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BLOCKSCRIPTS -- A BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM FOR UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPTS

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Conference

2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting

Location

California State University, Los Angeles , California

Publication Date

April 4, 2019

Start Date

April 4, 2019

End Date

April 6, 2019

Conference Session

PSW Section Meeting Papers - Disregard start and end time - for online paper access only

Tagged Topic

Pacific Southwest Section Meeting Paper Submissions

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31816

Download Count

1153

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Paper Authors

biography

Ronald P. Uhlig National University

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From 2010-2014, Dr. Ronald P. Uhlig was Dean, School of Business and Management, National University, La Jolla, CA. He returned to the faculty of the School of Engineering and Computing in 2014 as Lead Faculty for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program. During 2005-2010 he served the School of Engineering and Technology in multiple positions including Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, and Lead Faculty of the Master of Science in Wireless Communications. From 2000-2005, he was President/CEO, SegWave, Inc., an educational technology systems company he founded.

Previous positions include Vice President for Russia and Eastern Europe, Qualcomm Inc., 1995-99, with offices in San Diego and Moscow, Russia and multiple positions with Northern Telecom and Bell-Northern Research in Ottawa, Canada and Richardson, TX during 1978-1995, including Director, Intelligent Network Solutions and Director, Asia/Pacific Strategic Marketing. He is one of several “Fathers of email”; based on work he did with the US Army and DARPA in the 1970s and several international committees he chaired during 1979-91. Those committees took him to nearly 100 countries globally. He had nationwide responsibility for US Army Materiel Command scientific & engineering computing, 1969-78, pioneering many applications in what has become today’s Internet, and he served as a US Army Officer in the Office of the Chief of Staff, in the Pentagon, 1966-1968.

He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland. In 2016 he received the Distinguished Teaching Award from National University. He is the recipient of a Gold Medal from the International Telecommunications Academy, Moscow, Russia, for sustained contributions to telecommunications; the Silver Core from the International Federation for Information Processing; and the Founders Award from the International Council for Computer Communications.

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Rich Yonts Teradata

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Rich Yonts is a professional software engineer developing applications in modern C++, Java, and Python. He holds three degrees, two of which are in computer science including a master’s degree. His professional contributions include client/server, API, database, and Apache module development; this work has led to four US patents. Interests outside of work include advanced computing, algorithm and data structure development, and operating systems.

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biography

Benjamin W Cashman National University

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Ben Cashman holds a masters degree in computer science from National University and is living in Northern California. In his professional career Ben has worked as a freelance web developer. Additionally he has worked in education both as a teacher in special education and as a university partner. In his time working in education he has worked to invent and simplify the processes in education to enhance the way teachers are able to interact with students using technology. He also has a great passion for music and enjoys sharing it with others.

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Richard S. Clark National University

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Brett Nieman

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Abstract

The concept of blockchains started around 2008 with Bitcoin, which is a cryptocurrency. More recently, the application of Blockchains has been expanded well beyond cryptocurrency. As part of a capstone project for the Master of Science in Computer Science, a Blockchain that holds student transcript information and/or diplomas was created. The information is stored in a digital format that is immutable and can be retrieved easily by any authorized student, faculty, or interested third party. Having immutable records in a digital blockchain format allows students to have an official record that cannot be changed yet be publicly available for authorized viewers, satisfying the need for secure communication channels. This is beneficial for the student, the university, and any prospective employers. Creating and storing records in this way also ensures the digital transcripts and diplomas cannot be altered in any way. Additionally, Blockscripts provides non-repudiation and a more secure platform for storing transcripts due to the nature of decentralized data storage. As such, if one node in the blockchain network goes offline, other nodes in the network will persist and maintain accurate copies of the transcript ledger data. This also negates the risk associated with a data center, especially in regard to disaster recovery (i.e. fires or earthquakes) which could potentially have the capacity to destroy localized data. Another benefit to be realized from storing transcripts and diplomas on a blockchain is the processing time saved. Time is saved for the person requesting the transcript, the registrar's office producing it, and the third party receiving the transcript. In many universities, a transcript request can take up to three weeks to be fulfilled; by using blockchain technology it is likely that requesting parties can receive a requested transcript the same day. A user interface (UI) has been created that allows a student to request his/her transcript to be viewed by a particular entity. Blockscripts also enables agencies or universities to verify a degree or degrees that may be held by a particular student or graduate. The student’s transcripts/original data is owned and initially published to a blockchain by the university they attended. It is made viewable by encrypting with either the student’s public key or the public key of a third party; the student is able to decrypt his/her data with their private key and a third party is able to decrypt the transcript data with their private key. This ensures that the transcript will be publicly available, yet the contents will remain private and available only to authorized parties. If the student wants to send their transcripts to someone else, they include those parties’ public keys in the transcript request. Each transcript request can include a fixed fee for processing; the university administration can take a portion while the validating network node (miner) takes the remainder for providing the service of validation, data storage, and transmission costs.

Uhlig, R. P., & Yonts, R., & Cashman, B. W., & Clark, R. S., & Nieman, B. (2019, April), BLOCKSCRIPTS -- A BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM FOR UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPTS Paper presented at 2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, California State University, Los Angeles , California. https://peer.asee.org/31816

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015