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MIT and University of Cambridge to face off in “Cambridge v. Cambridge” hackathon

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and at the University of Cambridge in England will compete in a multi-day cybersecurity hackathon, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday.

The competition, dubbed “Cambridge v. Cambridge,” is expected to motivate students at both institutions to develop a variety of efficient and powerful cybersecurity technologies. According to a White House press release, the competition’s purpose is “to enhance cybersecurity research at the highest academic level within both countries to bolster our cyber defenses.”

In addition to demonstrating a high degree of computer science and engineering expertise, students will need to successfully employ high-caliber business and interpersonal skills in order to address venture capitalists, confront the demands of policymaking, and write press releases concerning their projects.

The leaders also announced a bilateral agreement to establish and fund a new Fulbright Cybersecurity Award, which will enable achieving scholars from both countries to conduct six months of cybersecurity research.

“We are excited to partner with the University of Cambridge on this academic initiative with our students,” Howard Shrobe, principal research scientist at CSAIL told the MIT News Office. “[We] hope that this will be the first of many events aimed at bringing together these two institutions.”

—William Rodriguez