Information Assurance including: Computer Security, Formal Methods, Design and Analysis of High Assurance Systems, Cryptographic Protocol Design, Security Policy Engineering, Multi-Level Secure Systems and the MILS Architecture (Multiple Independent Levels of Security)
Jim's doctoral research focused on the development of a classification of software modules to simplify the specification and verification of the security of those modules. Since that time he has continued to research new techniques to simplify the design and verification of high assurance computing systems. In 2000, he teamed with NSA to work on the Multiple Independent Levels of Security architecture (MILS), which has gained widespread acceptance among the Defense Contractor community and is now an NSA approved approach for the design and analysis of secure systems in environments requiring high robustness. He has published over 80 scholarly papers in conferences and journals and has been PI or Co-PI for grants and contracts totaling over $10 million. He primarily teaches Information Assurance courses, but has also taught Computer Organization and Architecture, Compilers, Programming Languages, Theory of Programming Languages, Operating Systems, Advanced Operating Systems, Derivational Programming and Software Specification.
Jim was one of the founding members of the Center for Secure and Dependable Systems and was instrumental in getting the University of Idaho recognized as one of the first seven National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education -- a designation that has been maintained and successfully renewed since 1998. In 2007, he obtained membership in the Institute for Information Infrastructure protection (I3P) for the University of Idaho, a prestigious consortium of universities and non-profit entities working to improve the nation's critical information infrastructures. He serves as the University of Idaho point of contact for these two organizations. He also is a Co-PI and mentor in the NSF Scholarship for Service program, which has been in place at the University of Idaho since 2001 -- a program that exists at only 31 universities nationwide. The University of Idaho SFS program has graduated over 50 scholars who have gone on to jobs in the US government to help secure the nations computing infrastructure.
Jim is proud of the students who have worked with him over the years. He has been major professor of 10 doctoral and 23 master's level students who have successfully completed their degrees and moved on to the next phase of their lives. He is currently mentoring several more doctoral and master's level students through their studies. He also has worked with numerous undergraduate students in research and is very proud of the work the undergraduates do as well.