September 2013


DSU's Dr. Hu Co-Authors Research Paper On Password Vulnerability

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Dr. Hongxin Hu, DSU assistant professor of computer science, shows how the new picture password system works. Dr. Hu co-authored a paper concerning the reported vulnerabilities of the new system.

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Dr. Hongxin Hu, DSU assistant professor of computer science, is part of a research team that has raised security concerns over a relatively new “picture password” that comes with the Microsoft Windows 8, the latest operating system to come from that software giant. Dr. Hu along with three researchers from Arizona State University – Dr. Gail-Joon Ahn, professor of computer science; doctoral student Ziming Zhao; and master degree student Jeong-Jin Seo – have co-authored a paper that details how they have developed algorithms that reveal vulnerabilities in the otherwise innovative picture password. Windows 8’s picture password allows users to use “gesture” passwords – to pick points on a photo image by a sequence of tapping, making a circle or drawing a line all with one finger – instead of using the tradition text-based password system. In their paper – “On the Security of Picture Gesture Authentication” – presented at the Aug. 14-16 USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C., the researchers say that people’s choices of “gesture passwords” tended to follow predictable patterns. Dr. Hu and his research colleagues claim in the paper that they collected more than 10,000 picture passwords from over 800 subjects through online user studies. The passwords were connected with a variety of images, which included people, animals, landscape, civilization and computer generated pictures. By developing algorithms that identified the points of interest that users were likely to choose for password patterns, the research team – led by Dr. Ahn – was able to crack 48.8% of the passwords for previously unseen pictures in one dataset and 24.0% in another, according to their paper. “We implemented a picture-password-strength meter,” Dr. Hu said. He added that was a critical part of the research project. The paper has inspired a number of articles in the U.S. and the United Kingdom in computer and technology related publications and media websites. Dr. Ahn was the DSU assistant professor’s doctoral advisor at ASU. Efforts to get comment from Microsoft were unsuccessful.

Former Gov. and U.S. Rep. Mike Castle sworn in as DSU Board member

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Mike Castle is sworn in by Dr. Claibourne Smith, chairman of the DSU Board of Trustees. Mr. Castle is the third former governor to serve as an official member of the Board of Trustees in the history of the institution.

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The DSU Board of Trustees officially swore in former Gov. Michael N. Castle as a new board member during its Sept. 19 regular meeting.   In June, Gov. Jack Markell appointed the former Delaware governor and Congressman to serve a six-year term on the DSU Board of Trustees. In joining the board, Mr. Castle succeeds former board member Dr. Calvin T. Wilson, whose six-year term expired in August 2012.   Mr. Castle is a former two-term Delaware governor (1985-1992). He is the third former governor to serve as an official member on the institution's Board of Trustees. Former Governors Ebe W. Tunnell and Simeon S. Pennewill served on the Board of Trustees of the then-State College for Colored Students.   After serving as governor, he went on to be a nine-term U.S. Congressman (1993-2011) representing the First State. He has also served as lieutenant governor (1981-1985), state senator (1968-1976) and state representative (1966-1967).   During his state Senate years, he was the minority leader from 1975-1976. In total, Mr. Castle served as an elected public servant for 40 years.   As a Congressman, Mr. Castle was chair of the House Subcommittee on Education Reform, in which he played a major role in shaping the No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law by President George Bush. He also forged enacted legislation designed to improve the quality and relevance of education research through new standards of scientific rigor.   An attorney and member of the Delaware Bar and the Washington D.C. Bar, Mr. Castle is currently a partner of DLA Piper, a government affairs practice that maintains offices in Wilmington, New York City and Washington, D.C.  During his legal practice years, he was an associate attorney and later a partner of the Wilmington law firm of Connelly, Bove and Lodge from 1964-1975. He also served from 1965 to 1966 as a Delaware deputy attorney general.   Mr. Castle has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center of Washington, D.C.   He was born and raised in Wilmington, Del., where he currently lives with his wife Jane.    

DSU Arboretum Receives Accreditation

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The efforts of Dr. Susan Yost, DSU Herbarium educator, and other has led to the development of a DSU Arboretum, which recently earned accreditation. She stands here among trees that are part of the campus' vast collection.

Arboretum website

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The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum recently announced that the Delaware State University Arboretum has been awarded a Level II Accreditation. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, DSU’s Arboretum is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta. Each species is identified with a sign, such as this Shingle Oak which is the second largest found in the state.   An arboretum is a place where trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes.    “It’s an honor for the Delaware State University Arboretum to have been awarded accreditation on the Morton Register of Arboreta. This accreditation will help raise awareness and appreciation of the great value and many uses of the campus trees and shrubs,” said Dr. Susan Yost, educator in the DSU Claude E. Phillips Herbarium.   DSU’s Arboretum is on the 400-acre main campus in Dover and is comprised of hundreds of planted trees across the campus, totaling 172 different species of trees and shrubs. Each species is labeled and a map of these plants – with lists of scientific and common names with map coordinates –is on a DSU Arboretum brochure available at the Herbarium. (See the brochure at http://herbarium.desu.edu/page5/files/Arboretum_map_brochure_2012.pdf)   The DSU Arboretum’s tree and shrub collection is diverse, making it a valuable teaching, research and ecological resource as well as beautifying the campus year-round. The 68 native species represent 40 percent of the total species. The collection includes a state record shingle oak, the second largest in Delaware, and a large black walnut, which is on the waiting list for state record tree. Recent plantings include Delaware natives such as a beach plum, American chestnut and chinquapin, as well as intriguing non-native species, such as a monkey puzzle tree, franklinia and umbrella-pine.   The Arboretum is used for teaching about trees and conservation to students as well as members of the public. Outreach programs include Master Gardener training, teacher in-service classes, elementary school programming and monthly nature walks. The DSU Arboretum includes the Franklinia -- named after Benjamin Franklin -- which is extinct in the wild.   In 2011 the Arbor Day Foundation recognized DSU’s main campus as a Tree Campus USA, making it one of 168 college and university campuses across the country with that designation and the only in Delaware to be recognized as such. The DSU Arboretum was formally designated in 2012, following recent plantings that resulted in a 26 percent increase in the number of tree species.   Dr. Yost has been the driving force in the University’s effort to meet the documentation and practices criteria for the accreditation and leads the work of Herbarium in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences in maintaining the campus abundant tree collection. She notes that she was assisted by Dr. Arthur Tucker, retired director of the Herbarium, volunteer Lou Calabrese, student workers Syrena Taylor and Alisa Downes, along with many others. Dr. Yost also noted the contribution of the late Dr. Norman Dill, a former agriculture professor who planted numerous trees around the campus in the 1960s and 1970s.   DSU was founded in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, and some of the campus trees are at least that old. In 2011, DSU became the first Tree Campus USA in Delaware. The work of the Arboretum is supported through the DSU Claude E. Phillips Herbarium in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences.   About the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This international initiative offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards. Standards include planning, governance, labeling of species, staff or volunteer support, public access and programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.  

The 3rd Annual President's Prayer Breakfast -- Photo Slideshow

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The DSU Concert Choir blessed the President's Prayer Breakfast gathering of more than 400 people with three moving selections that encompassed gospel, spirituals and hymn music.

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9/19/13 The third annual DSU President’s Prayer Breakfast was held Sept. 19 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center with a diverse gathering of more than 400 people in attendance from faith communities throughout the state. To see images from the Prayer Breakfast, click on the below photo slideshow, which is followed by more information: The President's Prayer Breakfast featured a diverse group of prayer participants on the program, including 1st Lt. Jonathon Ayers, Dover Air Force Base chaplain; Rev. Maribel Zaragoza, co-pastor of Maranatha Christian Church of Dover; Bishop Doreina Miles, pastor of First Pilgrim Baptist Church of Camden, Rev. Silvester S. Beaman, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington; and Rev. Anthony Trout, pastor of The Pentecostals of Dover. The keynote preacher was Rev. Christopher A. Bullock, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in New Castle, who gave a rousing message on thanksgiving and praise. Representatives of the DSU Interfaith Council – students Ashton Haynes, Lennea Davis, Clinton Williams and James Smith – spoke individually about their perspectives on the importance of faith and prayer, especially within DSU’s campus setting. The featured music during the program was provided by the DSU Concert Choir, which sang a moving selection of three songs – gospel, spirituals and hymn – in powerful demonstration of the expansive range of ministry music. The choir was directed by Dr. Lloyd Mallory Jr., director of DSU Choral Activities. The prelude music was provided by pianist Carlos Holmes and violinist Aundrea Wilkins. The chairperson of the President’s Prayer Breakfast Committee was Vita Pickrum, DSU associate vice president for Development.

Renowned Jazz Guitarist Earl Klugh Visits the DSU Jazz Ensemble

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Famed jazz guitarist Earl Klugh shares his music story with members of the DSU Jazz Ensemble during a Sept. 6 workshop in the Education and Humanities Theatre.

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9/6/13 With a concert in Dover later in the evening, famed jazz guitarist Earl Klugh took the afternoon of Sept. 6 to pay the DSU Jazz Ensemble a visit and conduct a workshop setting with them in the Education and Humanities Theatre on campus. Earl Klugh played his version of "Alfie" for the DSU jazz students Arriving with his Paul McGill acoustic guitar, Mr. Klugh performed some songs for the students and talked a bit about his life as a musician. He told the students that his mother wanted him to be a classical guitarist. “But the problem was I kept jazzing up the classic pieces I would play,” Mr. Klugh said. The jazz guitarist said he enjoys working with young musicians when he’s on the road. “I do a lot of traveling, and when I get an opportunity I like to stop and see what the kids are doing,” Mr. Klugh said. “We’ve got to keep the children alive with music.” Noting he began learning the piano at age three, he said his passions later moved to the guitar. By age 15 he was already in the recording studio, performing on Yusef Lateef’s Suite 16 album. He later appeared on George Benson’s 1971 White Rabbit album and then joined his touring band. A photo opp with the jazz great: Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Jeff East of the Delaware Charitible Music; Earl Klugh; Butch Cannon of Delaware Charitible Music; DSU Associate Provost Bradley Skelcher; and Randolph Johnson, DSU director of Bands. He recorded his first album named after himself, Earl Klugh, and a second, Living Inside Your Love, both in 1976. Since then he has recorded more than 30 albums, including 23 Top Ten charting records – five of them No. 1 – on Billboard’s Jazz Album chart. In 2008, his The Spice of Life Album earned his 12th Grammy nomination. Later in the evening, Mr. Klugh did a concert at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Downtown Dover. The workshop with Earl Klugh was made possible by Delaware Charitable Music.

Freshman Forum to Feature author MK Asante in Guest Lecture

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MK Asante, author of four celebrated books, is described by CNN as "a master storyteller and a major creative force."

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9/23/13   The Office of University Studies & First Year Programs will host a University Seminar Freshmen Forum event featuring award-winning, filmmaker, hip-hop artist and professor Dr. MK Asante at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 in the Education & Humanities Theatre.   Attendance for freshmen with professional attire is mandatory.   MK Asante is a bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, hip-hop artist, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.”   The author of four celebrated books, Mr. Asante is a recipient of the Langston Hughes Award. His latest book, Buck: A Memoir, was selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and was a LA Times Summer Book pick in August. His book will be on sale at the DSU event.   His other books are It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, Beautiful. And Ugly Too, and Like Water Running Off My Back. Asante directed The Black Candle, a Starz movie he co-wrote with Maya Angelou who also narrates the prize-winning film. He wrote and produced the film 500 Years Later, winner of five international film festival awards, and produced the multi award-winning film Motherland.  

Hornet Fan Tent at UD: Photo Slideshow

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The DSU Cheerleaders got the Hornet crowd fired up at the Fan Tent prior to the Delaware State vs. UD game.

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9/8/13 The DSU faithful enjoyed warm fellowship at the Hornet Fan Tent prior to the Sept. 7 DSU vs. UD game. For images from the Fan Tent, click on the below photo slideshow.

DSU Arts Center/Gallery Hosts Terry Dixon Mixed Media Exhibition

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Chicago-based artist Terry Dixon stands next to his work "Man with Hammer," one of 15 of his works currently on exhibition in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery.

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10/3/13 Delaware State University is currently featuring an exhibition by a Chicago-based artist, “Mixed Media of Terry Dixon,” from Sept. 23 to Nov. 1 in its Arts Center/Gallery in the William C. Jason Library on campus. The work "Staring Off" is included in the 15-piece exhibition.   The exhibition is free and open to the public, including the Meet the Artist reception from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.   Mr. Dixon has been featured on the front cover of the  International Review of African American Art Magazine (2009) and was recommended to art collectors as an artist to pay attention to in BusinessWeek magazine in the May 2005 article “Photography’s Golden Age.”   Mr. Dixon, a native of Washington, D.C., is noted for juxtaposing photographic images with his abstract paintings. Throughout his body of work, he explores kinetic connections with his abstract line style.  His painting style is sometimes aggressive and sporadic and then slows down to a smooth sense of control.  His imagery reflects a heavy influence of African art and abstract expressionism, and this is all fueled by his love for jazz and electronic music.   Some of his work explores different parts of the human face and body, abstracted in various ways that pull the viewer deeper into his creations.   Mr. Dixon notes that over the years, he enhanced his techniques on canvas by combining his photographic images with acrylic paint, oil pastels, and ink. He said in experimenting with digital technology, he has found an interesting marriage between traditional studio techniques and digital media.   “My art is also influenced by political issues, society, various free-flowing ideas, and one other back bone element of my art is fueled from the "Free Jazz Style" prevalent in the 1950s to the 1970s,” Mr. Dixon said. “As I listen to deep bass cords, drum beats, and harsh trumpet notes, I explore my intuitive approach and express my artistic style through rhythm of sound.    “As I create my art, some parts become mistakes that turn into masterpieces and it is all in conjunction and influenced by jazz music,” he added.   Mr. Dixon began exhibiting in 1991 while living in Atlanta, and he has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2000.  He landed on the art scene in Chicago at BAREWALLS 2000, a live art exhibition coordinated by the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. He has been in various solo and group exhibitions, and he has been busy working on projects for various solo exhibitions.  His works are owned by private collectors in the United States, Europe and are part of the very prestigious Sandor Collection in Chicago.   In addition to being on campus for his reception, during Oct. 16-19 he will also share his artistic process and skills with students and faculty in various classes in the DSU Department of Art.   “Opportunities for engagement with a visiting artist are an extraordinary learning experiences for our students,” notes Jennifer Gunther, DSU Arts Center/Gallery director.  “Mr. Dixon focuses on pushing traditional mediums in new media directions.  An opportunity to understand this artist’s process will be a rewarding experience for our students.”   En route to receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Atlanta College of Art in 1992, Mr. Dixon composed new art perspectives by employing various visual art techniques through painting, photography, computer art, video and electronic music.  In 1995 he earned a Master of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

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