Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Computer and Information Sciences
“Work is much more fun with partners.”
This statement is a guiding principle for Sidd Kaza, Ph.D., department chairperson for Towson University’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences, whether in his classroom or his research projects.
Kaza began his career in the field of data mining before coming to Towson University as an assistant professor in 2008. It was only after he began collaborating with Department of Computer and Information Sciences clinical associate professor Blair Taylor, Ph.D., and other colleagues in his department that his attention shifted to cybersecurity.
Since then, Kaza has earned more than $9 million in external funding, including a $3.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand TU’s current CyberCorps program.
“I have excellent faculty peers—most of my grants are collaborative with amazing faculty at TU and outside,” he noted.
Kaza works hard to balance his teaching responsibilities and his research work, relying on a variety of doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students to play a “big” role in his research projects. He calls them a “high-achieving, diverse group” and says his funding could not be sustained without them.
His philosophy of including research in learning sciences, cutting-edge curriculum development, student mentorship and “pushing the envelope to get both students and even more teachers in computing sciences” has strongly influenced his goals as department chair.
“We have a department with great faculty and students,” Kaza said. “I want to provide leadership so our faculty continue to succeed in their endeavors. Another goal is to create an environment to connect with students; we have over 1,900 majors across our six programs.
“We have to provide these students opportunities to engage with faculty scholarship outside the classroom,” he added. “We have been moving towards creating an environment with collaboration spaces, more seminars, student clubs, social media presence so our students can come to our building and stay here to interact with their peers and faculty.”