March 2017 Recap

I have wanted to write this kind of post for a long time after being inspired by Dr Ana’s monthly round-up posts but being the procrastinator me, I didn’t get it done any earlier. Since it’s now Week 6 of a 7-week short semester, I guess it’s time I put this in writing and hopefully I get to keep this as my monthly habit.

Teaching

As it’s short semester from March until end of April, I’m teaching 4-hour per week for the Introduction to Computer Security course in Bachelor degree level. I have taught this course before so teaching this semester is rather easy with less preparation. What I noticed I have improved was probably I could paint a better bigger picture about information security now after a few rounds of teaching similar courses and after more reading of CISSP. I shall share more about my last course evaluation by the students soon. From their comments, I think I have made good progress with my teaching.

Administration

Although I only have 4-hour classes, my schedule is as busy as ever due to my additional admin role in scheduling the whole department’s workload for this semester. This means I have extra planning tasks to do and more follow-ups too. Extra works have to be done in preparation for next coming semester where the new academic year begins. I also got busy by organising two invited guest lecturers. One is a professor from Teesside University and he shared interesting stuff about big data in relation to cybersecurity. Another invited guest lecturer is from Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and he shared good stuff about cybersecurity and the threats to Internet of Things (IoT).

Reading/Writing

I wish I can schedule more daily reading time. Sadly, I still haven’t come up with a fix daily schedule that really works for me. For writing, I don’t have any writing goal at the moment, though I wish I can write more, just to get my ideas flowing and improving my writing skill too. I shall try harder.

Research

As part of the final year project supervision, I have discussed some research areas that I’m interested in with my students. I’m particularly intrigued by insider threats and the ways to detect and prevent them. I’m also interested in Security Education, Training, and Awareness (SETA) program, specifically in looking at how to do an effective implementation. These are still at initial proposal stage, so we will see how things go in next few months.

Community Work

This is just to share that I have been a volunteer tutor for the past 12 years and I’m proud to be of service to others. I used to tutor Malay language (Malaysia’s national language) to local students who stayed at the community centre. Since its closure end of last year, I was offered the opportunity to tutor elementary English to refugees. This experience in working with refugees is so different, not because of their backgrounds (I never ask) but I came to realise that learning difficulties are real. It’s sad to see some are trying so hard just to learn and yet some (privileged ones) just don’t even put in any effort. This experience got me to learn to observe more and to revise different strategies to help those in learning better.

I guess that’s all for March. Hopefully, I have more to recap for April. I guess April shall be more exciting because it’s my birthday month. Haha!

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