MURRAY, Ky. — The telecommunications systems management case study team from Murray State University won the 2018 ITERA National Case Study Competition in Lexington on April 7, competing against many universities from across the country.

The annual competition is hosted by the Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association (ITERA) with teams of students required to solve a hypothetical but realistic telecommunications problem. This year the case study challenged student teams to plan and develop a smart industrial park.

The finalists included Murray State University, Ball State University and University of Colorado at Boulder. This is the 12th time Murray State has qualified as a finalist and the sixth time winning the national competition, which is more than any other college competing. Duane Dycus (Paducah), Amirajba Omkarsinh Mahida (Ahmedabad, India), Thomas Murphy (Murray), Brian Toms (Henderson), LePoris Jackson (Lompoc, California) and Lauren Leavell (Murray) formed this year’s case study team. Dycus and Mahida represented Murray State at the competition.

“The competition provided us the opportunity to develop and manage a real-world business plan while competing against other universities,” Dycus said. “We used our knowledge from the classroom, along with our experiences, to design a solution that would work best for the area and the needs of the hypothetical client.”

All Murray State students who participated in the competition are enrolled in the telecommunications systems management master’s degree program. The students completed the case study during the capstone course. Dr. Michael Ramage, director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management, was the faculty sponsor and mentor for the winning team. The case study team received $1,000 and Murray State received $250 for winning the competition.

In addition to winning the case study competition, Murray State faculty and students, along with Jonathan Williams from Bradley University, received the ITERA Snow Award for a paper titled “A Study of Feature Weight Learning in a KNN Website Fingerprinting Attack.” Murray State assistant professor Dr. Matthew Tennyson was the primary author and Murray State’s computer science students, including Christopher Harton (St. Louis, Missouri), Nathan Rininger (Richmond) and James Paschall (Murray), were coauthors. The award is given to the best overall paper and a $1,000 honorarium accompanies the award.

The Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association (ITERA) was formed in 2005 to encourage and support telecommunications science and networking with professors, educators and researchers. Murray State was a charter member of the organization with several faculty and staff holding positions within the organization over the years. ITERA consists of approximately 20 schools located across the United States.

The telecommunications systems management program is the award-winning Program of Distinction at Murray State University. The program provides degree tracks in cybersecurity, wireless communications and network and systems administration. Telecommunications systems management is designed to focus on network infrastructure in the rapidly growing technology industry. It is an interdisciplinary program that provides students a solid foundation in information systems technologies and the application of those technologies in a business environment.

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