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The Debugger, Spring 2003

In This Issue

From the Chair: Jim Wolfe

Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

News From Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

Introducing Myself: Waleed Farag

Hello! Indiana, Pa.: Rose Shumba

Foundation Report: Jim Wolfe

EDITOR’S NOTES

The images on the cover are clip art from various sources. I added the titles to create a theme that I thought you all could relate to. Perhaps, I was a little hard on the politicians; but my perspective has always been one of the worker (Dilbert) and not one of the pointed-haired boss (even if I am the chair). Here, I'm afraid my generally low opinion of politicians shows through a bit.

"Carol's Corner" is a bit short this time. Not enough of you are keeping in contact with her to provide any more of an update. Hey! You must be doing something out there; why not let your pals from IUP days know about it. Maybe that will encourage them to do the same; and we will be back next time with a larger issue.

Two of the new faculty provide you with an introduction to themselves. In the last issue, you met Soundararajan Ezekiel from India and Leem Shim from Korea. This time, meet Waleed Farag from Egypt and Rose Shumba from Zimbabwe. If you read the department status report ("From the Chair"), you will realize that you will be reading more about all of the new faculty in the future. Despite their short time here, they are already making significant contributions to the department.

This issue also contains a short report regarding the spending of funds which you contribute to the department through the Foundation for IUP. Actually, the plan was to follow that article with our Century Club cutout and a list of this past year's Century Club members. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough space to do that; it will have to wait until the next issue. So, let me say here that the contributions which you make to the department really do help us do things which would otherwise not be possible. As you will see (in "From the Chair"), the standard budget and sources of funding are being strained more and more. The various Computer Science Foundation fund categories support many activities that benefit the students and the department's programs. Thank you.

Jim Wolfe, Editor

From the Chair

Jim Wolfe

It has been a cold winter, but a busy one. Much has occurred since the last issue; I will try to summarize.

If you are living in Pennsylvania, you may be aware that there was a mandate from the SSHE system last year to reduce all degree programs in all of the 14 members of the SSHE system to 120 semester hours. Furthermore, the requirement was that the changes be made for the 2003-04 academic year. At IUP, there has been a frenzy of activity to make this adjustment. On March 14, we finally managed to get the curriculum changes for the Computer Science tracks approved at the College level. This should allow the program to get final approval in time for Fall.

Again, if you are living in Pennsylvania, you are probably aware of the austerity budget that the governor proposed and has been passed by both the state senate and state legislature. This budget means a 5% cut for the SSHE system next year; this is on top of the 3 +% cut for the current year (a feature of last year's budget proposal). Naturally, these cuts are filtering down to the departments across campus. It is now fairly certain that the next faculty member in the department who retires will not be replaced. It may be that the faculty member who retires after that will not be replaced also. Thus, the department is almost certain to shrink in terms of number of faculty in the near future.

Faculty cuts are particularly difficult to deal with as our information assurance program gets into high gear. Several of the new faculty have already become involved in this program - Rose Shumba is currently teaching the Cybersecurity Basics course; and Waleed Farag and Soundararajan Ezekiel are beginning separate approaches to research into steganography. A couple of teaching/training security initiatives are being investigated which would involve off-campus work - I'll be more specific when these are more certain. Naturally, Bill Oblitey and Mary Micco are continuing to make grant proposals to support the information assurance labs and to get student scholarships.

In what has turned out to be an enormously drawn-out process, the department has become a member of the MSDN Academic Alliance. Membership means that a wide range of development software from Microsoft can be distributed to the students in Computer Science classes and installed in our labs without paying anything more than the membership fee. Of particular interest is the .NET software. We are, at the moment, in the process of setting up the mechanism we will use to distribute the software to students. The membership agreement does require us to keep track of the students to whom we give the software.

By the time I write to you again, we should have the machines in Stright 220, formerly known as the "Classroom of the Future", completely replaced. The funding for this venture comes from one of the information assurance grants we received. Some of the recent graduates may remember that the "Classroom of the Future" has not lived up to its name for some time. With the replacement, we hope to get the room at least up to the present. The 300 MHz Pentium II machines that are in Stright 220 now will be replaced with up-to-date PCs running Windows XP on a LAN that does not connect to the IUP network. This will give us a Windows lab that can be used for the security courses, similar to the Linux lab for security courses which was set up two years ago. Naturally, both of the security labs must be isolated from the university network to avoid inadvertent tampering which could be initiated in these labs. But, the machines in Stright 220 are not just for security labs; they can be used for other courses too, in particular programming courses which use .NET.

The faculty has been very productive in terms of research and papers being sent to conferences. Soundararajan Ezekiel has been leading the way in this area. He has been working with a group of students on various projects related to signal analysis and image analysis. He and the students have produced four papers accepted at international conferences and two papers at regional conferences. This has created opportunities for two students to present papers at international conferences; I'm not sure that we have had any Computer Science students do this before. In addition, Waleed Farag has had a couple of conference papers accepted and has written a chapter of a book. And Rose Shumba has written a paper and a couple grant proposals. Others who have written, presented or are writing conference papers include Tess O'Neil, Mary Micco, and Sanwar Ali.

Well, I told you that we have been busy. I'm sure there will be much more to tell you about in the next issue. That's all for now.

Carol’s Corner

Carol Miller

I hope you've all survived the winter - and what a winter it's been! I, for one, will pass on another one like it. For the second time in all the years I've been at IUP, they actually canceled classes one day. But, the sun is starting to shine now and pretty soon the flowers will start popping through the ground and we'll all start to come alive again. And, you can start thinking about a trip to IUP with your spouse and children.

We had a nice visit from Jim and Nancy Maple a couple weeks ago. It's always nice to see them. They are still living in Bemus Point, NY on Lake Chatauqua. They, too, got lots and lots of snow and cold temperatures. They usually go to Florida in the winter but this year they didn't make it due to Jim having back problems and then congestive heart failure (oh and I forgot, he slipped on the ice, fell and broke his leg on the way to water therapy for his back). But, he's feeling somewhat better now. They also were telling us that Jimmy (5/86) and his wife, Irene, have just purchased ten acres of property in a development near Manassas, VA and plan to build. Hey, with ten acres of land, I would think that when they have the house finished, we'll all be invited down for an open house. Wouldn't you think???

Tom Cunningham occasionally stops in with his granddog, Lillie, and they were in not very long ago. I always enjoy a visit from them, but I think maybe Lillie and I get into too much trouble.

Mario Mueller (12/00) sent an e-mail. Boy has he been a busy boy. After graduation, he found a job in Austria doing embedded programming in C and assembly for a medical device and says one of the perks was he learned some German. When he completed the job in Austria he moved to Colorado Springs, CO for a year at Virtela Communications where he worked in Visual C++ MFC work. And, if that isn't exciting enough, right now he's working for Acres Gaming, Inc. in Las Vegas where he's doing more Visual C++ MFC programming to design and implement managerial software for casinos. Hey Mario, I mentioned to some of the faculty where you are so don't be surprised if half the Computer Science Faculty shows up for a visit. Mario also indicated that he just might be here for Homecoming next October. We'd love to see you Mario and anyone else who would be interested in seeing him, you know where to come! Thanks so much for the update.

Heard through the grapevine from Kirk Anderson (5/87). Kirk is still in State College working for Raytheon. As some of you may remember, Kirk's step-mother teaches for the Math Department; Kirk said he, his wife and their daughters stopped in to visit her over the summer. They didn't stop to see me!! But, someone did ask me who was here with their young daughters, so was that you, Kirk??? Next time you're in the area, stop in to me - 319 Stright!

Talked to Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88) one day. She is now a mother 2 + times over. Samantha was born in 2000, Amanda was born in 2001 and her new baby is expected in the Spring. Congratulations!! Cathy is working at ACS on a DIFNS Team. Cathy also told me her brother Milton Ferguson (5/88) is married (I think we knew that) and has a three year old. He is still working at Sheetz in Altoona.

We were so sorry to hear that Paul Uranker (8/80) passed away last fall. He had been fighting a battle with skin cancer for some time. He worked at Mobay Chemical in Pittsburgh. He leaves behind a wife and two teenage daughters. Our condolences go out to Paul's family.

In December, I made a trip to Port Matilda, PA, first to Lisa (Dillon) (12/93) and Tony (5/92) Boslett's house. It was my first visit to their home; it's such a nice house in a nice area in the woods; and I was so impressed - then I found out they're considering a move to a bigger house. I hope they can find one in the woods like this one (how can I do that, Lisa?). For those of you wondering, Lisa told me Tony doesn't want to live in the woods because of all the leaf clean-up, etc. that goes with it. Well, Tony, don't bother cleaning up the leaves - they'll be there next year. I always say it's good for the soil to leave them on the ground through the winter. Lisa has been traveling to England at least once a month to supervise a project Raytheon is working on. But, aside from all this, the real purpose of my visit to State College was to see Ron & Janie (Pike) Kustaborder's (5/92) daughter, Amber, dance in The Nutcracker, so I drove up to Lisa's and Lisa and I then drove over to the play. Amber did a fabulous job!! We were all so proud of her. Afterwards, I went to Janie and Ron's home and played with the rest of the family for a bit. It was such a nice visit. Thank you Janie and Ron for inviting me; thank you, Lisa for inviting me to your house beforehand. Janie and Ron also live in Port Matilda not very far from Lisa and Tony. Actually, Janie tells me they actually live in Stormstown, but their address is Port Matilda.

Now, let's see if I can remember who we got Christmas cards from:

Yiming Sun (5/01) sent very nice greetings; Valerie Bonito (12/93); Jason (12/95) and Jennifer Livingston sent greetings along with a picture of Emma and Sean kissing under the mistletoe (that picture was so cute I've been carrying it around and showing it off); Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92) also sent greetings and a picture of Amber, Heather and Ryan sitting in front of the fireplace; and I've been carrying that one around with me showing it off, too. Mark (5/83) & Bev (Green) (5/85) Landry sent a picture of Justin and Ryan. Justin still looks like his mother; but I think Ryan is changing. I'm not sure who he looks like, now. I haven't seen Mark and Bev for so long, I forget what Mark looks like (get the hint?); also received greetings from Mike (5/87) and Mary Gutzat and Peggy Mogush (5/87). Did I forget anyone?

Mike Lancaster (5/02) sent a really nice e-mail. He's now been working as a Web Design Consultant at Infinity Technology Services in Monroeville . He landed the job two weeks after graduation. He's working full time for their client Equitable Resources in downtown Pittsburgh, near Oxford Center. That contract was slated to expire on January 31st; and he had another job already lined up for the following Monday with Equitable Production (a spin-off company of Equitable Resources) where he will be working as a contract-to-hire for about a month there and then should become a full time employee. Mike mentions (as do so many of you) that the courses that he's found most helpful have been the database course, the Internship, the Visual Basic course, and the software engineering course. While a student, Mike worked with .asp, for the SDC , Software Development Center, which, I think, you read about in an earlier issue of The Debugger. He found that to be very helpful since he is using .asp heavily along with SQL Server to develop an application to track all gas leaks from birth to closure. Mike built the Leak Management System from the ground up and it went into production within the company on the first of the year. Mike designed the entire database that powers it as well, and pats the back of the Database course for making his experiences there as smooth as possible. Mike, we all appreciate all the accolades you give the department on your education. When we hear all these good things, it makes the department feel like it's accomplishing it's goal. Thanks, Mike!! We really do appreciate the information and the wisdom you passed along. Please keep us posted on how things are going for you.

Tim Ferro (12/97) has a new job. He's no longer working down in the Chicago loop. Citadel (where Tim had been employed) had a major layoff in January of last year and Tim turned out to be one of the victims. He spent a few months on severance and was then hired by another Hedge Fund, Ritchie Capital Management, LLC, in May. Tim says networking was a big part of his landing the job since Citadel's former CTO, who Tim had met a few times, jumped to Ritchie earlier and had a part in setting up the interview. Tim likes it because it's a smaller group and a bit less stressful; and he works directly with sharp people on all fronts. He also has much more accountability, responsibility, and opportunity; and, although Tim says he never pictured himself in the financial industry, he's found himself with a fantastic opportunity and experience. Not to mention that his work is 15 minutes from home and he can drop the kids off at school in the morning and go pick them up if one of them gets sick during the day. And, speaking of the kids, they are doing very well, getting mostly A's and placing in the 90s on their standardized tests. Haley's in fourth grade now and Reid is in third and both have been identified as gifted. In addition to school, Haley had a piece of artwork displayed in the city-wide youth art exhibit which is an annual exhibit of work from students K-12 across three districts. (Congratulations to Haley - that's a very nice accomplishment.) Tim's whole family was at his place over the holidays and they had a great time. They also spent Thanksgiving in Arizona for a family reunion. We hope you'll stop in and visit when you're in the area, Tim.

Jason McCombie (5/98) is still a happily married man and living in Altoona. He and Dawn have been married for two and a half years now. Seems like yesterday! They bought a nice house in the Lyswan area (which is right near the mall and Jason says it's near everything else, too). Jason is still working for M&T as a lead developer and hopefully got a promotion to senior analyst in February. Hope you got it Jason, let me know! His latest project had just gone into production and was going great. The bank previously bought a workflow application which turned out to be not so stable, so Jason rewrote it; they're using it; and everyone loves it. Dawn is doing well too. She graduated from the Computer Learning Network as the valedictorian of her Web Master class last July. In addition to doing websites on the side, she accepted a position as the administrative assistant of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra. She works a six hour day which allows her time to do the websites. They don't have any plans for babies yet; but in a few years, it's definitley going to be on the drawing board. Thanks so much, Jason, for the update. I forgot to ask about the music, so keep that in mind for the next update!

Congratulations to Joe Burns (5/92) and Siu Peng Chan on the birth of their son, Perceville James Burns, on December 11. He weighed 5 pounds and 10 ounces and was 19 inches long. All are doing great. If you want to take a look at him go to http://www.wpahs.org/agh/cyber/ cyberasp/newestarrivals.asp and click on the Archives and go back to December 11. You'll see him there. He's really cute!! Joe and Peng - bring him up for a visit!

John Jenkins (8/96) "broke his silence". I had a really nice e-mail from him the end of last semester. It was so nice to hear from him. He thought I wouldn't remember him. I ask anybody out there who knew John while he was at IUP if you'll ever forget him!!!! I sure won't. When John graduated, he was hired by IBM as a Software Engineer in Poughkeepsie NY. He began programming IBM's internal programming language PLX (which is a spin off of the old PL/1 language) within their UNIX Systems Services department. After programming for two years he decided to move into testing and began testing the code that he and his co-workers wrote and which he found to be extremely rewarding. He resigned from IBM after five years of service, and then partnered with a friend and they started their own consulting firm (which has done very well and is still doing very well in spite of the economy). John now consults in several different technologies (all Macromedia products, all Adobe products, JavaScript, Lingo, ActionScript, Perl, XML, XHTML, C++, Java, etc.). John has discovered the amount of work it takes to run a company, but he says one advantage is the flexible hours which, in turn, has allowed him time to become a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) (now, doesn't that get your imagination going? It did mine and John and I had a little e-mail discussion about it, but I won't get into that). John has also gotten a certification as a Nutrition Specialist (CNS). And, he says not only does being a CPT bring in extra income, it's a lot of fun. Plus (as if all that isn't enough), he is in the process of getting his real estate license and, when he's finished with that, he plans on pursuing more certifications and licenses. (Man, I don't know how he's going to get it all on his business card!) John also told me he and Chris Cunningham stay in touch and then I heard from Chris (see below). And, John also told me Scott McClements (8/98) still works for IBM and they run into one another every so often since John does contract work with IBM in their Education Department. John, I really appreciate you finally getting in touch; and I'm glad to know you're not in jail. And, we're all behaving here; so none of us is in jail either.

And, Chris Cunningham (5/96) gave me this update. He got married September 14 to an IUP alumna, Dawn, who was a Criminology major. She has been working in sales since she graduated and really enjoys it; so she hasn't been looking for a job in the criminology. More power to you, Dawn! Do what you enjoy. Chris is enjoying no longer being single - actually he said things are going quite well, I extrapolated from that. When Chris graduated, he saw an ad for a programming job at USX; he interviewed and was hired on July 1, 1996 and has been there ever since. He's been programming in COBOL, Visual Basic, VB Script, JavaScript and HTML. In March of this year, he switched to a new department where he's the lead programmer on the US Steel Traffic system and is hoping that position will be just as fulfilling. Chris, it was great hearing from you' and don't forget, the alumni breakfast is in October and you're not that far away.

Last time I told you that Matt Yonkoske (5/96) stopped in when he was in the area job hunting. Well, he got a job. Matt didn't provide any information on the job or what he'd be doing (did you get that Matt?); but he and Heather moved to Kittanning where they're renting an apartment until they find a house.

Recently I told you Aaron Volkmann (12/01) was thinking seriously of returning to PA. Well, he's back!! As of the beginning of January, he's working at Information Age Technologies in Jeannette, PA as a Microsoft Net Developer and Network Engineer. He'll be getting his MCSE Certification at their expense. He's living in Latrobe, so we expect to see you every once in awhile, Aaron. Keep us posted on how things are going!!

Also heard through the grapevine from Tim Burns (12/90). Tim has much praise for Charley Shubra who taught Tim in his database and software engineering classes which helped him start Oracle consulting work right out of school from which he eventually built a business. I'm not going to go into the rest of what Tim had to say about Charley Shubra (cause we try not to let him hear that kind of stuff - it goes to his head). But, Tim did give a brief history of his years since IUP. Right out of school, he took a job as a consultant, as well as taking on a few other consulting jobs and then went into business with two other men. Their business focused on providing custom systems faster than you could buy an off-the-shelf product and customize it. They billed themselves as UNIX and relational database experts since this was at the time when UNIX workstations were just starting to get popular. Eventually they built a custom system for FlexRx - a large mail-order pharmacy in Pittsburgh. After that Tim wanted to build and sell a software product rather than a service, so they closed that company, and Tim started another company with two other partners where for seven years they sold nothing but mail-order pharmacy systems. They grew from two to forty employees and built the first paperless/image based pharmacy system specifically for mail-service pharmacies. Then the pharmacy industry experienced a shortage of pharmacists; and Tim decided to try to get funding to expand the business into retail pharmacies. He secured funding and hired a CEO; they grew to over 400 people in three years; and they've now signed a deal to sell the company with a closing date in May. At the time of his e-mail, he was sitting in Aruba after just attending a pharmacy conference. Congratulations Tim, you've really done well!! Tim didn't send any personal information; but I'm sure he's just saving that for another e-mail, right?

Our condolences to Dan Burkett (5/86) on the death of his mother. Dan, as many of you remember, is now teaching here at IUP in the Math Department.

To Jennifer (Baldwin) Taylor (5/91) - thanks for the pizza and the catnip. Spike, Gray, Maggie and Ozzie say thanks, too. We'll let everybody wonder about that one!!!

Steve Skripek (8/02) stopped in one day while he was in the area. Steve is working at Lockheed Martin in Philadelphia as a Systems Engineer Associate. He's mainly doing tool support but in a supervisory position and also does scripting in C. Plus, he's doing a lot of on-the-job traveling to neat places like California. He's living in King of Prussia - not too far from work. It was great seeing you, Steve, stop in any time.

Mike Whyte (5/01) stopped in one day. He has officially moved to State College and loves his job with Copper Beech. It's always nice to see you, Mike.

Also got an update (through the grapevine) from Cathy (Fleig) Gruss (12/85). Cathy's main background has been programming on the IBM mini computer AS400 in RPG ILE. While living on Long Island and working in Manhattan, she received her Master in Computer Science at Hofstra University in 1991 and has been supporting mostly financial systems with the latest being in Apices. She really enjoys working on the financial side of the business. For the last four years, she has been working from home supporting Seton Company, a World Wide Leather Manufacturer. Once a month, she travels to their corporate office in Norristown, PA. She loves what she does and especially enjoys working with her associates! I've reported in the past on Cathy's four children which include twin daughters born in 1993. Her boys were born in 1996 and 1998. Now, you know why she likes working from home! I've also reported in previous issues all the activities her kids are involved with and everything that the family does together. It wears me out just reading it!! Hopefully, we'll see you guys in October!

Mike Elder (5/94) sent us the link to his family photo album which includes, along with his girls, Monaca and Lexi, pictures of the new baby, Christopher, who was born in October. My gosh, does that baby look like Mike! And, what a cutie. Mike, you sure have a nice family!!! Congratulations!

I bumped into Shawn Evans (12/02) one day in Eat N Park. Shawn hasn't found a job in the field, yet; but he's still looking. The economy has not been good! Keep in touch, Shawn.

Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy (5/87) sent me a copy of their newsletter with pictures of the kids. It's hard to believe that Olivia is three already, not to mention that the twins (Isabel and Reagan) turned one year old on February 1. Those kids are SO cute. From the look of all the pictures included with Jane's letter, I think the Harnagy clan had a very fun year. They now have an au pair from Germany to help with the kids. They called when they were in town over Christmas; and I missed their call and felt really bad about that since I haven't seen any of their kids yet. However, I just got very surprising news from Jane the other day. They were packing to move to the state of Washington. Bob has gotten an excellent position with a company in Hoquiam; and they think they will try to relocate to a place called Ocean Shores, a peninsula 15 miles south of Hoquiam. Jane said they want to come home to visit for a week around Easter; and hopefully they'll drop by with all the kiddies. That will be fun!

You know, I just got a listing of all alumni and their addresses, etc. within a sixty mile radius of Indiana, and I realized how many of the women's names I don't recognize, hopefully because they've gotten married and changed their name. I hope it isn't because I'm a sexist and only remember the names of the men. At any rate, I have a new campaign going now (not that any of my previous campaigns worked, but here goes). I'd like all you gals out there who have a different name from the one with which you graduated to let me know (unless I already know - but that doesn't mean you still can't contact me). Send me an e-mail and tell me who you are and who you used to be and what you're doing now. I need to know you gals. And, you should all know by now, you aren't supposed to get married without telling me. Of course, that goes for the guys, too. The difference is they don't change their names. Well, usually. Or, if they do, it's because they're hiding from the law. You know, that might make a good survey.

Well, hey gang! That's all the news I have for you this time. Please remember what I said above and hopefully the next "Corner" will be bigger. Talk to you in the summer!

News from Tompkins Lab

Joseph Shyrock

The end of the spring semester is near and that usually brings some changes for the university's computing model. The university is going to active directory starting this August and this means changes to how users log on. This also means the end of Windows NT 4.0 on campus. University users have always had to log on their accounts using an IUPMSD1 or IUPMSD2 account. Users will now be migrated to only one domain, IUPMSD.

On the topic of security, the university is implementing authenticated SMTP security for the university mail system. This will have an implementation deadline during August 2003. One of the motivations for going to an authenticated system is to make everyone accountable for their messages. That is, the new system should make it all but impossible for anyone on campus to effectively spoof e-mail.

The Stright 220 lab is going to get renovated starting this June. The machines will be replaced; and the classroom will become a closed network similar to the security lab in 107A. The classroom will still be used for general classroom activities but will also now be used to teach some cyber security classes.

In closing, I want to announce the addition of two new computer and projection systems installed in Stright 333 and Weyandt 201. We hope to be able to install addition computer and projection systems in addition classroom before the beginning of the Fall 2003 semester.

Have a safe and fun summer!

Introducing Myself

Waleed Farag

First, I would like to thank The Debugger editor, Jim Wolfe, for giving me this chance to write this brief introduction to myself for all computer science students. My name is Waleed E. Farag (I think a number of the current students know this by now) and I am from Egypt. In 1993, I graduated from the Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering (Zagazig University, Egypt) with distinct Honor where I was ranked number one among all of my colleagues. After graduation, I was appointed by the same department as a graduate teaching assistant and continued working there until I came to the United States in 1998.

During my undergraduate study, I was very curious about computers and their working principles. Although this curiosity had been partly satisfied through computer engineering courses I was taking, that was not enough for me. I was spending a considerable amount of time reading by myself about various computer science/engineering topics such as programming languages, databases management systems, operating systems, etc. It was not a surprise at all when I picked my graduation project to be the design and implementation of a cross-assembler for the Z-80 microprocessor (it was still around during that time). The same story happened when I picked my master thesis topic which was a computer related one too. I received my Masters Degree from the same department in 1997 where the basic objective of my thesis was to develop an optimization technique that can decide the optimal neural network structure for a given application.

During the time I spent in my home country after graduation, I taught various computer engineering/science courses including Programming Languages (FORTRAN, BASIC, Assembly of different processors), Logic Circuits Design, Computer Architecture, Digital Computer Systems, & Laboratories (Communications, Electronics, Computer, and Control).

I came to US in 1998 to pursue my Ph.D. at the Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia where I spend four wonderful years living in that very nice area. While being in Virginia, I was involved into many research projects including analyzing the performance of parallel computers, designing and implementing routing algorithms for Mobil Ad Hoc networks, designing and implementing persistence FTP services, and designing distributed database applications. The main project that I spent about three full years working on is called IRI-h for Interactive Remote Instruction-heterogeneous. It is a Java-based synchronous E-learning system to enable active learning over the Internet. It works for both Unix and Windows platforms as well as for heterogeneous network environments. The project has a number of desirable features such as scalability, support for home users, interoperability (using Java), and reliability.

The essence of my Ph.D. dissertation is to propose a number of techniques constituting a fully content-based system for retrieving digital video data. I successfully defended my dissertation in August 2002, two days later; I started my new Job as a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at IUP. That time was very stressful and there was no break at all between two corner stones in my life; but fortunately, things went fine. One factor that helped me much is the support I received from almost every one in the department here at IUP which I really appreciate.

Currently, in addition to my teaching responsibilities, I am continuing my research in content-based retrieval of video data and starting a research initiative in information hiding, in particular steganography (hiding secret messages in innocuous ones). Moreover, I am searching for new techniques to defend Web servers from outside attacks. As a result of these research efforts I had a number of publications ranging from technical reports, international conference papers, journal papers, book chapter, etc. I am also an IEEE member in addition to being a reviewer for a number of International Conferences such as IEEE InfoCom and International Conference of Parallel Processing, etc.

Generally, I like Indiana. It is little bit chilly compared to my home country or even the place that I used to live in Virginia but I started to get accustomed to that. It is a calm small town that provides me the tranquility that I always search for. I am married and my lovely wife, Nervana, is an MD who is currently doing her Ph.D. in IVF (In Vetro Fertilization). We have a precious little baby girl, Jannah, who is the joy of our life.

To conclude, I would like to mention again how positively I feel about being a member of this community and to encourage students to talk to me regarding any issue on their mind. Please stop by my office any time or send an e-mail to farag@iup.edu.

Hello! Indiana, Pa.

Rose Shumba

Greetings! My name is Rose Shumba, I am delighted to be in Indiana. I appreciate Indiana for its scenery and terrain.

I moved to IUP at the beginning of the fall 2002 semester. Before that, I was a professor at Hope College, in Holland, Michigan. I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. I obtained a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Zimbabwe, and an MSc and a PhD in Computer Science from the Manchester and Birmingham Universities, respectively.

Maybe some of you already know that the University of Manchester is renowned for being the cradle of the computer age. The Small-Scale Experimental Machine, known as SSEM, or the "Baby" was designed and built at the University of Manchester, and made its first successful run of a program on June 21, 1948. It was the first machine that had all the components now classically regarded as characteristic of the basic computer. Most importantly it was the first computer that could store not only data but any (short!) user program in electronic memory and process it at electronic speed. From this SSEM a full-sized machine was designed and built, the Manchester Mark 1. A high speed magnetic drum was added to make the first machine with a fast electronic and magnetic two-level store. It in turn was the basis of the first commercially available computer, the Ferranti Mark 1 in February 1951. But, enough about Manchester!

Before coming to the States I was a Professor at the University of Zimbabwe for four years. My research interests are in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Women in Computing, Human Computer Interaction, and Validation and Verification of software systems. During the summer of 2002, I was involved in a Summer Research Program with Hope College, working with students to develop tools to enhance the understanding of Java and C++ programs. A paper on the work done will be presented at the PACISE Conference. I would like to continue work in this area.

During the 2002-03 academic year, I have taught the following courses; Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering and Cybersecurity basics. My professional short term goals are to propose more effective ways of teaching both Cybersecurity Basics, and Software Engineering and to develop and incorporate an HCI (Human Computer Interaction) course into the curriculum.

A more effective way of teaching the Software Engineering will involve:

The development of a new approach to teaching of Software Engineering that is centered on the close integration of tools with methodologies. Instead of learning methodologies as abstract ideas, students will directly benefit from using tools that embody methodologies. So far I have introduced the Rational Rose tool set and a Project Management tool (E-Project). More tools are needed.

The inclusion of the definition and the application of formal methods,

The inclusion of the development of distributed systems, and

The exposure of students to large, robust long-lived programs from the industry. This will involve the establishment of industrial partners; and for this I am looking forward to working with the alumni.

A grant proposal for the project has been written. I will be looking for the funding.

For the Cybersecurity course, I submitted a grant proposal for a project that is aimed at the development of undergraduate curriculum and support materials to form a solid basis of theory and principles for the course. This will be achieved by:

Evaluating the effectiveness of host security tools currently used in the lab and then

Developing associated penetration labs for teaching the course and

Integrating the penetration labs and the Cybersecurity theories and principles.

The importance of an HCI course should never be underestimated. It is a known fact that all organizations and software development teams place a high premium on end-user satisfaction and productivity, and therefore on application usability. The teaching of HCI is very necessary for our students since knowledge and skills acquired from this course will help organizations reduce a lot of the uncertainties about users, tasks and work environment at the start of a development projects. I will soon be attending a workshop, organized by SIGSCE, on the incorporation of HCI courses into the computer science curriculum.

I look forward to working with you all!

Foundation Report

Jim Wolfe

I thought it was time that I gave you an update on what we have been doing with the money you give us. This is not a detailed accounting; but it should give you an idea of what has been happening. Over the past year, your dollars have been spent to support each of the listed events.

Student Activities
Internship presentations
Student presentations at conferences
Student Advisory Board meeting
Computer Science Club meetings
Programming Team activities
Field trip to Super computer center
Recognition awards for various courses

Scholarships
Five $1000 scholarships for freshmen
Howard E. Tompkins Scholarship

Hardware and Software
MSDN Academic Alliance membership
(Note: Currently, we are trying to accumulate sufficient funds to replace all machines in the Tompkins Lab. It makes mores sense to have consistent machines in the lab, rather than try to replace them one at a time.)

General
Corporate Advisory Board meeting
Faculty workshops and conferences
The Debugger publication
Discipline-relate periodicals

Considering that Dave Schoentag (5/82) presented a challenge to those of you in the class of 1982 regarding the Tompkins Scholarship in the last issue of The Debugger, I should probably give you the update which I promised about that effort. The good news is that since Dave's challenge $382 has been contributed to the Tompkins Scholarship fund. The bad news is that the contributors were not from the class of 1982. By the way, the Tompkins Scholarship award winner for 2003-04 will be Selina Aggudey.

  • Computer Science Department
  • Stright Hall, Room 319
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  • Phone: 724-357-2524
  • Fax: 724-357-2724
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