Conferences allow you to hear a concentrated number of talks, on a variety of contemporary security topics, over multiple days. They vary in size and cost. Nationally and globally, there are hundreds of security conferences every year. The following might be of particular interest to you (most of these have been attended by WPI students):

  • CHES, the annual Conference on Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, is organized by the International Association for Cryptologic Research. It focuses on the implementation of cryptographic algorithm. Random number generators, special-purpose cryptanalytical machines, and related topics are often covered. Roughly 400 people attend from countries around the world. The student registration fee is $375; you can apply for a grant to cover the costs of registration, travel, and lodging. CHES was held on September 12-15, 2021 in Beijing. (
  • Day of Shecurity is a free conference designed to help women enter the field of cybersecurity. Workshops range from technical information and hands-on training to networking and career advice. The next Day of Shecurity will be a two-day virtual event beginning on October 28, 2021. (
  • DEFCON is held in Las Vegas in August. It is one of the oldest and largest hacker conventions, offering speakers, panels, competitions, vendors, and much more. Over 20,000 people attend each year. Usually, several WPI students go to DEFCON. In 2020, DEFCON was held online. DEFCON was held virtually on August 5-8, 2021. Student registration is roughly $300. (
  • Grace Hopper Celebration is an annual conference focused on women in technology. There are session tracks on privacy/security, AI, Data Science, software engineering, Virtual Reality, and more. The student registration fee is about $450. The next GHC will be in October 2021. (
  • Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) is held every two years in New York City. It’s a creative and diverse hacker event that includes speakers, workshops, competitions, films, lock picking, vendors and more. It’s designed to be a supportive learning environment where you can get hands-on experience with different hardware and software tools. Students can attend for about $180. HOPE was most recently held on August 13-15, 2021. (
  • New England Security Day (NESD) is held annually at a regional university. Recent hosts have included WPI, UMass Amherst, and Northeastern. The most recent NESD was held on March 22, 2019. If you’re involved in security research with a faculty member, you may be able to present a talk or poster together at this conference. For information about the date and location of the next NESD, email Professor Craig Shue or Professor Robert Walls.
  • Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) is held each year in a different U.S. city. Any security student, male or female, can attend. This conference gives overviews of current security issues in industry as well as career advice and connections to job opportunities. The next WiCyS conference will be held in Cleveland, OH on March 17-19, 2022. The student registration fee is $35, which includes membership in WiCyS (a nonprofit organization). WPI’s Graduate Admissions office often subsidizes the registration, travel, and lodging costs for two students from WPI (email Beckley Schowalter for more information). Students can also apply directly to WiCyS for a conference scholarship, which covers meals and two nights of lodging. (