Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

The Debugger, Spring 2005

In This Issue

From the Chair: Jim Wolfe

Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

News From Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

M.S. in Information Assurance: Jim Wolfe

M.S. in IA Survey: Jim Wolfe

PACISE Programming Contest: David Smith

Current Research in the Department: William Oblitey and Soundararajan Ezekiel

Century Club

EDITOR’S NOTES

This issue contains a couple of follow-up articles based on the survey about a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance which was contained in the Summer 2004 issue. I want to thank all of the alumni who took the time to respond. You will see hints that we really did pay attention to what the alumni said. We used the responses to gauge the potential interest in the program and to guide things like time of day and location for the offering. We are not expecting all the people who said they were interested to all show up in the Fall of 2006 and want to get in. It is rather the case that we regard our alumni as representative of IT professionals with a bachelor's degree. Although we cannot easily survey working IT professionals in the Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania area, we can presume that the level of interest of our alumni is similar to that of local IT professionals. (I realize that some of the alumni are local; but a substantial number are not and many of those responded to the survey as if they were local which is just the sort of thing we hoped for.)

One article provides a basic description of the program as it has evolved since last summer. We think we have found some interesting ways to make it even better than the way it was described in the survey. The other article is specifically about the results of the survey and the three groups of people who took it. In addition to the Computer Science alumni, we also surveyed current students in Information Assurance related classes (both in Computer Science and Criminology).

Naturally, we have the usual collection of updates on alumni from Carol, a few comments from the outgoing chairperson (me), and Joe Shyrock's description of what is happening in the labs. We also have an article about the programming team at the PACISE; that did not have a very happy outcome. And, we have a description of some of the faculty/undergraduate research that is going on right now.

In case you can't tell, that is a mouse stuck in the printer on the cover. 

Jim Wolfe, Editor

From the Chair 

Jim Wolfe

My tenure as department chairperson is about to come to an end. Next time you read this column, Bill Oblitey will be back in the driver's seat.

You might have noticed that I complained or wined about something or other in this column nearly all the time I have been chairperson. (Sometimes I felt like Andy Rooney.) This has not been my favorite job; but I think we (the department) accomplished a reasonable amount over the past three years. Certainly, there are more things that I would like to have done that didn't happen; but that is always the way things are - there is just not enough time.

Since last fall, the faculty has spent considerable effort searching for new faculty for next fall. We had hoped to hire three new faculty; but we have actually hired two (although formal acceptance and other paperwork is yet to be done). We had two vacancies (from Mary Micco's retirement and Leem Shim's departure); so, we are about to replace the faculty who have left us. The third position we were trying to fill was in anticipation of the starting of the Masters in Information Assurance. We expect to conduct another search for that position. One person we hired is in the networks and security areas; the other is in the software engineering and graphics and systems areas. I will provide more of an introduction to the new faculty in the next couple issues of The Debugger, as I get them to write articles about themselves.

We have been working on the Masters in Information Assurance program and it is going well. I would prefer to be a little closer to completion than we are; but we are continuing to make progress. More details are available in two articles later in this issue.

Once again this year, the faculty and students made a large impact on the PACISE conference, but not quite in the same way as in the past. This time, there were many IUP students giving presentations at the conference, mostly on the research they are doing with several of the faculty. Some of that research is described in an article later in this issue. The programming team did not dominate the programming contest, as it has in the past. Again, a later article tells the sad tale.

Finally, I will mention something that I have been working to improve over the past several months, the department Web site. I began doing this because I thought it would help with recruitment of new students. We will see what happens over the next year. Feel free to check it out (www.cosc.iup.edu) and tell me what you think. The new areas are under the links for Prospective Students, Advising Information, Internship Opportunities, and Student Research.

Carol’s Corner 

Carol Miller

Welcome to Spring!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to see it finally getting here and I'm sure you're no different.

Everything at IUP is moving along as we would expect. We're in the process of interviewing and hiring new faculty. The only other bit of news I have is that Gary Buterbaugh is back teaching the Computer Literacy course for this semester. We needed some extra people to teach for us this Spring and Gary volunteered.

But, now I need to go back in time a bit - only to Christmas - and tell you about all the great Christmas cards you sent.

Yiming Sun (5/01) sent a nice card. He is still in Bloomington, Indiana working on that graduate degree. And although I didn't see him, I heard through the Computer Science grapevine that Yiming was actually in Indiana over the holidays visiting with his parents and having lunch at Taco Bell (in some order). I hadn't known Yiming had family in Indiana, but it's nice to know he'll be around once in awhile.

The Livingstons, Jason (12/95), Jennifer, Emma, Sean and Ian sent a card and picture of the kids. Ian is the baby and he is the perfect combination of Jason and Jennifer. They are such cute kids - all three of them!

And, a card from the Ringhoff's - Vickie (Pearce) (12/94), Jeremy and Brewski - with a picture of Brewski. What a dog!

Had a really cute holiday letter from Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy (5/87), Bob, Olivia, Reagan and Isabel with pictures of them at the beach, the new house (wow!), school pageants, visits to Santa and soccer practice. The house is almost finished and they were hoping to move in in January. The kids are involved in a variety of activities - Reagan and Isabel in Tiny Tumblers, Olivia in Kids on Stage. They are all enjoying the Pacific Northwest! Send pictures of the finished house, Jane, inside and out.

And also a nice holiday letter from the Gutzat's. Mike (5/87) is now Director of Technology at Salesianum High School where he started work in January. Mary is working at CPS and is active in Sacred Dance with the church. They vacationed in Wildwood in the summer. Ryan is now 10 and regularly making the honor roll at school and is also involved in karate (brown belt), Cub Scouts (Webelo), Yugi-Oh and he plays clarinet. Rachel turned 8 and has become quite a young lady. She is also doing very well in school, is involved in karate (green belt) and is interested in cats, crystals and drawing. Zachary started kindergarten; still likes karate (yellow belt) and has started reading, building things and inventing things. Great hearing from you!

Congratulations to Dan Sterrett (12/04) and his wife on the birth of a baby boy on December 15. He weighed 7 pounds, 6 oz and was 22 inches long. Dan, I got this information from Dr. Shubra and you know how unreliable he is, so please give me more information - you know, like his name! Congratulations again!

Dave Pazzaglia (5/04) is still working for 3e Technologies International in Blairsville and is getting married in September to Rachel.

I think I told you last time that Mike Everett (5/97) had moved back to Indiana. It's been great having him around - he can come to the Intern presentations and be a guest speaker at colloquiums (as some of the rest of you have found out). And, I think I told you that Mike had helped author a book. The name of the book is IBM WebSphere Application Server for Distributed Platforms and z/OS, An Administrator's Guide. It was published by Prentice Hall. So, if you have any interest in the subject, be sure to take a look at the book. Mike also sent me a picture of the family and I can't believe how Kerian and Logan have grown!!! They're such good looking kids!

Everett Burhans (5/02) sent a message to Charley Shubra and, of course, Charley forwarded it to me so I could spread the news. After graduation, Everett went to work with Lockheed Martin where he had done his internship and when he started there, the conditions were less than ideal and there wasn't much opportunity for advancing. He worked ten hours a day, four days a week and was grateful to be getting a paycheck when some of his colleagues were still looking. But finally he decided it was time for a change and moved to another job in Reston,Va working for NGA (National Geospacial Agency) as a Contractor doing Database Work. He's been there for the last three years.

He started out with Access97 and then Migrated to Access2000. At the end of last year he got a little tired of the limited capabilities of Access2000 and started to develop in Studio.NET (VB and C#). And, he's begun to take classes for Oracle 9i and enjoys the power as well as the job opportunities that Oracle presents. He's now going for an Oracle 9i Database Developer & Database Administrator Certification and then will look for an Oracle position within the company. He loves the database field and wishes there had been more database classes at IUP.

On the personal side, he met a nice girl when he moved home who stuck by his side during knee surgery, and they moved in together. Next thing ya know he was a married man and they have a baby boy due on May 8th (Mothers Day). They also have three dogs (two pit bulls and a MiniPin) and one cat. They were living in an apartment complex near Everett's work, but decided they needed a home, applied for a mortgage and moved out to a home in Front Royal, VA. But, he now makes a one hour commute into work at about 4 AM each day and he says it's not a pleasant trip (that's not exactly the way he worded it, but ...), but houses close to work are very expensive and he says about 50% of the office live out in his area because of the lower prices. So, he's now living in VA, married, about to be a father, he has job security with his Security Clearance & Location and he's a very happy guy.

He said there are many jobs in Virginia near DC and twice a year the Washington Post releases a HUGE Classified section of Jobs with about twelve pages of Tech/Gov Jobs and about twelve pages of Dr/Nursing Jobs, so anyone who may be considering a job in that area needs to keep that in mind. Nice to hear from you, Everett! Let us know when the baby comes.

Ray Becker (5/85) sent me a really nice e-mail. I'm going to use Ray as an example - not a bad example - just an example. Ray said he feels a great sense of neglect on one hand for not writing sooner, but on the other has hesitated to write because he's been such a slacker when it comes to keeping in touch. I told Ray I thought a lot of you out there feel that way and that's why I haven't heard from you in so long. So, if you are out there and haven't written for that reason, now's the time. You do know this is job security for me, right? Ray is currently working in Johnstown for the Department of Justice and has worked in Johnstown and lived in Ebensburg for the past eleven years. He currently works as a system development manager and feels very positive about his work and the company mission. He even works with other IUP grads, but none from Computer Science. Ray attached a photo of his family - him, his wife, Sharon, and their three beautiful children who are (oldest to youngest) Nick, Andrea, and Abigail. They are a beautiful family! Keep in touch, Ray, now that you've broken the ice, just keep those e-mails coming. And, you are close enough for breakfast on Homecoming.

Ryan Bassaro (12/04) is working for WESTCO at Station Square in Pittsburgh and living in Mt. Washington. He said he's involved in a lot of projects already and having a great time in the city. He even got Steeler tickets! You go, Ryan!

Congratulations are in order for Matt and Alice Arezina (5/86) on the birth of their first child, Lindsay Marie Arezina who was born on Friday, December 10th at 10:05 pm and weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches long. Matt sent me two pictures, one of Linsay at 10 minutes and one of Lindsay at 10 days. She is just adorable. Please keep me updated, Matt.

Bonnie (Slowik) Matous (5/96) sent me some pictures of her son, Ben. I told you about him in the last issue. He is SO cute! Bonnie is married to Tony Matous (5/98). Bonnie also gave me the information that she ran the Harrisburg Marathon, finishing in 5 hours and 27 minutes. Bonnie didn't think her time was that great, but, my goodness, I think it's wonderful that she ran in the first place (and finished)! Congratulations, Bonnie. She also included pictures from the marathon. You guys are also close enough for Homecoming breakfast.

I've also been telling you that we get to see Mike Bigrigg (5/91) every once in awhile. He's been working with the COSC 319 class the last couple semesters and makes a trip up from CMU every couple weeks or so. I think I also mentioned that Mike has been a project scientist for CMU for the past six or seven years.

Lisa (Townsend) Kelly (12/03) sent me a nice e-mail telling us what she's been up to since graduating. Lisa accepted a job a few days after graduation with a company called NovaStar doing helpdesk support. NovaStar is a sub-prime mortgage company based in Kansas City, Mo. Her duties included supporting software written in-house that allows loan officers and brokers to enter loans and work the loans through completion. So, Lisa learned quite a bit about mortgages and all that goes with them. She has since accepted a promotion and has been doing Quality Assurance testing for the past several months and really enjoys it, and the position allows her to interact with the DBAs and developers very closely. On the personal front, she got married on July 24 to Christopher Kelly. He is also a graduate of IUP from December 2003 and has a degree in Music Education. They have an apartment in Lee's
Summit, which is a suburb of Kansas City. Thanks for the update, Lisa - keep that news coming.

Lance Wilkerson (5/96) sent me a job opening for Penn State. I did post that opening, Lance. If anyone is interested in checking out jobs at Penn State, their Human Resources website is https://secureweb.ohr.psu.edu/evms2/external/EVMS2_External/home.cfm and you can apply on line. Thanks Lance!!!

The last time I heard from Becky (Salter) Corindia (12/94) she was just about to get married. That was a couple years ago. Now, not only is she a married lady, she's a mother. She had a little girl, Kiri, who will be a year old on April 2. Becky is still in Alaska, but is going to be moving to Abilene, TX with Kiri this summer. Her husband won't be moving until around November, however, thanks to the military. It was great to hear from you, Becky. I thought you'd dropped off the face of the earth, but I guess you just got married.

Sophia Lynn McIntosh (aka Sophie) was born on March 2 at 4:57 PM. She was 8 lbs. 5.2 oz. and 20.5 inches long. And congratulations are in order to Wendy (Liskey) (5/94) and Bill on the birth of their daughter. Sophia has three older sisters at home, Ashley, Jennifer and Lauren. I think they are 13, 4 and almost 2. Am I right about that, Wendy? Sophie is doing well, but Wendy has had bronchitis and has been trying to fight it off. Wendy sent a picture of Sophie right after she was born. What a little cutie! Thanks Wendy, for the e-mail and the picture.

Had an e-mail from Bill Monti (12/98). We hadn't heard from him for a long time - at least two children ago. Bill said he thought it was in the fall of 2000, right before his wedding. At that time, Bill was working for Dick's Sporting Goods' e-commerce arm, known as dSports.com. Since that time, dSports.com was outsourced and Bill moved over to Dick's "brick & mortar" IT department as an Application Developer I. He's been promoted twice and is now a Senior Application Developer working on the Finance and Administration team, primarily working on maintaining (still in VB6!) and updating an in-house application that matches their invoices and receipts to pay the vendors (called "AP Matching").

In the past year, Dick's moved into a new, much larger corporate office and implemented a new merchandising system (the "Heart & Lungs" of the business). And, in addition, they purchased another sporting goods company (Galyan's). Bill said it was known there as "The Perfect Storm" -- three major undertakings within one year. Bill said vacation days were hard to come by, but it all worked out very smoothly. During the implementation of the new merchandising system, Bill was able to take advantage of company-provided .NET training and he co-developed (in C#) a browser-based suite of tools to add-on to the new system. During the upcoming year, Bill will help to redesign the AP Matching system and will begin to work on some PeopleSoft-related tasks. Bill said Dick's is growing and they do have some openings in their IT department (and all over the company, actually). I'm printing the URL so you can take a look if you're interested in a change. http://www.dickssportinggoods.net/careers/ 

On the personal side, he and Kate are still very happily married and Kate gave birth to their second son in February! Their first son, Ben, was born in July of 2003. Bill gave me the website link so I could look at them. And, I just have to give you the link so everybody else can take a peep at those little boys. They are so adorable. You can even see Ben get his first haircut (check out the dog standing in the doorway watching) http://www.themontis.com/boys/ I looked at it again just before I started writing this and there are more added. You should see the hair on Ryan. They are beautiful boys, Bill. You need to bring them in for the Alumni breakfast some year or any other time for that matter. Thanks, Bill for sending the update, the job information and the pictures. Please keep me posted as things change.

Tanja (Soltis) Petersen (12/01) stopped in the other day. I used to see her fairly often when she worked in the TSC on the lower level of Stright and then she and Brian (5/02) both transferred over to the NEDIC here in University Towers. Anyway, congratulations are in order for them on two fronts. They just bought a house over on Locust Street here in Indiana and will close on it in June which will be just about in time because they are having a baby in August. They don't know what it is, it's going to be a surprise, but I'll be sure to let everybody know as soon as I possibly can. Thanks for stopping Tanja!

Tanja was over in Stright Hall for a meeting and that meeting included people from 3e Technologies which in turn included Greg Holtz (5/03). Greg was planning on stopping in after the meeting but I think the meeting went longer than he thought and I was gone when he finished. Right Greg? I'm giving you an out here!

John Kondrat (5/98) sent me information on internships at Mellon Bank where he's been working since graduation. I did pass the information along, John, and really appreciate you sending it.

And, I heard from a couple of those oldies but goodies. The first was Judy (Fisk) Sponer (5/77) who is applying to Central Connecticut State University for a MS in Data Mining program and wanted to get some references. Gary Buterbaugh was her advisor and Judy has fond memories of going over to his house with several other students for homemade hot fudge sauce over ice cream and playing 3D Tic Tac Toe in his living room. And, she gave me an update on what she's been doing. Since graduating in 1977, she's lived in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and now New Mexico. She's married to Phil Sponer, a Lutheran pastor, and they have four kids: Kathy (23), Jenna (15), Alexander (7), and Nicaea (6). The two youngest were adopted from China in January and September 1999. (And, Judy said that was quite an experience.) She's currently working at Sandia National Laboratories - one of our three nuclear weapons national laboratories - as a Member of Technical Staff. Judy said it's awesome there - America's Technology Playground! She's using her Computer Science & Math from IUP plus years of Credit Score Modeling at a finance company to develop statistical behavioral modeling applications at Sandia. Judy says that even though she never had Charley Shubra for a Database class, she is now a Data Warehouse SME out of necessity since she needs lots of data for her models, and is currently involved in the development of a new data mart at Sandia. Her work has resulted in being nominated for the 2005 Employee Recognition Awards and she's in the process of applying for her first patent.

As for living in New Mexico - Judy says it truly IS the Land of Enchantment! Their home is in the mountains just east of Albuquerque, at an elevation of 6,850 ft. The neighborhood is surrounded by Cibola National Forest, with access to its hiking trails a short walk from their doorstep. They've seen coyotes, bears, and a bobcat in their yard which has no grass, just mulch, rocks, cacti, pinon trees, and flowers. The climate is lovely. In February, she can take the kids snow skiing in the morning at Sandia Crest (10,800 ft), then have lunch in short sleeves at a park in Albuquerque. They've recently become breeders of Alaskan Klee Kai dogs, a very rare breed. Take a look at their website is www.tablazonkennels.com. (You'll all want to get a puppy. I sure did.) You'll meet Judy's 15 year old daughter, Jenna, with her dog, Storm. Frosty is Judy's dog. Neither Judy nor her husband are in any of the pictures (I asked, of course). Judy would like to read updates from some of the other Computer Science students from the 70's and asks - . Where are Margie Clark (5/77) and Ray Miseyka (5/77)?? So will you two answer??? Thanks so much, Judy, for writing. It was great hearing from you.

Mark Scott (5/80) stopped in to see me one day. It was SO nice to meet him. He was on campus interviewing for Raytheon and decided to stop in. Stop in again, Mark!

Michael Whyte (5/01) is no longer working for Copper Beech apartments, he's working for a newspaper. I talked with him very briefly and I'm sure I'll be getting more information as time goes by.

Congratulations go out to Chris Wastchak (5/03) on two fronts. First, on his new job - Chris is now working for a software development company in Pittsburgh developing solutions for the real estate industry. He's the project lead on a new product which is set to go live in a few weeks, so he's been a busy boy. But the second bit of news is that he and Jennie found out the day after Christmas that they are having a baby in August. They are really excited, and I am also very excited and can't wait. They are expecting that their lives are going to change drastically, but they're really excited. Congratulations on both fronts, Chris!!! Keep me posted.

And, congratulations to the Agostoni's - Jason (12/97) who has left PPG Industries and is now working for CEI America which is located in Mt. Lebanon (still in Pittsburgh) as an Associate Net Architect. CEI is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and Jason will be acting in a consulting role working on projects for external clients so he'll be working on everything from start to finish of a Microsoft .Net application (starting with the requirements and moving it all the way through development). He's very excited about the job and thinks he'll really enjoy working there. Meanwhile, Jackie s wrapping up her residency at West Penn Hostpital and will be going into a Fellowship program at St. Margaret's hospital for Teacher and Faculty Development in Family Practice. She'll also be earning a Master's in Public Health (MPH) from Pitt which will eventually lead to becoming a program manager for a residency program somewhere where she'll be able to teach and mentor residents as well as perform the standard duties one expects from a Family Practice physician. And, she now has a D.O. after
her name (or a Dr. in front of it - however you want to look at it). She is due much congratulations, at any rate. We're happy for you both.

Our condolences to Milt (12/96) and Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88) on the death of their father. We were very sorry to hear about it, Milt and Cathy. Cathy, I think you've added to your family since the last time I talked with you so you may owe me an update.

That's it for now! We'll talk to you in the summer and we'll see you on October 8 at the next homecoming!

Homecoming Breakfast

October 8, 2005

call Carol Miller at 724 357-2524

to join in the fun

News From Tompkins Lab

Joseph Shyrock

The end of the academic year is quickly approaching, so the technical staff for the college is busy making plans for the summer.

One of the biggest changes will be done to the class room of the future. The classroom is having its multimedia equipment upgraded to match the campus standard for multimedia classrooms. The standard multimedia classroom has the following pieces of equipment: a computer, DVD player, VCR, and a document camera. And of course a multimedia setup would not be complete without a new video projector. All of these pieces of equipment can be controlled via a control panel on the instructor PC. It is a very impressive setup. The upgraded is being funded by the technology fee.

There is also the matter of finishing up some Windows 2000 servers machine upgrades from Windows 2000 to 2003, that some of you may recall I had made mention of in previous articles I have written for The Debugger. I hope to have these finished up this summer as well.

The most challenging thing the university is now trying to attempt is getting a handle on the large amount of spam it receives every day. For the most part 90% of it is blocked, but due to the sheer amount of mail the university receives a lot still manages to get through. The university is in the process of purchasing a better block list, to take a more aggressive approach to incoming mail by better filtering it. We hope to have that in place as soon as
possible.

Last but not least is another problem, and I am sure you all have experienced this at one time or another: spyware and adware. Currently the college is using McAfee 8.0 to combat viruses, spyware, and adware. McAfee is doing an adequate job, but the university is looking at products that are specifically intended to getting rid of spyware and adware. Currently, we are looking at another McAfee product that is more robust and job specific. I'll have to let you know the outcome once it's reached.

That pretty much sums things up for the technological happenings here at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; have a nice summer!

M.S. in Information Assurance 

Jim Wolfe

Since the Summer 2004 Issue, when we included a survey in The Debugger regarding the proposal for a MS in Information Assurance, a lot has happened with the curriculum and structure of the program. The overall concept now involves four parts: a set of core courses that all students take (one course from each department), a set of courses that are required for students in each track, a set of elective courses for each track, and a synthesis course to integrate and apply elements from all tracks to a project. The final proposed structure of this interdisciplinary program is as follows, although course names may change slightly.

The Core
There are six courses that all students in this program will be required to take. Five of these will be taken near the beginning of the program and one will be spread throughout. The first five courses will provide students with a broad base of understanding information assurance issues. For students whose background has already covered one of these foundation areas, provision will be made for them to replace the course with another. For example, a student with a Computer Science background who has had network management/security courses would not need COSC 616 and would be allowed to take an additional track elective in place of 616. The core courses are

BTST 665 Information Security in the Enterprise
COSC 616 The Practice of Information Assurance
CRIM 640 Cyberlaw and Ethical Issues
IFMG 671 Information Systems Audit, Control & Security Practices
PLSC 640 Information Assurance Policy
BTST/COSC/CRIM/IFMG/PLSC 691 Synthesis

The Synthesis course will bring together students from all tracks to do group projects and address real-life information assurance problems; it will involve a thought process that is spread across multiple semesters, with most of the work in the final semester. The impetus for this course is that in the real world professionals from business, law enforcement, and information technology must work together to deal with creating and maintaining information assurance.

Track Requirements 
There are three tracks: Business, Computer Science, and Criminology. Each has its own required courses; however, as you can see, one track may require courses that are taught in another department or are offered jointly with another department. Through these courses, students from the various backgrounds will acquire specialized knowledge related to their areas of expertise.

Business Track Required
BTST 666 Strategies for Delivering Security Information, Policies and Procedures
IFMG 672E Commerce Security Development and Investigation
BTST/IFMG 663 Project Management for Information Technology Professionals

Computer Science Track Required
COSC 656 Advanced Network Security
COSC 627 Applied Cryptography
COSC 635 Operating System Security
CRIM/COSC 641Digital Forensics

Criminology Track Required
CRIM 6XX Seminar in Cybercrimes, Cybercriminals and Cybervictims
CRIM 643 Theoretical Explanations of Cybercrimes
CRIM 642 Applied Research Methods
CRIM/COSC 641 Digital Forensics

Track Electives
For each track, a student completes the 36 credits that are required in the program by taking additional courses from a list of electives. All courses are three credits; consequently, Business track students need to take at least three electives and Computer Science and Criminology students need to take at least two electives.

Business Electives
BTST 667 Physical Protection of Technology Assets
BTST/IFMG 669 Records and Information Security and Quality Management
BTST/IFMG 668 Secured Business Information Technology Infrastructure
BTST 670 Organizational Communication and Technology
BTST/IFMG 644 Information Technology Policy & Strategy
COSC/IFMG 619 Secure Business Software
CRIM/COSC 641 Digital Forensics

Computer Science Electives
COSC 670 Formal Methods
COSC 658 Wireless Network Security
COSC/IFMG 619 Secure Business Software
CRIM 642 Applied Research Methods
IFMG 672 E-commerce Security Development and Investigation

Criminology Electives
CRIM 610 Legal Issues
CRIM 630 Administration and Management in Criminal Justice
CRIM 655 Planning and Evaluation
CRIM 681 Grant Writing and Agency Relations
CRIM 699 Independent Study
CRIM 717 Advanced Qualitative Methods
CRIM 718 Quantitative Strategies for Analysis
CRIM 730 Ethical and Philosophical Issues in Criminology

The members of the committee developing this program believe that there is a great many benefits that can be derived from the core - required - elective - synthesis approach. Our goal is to produce graduates from this program that will be extremely useful in industry and law enforcement. With the need for information assurance professionals growing, we think that these graduates will be sought after for their expertise and ability to work with others effectively.

M.S. in IA Survey 

Jim Wolfe

Three groups of people were given the survey about the Master of Science in Information Assurance: Computer Science alumni, current students in several Computer Science classes, and current students in several Criminology classes. Nearly all students in the COSC classes were Computer Science majors; nearly all students in the CRIM classes were Criminology majors. The surveys were adjusted slightly for these different groups to reflect appropriate demographic questions; however, all key questions were the same. A total of 35 alumni, 93 students from COSC classes, and 77 students from CRIM classes provided useful survey responses. Results are reported below as percentages of these numbers.

Demographic Profile 

Gender     Alumni     COSC     CRIM
Male         60%         88%         39%
Female     40%         12%         61%

GPA         Alumni     COSC     CRIM
2.0-2.49     9%         11%         6%
2.5-2.99     9%         27%         32%
3.0-3.49     37%       39%         34%
3.5-4.0 4     6%        22%         26%

Plans             Alumni     COSC     CRIM
Get a job         71%         62%         60%
Trade school     0%         1%             1%
Grad school     14%         33%         32%
Other               14%         2%            5%

The key element to note here is that we were generally surveying the right people. Students with high GPAs and an expressed interest in graduate school are likely prospects to follow through and be admitted to a graduate program. It is natural for current students to have a greater expectation of going to graduate school than alumni. If even half of the current students who expressed an interest actually entered the MS in IA program, the program would be full. An expression of interest can be a long way from a commitment to action.

For those who did not indicate an interest in graduate school, there were consistent responses related to factors that would motivate them to go to graduate school. Roughly, 50% from each group said that it was likely or very likely that if graduate school could help them advance in their current job or if they could support themselves while attending graduate school or if there was a graduate program that really interested them, they would continue their education.

Program Specifics 

When asked how likely it was that they would apply to an interdisciplinary program such as the MS in IA program being proposed, a substantial number from the survey groups indicated that it was likely or very likely.

                Alumni     COSC     CRIM
Likely         26%         30%         22%
Very Likely  3%         20%         12%

On this question, several alumni noted (in the open-ended section of the question) that their responses were influenced by their locations. Many were far from IUP and indicated they were not likely to apply because of that. Nevertheless, finding that approximately 40% overall would apply tells us that the interdisciplinary structure does have appeal.

Roughly, one-third of each group indicated that their preference for class hours would be in the evening. In addition, at least 60% of each group said that evening hours were acceptable. As a consequence, current plans are to offer the courses in the evening. There was a natural bias in favor of normal daytime hours on the part of current students; but even that was only slightly larger than evening hours. There was also substantial acceptance of online classes with at least 57% of each group finding online classes as acceptable. Here, alumni were more in favor again because many are not nearby.

In terms of locations, holding classes on IUP main campus and online were the clear winners. At least 62% of each group found online acceptable; and more than 90% of current students found the IUP main campus as acceptable. Alumni preferred online to any of the physical locations; current students preferred main campus by a wide majority.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of holding summer classes to make the MS in IA program shorter. Nearly 50% of alumni and nearly 67% of current students said they would be likely to take summer classes to shorten the time period for completing the degree. The committee designing the program has used this information in two ways. We have planned summer as part of the program - that is, the ideal student would complete the program in four terms: Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall. The committee is planning to make the summer a period in which preliminary work on the synthesis can start to take place in the student groups, see the other article.

Finally, there were many very encouraging comments, from alumni in particular, about the program. Even though they acknowledged that they personally would not be likely to apply to the program, many said that creating the program was a very good idea and they urged us to continue with the effort. Some gave good suggestions for enhancing the program and some of these have been used in the updated program. [Thanks for your support.]

PACISE Programming Contest 

David Smith

On April 2, two programming teams from IUP competed at the 2005 PACISE Programming Contest held at Bloomsburg University. The veteran team comprised of Amanda Schiel (from the Mathematics department), Michael McFail, and Eric Pennington successfully completed 3 problems during the 3 hour competition finishing eighth of eighteen teams. The new recruits of Renee Richardson, Joe Darney, Raymond Giorgi, and alternate Soon Hat came in next with successful completion of 2 problems.

The veteran team nearly completed a 4th problem but was stumped by the judge's last test case. The solution encountered an integer overflow.

Bloomsburg University did an excellent job in hosting the programming contest. Each team had access to two computers equipped with IDEs! Teams could use any of Studio.net, Blue Jay, JBuilder or the old faithful notepad with command line compiles. This enabled each team to focus on solving the algorithmic problems and not on logistics or syntax errors. In the practice session the day prior, the judges and contest staff did a great job familiarizing the teams to the contest environment. During the content, the judges quickly and effectively evaluated a proposed solution.

Prior to the contest I overheard two coaches from other teams say "as long as we beat IUP". Well, they may have achieved their goal this year, but we will be back. I look forward to competing at next years' ACM and PACISE programming contests.

Current Research in the Department

William Oblitey and Soundararajan Ezekiel

Research in the department has taken an interesting turn on the upside. Many faculty members have now embarked on various research efforts. The faculty members, Professors Wolfe, Oblitey, and Ezekiel, working on the unclassified Covert Channels research have incorporated four students in the endeavor. The students are Michael McFail, Eric Pennington, Kati Reiland, and Bob Trimble. These students presented papers at the PACISE 2005 (Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators) held April 1-2, 2005 at the Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA.   Jason Gruber and Dustin Williams working with Drs. Oblitey and Ezekiel also presented papers on the Digital Divide in Latin America and Iris Image Recognition, respectively. Dr. Ezekiel and Professor Smith received a small grant to build a robot that navigates without bumping into anything. The students involved in this Robotics Research Group are Raymond Giorgi, Michael Flickinger, and Ryan White.

The faculty members and students working in Covert Channels, Robotics, Iris Recognition, and Digital Divide displayed seven posters total, both at the Faculty and Staff Session and the Sigma Xi Session, on April 13, 2005 during Research Appreciation Week. The Covert Channels research group will be presenting four papers at ABIT 2005 (Academy of Business and Information Technology) held April 28-30, 2005 in Monroeville, PA.

During this academic year, Drs. Oblitey and Ezekiel worked with Bob Trimble on Network Traffic Analysis and Hearing Aid Speech Analysis, which resulted in two research papers.  The first, "Network Signal Analysis: A Wavelet Approach", presented by Dr. Oblitey at the IASTED (International Association of Science and Technology for Development) International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing Networks, February 15-17, 2005. The second, "Hearing Aid Speech Enhancement: A Multiresolution Analysis Approach", presented by Bob Trimble at the at the ninth IASTED International Conference on Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications February 21-23, 2005.

Drs. Oblitey and Ezekiel will be presenting "A Wavelet Approach to Anomaly Intrusion Detection" at the Third Annual Informational Technology Security Conference (Secure-IT 2005) held April 19-22, 2005 in San Diego, California. Dr. Ezekiel, Dr Oblitey, and Bob Trimble had a paper, titled "De-noising Signals: A Wavelet Approach", accepted at the ninth World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics (WMSCI 2005) held July 10-13, 2005 in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Ali will be presenting a paper, "Nanotechnology: A Miniaturization of the Computer and its Application in Information Systems", at the second International Multiconference of Automation, Control, and Information Technology held June 20-24, 2005 in Novosibirsk, Russia. He is currently working on two papers: "Effective Teaching Pedagogies of Undergraduate Computer Science", submitted to the Mathematics and Computer Science Education Journal, 2005 and "Comparative Study Between Various Digital Signature Algorithms", to be submitted to the fourth International Conference on Information Security, Communications and Computers (ISCOCO 2005) held December 16-18, 2005 in Spa in.

Century Club

You can become a member of the IUP Computer Science Department's Century Club. Membership in the Century Club is obtained by pledging at least $100 through the Foundation for IUP for the Computer Science Department. Century Club members will receive a gift (tee shirt, mug, glass, etc.) for their membership each year. The Chair and Carol try to find something new and interesting each year to send as a gift.

A pledge of $100 is less than $10 per month. Please consider this opportunity. To join cut off the form in the next column, complete it and commit yourself to giving $100 for 2005. Your gift to the Century Club is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

  • Computer Science Department
  • Stright Hall, Room 319
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2524
  • Fax: 724-357-2724
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.