include security in 2010 has brought new universities and affiliates to the center. Software engineering and information/network security go hand in hand, and S2ERC unites these two disciplines in a way that is mutually informative and beneficial. S2ERC attracts companies and agencies, including U.S. military and other U.S. government organizations, from diverse fields such as military contractors, financial providers, the insurance sector, information and network technology leaders, web technology firms, heavy equipment manufacturers, and large conglomerates.

Research program

The two primary research directions of the center are security and software engineering.

Recent S2ERC research projects have focused on these issues: intrusion detection, ad-hoc network security, wireless security, attack-tolerant systems, trustworthiness in cloud and mobile applications, security & vulnerability analyses, information protection, requirements capturing, software design, software metrics, software feature analysis, software testing, software reliability, user interface design, usability issues, global software development, migrating software to multi-core architecture, visualization environments, interactive collaborative environments, dynamic & static analyses, and testing and model checking for concurrent programs, user authentication, intrusion detection and network forensics, cyber-physical systems,  software reliability and software safety, high assurance software, embedded systems security, security testbeds, visualization and cyber situational awareness, physical unclonable function-based mobile authentication, malware detection, software analytics, functional encryption, cyber threat intelligence sharing,  systems security and integrity, voice and video over IP, data leak prevention, software testing, big data analytics, and hardware security.

Special Activities

Iowa State University has developed a process, currently known as “Priming the Infosec Pipeline” or PIP, available to member companies, to help them recruit students working in Information Security. The approach is based on a yearly career fair at ISU for IT-related fields. Member companies will be invited to “sell” their research problems to students in an effort to get the very best undergraduates into the graduate programs at ISU. The PIP member company would be committing to internships for the students whose research they fund through S2ERC. 

Ball State University encourages affiliates to participate in the BSU computer science immersive sequence of software engineering courses that develop year-long team projects for off-campus clients. BSU now offers a Master of Science in Software Engineering Degree Program.

Facilities and Laboratory

Labs specific to security and software engineering research and education are available at Iowa State, Virginia Tech, and Georgetown.


Ball State University

Dept of Computer Science
2000 West University Avenue

Muncie, Indiana, 47306

United States

Virginia Tech

Room 5-034
900 North Glebe Road

Arlington, Virginia, 22203

United States

Georgetown University

37th and O St., NW
Department of Computer Science

Washington, District of Columbia, 20057

United States