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The Debugger, Fall 2003

In This Issue

From the Chair: Jim Wolfe

Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

News from Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

Programming Teams’ Success

Pictures from Homecoming Breakfast

EDITOR’S NOTES

I'm hoping that no one from Microsoft sees the cover of this issue. They might think that I am making fun of their products and become upset. That is not the case. It just seems to me that with the enormous impact of viruses/worms like Blaster and SoBig that the world could use a better debugger, one that can handle the kind of programming problems that are a part of the 21st century. I'm sure Microsoft or some other company will have no trouble making the menu entries work as advertised.

Part of Carol's Corner this time is special. Carol received a detailed update from Mark Minser on all of the IUP Computer Science alumni who work at Raytheon in State College. That is where Mark works too. So, Carol gave Mark his own little section of the corner where he reports on more alumni than I knew worked there. I'm sure Carol would be happy to provide the same space if any of our other alumni want to send in a report about IUP co-workers where they work.

The only other unusual element of this issue is the inclusion of pictures from the Homecoming Breakfast. Many of them are candid shots, taken during the many conversations taking place at the breakfast. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of each of the alumni who came to the breakfast; some were present for only a few minutes. Actually, Mark Minser is one that I didn't get a picture of. But, you may recognize a few faces.

Finally, a sad note. Carol tells you in her article about the passing of Dave Schoentag. You may remember that just last year we published his challenge to his former classmates (from 1982) to make contributions to the Howard Tompkins Scholarship. Dave has been real friend to the Computer Science Department, frequently calling Carol and giving to us very generously over the years. He had worked for IBM for the past 20 years; he was only 43 years and will be missed by all of us.

Jim Wolfe
Editor

From the Chair

Jim Wolfe

Fall 2003 has been a rather unremarkable semester, at least as far as I can tell. I have to admit though that only a true catastrophe or an amazing stroke of luck could have caught my attention this semester. I have been so profoundly busy with the classes that I am teaching; it has been a very good thing that much of the time Carol keeps the department office running without me. I have had to put most administration on cruise control in order to deal with my teaching. [By the way, I have no one to blame for this other than me. I talked myself into taking on three courses, two of which I had never taught before and the third undergoing a significant revision.]

But enough about me.

We were happy to see the alumni who came back to visit us at the Homecoming Breakfast. Naturally, Carol has the whole story in her article. Several of the alumni made remarks along the lines that we hear more and more often these days, "The faculty sure are getting gray." (They really mean old.) "A lot of the faculty I knew are no longer here." "Who are all of these new folks?"

What can I say? Time passes. Things change. Nevertheless, in many ways (purpose, approach, what we regard as important for our product - the graduates) the department remains the same as it has been for years. There has just been a transition in who is delivering the instruction. This transition will continue through the coming years, sometimes at a rapid pace, sometimes more slowly. Over the past year, you could read about four new faculty who have joined us. Many of you don't know them; but they will be the ones that the current students remember in years to come.

The department is currently searching for a new faculty member to take John Cross' position, now that he has retired. We have hired temporary faculty to fill in during the meantime. In case you didn't realize it, we are not allowed to fill Gary Buterbaugh's position. As part of a cost savings plan, we had to give that up. As a consequence, the faculty is now permanently one person smaller. We have advertised Cross' position and have a bunch of applicants already; interviews are early next year. We hope to have someone new onboard for next Fall.

Another continuing issue that needs to be dealt with (through the Admissions Office) is the downturn that we have noted for the last two years in terms of freshmen entering the Computer Science major. I'm sure that the lingering problems of the economy have had a significant effect, as have the changes in immigration policies since September 2001. Certainly, the job market in the computer field has been much affected - .com crash, poor economy, outsourcing jobs to overseas. But, as I noted earlier, those of us in the baby-boom generation are soon in need of being replaced. It doesn't seem likely to me that the US government would be satisfied with businesses relegating all of their IT work to people in other countries (creating huge dependence on foreign workers). Some one here is needed to pick up the slack created through retirements, as well as develop the computer applications needed in the future. So far, this sort of logic has not occurred to high school guidance counselors, potential IUP students, or their parents. It has been difficult to attract new students to our programs, even to the high-profile Information Assurance track. I will describe more of what we are doing about this in the Spring issue.

I'll stop there for this issue. I hope each of you and your families has a very Happy Holiday this year. 

Carol’s Corner

Carol Miller

Hi Everyone

I hope you're having a great Fall and I hope Winter is kind to you. I know that winter will be kind to those of you who live in the "good" climate; and I hope those of you who live up north also have a kind winter (but mostly those in Indiana, PA).

There's not a lot happening here right now. The semester is starting to wind down, registration for Spring is almost over and we're just kind of relaxing a bit - well some of us are. I'm looking forward to the break during the holidays. But, here's some news about you -

We missed seeing Jim Butler (8/88). He stopped by the day he brought his son, Adam, to IUP to begin his freshman year as a Communications Media major. Really sorry, Jim, it would have been so nice to see you, but I'm at least glad to know you made it to church that day. Just kidding!! Actually, I think you were here on a Saturday. (In case everyone is wondering what I'm talking about, Jim left a note under the door and it was written on a church bulletin.) Hopefully, we'll get to see Jim every once in a while since Adam is now here. Thanks for stopping!!

Our congratulations to Tony Popp (12/98) and his wife, Karen, on the birth of their baby girl, Victoria. Tony has also changed jobs since we've talked to him. He's now with Concurrent Technologies in Johnstown. Concurrent Technologies has been hiring our grads right and left and we thank them for that. Tony was also here for the alumni breakfast on Homecoming. He didn't bring Karen and Victoria; but I did make him promise to bring them around one of these times. He also sent pictures. Oh my, you should see her. She's a beautiful little girl. I can't wait to see her in person.

During the intern presentations this fall, I had a visit from Bob Badger (5/86) who came to support our current intern at AK Steel. Bob looks exactly the same as he did as a student. He is based in Butler, but is the Manager of Information Technology for the entire company. He supports all positions within the company. Bob has taken an intern for the past several years and they all seem to be very happy there. Some of them have been invited to stay permanently (and did) after their internship. He has been married to Melinda (who was an IUP accounting major) for sixteen years; and they have a seven year old son, Matthew, who is an avid hockey player. Bob, I'm really glad you stopped in. It was so nice seeing you and please stop in again.

Kelly Parrish (5/90) has begun graduate school. She's going to Boston University and is studying Educational Technology. She left her job at 170 Systems and is living in Brookline. Good luck to you, Kelly, keep us posted on how you're doing.

Shawn Evans (12/02) was recently hired by Concurrent Technologies in Johnstown and was eagerly looking forward to his start time. Until now, Shawn has been working for a travel agency developing their web pages and as a programmer. He is working as an independent contractor and is the sole programmer which he says is nice; but he has no back up or other input. The travel agency's primary source of business is via schools and band trips. Another aspect to the business is to help schools do fund-raising to generate revenue for their trips. I asked Shawn if he gets discounts for his own trips; and he said so far he hadn't made it any further than his desk. Oh well!! Hey Shawn, keep me posted on how the new job is going.

Our condolences to Roland Anodide (12/02) on the recent death of his mother. We are all very sorry, Roland.

And our condolences also to the family of Dave Schoentag (5/82). Dave's brother, Bill (5/83), called me on October 14 and gave me the sad news that Dave had fallen and sustained head injuries the previous Saturday and died from complications of diabetes. We were so sorry to hear the news and sympathize with Bill and his family. It always made my day when Dave gave me a call and we're sure going to miss him.

Brian Pearson (12/93) sent me an e-mail. We hadn't heard from him in quite some time. Brian's big news is that he's getting married on December 6. Her name is Kimber Lee Farruggio and she is from the same area where Brian lives. She's also an older woman - by one year - and has a degree in psychology from LaSalle. And, Brian did say, in case I was wondering (and I was), the psychology degree has come in quite handy in dealing with him. Right now she works for her family business but did some work in drug and addiction counseling for a hospital for many years after finishing school. They're getting married in a beautiful old church in Trenton,NJ (Sacred Heart - so any of you alumni who know where that is might want to drive over to help Brian celebrate his marriage - but don't tell him I sent you). They bought a house in May and are pretty settled now. And, Brian says in the years to come, we can expect to hear more good news, but not for awhile. So, overall, things are going really well; he's still working for Princeton Financial Systems where, in February, he will have been for ten years. He runs the system architecture group and does a lot of the technical sales presentations (which would be like putting Brian in front of a camera) So, Brian gets to stay technical and at the same time gets to interact with clients and vendors. Brian said his job is very satisfying. And, he had just gotten back from vacation with Kim and her family. They were on a cruise from New York to Florida and the Bahamas along with Kim's parents, sisters and brother-in-law. Congratulations, Brian, on all your good fortune. Please keep me posted on how things are going and when we can expect more news.

I had the nicest e-mail from Janet (DeForest) Auerbach (5/84) expressing her sadness on the retirement of John Cross and Gary Buterbaugh (not sad for them, but sad for the department and for the alumni who no longer recognize the department they've known for years). Janet said she has such clear memories of her professors; and she shared a couple stories of different things that happened to her while she was a student. Janet, I'm not printing everything you wrote, but I did share the Charley Shubra story with Charley, and we both laughed so hard we were rolling on the floor. He even admitted that he hasn't always been the nice guy he is now. (I even wrote that with a straight face.) Janet told me how she used to go out Monday nights to Wolfendale's to hear Bob Sadonis play guitar and came to Gary Buterbaugh's class on Tuesday morning "not in the best shape". Jan also sent along her fond memories of Howard Tompkins who recommended her for her internship at DuPont which, in turn, had a profound influence on the rest of her life. While there, she met her husband 17 years ago; and they have two bright beautiful children, Emily, 10; and Ben, 7. Janet has been working for McNeil Labs outside Philadelphia for the past 15 years in various roles from systems analyst to manager to director. Prior to that she worked at ALCOA in Pittsburgh as a COBOL/IMS/CICS programmer and systems analyst. Janet, it was so great to hear from you. Stop in sometime when you're in the area. It's been ages since we've seen you.

And, BOB SADONIS (5/85)!!! Janet asked if I ever hear from you, so don't you think it's time??? I think the last time you wrote, it was actually on paper.

I heard from Jenny (Culp) Brendlinger (5/87). Thanks for the compliments on The Debugger, Jenny! And, as I said in my e-mail to you, I do remember you. Jenny was writing for a couple reasons! (But, don't think anybody has to have a reason before they should write.) Jenny is living in the Cramer area (near Johnstown) and has been working at Reliant Energy (formerly Sithe Energies and Penelec/GPU) for sixteen years, presently as a Senior Programmer/Analyst. However, in October she lost her job when Reliant moved their headquarters from Johnstown to Pittsburgh; and Jenny doesn't want to relocate. So if anyone knows of any job openings in or around Johnstown, let me know, so I can let Jenny know. They also have a trip to Disney planned for November with her only daughter, Melissa, who just started Kindergarten. It sounds like a great trip, Jenny, I hope you have loads of fun. Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes open for jobs for you and you keep me posted.

Sara Stroman (5/03) started a job at the Naval Depot in Mechanicsburg, PA. The job had several good points - it was in the vicinity of where she wants to be, the pay was good and she'd be a federal employee; however, it also had a bad point - it was a two-year internship-to-hire position and if they should like her they would hire her; but, if not, they could fire her at any time. But, it WAS an offer and Sara accepted. AND, three days later got an offer from IMS Health where she had two previous interviews. IMS is in Plymouth Meeting where she really wanted to work; and it was a very good offer. So she left the Naval Depot and is now working for IMS. Her position at IMS is statistical programmer. Sara hadn't yet started at IMS when I heard from her; but she was really looking forward to getting started and was looking for an apartment and furniture and all the domesticity that goes along with it. Congratulations, Sara, I'm glad you found something and please let me know how it's going.

Chris Wastchak (5/03) started a job on the development team at Allegheny Energy in Monroeville. So far, he likes it pretty well, he gets into different things every day and he really likes the people there. Prior to that, he was working in Punxsutawney at Community Action on a temporary, part-time, as-needed basis while he was looking for something a bit more permanent. Congratulations, Chris, I hope you'll like it at Allegheny Energy. Be sure to keep in touch.

Had a nice e-mail from Joe Karolchick (8/87). Hadn't heard from Joe for quite awhile - in fact, Joe said he thought it was maybe two jobs ago. Joe said when he looks at the IUP Computer Science website today, everybody he knows has gray hair (except me, of course). Joe works for IMPACT Science and Technology, Inc., a small business founded in 1995. They have around 70 employees located in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Maryland. Joe was recently promoted to Senior Principal Engineer and does a lot of the odd jobs in the office that other people don't like to do. He's gotten to write several proposals as a part of teams with other companies which was his first experience doing business development work, and writing that type of proposal. Last year, he graduated from Johns Hopkins with a master's degree in Technical Management and would like to become more of a leader in the company. He's found that within a small company that means being flexible enough to wear many hats - developer, planner, manager - writing code, recruiting people, and doing business development all at once. His graduation present was a nine-week vacation, part of which he spent touring the West (Colorado, Utah, and Arizona) and visiting a lot of National Parks. Joe lives west of Baltimore in a house that he says he is continuously rebuilding, thus giving him a nice hobby that helps him unwind. He also has a pretty extensive garden that expands every year. Last year, he worked with his parents to build a house for them about ten miles from Joe's place. Joe said it was not only an interesting experience to build a new place but also a challenge to help them sort out 45 years of living in their house in PA. But he said it was a good move for them and also for him to have family in the nearby. Another reason Joe wrote was that his company was hiring and, of course, Joe thought of his alma mater for recruiting purposes. I did get the word out, Joe, not sure if you heard from any of them - most of those I knew who were looking hadn't found anything because they wanted to stay in a certain area.

Milt Ferguson (8/96) stopped in one day he was in town. Actually, Milt is originally from this area; but had been living in Altoona after taking a job with Sheetz after graduation. He began his work with them in 1997 and is currently an analyst. They're getting ready to release a new payroll system, so Milt was tearing his hair out. Milt is now living near Coral/Graceton. His wife, Lori, has returned to school here at IUP as a Communications Media major. Milt dated Lori while he was a student; they married in November of 1997 and have a little boy named Ian who will be four on December 2. Ian is in daycare here on the IUP campus. Meanwhile, Milt is driving back and forth to Altoona every day which he says he doesn't mind since it gives him some down time. Milt and his wife, Lori, were planning to attend the Homecoming breakfast, but Milt didn't get home until 3:00 a.m. so Lori came with another man (Tim Jamison (8/98). Hey, as long as she made it! Milt, we hope you make it next year. I didn't get a chance to talk with Tim, though, so, Tim, if you make it next year, let's talk - or send me e-mail.

And, it was a real coincidence that Milt stopped by since that same week I got e-mail from his sister, Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88). I think last time we heard from Cathy, she was pregnant with her 3rd baby. Well, SHE has arrived. Michele Patricia was born June 25, 2003. She came into the world at 8 pounds 11 ounces and 22 inches long. Cathy has since gone back to work at ACS. And, she sent a picture of the three girls, Samantha 2 + years, Amanda 1 + years and Michele at 2 months. Those girls are just beautiful! Thanks Cathy. I said to Milt that you were so good at keeping in touch. I think he thought that was a dig at him; but it really wasn't. You are good at keeping in touch.

I also didn't talk to Ryan Repinski (5/00) at the Homecoming Breakfast. I don't know why - Ryan, why didn't I talk to you? I think he slipped in while my back was turned and I didn't know he was there and then I got called away by other people. But he had sent me a nice e-mail and told me he and his wife, Trisha, recently bought a house in Pittsburgh - a nice big older home in the Spring Hill section on Pittsburgh's North Side. It's on top of a hill and they have a great view of downtown Pittsburgh from their back deck. Ryan's wife, Trisha, who graduated from IUP with a degree in chemistry, is now in her second year of pharmacy school at the University of Pittsburgh. Ryan is still a Programmer/Analyst at PPG in Pittsburgh.

Jason Agostoni (12/97) and his wife, Jackie, were here for Homecoming. Jason is still at PPG in Pittsburgh and Jackie is still working on her M.D. I'm sure it feels like it's taking forever, Jackie; but it's closer than it was this time last year.

Mark Minser (5/00) came to breakfast with his son, Jacob. Mark is still driving from Armagh to State College every day to work at Raytheon. He says it should only be another couple years until he has a four lane road all the way to work.

Greg Foster (8/87) brought his son, Tyler, to breakfast. Greg is still working here at IUP for Technical Services. I don't know what to tell you about Tyler - you just have to meet him. He is seven and he's an absolute riot. He loves to talk and he's taking Tae Kwon Do lessons; so you can just imagine the good time we had.

T. J. Hall (5/88) brought his girlfriend, Johanna. T.J. is still working at the same job. I think the last time I wrote, T.J. may have been employed by Saber Systems and was working at USAIR in Pittsburgh. Well, Saber Systems was bought out by EDS, so T. J. is now working for EDS and he really loves his job. And, for all of you out there wondering, T.J. hasn't changed a bit.

Donna (Reed) Rosenberger (12/81) stopped by. Donna is now teaching in Monroeville. Last time, we had contact with her, I think she was teaching at Duquesne. This change makes her drive shorter and a little less stressful.

Another alumnus who was at the breakfast was Ed Kuzemchak (5/88). As Ed said, it had been a while since he'd been to an alumni function. After graduation, he went to work at Raytheon in Massachusetts where he joined an in-house compiler team working on the compiler used exclusively by the Patriot Missile program. He left Raytheon to move back to PA to join Tartan Inc., a small CMU startup, building compilers and debuggers for embedded systems. While at Tartan, he finished his MS in Computer Science at Pitt in 1995. Then, Tartan Inc. was acquired by Texas Instruments in 1996, so he worked for TI until recently as the Chief Software Architect for their software development tools. Now, he has left TI to start his own consulting company - Software Design Solutions, Inc. (SDSi) which is focusing on embedded software development and Windows Mobile application development (Pocket PCs and Smartphones). And, not only did Ed come to the breakfast, he has since been up and talked to the Software Engineering class; and they really enjoyed having him; and we enjoyed having him here. I found out that Ed actually lives on the other side of Saltsburg and he's started his new company in his home; but he thinks that's probably going to get old (sorta) fast. On the personal level, Ed has been married to April for 14 years and they have two little girls, Kelly, who is nine, and Maggie, who is six. April has been a stay-at-home mom, but Ed indicated that since the girls are now both in school, she may be interested in getting a different kind of job. (Or maybe she wants to get out from under Ed's company being launched in their house - I'm sure that's not it!) At any rate, it was great seeing you, Ed, and we hope to see you more often in the future.

Mark Minser also sent me updates on the alumni he knows who work at Raytheon. Those updates will follow. I sent them all e-mail and told them that unless I heard from them, I would be printing what Mark told me. I REALLY thought I would hear from ALL of them - anxious to defend themselves; but there were only two curious souls. One was Derek Fairman (5/03) who reminded me he was at the homecoming breakfast but only for a few minutes to say hi. Other than that, he said that due to the fact that he is still relatively new at Raytheon, there isn't too much of an update he can give. He's really settled in now and has become a productive member of his project team which is involved in software development, design analysis and documentation. The project is going well and his work is going great. Everyone says hi to you, too, Derek, and please stop in any time you're around.

The other curious soul was Derricott Morrison (12/01) and he said that what Mark told me was basically true with a few exaggerations. Derricott's version goes like this: "On June 5th of this year I got married on the beautiful beaches of Jamaica. My wife is an education major whom I met at IUP. We are living in State College; and she is substituting and possibly singing in a band while looking for a full time teaching position. I am enjoying working at Raytheon, especially the part where I got to spend a month in Hawaii."

Now, here's what Mark says about the rest of the folks at Raytheon (and these are direct quotes from Mark - so I guess this time it should be called Carol's and Mark's Corner. Just don't shoot the messenger.

James Culp (12/00)
James moved into his new house this year. His wife, Susan, is expecting early next year. I told him that this wouldn't have happened if they'd stayed with the apartment. He just sort of looked at me like I don't know anything about life. (So, Jim, make sure you let me know when the baby comes.)

Derek Fairman (5/03)
What can I say. He made it to the breakfast. And he looks better in Izod than Shubra. (Read more about what Derek says above.)

Michael Johnson (5/01)
Michael and his wife had a baby son in September (I think). They named him Noah Charles. Long name. I'm guessing that they'll get lazy and just shorten it like most parents do. You know. In a couple of years, he'll be pulling the dog's tail and they'll yell "No!" Or he'll be sticking his hand in the cookie jar and they'll just call out "No!" (Well, I have to admit this could actually be a blessing in disguise - it could really help with disciplining if you can kill 2 birds with one stone.)

Mark Long (12/00)
Mark was sent into exile. Someplace called Building Four and Three Quarters. I'm not sure why; but the scuttlebutt around here is that he was caught writing something on the mens' room walls. Something like "George W. should play hockey, not war". Still, we go to lunch together every couple of weeks. Our lunch crowd includes us two Marks, Culp and Derricott, among others. (Hmmmm!!)

Derricott M. Morrison (12/01)
D-Cott got married in Jamaica in July. Her name is Mel (IUP grad). She's a part time school teacher, part time lounge singer, full time cat wrangler. We were all invited to the wedding; but he didn't tell us until after he got back. It was probably for the best.  (Also see above what Derricott says.) (Well, Mark, I guess you could always tell him you shipped the gift to Jamaica and you're really sorry he never got it. I think I'd like to meet Mel. She sounds like a real woman.)

Charles Ruffing (5/00)
Chuck got married to Jennifer in August. They honeymooned in Hawaii. I don't want to say anything bad about Chuck. He could put a major hurt on me. He, D-Cott, Michael, Derek and I are currently on the same project, using Java. (Well, ok, then, I won't say anything bad either.)

James Sassano (12/00)
Got an e-mail from James about a month ago. He was going to be passing through to attend a wedding in Pittsburgh. He works at Raytheon in Tewksbury, MA. I think that he likes it there. At least he's far enough away that I can't guess about what he's up to. (I think I just won't comment at all on this - James - maybe we need to talk.)

Julie Toy (5/00) and Lisa (Dillon) Boslett (12/93)
I had to put these two together, because every time I see one, I see them both. I think that they may be morphing into those conjoined Egyptian twins. And every time I see them they are going shopping. This also seems to coincide with the local paper running stories about how the economy of Centre County is currently overheating and needs to be cooled off somehow. Hmmm. They are on the same project and use Java, I think. (Shopping - did somebody say shopping????? Lisa, does this mean you aren't traveling to England any more. And, yes, I know you and Janie were going to visit; but I was the one who had plans that day. I'm really sorry.)

And speaking of Lisa and Janie coming for a visit, I also heard from Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92) and, even though I didn't get to see them, Janie did give me a rundown on the kids. Amber played soccer which was over October 26th; and Janie said she's getting pretty good and is a good goalie. She's in kindergarten this year at the public school; and, so far, she's enjoying it. Heather is happy to be back at Gymrompers (daycare), even if she has to share the class with Ryan. She's in pre-kindergarten this year; but her favorite teacher of all time just left the center; and she has had to deal with that (and I'm sure her mother had to deal with it, too). Heather decided she wants to learn how to read; so Amber is teaching her. Ryan is basically just happy with whatever and loves to snuggle. He can spell his name, but says it as one syllable and he's been picking up on some of the girls' reading lessons as well, and can spell out loud. Anyone who wants to see some pictures of them, go to: http://users.adelphia.net/~kusty3/photo_gallery.htm

Our congratulations to Dean Oswald (5/83) on getting his MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Dean writes quite a bit of software for aerospace applications.

Paul Liadis (12/99) kept his alma mater in mind when Penn State had an opening in the budget office at Penn State for a programmer. Paul has been working for the University Budget Office of Penn State as a Senior Applications Programmer/Analyst; and he let me know about an opening they had. I did send out the word, Paul, I hope some people contacted you.

Eric Smith (5/99) is looking into starting his MBA at the University of Delaware. He wants to try to take his first course in the Spring 2004. He's hoping to start out slowly since it's been a few years since he has studied; and he has a big project at work (America Bank) where he is in the Strategic Systems Extension (SSE) in Information Security. Eric is usually here for the Homecoming Breakfast, but this year he had a wedding he wanted to attend (actually he had two weddings he wanted to attend but could only attend one of them, so I hope the person he turned down isn't one of our alumni and will find out why he turned down
the invitation).

And, Bridgett Calderone (8/99) is also going to be working on a Masters at the University of Delaware. She and Eric usually travel together to the Homecoming Breakfast so we didn't get to see either one of them this year. Good luck to you both.

Talked to Bob Schlentz (5/84) one day and he promised me an e-mail to update me on what he's been doing. So, Bob, where is it? I'm sure we can expect it for the next issue.

Matt Strausser (5/03) is a System Administrator with BMW right now. Matt stopped in on the Friday before homecoming, but he was in and out of here so fast, I didn't get to talk to him.

Jason Brown (5/03) is investigating graduate schools. He had a promising job offer from the NSA when he graduated and that, unfortunately, fell through, so he thinks that with the economy the way it is right now, this would be a good time to get his graduate degree.

Matt Holbrook (8/02) is working for the State of Pennsylvania in the Office of Information Systems at the Department of Public Welfare where he has recently been promoted to a Database Analyst position; and then will be moving into a database administration position, using Oracle 9. He began as an applications developer primarily using COBOL and SQL on a Unisys Clearpath system as well as using UNIX. Currently, he is doing data modeling and architecture using ERwin.

Word from Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy (5/87) is that they are settling into the Pacific Northwest, splashing in tide pools, making sand castles, and hiking the mountains. And, if you want to take a look, here ya go: www.harnagy.com/pages/277603/index.htm. Thanks Jane and keep those pictures coming!

Frank Miller (5/85) called the other day. He's working as a network engineer at Ohio State University. He promised me he'd give me a complete update on what he's been doing - either that or I told him I would make something up.

Afraid that's all the news I have for you this fall. Please write and tell me how your holidays were - or just tell me how and what you're doing.

News from Tompkins Lab

Joseph Shyrock

The holidays are fast approaching us and that also means the end of the semester is drawing near. During the semester break, lab 320 will have all the machines replaced with new ones. The current lab machine configuration is 666 MHz Pentiums. They are to be replaced with 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 machines with 512 Mb of memory. The current machines will be recycled and used in a networking class that will also be in the Cyber-security lab.

There are also plans for change on the horizon for the Cyber-security lab. The department has received a grant from Cisco which includes routers, hubs and firewalls. The lab is going to be reconfigured so that the Cisco equipment can be incorporated into the current environment so that the students can get hands on experience with the new hardware. Some wireless access points, hubs and routers have also been purchased to give students hands on exposure.

There are plans to install a new video projector in the Cyber-security lab in 107a; currently there is no video projector installed there. The department is also getting additional projectors installed in classrooms as part of the university's plans on installing more multimedia classrooms across the campus. The university is achieving this by a technology fee that is added to the student's tuition bill. The fee also is used to pay for software purchases and some hardware. The classrooms that currently have video projectors are getting new video screens, over the break. The video screens that are currently installed are old and worn.

The department is also considering the purchase of surveillance cameras for Tompkins and the Cyber-security lab. The camera would record the images directly to a university server and store the images on a hard drive and be kept for a few weeks until the hard drive space is needed for new surveillance images. The TSC is currently using this system and are very happy with it. Because of the concentration of equipment in the Tompkins and Cyber-security labs, it seemed like a reasonable measure to take to protect what we have there.  Well that about wraps things up. I hope that you have an enjoyable holiday season, take care.

Programming Teams’ Success

On November 8, IUP sent two programming teams to the ACM East Central Regional contest. 140 teams competed in the East Central Region this year; they were split among four sites (CMU, Ashland, Cincinnati, and Sheridan). The two IUP teams were in a group of 35 teams at Carnegie Mellon University.

This year, the IUP Bears Team (Andrew Grasmeder, Zachary Palmer, and Eric Pennington) and the IUP Indians Team (Geoff Humphreys, Mike Rhoades, and Mike McFail) consisted of mostly veteran team members. Their experience showed. The Bears finished 11th overall and the Indians finished 45th overall. This was the best showing since 1997 when we had a team finish 5th, although there were considerably fewer teams competing then.

The only team to do better than the Bears in the group at CMU was one of the CMU teams; and they beat the Bears by only a few penalty points. In placing as highly as they did, the Bears beat all the teams from Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Case Western Reserve, University of Pittsburgh, Oberlin and many other schools with lesser names. The Bears managed to solve four of the problems in the allotted time; only seven teams solved more. The Indians solved two problems and still managed to beat one or more teams from each of the bigger name schools.

Congratulations go to Andrew, Zach, Eric, Geoff, Mike, Mike, and their coach, Dr. Leem Shim.

Pictures from Homecoming Breakfast

Here are a few pictures. See if you recognize anyone. Key at the end.

Comp Sci Homecoming breakfast 3

Comp Sci Homecoming breakfast1

Comp Sci homecoming pic2

Comp Sci Homecoming breakfast4

First: Tim Jamison

Second: Ed Kuzemchak and Rose Shumba
(In the background: Ray Micco, Mary Micco's husband)
(Further back: Carol, T.J., Johanna, and Tony)

Third: Jackie and Jason Agostoni and Ryan Repinski

Fourth: T.J. Hall and Tony Popp

  • Computer Science Department
  • Stright Hall, Room 319
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2524
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