Symantec Research Labs Announces Graduate Fellowship Recipients

Program is awarded to promising graduate students who demonstrate an interest in investigating innovative solutions to real-world challenges in information security, storage and systems management

February 27, 2009

4 Min Read


CUPERTINO, Calif. " Feb. 25, 2009 " Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) today announced the recipients of its Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship program is awarded to promising graduate students who demonstrate an interest in investigating innovative solutions to real-world challenges in information security, storage and systems management. After an extensive selection process, the Symantec Research Labs team has identified Kevin Butler, Polo Chau, and Marco Cova to receive full one-year fellowships covering 100 percent of tuition and fees, along with a competitive stipend to fund ongoing research in their respective areas of expertise. Past recipients of the graduate fellowship program have made substantial contributions to Symantec's market-leading products, prestigious industry groups and the academic community. "The Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship program is currently in its third year and has played a strong role in our efforts to continuously generate innovative solutions to today's challenges," said Darren Shou, senior manager, Symantec Research Labs University Research Program. "We received a large number of superb applicants and this year it was quite challenging to make our final selections. This latest group of student researchers represent some of the most promising students in their fields."

Symantec's Graduate Fellowship program will pair Butler, Chau and Cova with mentors from Symantec Research Labs. The mentor is a top researcher who provides ongoing technical guidance on the recipient's research during their graduate training as well as during summer internships at Symantec. To enhance their research efforts, Butler, Chau and Cova will also be able to leverage the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, one of the world's largest threat sensing networks, which provides unparalleled insight into the threat landscape.

Kevin Butler is a doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering at Penn State University. His research focuses on storage security and understanding how advances in disk technology may be used to improve data and system security. He has developed disk prototypes that prevent rootkits from taking hold in a system and that enforce isolation of critical files and data. He is currently investigating enhanced disk policies for data protection.

Polo Chau is a doctoral candidate in the Machine Learning Department in the School of Computer Science of Carnegie Mellon University. His research combines the fields of machine learning and human-computer interaction to create visual and interactive graph mining systems that help analysts keep pace with emerging threats by identifying and specifying anomalous patterns and instructing a system to detect them. Chau was also a recipient of the Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship awarded in June 2008. His research efforts as an intern contributed to the development of Symantec's innovative reputation-based approach to malware detection.

Marco Cova is a doctoral candidate in computer science at University of California, Santa Barbara. His research tackles the important problem of malicious Web code, which targets web browsers. Cova invented a unique approach to analyze Web code and detect malicious code that behaves abnormally in order to exploit client vulnerabilities, for example as part of a drive-by-download attack.

The Symantec Research Labs University Research program connects Symantec to leading professors and students at U.S. universities. The group's goals include recruiting top Ph.D. students to the company to cultivate the next generation of technical leadership, bringing researchers to Symantec to talk about their work to inspire technological innovation, and encouraging and funding university research in areas of Symantec's interest for longer term commercialization. The University Research program funds research centers at universities across the nation and support technology research across a number of key areas for the company, including security, storage, and consumer software user interface design.

About Symantec Research Labs Symantec Research Labs (SRL) is Symantec's global research organization and has played a leading role in developing and commercializing numerous cutting-edge technologies across Symantec's business areas. Commercialized technologies from the group include industry leading rootkit protection, innovative browser protection technology to proactively block future exploits of known vulnerabilities, Symantec's first antispam technology, generic exploit blocking technology that proactively blocks fast-spreading threats, online consumer security services, and technology to help protect our nation's critical power-grid infrastructure. SRL also partners with outside organizations on joint projects, through its university and government research efforts. More information regarding the Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship is available at

About Symantec Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at

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