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The Debugger, Fall 2004

In This Issue

From the Chair: Jim Wolfe

Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

News from Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

ACM Programming Contest: David Smith

IUP Continues as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education: William W. Oblitey

EDITOR’S NOTES

The photograph on the front was taken in Valley of the Fire State Park in Nevada. Really, there is nothing in it that is directly related to computers. But, I thought the boulder arrangement could serve as a model of how things might go wrong if not enough planning is done. Also, printing this picture on a red cover sort of matches the real color of the rock - it is a spectacular rusty red.

In this issue, you will find Carol's account of the Homecoming breakfast and a couple of short reports. Sorry that we don't have any photographs from the breakfast as we did last year. I forgot to take my camera and no one else was taking pictures. So, you will have to use your imagination to visualize the alumni that Carol reports on. But, some of them are probably just as glad that I didn't have a camera - it can be difficult to look dignified while eating French toast and scrambled eggs.

The only extended article this time is from Bill Oblitey who provides an update on many aspects of the Information Assurance program. The last element in his report could keep several of us busy for the next three years. We are hoping to hire another faculty member in the IA area as we conduct our searches this winter.

In case you are someone who reads the editor's notes but not my column, let me also state here my thanks for those of you who filled out the survey about the Masters in Information Assurance program. Collecting responses from surveys such as that one are essential for supporting the idea that the program is needed.

Please consider sending in your life story or writing anything else you think would be of interest to other alumni. It has been a long time since we have published a direct contribution from one of the alumni in The Debugger.

Jim Wolfe, Editor

From the Chair

Jim Wolfe

This has been an enormously busy semester. I thought that there was no way that I could be busier than I was last Fall. But, this Fall has at least equaled last. There are several reasons; let me start with teaching.

With the resignation of Leem Shim in July, I wound up teaching a bit different schedule than I anticipated. I am teaching Compiler Construction for the first time since 1994; so, it almost like teaching it for the first time. I am also teaching COSC 105, which I use to teach frequently; but I haven't taught it since 2000 when we were still using the VMS system. So, I've had to make a bunch of adjustments there too. Teaching has been a struggle; but enough about me.

The department has received about thirty returned alumni surveys about the Masters in Information Assurance program. Thanks to all of you who took the time to give us your opinions. As you might have guessed from what I said above, we have not yet analyzed your responses. (That may have been a good thing; a late survey came in just before Thanksgiving.) I will try to give you a report in the Spring issue about what the survey shows.

The department is gearing up to review applications for the two open faculty positions. We are collecting applications until the end of the year; there are already about 35 in. Carol complains about all the paperwork and filing needed to keep track of the applications, resumes, transcripts, and letters of reference. Selecting new faculty is one of the most important and difficult tasks that the whole department gets involved in.

And speaking of tasks involving many people, IUP is currently doing a self-study in preparation for Middle States Accreditation. Four of the faculty in the department are on various Middle States sub-committees doing this study. The work of the sub-committees takes a lot of time - meetings, analysis, writing a report; and nearly all of the 17 sub-committees have created surveys of some kind. I have lost track of how many of these surveys I have responded to on behalf of the department.

Carol will give you a complete report about the Homecoming breakfast. I'll just note that I had a good conversation with Bruce Weinsheimer and his son, Milt and Lori Ferguson, Tim Jamison, and Mark Minser. Bruce graduated before I came to IUP which meant that he could relate to punched cards and batch processing much better than more recent graduates. Lori is a current IUP student and writes a weekly article for The Penn. The discussion with Mark was a bit unusual because he can't talk about what he does; he says it is interesting work - I take his word for that. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera to the breakfast; consequently, I have no pictures of the event to share with you.

I guess that is all for now. I hope you all have Happy Holidays.

Carol’s Corner

Carol Miller

Hi Everyone! I hope you're having a great Fall wherever you are. We've been having pretty nice weather in Indiana which, I guess if we were to ask most of you, you would say is unusual. The semester even started off very well and other than being ultra busy, it's going smoothly.

One of the first things I want to report on is the Alumni Breakfast. We had some nice visits and a good time.

Cathy (Fleig) Gruss (12/85) came with the twins, Amanda and Rebecca. The "boys" were off doing their own thing this year, but the "girls" came down for breakfast and for the parade. I think I mentioned in an earlier issue that Cathy has family in Indiana, and I'm sure they all got together and enjoyed the parade. Other than the kids growing, everything in Cathy's life has stayed the same. They haven't moved from Portage and Cathy is still working from home for Seton company based in Norristown. It was really great seeing you and the girls, Cathy!!! Stop in when you're here visiting your family.

Greg Holtz (5/03) is still working at 3eTI Inc. in Blairsville but is now a Senior Web/Database Programmer and is performing web site development and enhancement for the U.S. Navy and has recently started to work on 3eTI's product support website. Greg was the supervisor for the Computer Science Intern who worked at 3ETI Inc. last semester. Greg's wife, Lia works here on campus, but not for IUP. She works for the Lytle Group as a Project Manager for IUP's OnStage Arts and Entertainment. Maybe we'll bump into her one day. It was great seeing you, Greg, stop in any time.

Mark Minser (5/00) is still with Raytheon in State College and still commuting from Armagh. He told me some of the Raytheon/IUP gossip, but I won't repeat it. I don't want to get Mark in trouble. But, of course, I would hope those people would write me on their own!

Bruce Weinsheimer (5/78) and his son, Adam, were here. It was great to see them. Bruce has been laid off work for a bit (from Highmark Blue Shield, no less) and is using the opportunity to take some computer courses that will enhance his skills. Adam is a student here which I probably reported before and I also probably reported that he isn't a Computer Science Major; but since we're such kind people, we won't consider ex-communication or shunning.

We got a chance to visit with Milt Ferguson (8/96), his wife, Lori, and their son, Ian. Lori is taking classes here at IUP, Milt is still with Sheetz and Ian is quite the little character and just as smart as a whip.

Tim Jamison (8/98). Tim, we still didn't talk - next year!

Jaunita Burdette (12/01) and Judy were here. It's always great to see them. Jaunita is still teaching in Pittsburgh and is still enjoying it. She also sent me some pictures of the cats. They are such beautiful little kittens.

Jason Agostoni (12/97) and his wife, Jackie, joined us. Nothing much has changed for them either; Jason is still at PPG in Pittsburgh and Jackie is still working on her M.D. However, they did buy a house in Wexford and are commuting from there.

Donna (Reed) Rosenberger (12/81) stopped by with her daughter, Danielle. Donnie and Suzannah were off doing their own thing, too. Donna is teaching at CCAC in Monroeville now, but still living in Parkwood on the farm.

Micki Hart (5/91) had breakfast with us also. Micki was working at IUP at the time of the breakfast but shortly after, she left for a job with SungardSCT. Her start date was October 17 and she was traveling to Rochester for training. She's back from Rochester now and is continuing the training online from home. Micki will provide more information later; but she was hired to do training and would be traveling to other locations to do this training but wasn't exactly sure how it was going to all work out. I'll keep you posted. Micki also started taking a class here on campus this fall and wasn't quite sure if finishing that course was going to be a possibility.

Then we had visits from several alumni who spoke at our colloquiums:

Mike Bigrigg (5/91), who you may remember is with CMU, spoke recently to the Software Engineering class and stopped in for a bit afterwards. It's always nice to have Mike here. We enjoy seeing him.

Mike Everett (5/97) who bought a house and is now living here in Indiana, but still working for IBM. You may remember that when Mike came back to finish his degree, he had Kerian and then he and Anne had Logan Spencer. Well, Mike sent me a picture of the family as it is now. I can't believe how big those kids are getting. Logan was an infant when they moved from the area, so it's not surprising how much she's grown, but Kerian has turned into a young man. He looks exactly like he used to, though. Mike and Ann bought a house over on Croyland Avenue; and I'm going to show up on their doorstep one of these days for a tour. It's one of those houses that I kept looking at and thinking what a neat house it is and always wondered what it was like and now I have the opportunity to find out.

And, Ed Kuzemchak (5/88) just recently spoke in the Software Engineering class. Ed is still living near Salina and running his own business, Software Design Solutions, Inc. (SDSi) which is focusing on embedded software development and Windows Mobile application development (Pocket PCs and Smartphones) and which is doing very well. They're now in the process of licensing their own software. The girls (Maggie and Kelly) are doing very well.

It was great seeing all three of you guys!!

Todd Orange (12/03) stopped in the other day. Todd's working for MobilVox here in Indiana.   I think I mentioned in a previous issue that Mike Rozdilski (12/84) has stopped in several times and is working for MobilVox in Reston VA and said they were trying to open an office in Indiana. Well, they did and Todd is working there. There are openings there, too. For Database Programmer, Java Application Programmer, Java Enterprise Programmer, System Analyst, and a Network Engineer. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can give you details or if you're interested in something in the Indiana area, send your resume to kgedrich@mobilvox.com. Great to see you, Todd, and glad to see you in Indiana.

Heard from Jim Butler (8/88). He was actually in Indiana, but it was on a Sunday so we didn't get to visit with him. As you may remember, Jim's son Adam (who was just a little guy when Jim was a student here) is now 19 and a student at IUP. Jim also has Ryan, 4 1/2, who is in preschool and doing great. He had just learned to ride his two-wheeler without training wheels and was feeling a great sense of accomplishment. Dylan was born on March 1 of this year and is growing like a weed. As for work, Jim is still with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) in Johnstown where he manages the System of Systems Technologies line. This is a people management position Jim moved into in January. He also manages several technical programs for CTC and mentioned in his e-mail that CTC is looking for system and software engineers. Clearances being a big plus. If you're interested, send your resume to Jim at butlerj@ctc.com.

Our condolences to Zack Palmer (05/04). We received information that Zack's girl friend was fatally injured in an auto accident in November. We're very sorry for your loss, Zack.

Heard from Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92). Janie and Lisa (Dillon) Boslett (12/93) were considering a trip to Indiana in November. Unfortunately, it didn't work out since I didn't have a free weekend until after Thanksgiving. The kids were getting ready for Halloween with Ryan going as a duck, Amber as a very specific kind of angel; but she couldn't describe that angel and Janie couldn't guess; Heather was going as a bubble bath. Go figure. But, Janie sent pictures and she really pulled it off. They looked adorable. Hopefully, Janie and Lisa, we'll be able to get it together one of these days.

Also got pictures of Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy's (5/87) kids. They were taken at an annual festival in Ocean Shores, WA where there is a sort of gathering of the pirates. The kids were dressed accordingly and partook in all the festivities. They looked really cute and one of the things I noticed was that Isabel now looks like Olivia did at that age; and Olivia is changing her looks quite a bit. Thanks Jane!!!! Keep those pictures coming.

Joe Ondrejik (5/84) is still working at Dell in Austin, Texas where the focus is on Systems Management software. Joe and his wife, Leisa, had a baby boy on May 27, 2003. His name is Joey (wonder where they got that??). Thanks for the info, Joe. Bring Joey in to see us if you're ever in the area.

Zack Howe (12/96) is still in Georgia working for T Mobile. There are jobs available there; and Zack sent me the website address and I shall put it in here. But just so you know, it's long and I may lose my journalism license by taking up so much room but that's a chance I'll take. Zack talked with Donnie Wishard (5/95) about heading north for Homecoming; but Zack had to head to Seattle the following weekend for the Teradata Partners conference. So, he didn't think he'd be able to get away for homecoming weekend as well. They didn't make it; but I know Zack will always be around since his family is from Indiana.

Congratulations to Kathy (Scott) Bachofer (12/98). She got married in December at Disney World, three days after running her first marathon! Can you even believe it? But, it isn't surprising, since Kathy also sky dives and engages in some other physical sports. She also still does quilting and now has a new house to display them in and a new hubby to display them for. She's still working at the same place (Target Software). Great to hear from you, Kathy.

Got a really nice update from Dave Coates (12/77). After graduating IUP, he began his employment with GTE in the Erie, PA data center where he supported their first online order entry system. This, in turn, peaked his interest in telecommunications and data networks; so he took an assignment at the GTE North Area headquarters in Indianapolis supporting their internal data networks and end user computing environment and where he learned about computer viruses and information assurance for distributed computing environments. From there, he moved on to Dallas at the GTE World Headquarters in their corporate electronic messaging department supporting the migration of 90,000 desktops from 6 different platforms to Banyan Vines. Then, he moved to Genuity which is a spin-off of Verizon; and he managed the $2B network construction program. After moving to Dallas, he started classes at the University of Dallas toward an MBA in Telecommunications Management and graduated from that program in the Spring of 1998. He then became an adjunct professor teaching their Telecom for Managers course.

The University of Dallas provides access to their degree programs both in the classroom and online and Dave supported both the migration of existing courses to the online environment and the selection of their online hosting partner, e-College. And, he was recently appointed to Pace University as an Adjunct Professor teaching the online version of their Telecom IV course. Both schools have developed programs in Information Assurance and they have seen strong enrollment in them. Dave has also very kindly offered his help with our new Masters program. Dave and his wife, Linda, have been married for over 27 years; and they have three children. Their oldest son was married this summer and his wife started medical school. Their daughter is a senior at The Ohio State University with plans to graduate with a double major in Animal Biology and Psychology in May, 2005. Their youngest son is in his Sophomore year at the University of North Texas in Art Design. Linda is a math teacher at Flower Mound High School. Wow, Dave, you've done very well, not only in your career, but with your family. Please keep in touch!!

Adnan Al Ghourabi (5/02) got a job in Denver at a company called IHS (Information Handling Services). One of the managers at Johnson & Johnson where Adnan used to work, moved down there and found there was a position open for a .NET developer and Adnan was hired. They have also sponsored him for H1-B. He's currently doing Content Management Server (CMS) and SharePoint development for intranet and Internet applications. Adnan is in graduate school and had planned on concentrating on wireless networking; but he took a .NET course and changed his mind, and  fortunately for him, he landed a good job because of that. Meanwhile he hasn't defended the MS project yet (comparing MS ASP.NET and Apple's WebObjects); but I'm sure that will come in time. Thanks Adnan, glad things are going well for you. Keep us posted.

Matt Uhron (5/03) sent a nice update. On August 30, 2003, he married Jodi (Warren) who was an August 2002 graduate from the Journalism department. They had a nice honeymoon in Disney/Orlando and just had a first anniversary celebration in Hershey. Matt's been working at American Precision Technology (APT) in Johnstown where they have been living since December of 2002. They are both looking for jobs in the Pittsburgh area and hope to relocate soon. Matt will follow up with the new information then. Meanwhile, Matt you didn't indicate that you are job searching, but if anyone out there knows of any openings, let us know.

Congratulations to Chrisand Jennie Wastchak (5/03) who were married on labor day in Pittsburgh. They are living in Plum Borough and Chris is working for Allegheny Energy in Greensburg. Again, congratulations!!!!!! Keep in touch!

And, also congratulations to Dan and Chris Yuhas (5/88) who were married on September 18. They had a beautiful wedding in Northern Cambria and went on a cruise for their honeymoon. They are living in Northern Cambria in Dan's house. Dan is still working here at IUP for the NEDIC; and Chris works for First Commonwealth Bank. I also had lunch with them and Gary Buterbaugh; and we had a nice chat and a nice lunch. Congratulations!

And, from Ryan Knepper (12/01). Ryan is working right here in the big metropolis of Indiana. It's a small company mainly doing customer support for a large client. The company creates and maintains specialty database applications for small businesses mainly in FoxPro. (And here's another one of those guys who praises Charley Shubra and admits Charley knows what he's talking about when he says everything is database). The company has only five employees at the present time; but it has been around for sixteen years with their largest client being a world wide multi-billion dollar corporation. Ryan said the Indiana office only deals with the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico but that includes 100+ offices; and he said it can get busy. They also have some local clients; but he doesn't deal with them at all. On the personal front, Ryan's been married over two years now; and they bought a house here in Indiana. His wife is teaching music in Punxsutawney. They also rescued a Shi Tzu who was going to be put down. But, his most exciting news by far is that they had a little Knepper, Maura Anne; she was born on October 29 at 9:58 p.m. and was 18 inches long. I saw pictures of ;her and she sure is a beautiful little girl. I can't wait until they bring her in (that's a hint, Ryan). But, you should see what they did to her. They dressed her in a pumpkin suit to take her home from the hospital, complete with a jack-o-lantern hat. It was SO cute. Ryan is now trying to catch up on some sleep. Congratulations, Ryan!!! She's a real cutie. 

Tony Popp (12/98) wasn't able to make the Homecoming breakfast because he was in a wedding in Somerset that day; but he did send me a picture of Victoria, his daughter. She is so cute. She's a year old now and I can't wait to meet her. I'm hoping Tony will bring her in person so I can play with her at the very least! Tony also has sent along a couple job openings that he received; but since he's very happy at CTC in Johnstown, he thought maybe someone else could use them. I e-mailed those to some people who are looking for something in the Pittsburgh area, Tony; and I posted them here on our display case; but if anyone else is interested, send me an e-mail and I'll get them to you. 

Matt Holbrook has been working for the Commonwealth of PA for about a year and half now. He's a Data Base Administrator with the Department of Public Welfare, database design section. Matt recommends civil service employment and gives us the website where you can see what jobs are open and how and when to take the appropriate tests. They're mostly available in the larger PA cities. The website is: http://www.scsc.state.pa.us/ By taking the exams, your name is placed on a list and you'll be contacted for availability for different positions! Matt said it's important to take the tests as soon as possible, particularly in view of the fact that there are a lot of retirees; and those positions will open in the next two to three years. And, Matt said the State is a great place to start. He said there are many state agency offices in Western PA, especially Pittsburgh; and Penn DOT has a very large office in Indiana. Matt also mentioned that at the time of his e-mail there were 265 available state jobs and he said that is relatively low. Thanks Matt!!! I appreciate the information. Please stay in touch.

Congratulations to Justin Elkin (5/03) who became a father on September 1st. They went to the hospital on the evening of August 31st at about 6:00; and Kenedee Jo was born at 9:28 in the morning. She weighed 7.3 lbs. and was 18 3/4 long. Justin sent a picture of her; and she's a beautiful little girl. They were maybe going to try to come to the breakfast; but Justin thought they may have something going on that weekend. That was apparently the case because they weren't here; and I'm sure that's the only thing that could have kept them away. We missed you!! Justin is still with Rosebud Mining in Kittanning.

I heard from Jeff Claney (5/88). After graduating from IUP, Jeff got a job with Transtar (in Monroeville, PA), the railroad subsidiary of US Steel and then went on and earned his MBA at Pitt. Within the last year, the decision was made to merge the IT Departments of Transtar with US Steel; and, as a result, Jeff is now working on the South Side in Pittsburgh as opposed to Monroeville. So, Jeff may be looking for a change; if anyone knows of any IT positions in the Pittsburgh area, let me know. Jeff has been working in the IT field for 16 years, so he'd be bringing along a bit of experience.

Charlie Pauch (12/97) is living in Newfield, NY and working for a software vendor called CBORD (www.cbord.com) as a support technician. Prior to that, he worked as a System Administrator at two different Internet Companies, Penn.com from 1998 to 1999 and wrkcs.net from 2000 to 2004. He says he's had a pretty interesting career so far, and the programming knowledge he received as a student here at IUP has been very good to him. He also said something that I hear all the time. That is: when he was here, we were just starting to teach C++, and Charlie thought we were really behind the times wasting his time learning COBOL and Pascal. But, he said he was SO wrong because no matter the language, learning the fundamentals of programming is the most important thing; and he says IUP did that job well for him. Charlie also passed along some job information from the company he just left (wrkcs.net); it was looking for a new system administrator. I did post this information, Charlie, I hope it helped.

Lisa Gustafason (5/94) sent an e-mail in support of our prospective masters program and in  support of The Debugger. Lisa, you didn't add any personal information. We'd love to hear from you.

I not only had e-mail, but had a visit from Justin Streiner (5/97). Justin had some time off and was traveling around visiting. The reason he had some time off was because he changed jobs, what with the demise of Stargate. Justin made it through Stargate's bankruptcy. When they filed for protection the company was split into three pieces which were sold to different companies. The residential dialup and DSL subscribers were picked up by Earthlink; the Professional Services Group was acquired by AC Coy in Pittsburgh; and the business services (which is where Justin worked) was acquired by Expedient, based out of Cleveland. So, Justin made in through the bankruptcy and acquisition but then decided he needed a change of scenery. (By the way, for anyone who might want to contact Justin, his email is streiner@stargate.net and that address will continue to work for the foreseeable future.) However, Justin accepted a senior network engineering position at the University of Pittsburgh and started work there on September 13. The work is similar to what he was doing at Expedient; but he'll be getting into new areas of technology; and it will also give him the chance to apply a lot of the same experience he gained at Stargate and Expedient. He can, therefore, make some good contributions to the group he'll now be working in. Then, Justin is hoping in a few months' time, to be looking for a house.

Meanwhile, Justin has been keeping himself busy with his band, Nebulous. They played several shows over the spring and summer but have been on a hiatus while their guitar player was busy renovating his new house and getting ready to get married. They had plans to get back to a more normal schedule (a show every 4-5 weeks) later in the fall. However, if you want to take a look at the website, it's www.nebulousrockspittsburgh.com. And, I will say, personally, Justin, I'm glad you left the state mental health system's music therapy program.

Justin also submitted (in Justin's words) "my contributions for the next segment of 'Where Are They Now?' for Carol's Corner :-)" Sloan Seaman (8/96) recently started a new job at Precision Therapeutics on the South Side of Pittsburgh and is doing well. He's buying a new house. John Uselman (5/98) bought a house a few months ago in Baldwin, just south of Pittsburgh. He's still working at Fiserv. Tony (5/98) and Bonnie (Slowik) (5/96) Matous now have a son Benjamin, who (says Justin) looks an awful lot like Tony and the resemblance is almost scary. They live in Ligonier these days and Bonnie is training to run a marathon in Harrisburg in the fall. Justin runs into Lance Tost (12/95) and his wife, Karen, every now and then, since they live just a few minutes away from him. Lance is at Respironics; and he seems to like it. Michael Pace (12/03) is still working at Raytheon. Justin says there are tons of CompSci grads he's fallen out of contact with and, hopefully, when they read this, they'll get in touch with him. So anybody out there who knows Justin, send him an e-mail! And, I would just like to add, that Justin looks exactly like he always did - only his hair is a little shorter and a little darker. It sure was great seeing you Justin!

Tim Bassett (8/02) is in the Air Force stationed in Grand Forks, NC; and while he's in the Air Force, he's pursuing his Masters and also paying into the G.I. Bill. His grand plan is at the end of his four year enlistment to have his master's degree and then start working on a doctorate degree in computer science. Good luck, Tim, keep in touch and let us know how it's going.

And, that's all the news I have for now. Please write and tell me what Santa brings you (or anything else you'd like to tell me). Have a good winter.

News From Tompkins Lab

Joseph Shyrock

The holidays are near and that brings the end of the semester. This semester has been overall an uneventful one, lacking any major undertakings. Instead, most of the time has been dedicated to finishing up old business and making future plans.

The college SMS server has arrived and the setup is nearly completed. We hope that this will allow us to maintain and manage our infrastructure better. Between the fall and spring breaks, we are also going to be updating some of the servers. The university is going to be migrating towards Windows Server 2003. This should be a much easier migration from the NT 4.0 environment that we were in.

Lastly, the most significant undertaking this semester was rolling out Windows XP service pack 2. The college labs and most of all the faculty machines have been patched. Luckily in this college, we did not find it a gruesome task, as other colleges had reported it had been. Not that there haven't been some problems, some of the patches to Internet Explorer do not interact will with WebCT. Long-term solutions to these problems have not been found yet.

Hopefully the next time that you hear from me I will have more eventful information, as things progress. I hope that everyone has a good holiday season.

ACM Programming Contest

David Smith

On November 5th, two programming teams from IUP embarked on a trip to Carnegie Mellon University to complete at the 2004 ACM East Central North America Programming Contest. The IDENTIFICATION DIVISION team comprised of Amanda Schiel (from the Mathematics department), Matt Selnekovic, and Eric Pennington did well completing one problem and providing submissions for two other problems. Brent Parker from the Physics department, represented the IUP throws Exception team. Two other members of the IUP throws Exception team were unable to compete due to a tragedy involving a close friend. Nonetheless, Brent completed one problem and a submission for another. Of the more than 100 teams competing, only 7 completed more than three problems.

Administrative problems with the submission system plagued the contest. It was rebooted frequently impacting both teams' ability to complete the problems and reporting inaccurate standings. I heard that it was developed by IBM to show off their robust Java environment. Looks like someone dropped ball with regards to stress testing. Even so, we all had a great time. I look forward to competing at PACISE programming contest this Spring and at ACM next year.

IUP Continues as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education

William W. Oblitey

Information Assurance

IUP continues to upgrade its capacity as a center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE). Last summer, several research initiatives were undertaken, all with student involvement. We redesigned the Cyber Security lab so that it mimics the Internet. The machines were arranged into five islands connected by switches and fortified with firewalls. The separate islands were then made to recognize each other through routers and the entire structure was connected together at a central switch. The computing machines were purchased with the 2001 NSF capacity building grant that the department obtained and the switches, routers, and firewalls were awarded to the department through a Cisco Systems Incorporated award totaling $85,300 in the Summer of 2003.

Last May, IUP Computer Science department hosted a one-week Cisco boot camp conducted by Mr. Bob DuCharme of Cisco systems. Several faculty from the State System of Higher Education attended this cyber security boot camp and we also had a few members from our computer center attending and participating in the discussions that the instructor encouraged.

Summer Workshop

Last August, we conducted another of our now usual cyber security workshops. This one was on network security and it was held during the week of August 2-6. Dr. Ed. Crowley, a Computer Science professor at the University of South Texas who teaches Network Security courses, and Mr. Ken Estes, a Senior Computer Security Systems Engineer who works with the Johnstown MountainTop Technologies were the instructors for this Summer workshop. The workshop was run in a manner that permitted more interaction among the participants. To break the boredom, a trip to Amish country was conducted on Thursday morning, followed by a visit to the Jimmy Stewart museum in the afternoon. The workshop concluded on Friday with the participants sharing some of their hands-on laboratory exercises that they had been using in their security classes.

Student Scholarships

Two of our students, Michael Weissert and Anthony Rocchio, have been awarded Department of Defense (DoD) Information Assurance scholarships. The scholarships cover the students' tuition, books, fees, and also provides a stipend. The students also obtain immediate appointments under the Student Career Experience Program of the DoD. During the semester breaks in their academic studies, these Information Assurance Scholars receive progressive, hands-on experience in Information Security internships. Upon completion of their education, the scholars will receive full-time permanent positions with the Department of Defense. 

Tuesday Night Meetings

The Information Assurance students continue to meet in the IUP Cyber Security Laboratory (Stright, room 107a) to share ideas and to learn from each other. More faculty have begun to participate in these meetings and, sometimes, they also make presentations to the group. Dr. Rose Shumba, Dr. Soundararajan Ezekiel, Dr. Sanwar Ali, and Mr. David Smith have been there to aid with the meetings. Alumni are also welcome; and Mr. Jason Barto has been a regular attending alumnus. He has participated and taken leadership positions at many of our meetings. He also lead the group on a tour around campus and surrounding areas to check on wireless network accessibility. They mapped several location with wireless accessibility. We discovered that most of these site were unprotected. For those alumni reading this, you are invited to your alma mater on Tuesdays from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in Stright 107-A for the Cyber Security meetings. Now and then, we provide pizza and soft drinks to help keep the atmosphere at the meetings more cordial.

Covert Channel Research

We (Oblitey, Ezekiel and Wolfe) submitted a proposal to the National Security Agency (NSA) to perform unclassified research on covert channels. The proposal has been funded; it allows us to study and analyze covert channels and to provide our Information Assurance students an opportunity to participate in the study and gain in-depth knowledge of the subject area. This is a three-year project worth $300,000, with $100,000 released to us each year. We are starting with an exhaustive literature search and we will report on covert storage and timing channels in the form of a paper on the state of the practice. We will then conduct a feasibility study of developing software tools to automate covert channel detection and analysis of timing channels and also develop prototype software based tool to demonstrate analysis and detection capability. We will also apply the tool to real operating system features to demonstrate its effectiveness; and we will propose future directions for research and development. We expect this project to help retain the students in our Information Assurance track. We interviewed nine students who were interested in being part of the research experience and selected three of them with two serving as close alternates but also with full participation in the project. We are very enthusiastic about this award; and we welcome the experience and challenges that the research effort brings with it.

  • 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.