Hacking For Defense at Boise State University

Hacking For Defense: From Zero to Hero in 15 weeks

Solving a National Security Problem for Scientists, Technologists, Innovators, and Entrepreneurs

Boise State University has been chosen as a Hacking 4 Defense incorporated (H4Di) partner to enable powerful approaches to stimulating science and technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship on university and college campuses directed towards solving national security problems. H4Di, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, works in partnership with the National Defense University – National Security Accelerator (NSTA) and the Stanford University Hacking 4 Defense Project (H4D-P). Two-hour cohort workshop and mandatory half-hour advisory with a Hacking 4 Defense mentor weekly.

The successful student team will learn to use a systematic process to thoroughly investigate their national security problem. Students will create hypotheses regarding potential beneficiaries, the problems the beneficiaries have, potential solutions to the problems, and create and carry out a plan to test these hypotheses. Based upon the results of the tests, the students will modify their hypotheses, and develop a mission model to bring a minimal version of the product or service to deployment. In the process, students will gain practice in describing and pitching their ideas. Highly driven student teams will coalesce around their choice of unclassified national security issues presented by a range of Department of Defense & Intelligence Agency problem sponsors. Teams will work with their agency sponsor to put themselves directly in the boots of their beneficiaries including soldiers, special ops, pilots, analysts, etc. to better understand their problems. This in depth agency knowledge and the strong working connections established throughout the class leave students highly qualified for careers in the defense and intelligence sectors.

This class (Course ID:  COID 597: Hacking for Defense) has been listed as graduate credit due to its intense nature and its requisite for highly driven students. Students of any discipline or standing are welcome to apply.

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Course Structure

ClassSchedule

How To Join

Due to the nature of this course, permission of instructor is required. (Don’t worry, it’s an easy thing to do!)
Simply email Ed Zimmer (edzimmer@boisestate.edu) and sign up for COID 597: From Zero To Hero in 15 Weeks.
He will answer your questions and provide you with a permission number.

Student Team

Megan Lacy
Megan is a first year masters student in the Athletic Leadership program. She graduated from Stanford in June with a bachelors in mechanical engineering with a focus in design. Megan Read More
Megan Lacy
Megan Lacy

Megan is a first year masters student in the Athletic Leadership program. She graduated from Stanford in June with a bachelors in mechanical engineering with a focus in design. Megan is a member of the Boise State Track and Field and Cross Country teams and was a member of the first HBX cohort through the Boise State Venture College. Most of her experience has been in commercial product development and she is excited to apply and grow her skill set while focusing in a new area.

 

Ben is a native of Boise, and graduated from Boise High School in 2011. The following summer he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he spent four years Read More
Ben Rozeboom

Ben is a native of Boise, and graduated from Boise High School in 2011. The following summer he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he spent four years as a Field Radio Operator and cross-trained as a Data Specialist. His main experience lies in the deployment and setup of communication systems in a field setting as well as in a working environment. He has extensive knowledge about radio frequencies and frequency propagation thanks to a few years of specific training. It has been a year and a half since he separated from the Marine Corps. These days he works and attends Boise State University with the goal of earning his Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. Ben exclaimed, “As a proud Boise native it nearly tickles me to death that I have the opportunity to participate in a course like this at Boise State. I hope to see some very excited learning opportunities and contribute to to the course, and would like to see more courses like this come to Boise State University.”

Kelson Ball
Kelson is a Computer Science and Business student at Boise State University. His business background involves the BSU Venture College program as well as an immersive International Business and China Read More
Kelson Ball
Kelson Ball

Kelson is a Computer Science and Business student at Boise State University. His business background involves the BSU Venture College program as well as an immersive International Business and China Studies program from The Evergreen State College. Before his studies he spent a year completing a volunteer AmeriCorps program in New Hampshire where he developed and taught 4th grade science curriculum. He writes code all day – at school, work, & home and is passionate about making an art out of software maintainability and extensibility practices. When he’s not writing code you can find him hanging out with friends at one of Boise’s many fantastic coffee shops.

Trevor is a junior multidisciplinary student with knowledge covering everything from psychology to entrepreneurial innovation. He is also a Marine who served in the military from 1999 to 2008 throughout Read More
Trevor Hill

Trevor is a junior multidisciplinary student with knowledge covering everything from psychology to entrepreneurial innovation. He is also a Marine who served in the military from 1999 to 2008 throughout Iraq & Afghanistan. Most recently he joined Venture College to expand his entrepreneurial skill set and learn how to scale his Zero Hour Expeditions business to help even more veterans. His goal is to use unconventional ways to help treat and heal PTSD, Moral Injury and the hidden scars of War. His primary focus is developing ways to treat the physiological and psychological affects of War on the Mind, Body and Soul, using the wilderness as the platform.

Team Leader
Corey is a Computer Science Master’s student specializing in cyber security. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 2014 with a B.S. in Physics & Mathematics, and worked extensively Read More
Corey HennenTeam Leader

Corey is a Computer Science Master’s student specializing in cyber security. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 2014 with a B.S. in Physics & Mathematics, and worked extensively with their NASA Titan Research Group. Corey is also a Venture College Badge holder from Cohort 6. Most of his experience has been in software development and he is excited to apply and grow his skill set while focusing in a new area.

Leadership Team

Venture College Associate Director
Ed retired as CEO of ECCO Group in October 2009 after a twenty-four year career, where the company grew from twenty employees to the world’s largest manufacturer of warning lights Read More
Ed ZimmerVenture College Associate Director

Ed retired as CEO of ECCO Group in October 2009 after a twenty-four year career, where the company grew from twenty employees to the world’s largest manufacturer of warning lights and reversing alarms with over 500 employees and plants in Boise, England and Australia. Before joining ECCO he served as the Olympic Coordinator for USA Gymnastics and as Head Gymnastics coach at the University of Washington and Boise State. Ed has served as a director for the Boise State Foundation, Foothills School, Bishop Kelly HS, St Luke’s, Ballet Idaho, Boise Area Chamber of Commerce, and other local and national non-profits. He chaired the capital campaign to build the Idaho Anne Frank Memorial in Boise, was a founding director of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center, and is a docent at the Anne Frank Memorial. He has degrees from Miami-Dade College and the University of Illinois- Chicago. He currently divides his time between the Venture College and Blac-Rac Manufacturing, a local start-up. Ed and his wife, Amy, have two children and live in Boise.

Kevin Learned Portrait
Venture College Executive Director
He previously served on the Boise State faculty as a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy. Our students twice honored him as Professor of the Year for his outstanding teaching, and Read More
Kevin Learned Portrait
Kevin LearnedVenture College Executive Director

He previously served on the Boise State faculty as a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy. Our students twice honored him as Professor of the Year for his outstanding teaching, and as Advisor of the Year for his work in creating the Entrepreneurship Club. He spent the last five years as a business counselor in the Idaho Small Business Development Center on the BSU campus where he specialized in working with new ventures. He also has senior level academic administration experience as the former president of the (Albertsons) College of Idaho. He serves on the Board of Directors of Medical Management, Inc. and has served on the boards of other early-stage ventures. He holds degrees from Yale, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Texas Tech.

Venture College Assistant Director
Marilyn and her husband, Kelly owned and operated The Burns Studio, her family’s third generation portrait studio for thirty years. Shortly after retiring from photography in 2013, Marilyn joined Venture Read More
Marilyn BickleVenture College Assistant Director

Marilyn and her husband, Kelly owned and operated The Burns Studio, her family’s third generation portrait studio for thirty years. Shortly after retiring from photography in 2013, Marilyn joined Venture College, bringing her experience in retail and main street business to the program. Active in the Boise community for many years, Marilyn currently serves as Vice President of the Frank Church Institute, is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Boise and served on the Board of Directors of the Treasure Valley YMCA. She graduated from the University of Oregon.

Founding Dean, College of Innovation and Design
Gordon Jones is the founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design (CID) at Boise State University as of June 2015. CID is a diploma granting college tasked with Read More
Gordon JonesFounding Dean, College of Innovation and Design

Gordon Jones is the founding Dean of the College of Innovation and Design (CID) at Boise State University as of June 2015. CID is a diploma granting college tasked with identifying new pathways of learning (from new degrees to co-curricular learning experiences) that yield skills to meet emerging workplace needs for students across public higher education. Prior to his role at Boise State, Gordon served as the Evans Family Foundation Managing Director of the Harvard Innovation Lab. Hired as the inaugural Director in 2011, Gordon has led the i-lab from launch to maturity with 600 ventures incubated and $250M raised in professional funding since opening. Gordon has 20 years of experience in senior roles with startups, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. He has also served as an Adjunct Lecturer at Bentley University, teaching marketing to MBA and undergraduate students. Organizations with whom he has worked include: American Biophysics (purchased by Woodstream), Universal Pest Solutions, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, and The Orme School. He graduated from Brown University (BA) and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Mentor
Brice Sloan is the founder of Sloan Security Group (SSG), a nationally recognized perimeter security company that just celebrated its 25th anniversary.  In 2016, he was nominated for the SBA’s Read More
Brice SloanMentor

Brice Sloan is the founder of Sloan Security Group (SSG), a nationally recognized perimeter security company that just celebrated its 25th anniversary.  In 2016, he was nominated for the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for Idaho.  He was recognized by the Idaho Technology Council in 2015 for using Doppler radar in animal detection. From 2000 – 2005, Brice took a sabbatical from SSG to work for the US Department of State as a foreign service officer in Washington DC, Canberra, and Bucharest. In his spare time, he competes in triathlons, mentors BSU Venture College students and serves on the University of Idaho’s College of Letters and Sciences Advisory Board.

Mentor
Brian J. Von Herbulis is a decorated combat veteran and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. Throughout his military career, he served in various intelligence, reconnaissance and special Read More
Brian J. Von HerbulisMentor

Brian J. Von Herbulis is a decorated combat veteran and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. Throughout his military career, he served in various intelligence, reconnaissance and special operations leadership assignments. He was an original member of 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion (re-designated 1st Marine Raider Battalion) where he served for 6 years. He commanded two Marine Special Operations Companies in the conduct of combat operations in Afghanistan. He also served as Battalion Operations and Executive Officer. Brian’s final assignment on active duty was as Commanding Officer, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. He officially retired from the U.S. Marine Corps on November 1, 2014. Brian is an entrepreneur and is currently the President of Ultra Solutions, Inc. He serves on the Board of Directors for the MARSOC Foundation and is involved as a team member of Mission43, a veteran support organization in Idaho.

Press

Our project was such a success, it was featured on KTVB (see video below) and recognized as one of the best Hacking For Defense programs in the nation.