Tony Tipton


Engineering Futures Mentor

Tony Tipton was one of “the lucky ones” who dived into a major he was genuinely interested in from the start. Tipton is studying Computer Systems Engineering at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU, with a focus in Cybersecurity. He is an Engineering Futures Mentor and a student lead in Fulton’s E2 program, an engineering camp for students.

Tipton is in the four plus one program at ASU, and this fall he will be entering his fourth year, which is also the first year of his graduate studies. As a Barrett honors student, Tipton is in the initial stages of his thesis.

“My current thesis revolves around the idea of encryption,” Tipton said. “I’m going to try to recreate and investigate how passwords are developed and cracked, per se. And see the methods and see the ideology behind encryption of passwords.”

As many who grew up around technology, Tipton became fascinated with computers and how they can be used to accomplish a multitude of things. While in high school, he didn’t have the resources that could’ve helped him explore engineering the way he wanted to. He chose ASU for its program and opportunities he’d heard so much about.

“I’m a first generation student,” Tipton said. “…my parents never really had a college education.” He is the first in his family studying Engineering. He said much of his motivation in his early life came from his grandmother.

“My grandmother has always been the shooting star in our family. And specifically, all the women in my family had been shooting stars,” Tipton said, “but I just look up to particularly hers, because she made sure that, beginning at a very young age, that I got an education and made sure I got my roots, solidified.”

This summer, Tipton is interning at American Express, where he is working on a 10-week project, based around automating scripts.

During his time at ASU, outside of his work and studies, Tipton was involved in an esports club on campus. It was “a club activity that I would like to do to relax and to get involved into the community around gaming at Arizona State University,” he said.

College has passed quickly for Tipton, and to future and current engineering students, he stresses the importance of enjoying it.

“Come here to have fun, because engineering, that’s what it’s supposed to be,” he said. “You’re supposed to bang your head against the wall, trying to solve something for hours on end. But you’re only supposed to do that a little bit before the wall cracks, if you get that analogy.”

He also noted the importance of not becoming stagnant. “You’ll be not busy at times, and when you won’t be busy, you should be working on something to keep you busy.”

When he graduates, Tipton wants to use his degree to help keep people safe online.

“What I hope is to be developing systems that would otherwise secure people or individuals across many platforms. Specifically, I want to go into cybersecurity and hopefully develop devices that help protect people.”

By Summer Sorg, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
July 31, 2019