United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Shannon Beck

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer & Cyber Sciences

Dr. Beck
Contact Information




Dr. Beck is a faculty member in the Computer and Cyber Sciences at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Dr. Beck's teaching interests span all levels of computer science, from introductory courses to supervising independent studies and capstone projects related to experimental systems. Dr. Beck is the department's STEM outreach coordinator. Dr. Beck leads the outreach efforts, reaching over 1500 students on an annual basis. Awarded a $100K external grant specifically for STEM outreach through the Daniels Fund, Dr. Beck has a team of three Virtual Student Federal Service interns working on gamification for cybersecurity middle-school outreach, available online at https://CyberPup.Academy.

Dr. Shannon Beck is a member of the Federal-level NIST National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) K-12 Community of Interest, where she has led a sub-committee and served in multiple roles. Dr. Beck founded Cyber VA, working with Virginia high-school teachers and students to create career awareness and to infuse cybersecurity across the education portfolio, where they created an inclusive and approachable cybersecurity survey course, targeting 9th-12th grade students in Virginia, shared at the peer-reviewed NIST NICE K-12 conference. Dr. Beck also served through the review and expansion of the TeachCyber.org year-long dual-credit high school and undergraduate curriculum content, as well as on many program and review committees including SIGCSE, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and multiple parallel and bioinformatics conferences.

Dr. Beck worked for over a decade at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Work includes DoD software development and system integration, bioinformatics, database solutions, and on cyber security defensive operations. Dr. Beck led multiple Department of Energy Cyber Fire cybersecurity training courses at weeklong events, where she co-created the Entry Point training track to on-board professionals new to defensive cyber security. Dr. Beck served as the Program Coordinator and Associate Program Director for the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program at the National Science Foundation (NSF), helping manage one of the largest and most-interdisciplinary funding programs at the NSF with over 1,000 actively funded projects.

She has taught multiple undergraduate and masters-level courses for educators for teaching cybersecurity, including one at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico. Dr. Beck co-led an NSA-funded GenCyber Camp at the University of Maryland in the summer of 2021. Dr. Beck created and led a multi-weekend workshop in the spring of 2022 for high school teachers that uses the Raspberry Pi platform for cybersecurity education. Dr. Beck was invited to speak at the advanced GenCyber teacher camp at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in the summers of 2022 and 2023. She served as the lead for the Jean Bartik Computing Symposium (JBCS) for women and minorities in computing at the service academies in February 2023, serving on the organizing committee in 2022 and 2024.

Dr. Beck leverages her diverse experience in computer and cyber sciences across operational settings, education, funding, and research, addressing challenges with dedication and excellence.


Kent State University
Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science
Dissertation: Smith-Waterman Sequence Alignment for Massively Parallel High-Performance Computing Architectures
Master of Arts, Computer Science

Hiram College
Bachelor of Arts, Computer Science, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Experience

United States Air Force Academy, Assistant Professor, 2021-current

Cybersecurity education non-profit, Research and Curriculum Lead,  2020-2021

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Cybersecurity Lecturer, 2020

National Science Foundation (NSF) – Program Coordinator and Associate Program Director, 2018-2020

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Scientist, 2009-2020

Kent State University, Graduate Faculty Appointment, 2013-2015

Honors & Awards

USAFA Quarterly Award – Civilian, Q2 2023

USAFA Outstanding New Faculty Award, 2021-2022

USAFA Dean of Faculty Departmental Award and Engineering Division Award for 2021-Q4

Research and Scholarly Interests

Side-channel analysis for wireless power transfer (Qi) charging

Malware interrogation via non-tradition tools for attribution


Select Recent Publications

Shannon Beck, Manohar Raavi, Caleb Dale, Kaija Weishalla, and Brennan Worrell, “Survey of Side-Channel Vulnerabilities for Short-Range Wireless Communication Technologies,” presented at the IEEE International Conference on Electo/Information Technology, Eau Claire, WI: IEEE, Jun. 2024.

Shannon Beck, Gabriella Lowy, and Rodney McCoy, “Cyber Pup: Cybersecurity Awareness Game for Middle School Students,” presented at the NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference, Phoenix, AZ, 12/1-5 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.k12cybersecurityconference.org/news/2024/1/4/2023-nice-k12-conference-recap

J. Maher, S. Beck, A. A. de Freitas, and T. Weingart, “Improving Autonomous Systems Education: A Literature Survey,” in 2022 Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Systems, Las Vegas, NV, Dec. 2022.

J. Coffman, J. M. Hill, S. Beck, A. A. De Freitas, and T. Weingart, “Good Students are Good Students Student Achievement with Visual versus Textual Programming,” in 2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Uppsala, Sweden: IEEE, Oct. 2022, pp. 1–9. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE56618.2022.9962693.

M. Dark, S. Beck, J. Daugherty, M. Loepker, and R. Dark, “High School Cybersecurity: Curriculum Concepts, Content, and Course Construction,” in Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Virtual Event USA: ACM, Mar. 2021, pp. 1368–1368. doi: 10.1145/3408877.3439549.

Shannon Beck, Sharon McPherson, and Linda Smith, “Inclusive, Approachable Cybersecurity for 10-12 Graders,” in 2019 NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference, Garden Grove, CA, Dec. 2019.

Black Hat 2017: Shannon Beck and Paul Ferrell, “PcapDB: Optimized Full Network Packet Capture For Fast And Efficient Retrieval,” presented at the Black Hat USA 2017, Las Vegas, NV, Jul. 27, 2017. A tools forum for a conference with over 15,000 attendees.