Suzanne I Mello-Stark
My current research focuses on digital forensics, cryptography, security and networking implementations in current election technologies. Each election, voters rely on machines from proprietary vendors to carry out democracy. We cast our vote and walk away with no evidence that our vote has become part of the official tally. One important characteristic of teaching computer science successfully is exposing students to real world problems. In my opinion, this is an exciting real world problem that has not been solved. Join me! I believe a first-class computer scientist is a first-class problem solver. As a faculty member at WPI, my role is to guide and provide access to information, and to inspire a love for trial and error in my students. Rather than acting as the primary source of information, I encourage students to search for knowledge on their own. In this way they learn to find answers to their own questions. In order for students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover information on their own. This is especially true with debugging code. It can be treated as a stressful situation or a great puzzle that needs to be solved. I try to reinforce the latter. I am an ardent supporter of improving diversity in STEM-related fields. I have served and continue to serve on several committees such as co-chair for the security/privacy track committee for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (GHC). The Inspiring Women Scientists Conference at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, and the Feminist Press invited me to speak about my career path to young women interested in STEM.I started my career in the corporate world and I have a broad range of experience in business development, hardware/software, and network and security management. I have headed various teams at Lucent Technologies, Ascend Communications, Stratus Computer, GTE and Raytheon. I know first hand that studying computer science can provide students with many exciting opportunities.
Professional Highlights & Honors
VOX published an op-ed by Suzanne Mello Stark, an associate teaching professor in computer science, which raises questions about our voting system’s vulnerability to hackers.