The Department of Computer Science
The Rutgers Department of Computer Science's Hack R Space aims to provide facilities and expertise to allow DCS students to learn about and build electronic devices, and learn about programming new small-compute devices and 3-d devices.
It also aims to give students a safe environment to perform actual computer security testing on live machines, and provide a mechanism for them to demonstrate their work to potential entrpreneurial investors.
The Hack R Space will also provide support to DCS courses that can make use of its unique services. Here are some of the features planned:
- Workbench - Each workbench will be an industry-standard workbench for building electronic and light-mechanical devices. Each Workbench will include a Linux workstation and 40-inch display.
- Lockers - lockable storage space for students to keep their work on-site.
- Rack Space - a computer rack for students to bring in their own (rackmountable) servers. This is intended for them to be able to develop new services and applications that require 24/7 uptime and a more inviting development environment than the proverbial garage. In addition, the department will provide several servers for students to manage and use if they have a need for one. As a side-benefit, they will learn how to manage a server in a real-world enviroment by providing, well, a real-world environment.
- Mentor - a student or staff mentor will be present when the hackerSpace is open. The mentor will manage the equipment (wiring, electronic bits, tools, small computers, robots, and the testing and monitoring gear), and provide advice when called upon.
- The Pit - students will be able to do live penetration testing on a provided, but not-internet-connected machine in "the Pit", which will have its own isolated network. Students will be able to learn the real 'guts' of computer networking and security without having to be limited by the inability to have a 'real' machine to test against. It is anticipated that the HackerSpace will host 'attack and defense' events using "the Pit" so students can see computer security from both sides.
- 3-D Printer - A Makerbot 3-D printer will be in the HackerSpace, with software and tools to use it to make items from plastic filament.
The HackerSpace will be a place of building and exploring for Rutgers Computer Science students, in a way heretofore only possible in theory.