Honors Essay

Please submit the Honors College Essay. The essay should be 750 words or less. The Honors College would like you to respond to the following prompt: “Our experience of the universe, our planet Earth, and the history of humankind continues to present unanswered questions and unresolved problems. If you were to choose one question or problem to investigate during your undergraduate years at Mason, what would it be? Why are you interested in the topic, what research do you wish to conduct during your studies concerning this, and what do you hope to gain from your inquiry?

My uncle, a father of two who works as a waiter at a Marriott hotel in Fairfax Virginia, had his identity stolen in late 2014 by someone in New York City. For the most part, our everyday lives are a series of passing decisions; in an ever-evolving technology world, keeping our personal information and data shouldn’t be something we have to actively monitor on every single device that is vulnerable. How can the everyday blue collar worker save himself or herself from the growing threat of cyber-attacks and hacking?

My aspirations had always been towards programming, but just recently have I realized my true aspiration. While coding an application to encrypt a set data array, I suddenly realized that I had added three more functions that were not even supposed to be in the final product. I knew that my ultimate goal was to produce a program that could do anything and everything. My life felt as if it had begun anew. I started making a program that incorporated all of my previous projects, and in a day, had a very slow program that could not run properly due to all of the things being loaded at once. To fix this problem, I created a program that would not load the individual pieces until a button was fixed. This program worked perfectly, but it felt very rudimentary. My goal had been to ask and receive. With that, I began planning a true artificial intelligence program to actively find vulnerabilities and report them. I am currently trying to write a program that will teach itself. At completion, it should be able to find security loopholes in code based on different factors to optimize data security. With help from the various professors at George Mason, I will be able to improve my design tremendously.

With the application, I wish to learn more about artificial intelligence, cyber security, and how I can make them work together. If I can accomplish this, then I will be able to possibly create a program that could efficiently notify websites of possible breaches in security and notify users on how to protect their sensitive information’s. This type of program could potentially save millions of people whose livelihoods could be destroyed in an instant by a hack. With my inquiry, I also wish to learn much more about programming in general, and learn about optimization of code, so that I may write cleaner and more efficient code

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