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>  News Releases >   2005 >   November

Dartmouth collaborates with Sun Microsystems to develop secure technology

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/18/05 • Contact Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

Sun also names Dartmouth a Center of Excellence

On Friday, November 18, representatives from Sun Microsystems joined members of Dartmouth's Computer Science Department to officially launch a collaboration involving Dartmouth's Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Laboratory. The new partnership pairs Dartmouth's expertise in secure and trusted computing with Sun's OpenSolaris Project, an open source operating system that is being enhanced through community input and dialogue.

"We're excited to work with Sun on a number of initiatives around their OpenSolaris Project," says Sean Smith, an assistant professor of computer science and the director of the PKI Laboratory. "OpenSolaris is a great example of how an open source operating system can be used to advance the field and teach the next generation of programmers."

Smith and his team will contribute security features to OpenSolaris, and they will develop graduate-level curricular material devoted to OpenSolaris.

Sun Microsystems and Computer Science Department members
From L-R, Prasad Jayanti, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science, Glenn Weinberg '78, Vice President, Operating Platforms Group, Sun Microsystems, Mark Franklin, Project Manager, PKI Laboratory, Tim Marsland, Distinguished Engineer and CTO for the Operating Platforms Organization, Sun Microsystems, C. Robertson McClung, Associate Dean for the Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Sean Smith, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Principal Investigator, PKI Lab (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Dartmouth's PKI Lab has also been named a Sun Center of Excellence (COE), recognizing its contributions to computing, research, and education. Smith says the COE designation and the OpenSolaris partnership acknowledge two important elements of Dartmouth's mission: teaching and research. This is the second COE at Dartmouth. The fMRI Data Center was named a Sun COE in 2002 in support of the Center's public archive of peer-reviewed brain studies and their underlying fMRI data.

Glenn Weinberg, Vice President of Operating Platforms at Sun and a 1978 graduate of Dartmouth, says, "The Sun Microsystems and Dartmouth College collaboration is an excellent example of great academics working with leading industry technologies to extend the community developing open source code. My experience at Dartmouth taught me to challenge convention. And I know the students here, especially those studying computer science, want to have an impact on the next generation; in this case the next generation of operating systems. Finding new security solutions for the next generation of the operating system will keep us all on cutting edge of innovation. I look forward to Dartmouth's future contributions to the open source community and to Sun's Solaris 10 OS."

According to Smith, the team will base their OpenSolaris work on Bear/Enforcer, the world's first open-source Trusted Platform Module (TPM)-based computing platform that was created in Dartmouth's PKI Lab. Bear/Enforcer utilitizes TPM to verify the integrity of the operating system through the boot process and then protects file-system data. Inexpensive TPM hardware and Dartmouth's enhancements to the operating system provides significantly improved assurance that the software and data on the protected system have not been compromised. This work also builds on Smith's prior trusted computing work in industry.

Q&A with Glenn Weinberg, Class of 1978, currently the VP of Operating Platforms at Sun Microsystems

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