Nicklaus A. Giacobe Ph.D. | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Ph.D.

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Dr. Nick Giacobe
  • Assistant Teaching Professor of Information Sciences and Technology

  • Director, Undergraduate Programs

E333 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-8233
  • Ph.D., College of IST, Penn State University (2013)

  • B.S., College of IST, Penn State University (2007)


Dr. Nicklaus A. Giacobe is an Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at The Pennsylvania State University.  He has earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in Information Sciences and Technology from The Pennsylvania State University.  He conducts research related to situation awareness in the cyber-security domain, and focuses on measuring human cognition of cyber-security analysts. He develops frameworks for the fusion of cyber-security raw data using advanced multi-sensor data fusion techniques. He has developed visualization techniques for representing cyber-security data to analysts with the goal of improving analyst situation awareness. During his work, he has identified a need for methods to measure situation awareness in this domain and has transitioned some general-purpose situation awareness measurement techniques from the cognitive science field and applied them in the cyber domain.

Dr. Giacobe generally teaches the following courses, as needed by the College:

  • CYBER 100, Computer Systems Literacy
  • CYBER 342W, Incident Handling and Response
  • CYBER 440, Cybersecurity Senior Capstone
  • IST 210, Organization of Data
  • IST 220, Networking and Telecommunications
  • IST 440, IST Senior Capstone
  • IST 451, Network Security
  • SRA 111, Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis
  • SRA 221, Introduction to Information Security
  • SRA 231, Decision Theory and Analysis
  • SRA 440W, Security and Risk Capstone

He has developed online course content to reach learning objectives in both the World Campus and the residential classroom using virtual lab technologies. He has focused on the development of content to be delivered to online students, whose technology and resources are diverse and limited.  Nick serves as the Course Committee Chairman for IST 220, CYBER 100, CYBER 342W and CYBER 440.

Prior to graduate school, Nick was a Network and Systems Administrator with 18 years of increasing levels of responsibility.  Most recently, he managed the day-to-day operations of computers and networks for a large academic department in the Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. In this role, he managed Ethernet networks, servers, workstations and cluster-computer systems to meet the computing needs of a diverse population of academic researchers. The network he managed spanned two separate facilities, over two hundred individuals including forty faculty members from five different sub-disciplines. He previously worked as a network design engineer for a small company that partnered with multi-service operators, like Time Warner, Comcast, and Cox, to propose fiber-based networks for metropolitan governments and large school districts. Nick’s computer networking career began as a 2nd-level network support technician for Penn State University where he handled day-to-day router and centralized switch configuration for the University’s 24 campuses.

Research Keywords:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Situation Awareness
  • Security Metrics
  • Cybersecurity Education

Journal Articles

  1. Tapia, A., Giacobe, N.A., Soule, P.J., LaLone, N. (To Appear) Scaling 911 Texting for Large-Scale Disasters: Developing Practical Technical Innovations for Emergency Management at Public Universities, The International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age (IJPADA).
  2. Tyworth, M., Giacobe, N.A., Mancuso, V.F., McNeese, M.D., Hall, David. L. (May 2013). A human-in-the-loop approach to understanding situation awareness in cyber defence analysis. ICST Transactions, 13(2): e6.
  3. John C. Tang, Manuel Cebrian, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Hyun-Woo Kim, Taemie Kim, and Douglas "Beaker" Wickert. 2011. Reflecting on the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge. Commun. ACM 54, 4 (April 2011), 78-85.

Refereed Conference Papers

  1. Tapia, A, Giacobe, N.A., LaLone, N., Vasavada, T. (March 2015) Social Media and Disaster Management: Microblogging as a Tool to Prevent Violence, American Society for Public Administration’s 76th Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois
  2. Giacobe, N.A. and Soule P.J. (May 2014) Social Media for the Emergency Manager in Disaster Planning and Response, 11th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, State College, Pennsylvania
  3. Giacobe, N.A. (October 2013) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Alerts, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
  4. Giacobe, N.A., McNeese, M.D., Mancuso, V.F., Minotra, D. (June 2013) Capturing Human Cognition in Cyber-Security Simulations with NETS, IEEE Intelligence and Security Informatics, Seattle, WA
  5. Jun Dai, Xiaoyan Sun, Peng Liu, Nicklaus Giacobe (December 2012). Gaining Big Picture Awareness through an Interconnected Cross-layer Situation Knowledge Reference Model. ASE International Conference on Cyber Security. Washington, DC.
  6. Tyworth, M.J., Giacobe, N.A., Mancuso, V.F. (April 2012). The distributed nature of cyber situation awareness. SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference. Baltimore, MD.
  7. Giacobe, N. A. (April 2012). Data fusion in cyber security: first order entity extraction from common cyber data. SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference. Baltimore, MD.
  8. Vincent Mancuso, Dev Minotra, Nicklaus Giacobe, Michael McNeese and Michael Tyworth. (March 2012). idsNETS: An Experimental Platform to Study Situation Awareness for Intrusion Detection Analysts. 2nd IEEE Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support. New Orleans, LA.
  9. Giacobe, N., & Xu, S. (2011). Geovisual Analytics for Cyber Security: Adopting the GeoViz Toolkit. Paper presented at the 2011 IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology. "Innovative Tool Adapatation Award"
  10. Ballora, M., Giacobe, N. A., & Hall, D. L. (2011). Songs of cyberspace: an update on sonifications of network traffic to support situational awareness. Paper presented at the Proc. SPIE, Orlando, FL.
  11. Giacobe, N.A.; Kim, H.W.; Faraz, A.; "Mining social media in extreme events : Lessons learned from the DARPA network challenge," Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), 2010 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.165-171, 8-10 Nov. 2010
  12. Giacobe, NA, (April 2010) “Application of the JDL Fusion Process Model for Cyber Security”, Proc. SPIE 7710-27, Orlando, FL.
  13. Giacobe, NA, (February 2010) “Large Scale Network Security Visualization”, iSymposium 2010, College of Information Sciences and Technology Graduate Symposium, University Park, PA.

Book Chapters

  1. Ballora, Mark, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Michael McNeese and David L. Hall. "Information Data Fusion and Computer Network Defense." Situational Awareness in Computer Network Defense: Principles, Methods and Applications. IGI Global, 2012. 141-164. Web. 21 Dec. 2011. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0104-8.ch009

Posters and Presentations

  1. Michael McNeese, David Hall, Michael Tyworth and Nicklaus Giacobe, "Cognitive Aids for Enhanced Cyber-Situation Awareness", Year 3 Annual Review for Human Centric Computer-Aided Cyber Situation Awareness ARO MURI, Berkeley, CA. November 14, 2012.
  2. Nicklaus A. Giacobe (July 2012). POSTER: Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Alerts? Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security. Washington, D.C.
  3. Nicklaus A. Giacobe (April 2012). Improving Situation Awareness in Cyber Security. The Pennsylvania State University, College of Information Science and Technology Advisory Board. University Park, PA.
  4. Nicklaus A. Giacobe (April 2012). Improving your Cyber Situation Awareness. Penn State Security Operations and Services Security Conference. University Park, PA.
  5. Michael Tyworth, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Vincent Mancuso, Christopher Dancy (March 2012). The Distributed Nature of Cyber Situation Awareness. 2nd IEEE Conference on Cognitive Methods in Situation Awareness and Decision Support. New Orleans, LA.
  6. Michael McNeese, David Hall, Michael Tyworth and Nicklaus Giacobe, “Using Field Research, Simulations, Data Fusion, and Visual Analytics to Improve Cyber Situation Awareness: A Cognitive Systems Engineering Approach”, Year 2 Annual Review for Human Centric Computer-Aided Cyber Situation Awareness ARO MURI, Fairfax, VA. September 8, 2011.
  7. J. Cole, N. Giacobe, S. Hutchinson, W. McIntosh, A. Pressley, A. Reifers; “Understanding the Role of Network Analysts: A Day in the Life of an Analyst”, Invited Talk, Cyber Situational Awareness Workshop, Gilbert, AZ. February 8-11, 2011.
  8. Giacobe, NA,“Application of the JDL Fusion Process Model for Cyber Security”, Network Science Day, University Park, PA. April 16, 2010.
  9. Giacobe, NA,“An Evaluation of the Technical Approaches to the Insider Threat”, College of Information Sciences and Technology Graduate Symposium, University Park, PA. February 2009.