The Debugger, Fall 2005

  • In This Issue

    From the Chair: Bill Oblitey

    Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

    News from Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

    Brief Autobiography: Dr. Felix George Hamza-Lup

    ACM Programming Contest: David Smith

    Odds and Ends: Jim Wolfe

    Century Club


    In this issue, Carol has a lot to say. Apparently, many of you have been in contact since August. To quote Martha Stewart, "This is a good thing." Not only was there a lot to say about the Homecoming Breakfast, she has reports from all over the place. I'm sorry I missed the breakfast; I got involved in too many things over this semester and it has left me with no free time.

    Bill Oblitey gives you an update on the state of the department and the many research activities that have been going on. I thought he should have given more play to changes of status that occurred over the summer. I am referring to his promotion and that of Sanwar Ali, as well as the awarding of tenure to Tess O'Neil. Bill barely mentions this in his article; but it is a big deal. Both Bill and Sanwar put a lot of effort into getting promoted and it finally paid off.

    We have a new faculty member for you to meet, Felix Hamza-Lup. He wrote a nostalgic, almost daydream-like article that I think you will find interesting. He joined the department in August and, like all of us, has been working non-stop ever since. The department is currently searching to fill two more positions; if we can get to full strength, maybe we all can finally catch up.

    Also in this issue, you get a brief report about the status of the labs from Joe and a run-down of the ACM programming contest from Dave Smith. I also have a few notes at the end, including one about the department's founder, Howard Tompkins, from whom we seldom hear. Howard would probably be pleased that I didn't end that last sentence with a preposition.

    The maze on the front was deliberately made defective. What would you expect for a puzzle in The Debugger?

    Jim Wolfe

    From the Chair

    Bill Oblitey

    I hope this finds you in good health and that you are feeling happy about yourself. If not, write to me and let me know what I can do about it, or better yet, let Carol know what she can do about it. Whether I can do something about your current health and feelings or not, permit me to update you on the current status of the department. Dr. Felix Hamza-Lup, who joined us from the School of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida where he obtained his doctorate degree and served there as a Visiting Assistant Professor, is completing his first semester with us teaching the Foundations course and the Data Structures course.

    It was wonderful to see those familiar faces at homecoming. I'm sure you'll get the details of this in Carol's Corner but I must stress how happy I was to see people that I know and whom I still call friends. I invite you to continue to hold your department in a special place in your heart and to continue to support all of our efforts.

    We are planning to host the 21st Annual Pennsylvania Association for Computer and Information Science Educators (PACISE) Conference in Spring of 2006. Dr. Soundararajan Ezekiel has taken charge of this as the Conference chair with Mr. David Smith serving as the Programming Contest Coordinator and Mrs. Therese O'Neil as the Registration Chair. Dr. Sanwar Ali is the Chair of the Review Committee; and Dr. Gary Buterbaugh has agreed to be the Chair of the Organization Committee. We did not even have to twist his arm.

    We were given the go-ahead to fill two positions. One representing the position vacated by Dr. Mary Micco and the other is a new position to help us meet load and requirements in teaching the soon-to-be-offered Master's Program in Information Assurance. The positions are as advertized on our departmental website If you are qualified for the positions or you happen to know any qualified person(s) for the positions, you may apply or urge the person(s) you know to apply for the position.

    Dr. Rose Shumba was at the SIGSCE 2006 conference in St. Louis, Missouri last February. She had two panel presentations on "Emerging areas of computer science" and "Teaching Hands-on Computer Security"; she was also invited to present her research work on the "Evaluation of Security Tools" at the ACM Special Projects Showcase session of the conference. This research was the result of an ACM Special Projects grant that she received for work in 2004-2005.

    Last June , the Dean of the college, Dr. Eck accompanied Dr. Rose Shumba and Dr. Dennis Giever (Chair of the Criminology Department) to the Ninth Annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) in Atlanta, GA where IUP was certified for CNSS 4011 and 4012. This means that students who complete specified courses in the Information Assurance program will receive these certificates. As I hope you recall, IUP's Information Assurance program is a joint effort between Computer Science and Criminology. Well, this year, two more departments have joined in the efforts. They are the Department of Management Information Systems and Decision Sciences and the Department of Technology Support and Training, both of the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology.

    Faculty who traveled in the Department include Dr. Shumba who went to Abuja, Nigeria last May to attend the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group conference. She presented a paper on "Africa and Information Assurance" and also served on the program committee for the conference. IFIP, which is a non-governmental, non-profit umbrella organization for national societies working in the field of Information Processing, was established in 1960 under the auspices of UNESCO as an aftermath of the first World Computer Congress held in Paris in 1959. Dr. Shumba is a member of IFIP and in July she attended another IFIP World Conference on Computer Education in Cape Town, South Africa where she presented a paper entitled "Gender and Computer Science: A South African Perspective".

    Dr. Ezekiel and I were at the Convention Center in San Diego, California for the 3rd Annual Secure IT Conference on Information Technology and Network Security. We made a 75 minutes presentation on "A Wavelet Approach to Anomaly Intrusion Detection." Our session was well attended and the audience included some of the renowned experts in intrusion detection and they expressed much interest in the novelty of our approach to intrusion detection.

    Dr. Ezekiel and Mr. Smith obtained an Academic Computing Policy Advisory Committee (ACPAC) grant to develop a working robot and experiment with Artificial Intelligence. They have implemented a wireless robot that is computer controlled; and they presented it at the ACPAC Innovation Forum held on October 28, 2005.

    Dr. Shumba received two grants in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 respectively through the Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program. This is a program run by the ACM Computing Research Association on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC). The goal of this program is to increase the numbers of women and minorities who continue on to graduate school in computer science and engineering by providing a positive research experiences for teams of undergraduates. In 2004-2005, she supervised a project on Computer Security Awareness in order to enhance the public's understanding and acceptance of Information Security issues through awareness and education. The project involved investigating on the current computer security practices and techniques in the IUP community. She involved some students in the project and together, they made presentation "Is Your Home Computer Safe" at the College's Science Festival. The students involved in her project are Sara Raffensperger, Louisa Ehinlaiye Ometere, Melissa A Karolewski, and Alicia Coon. A second paper on the project will be presented at the 2006 PACISE conference that IUP will be hosting. Dr. Shumba has also involved three of these students in another project: "Use of HCI Techniques in Evaluating the Usability of Security Software" while the fourth is away on Internship.

    Since this academic year, Dr. Ezekiel has taken over the Information Assurance (IA) Group of IUP as the faculty adviser. The IA group was formed and run by students with diverse majors but a common interest in information assurance. They meet on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:00pm in the Cyber Security Lab. They have for their officers Nick Waynik as President, Anthony Rocchio as Vice-President, and Kati Reiland as Secretary.

    Since last August, IUP has started using its Northpointe campus. It is a state-of-the-art campus that is located immediately off of Route 28 at exit 18. The IUP Campus at Northpointe is a non-residential facility with the primary mission of meeting the workforce-related education needs of Armstrong County and surrounding region in manufacturing technologies, computer-based training, and health-related disciplines. Both credit and non-credit programs are offered with special emphasis on associate degrees, graduate degrees, certifications, and liberal studies courses for the first-year experience for commuter students. [Ed note: The Northpointe campus is a replacement for the previous branch campus at Kittanning.]

    Let me conclude with the latest news of the Department. Mrs. Therese O'Neil was tenured this academic year and Dr. Sanwar Ali and I were promoted to full professor status.

    Carol’s Corner

    Carol Miller

    Hi Everybody! Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas! We had such a warm fall this year I can hardly believe we'll soon be getting ready for Christmas.

    Not much news here in the CompSci Department. We added Dr. Felix Hamza-Lup to our faculty this fall and he's been a very pleasant addition; we're glad to have him. We have also added Mike Bigrigg (5/91) as a temporary faculty. Of course, we'd like to have Mike on a permanent basis and, who knows, we might just get lucky.

    We had a really nice breakfast for alumni on homecoming and were pleased with the turn-out. More on that a little bit later.

    The first (and only) person who told me about his vacation was Mike Gutzat (5/87). He sent me a really nice picture from the Kennedy Space Center and it looked like a lot of fun was being had. Thanks Mike!!! It's always nice to hear from you.

    Had a nice update from Jim Bartek (5/03). When Jim graduated, he began working in Pittsburgh for a start-up company, emsCharts. They developed Coldfusion applications for the emergency services field. Jim said it was a great experience and fun. In April, 2004, he bought a house in Brentwood, PA [south of Pittsburgh]. Eight months after that, he took a job as Website Developer at Robert Morris University where he is still working and bringing in a content management system, student information system; he's working to get out of the Coldfusion rut. On April 1 of this year, he married Angela White. They were married at the Indiana Courthouse. Angela works for Pitt doing tech support over the phone. Interesting side note: Angela is the daughter of Rick White who is IUP's controller, and the niece of Elaine White who is the secretary in the Math Department and also the niece of Marilyn Gleason who is the secretary in Food and Nutrition. Jim also notes that the IUP classes he's used the most are 320 and 441. Jim is also working on his Masters in Information Security and Assurance at Robert Morris University. He's taking his first class now and so far it's going well. We wish you luck, Jim. And, I have let the faculty know that you're interested in getting involved in some activities. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that. Thanks so much for the update, Jim. Please don't wait so long for the next one.

    We have lots of congratulations to hand out this time.

    I mentioned last time that Chris Wastchak (5/03) and Jenny would be parents by the time you got your next Debugger; and they are the proud parents of Charlee Alexis who was born on September 9. She weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces and was 22 inches long. Chris said she's a good baby; he sent me pictures and she's a beautiful baby, too. Sure hope she gets to come visit some day. Meanwhile, Chris was really busy, not only with Charlee, but with trying to get a new release out at work; and he's also helping to move their church and is in charge of the audio and video for the new church. So he's had his hands full and I guess that means he won't be bringing Charlee to IUP for awhile. Go to to take a look at her. Congratulations, Chris!!! Loved the pictures.

    To Tony Popp (12/98) and his wife, Karen, Vivian Elizabeth Popp was born on Saturday, September 17, 2005, weighing 5 lbs. 15 oz. and measuring 17 3/4 inches. Victoria and Tony attended the breakfast on homecoming. Victoria is 2 and I couldn't believe how well she's talking. She is just adorable. She has these tight little blond curls all over her head; and she wasn't a bit shy. Thanks for bringing her, Tony; and congratulations on the birth of Vivian.

    And Justin Elkin (5/03) and his wife had their second little girl, Kaelee Jae Elkin, on September 29th. Her big sister, Kenadee, was just a year old on September 1st.  Justin said everything has been going great so far. Kaelee weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces, and she was 19 3/4" long. She was already up to 8 pounds 8 ounces at her first appointment at the pediatrician. Justin sent a few pictures; she is a cutie with a head full of dark brown hair and Kenadee is a doll. She's another curly headed kid, but her hair looks auburn! Justin is still working for Rosebud Mining Company in Kittanning. Congratulations, Justin and thanks!!! Next year, if you don't have another baby, bring everybody to the alumni breakfast. I accused Tony Popp of having babies to avoid coming to homecoming breakfast, but Justin, I just don't know about you!!

    I also mentioned last time that Tanja (Soltis) (12/01) and Brian Petersen (5/02) had a new baby and I would have details when you got this issue - and I do. They had a little boy, Noah Kenneth, on July 30th. He was two weeks early and weighed 8lbs 5oz and was 20 inches long (I'm sure Tanja was glad he was early). Tanja said it seems like he has always been with them. Tanja is on leave from IUP for awhile - six months Tanja??? and I think she's enjoying it way too much. She was planning on coming back part time but that may have to change to full time. They're taking that one day at a time, but are looking in to daycare just in case. Tanja also told me that Matthew (Matty is the son of Dan Sterrett (12/04) and Tanja's sister, Anna) was about to turn nine months old and is getting really big, crawling everywhere and is starting to stand up on his own. He's into everything and Anna can't take her eyes off of him for a second. Matthew loves Noah too and he tries to pet him. Tanja sent me some pictures, too. They are both as cute as can be. Thanks Tanja. I expect to see you walk in here one day.

    Bob Lackey (8/92) sent me a nice update. Bob's still working for SAIC as a Database Developer. SAIC is going public in the spring and Bob is wishing he had a little more stock. Bob's daughter, Brynn will be four in December and started pre-school in the fall; she just loves it. Bob and his wife are expecting baby #2 in November (and it has maybe even arrived by now so I should be expecting another update). They're waiting for the birth to see if they have a son or another daughter. Bob has also been coaching High School Rugby in the spring for the last four years and is now coaching High School football, including the QB's, runningbacks, kickers and the defensive backs; he's also the Offensive Coordinator for the JV team. Bob says it's a lot of work but it's fun and he's learning a lot from the more experienced coaches. And, since he isn't a teacher, the kids get a kick out of the fact that he's (and, these are his words) a computer geek during the day. Thanks Bob!!! Please keep in touch and let us know when the baby comes.

    Heard from Becky Salter (12/94). Recently I told you she was back in Texas with her daughter, Kiri. She is living in Abilene; her husband, Dan, is finishing a tour of duty elsewhere and is due back in November. They've found a house in the country with an acre of ground and Becky said she's being kept busy getting the house ready and lawn mowed, combined with a full work day and a daughter. That will ease some when Dan gets home. She's also hiring a maid to come in on regular basis to ease some of the burden. They're hoping to be there for at least three years if the Air Force will cooperate. She had time to write me because Kiri was home from day care with a virus of some sort. It was so nice to hear from you Becky, keep in touch!

    Had a nice update from Justin Streiner (5/97). He wasn't able to make it to the breakfast because he had a wedding to attend, but promised to get up for a visit soon and did just that on 10/24, unfortunately, it was "fall break" (which will be a new concept for most of you) and there weren't many people around, but Bill Oblitey and I sure enjoyed his visit. It was nice to see you Justin!! Justin has been working at the University of Pittsburgh for a little over a year, and he reminded me that he's been out of college for over eight years. He says it feels more like six months since he graduated. It feels that way to me, too. Justin has also been doing some consulting work on the side and that's going so well for him that he's considering doing some other short-term work. He also broke down and got a new car. I remember when Justin got his 95 Isuzu, and he said it had served him well, but was getting to the point where every trip to the garage got more expensive, so he got 2005 Toyota Tacoma and has been very happy with it. Justin was also looking at buying a house over the summer but has decided to hold off for a bit and see what happens with the housing market in Pittsburgh (or Taxburgh as Justin calls it). He'd like to stay out of the city and find a place with some land but still have a reasonable commute to work. Justin is also looking forward to ski season since he and a group of the guys he worked with at Stargate go skiing at Seven Springs every Thursday night during the season. He's also still playing in the band, Nebulous and they play about one show every 4-6 weeks. They have a few original songs done and plan to eventually cut a CD (please let me know when it's out so I can pick up a copy). It was great to see you Justin and please stop in anytime.

    Justin also sent news on other computer science grads he stays in touch with: Sloan Seaman (8/96) is still over at Precision Therapeutics on Pittsburgh's South Side and has been busy working on his house in Squirrel Hill. The Tosts (Lance (12/95), Karen, and the kids) in June moved from Pittsburgh to Scranton where Lance had a job offer and Justin hasn't heard from him since. Mark (Doc) Rogaski (12/95) recently left AT&T to go to JP Morgan Chase in New Jersey. He's been married for about two years now and is still actively involved in systems and network geekery of all sorts. John Uselman (5/98) is working at FiServ in downtown Pittsburgh and bought a house in the South Hills about a year ago. He said he hasn't heard from Tony Matous (5/98) for a while, so Tony, you better get busy. Matt Schnierle is still at Eaton out near the Pittsburgh Airport. He and Kate are in the process of buying a place in Cranberry.

    Josh Hankinson (12/03) is working for Diamond Pharmacy Services developing .NET applications right here in little old Indiana. Josh grew up in the area and has elected to stay. He's been with Diamond Pharmacy for a year and a half. Diamond is looking for a .NET developer and, of course, he thought of his alma mater. I tried to get the word out and hopefully succeeded, but in case anyone out there is interested, I'll give you Josh's contact information and if this position is filled, maybe Josh will consider you for a future opening. So here goes: Phone: 724 349-1111, ext. 1027; or 1 800 882-6337, ext. 1027. The fax is 724 349-2604

    Big news from Rene (Morozovich) Karnash (5/01). Rene stopped in to visit me in September, but, wouldn't you just know it, I was at Lake Tahoe for my nephew's wedding, and I missed her. Rene was visiting her sister, Nicole, who is a chemistry major here at IUP. She even had wedding pictures, which is the first of Rene's big news - she got married last December in Latrobe and had her reception in New Stanton. She dated Patrick, her husband, when they were in high school. They went their separate ways after high school, but got together again when they both finished college. Patrick is a physical therapist and works at Nemocolin Woodlands as their Adventure Center Supervisor. Second big news, Rene is no longer working at PPG. She is teaching at the West Virginia Career Institute in Uniontown PA. It's a branch of West Virginia Junior College. She's going to try teaching to see if she likes it, but she still would like to find a part time job in the computer field to fill in the hours. She and Patrick are both thinking about going back to school, Patrick for his PhD in Recreation Therapy and Rene is going to wait and see how she likes teaching before deciding. You go girl!!! Sorry I missed you, Rene, but hopefully I'll be around next time you come for a visit.

    Heard from Kevin Hunter (5/89). Kevin also sent me pictures. He's living on the west coast, San Diego to be exact, and is working at National University in San Diego. For six years, he was employed by PeopleSoft Technical Consulting and worked for three different consulting companies; but when Oracle took over People Soft, he decided to change. Now he's still doing the same type of PeopleSoft development work, plus lives 6 miles from work, gets to sleep in his own bed every night and go to the beach (Blacks Beach) all year long. National University went live with PeopleSoft 8.0 in April of this year. NU will upgrade to the new PeopleSoft/Oracle version when it comes out. The past couple years Kevin has vacationed in London, England and Manchester, England; Granada, Nicaragua, and Sydney and Cairns Australia and even makes it to PA to visit his family at least once a year. He's been volunteering at Mama's Kitchen (an organization that delivers food to people affected by AIDS) every Friday morning for the past two years. Kevin doesn't have a family for me to update you on, but he did send me web sites to check out.

    Dan Douglas (5/03) is currently in Taji, Iraq where he took a job as a network engineer. He's running the entire network of 150 people in his camp. He's doing everything from trouble shooting computer problems to writing code for a work order program. He said working long hours is a little frustrating but he likes it. Another problem he's having is the heat well over 100 degrees during the day. He recently had a chance to go to Germany and saw some castles and other sights, but usually he works twelve hours a day and sleeps most of the rest. Great hearing from you Dan, keep us posted.

    Also heard from John Campos (8/91). He's been working with Concurrent Technologies Corporation in Johnstown since November 1997, most recently as a Senior Systems Engineer. He mainly does Database Design and Development which he says is very challenging and rewarding. He's also working with Dave Diehl (5/88), Bonnie (Slowik) Matous (5/96), Steve Knoll (5/87), Dom Glavach (12/93) and Jim Butler (8/88). The four previous years he had worked for the PA DEP in Harrisburg. John's son, Andrew, is in the eighth grade (I can't believe it). He's very involved in the Boy Scouts and working his way toward Eagle Scout. Thanks John, for the update. We'd love to have you stop in some day and visit.

    Kim (Phillips) Bobik (12/97) gave me a little update and she also gave Jim Wolfe and me a big compliment. (Thanks Kim!!!) Now, for the update - Kim got married in May, 2003. Shea Paul (5/98) was her maid of honor, and John Uselman (5/98) attended the wedding. Kim's still working for Siemens Health Services in Malvern, PA and she supports mainframe and client server applications. Kim says Siemens is still a good company to work for even though it lost some of the family feel it had when it was SMS. Kim is living in Devon, PA; and they are house hunting and finding it difficult to find a house in their price range since the real estate out there is very high. Shea Paul also works for Siemens; she and Kim get together regularly. Thanks Kim!!! Great to hear from you.

    Had an update from Michael Whyte (5/01). I think last time we talked with him, he was working for the Centre Daily Times, State College's local newspaper. He was a systems technician and mostly was involved in end user support for Windows and Macs with various operating systems. In addition, toward the end of his tenure there, he was the main/lead programmer for which was the web version of the printed publication of Penn State's Blue. In April 2005, Mike started working for Penn State as a programmer/analyst in the Office of Research Information Systems. They develop internal software for the tracking of various parts of research proposals, grants and funds.. Mike says things are going well for him. That's great news, Mike, I sure hope it continues for you. Keep in touch.

    Also heard from one of those early alumni I love to hear from. This was from Cathy (Turano) Ingham (5/77). Cathy's was one of the first graduating classes in Computer Science. She said her degree has served her well over the years. Currently, she's Associate Director of Sales & Healthcare at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, PA. She's married to Vern Ingham, also an IUP graduate (1975), as a Business Management major and he is now President and COO of Cryogenic Transportation Inc. in Easton, PA. They have three children, Ryan, 23; Dana, 21; and Lori, 18. Cathy sent a picture, too; and, oh my, but they are a handsome/beautiful family. They are living in Phoenixville, PA. Cathy had both Charley Shubra and Dr. Tompkins for teachers. Cathy, it was so great to hear from you. Please continue to keep in touch.

    Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88) has changed jobs and will update us at a later time; but she did say the kids are doing well and her mom is doing ok since the death of Cathy and Milt's father. We're glad to hear that. I'll be looking forward to getting your update, Cathy!

    Heard from Ryan Bassaro (12/04). He is still at WESCO in Pittsburgh and he has just officially accepted the position of corporate auditor at WESCO International. He'll still be in Pittsburgh and it must be a pretty good position because the end of October he moved into a penthouse apartment on Mt. Washington with an amazing view of the city. Our congratulations to Ryan and thanks for the update. You enjoy!

    I bumped into Melanie Stewart (5/96) one day at Martin's over the lunch hour. Melanie is still working at Gorell Industries here in Indiana. It was great seeing you Melanie, when you get a chance either stop in and give me an update or send me an email.

    Heard from Mike Rudge (5/83) who was planning on coming for Homecoming breakfast with his wife, Celeste, but the weather chased them away and I don't really blame them. It wasn't a very nice day. Mike is still working for IBM in Wexford.

    Also, Eric Kirkpatrick (5/00) was planning on coming with Candee and Olivia but Olivia wasn't feeling well, and they didn't want to bring her out. We were sorry we missed them.

    Those who did attend the breakfast were: Bruce Weinsheimer (12/79) who is still working for the State of PA in Harrisburg. We'll probably not be seeing much of Bruce since he travels over to see his son who is a student here and his son will soon be graduating.

    Mark Minser (5/00) is still at Raytheon, and still commuting from Armagh. Mark put a bug in our ear and Derek Fairman (5/03) would be coming and it was his birthday, so we surprised Derek a bit. It was fun. They are both still working at Raytheon in State College.

    Jason Agostoni (12/97) and Jackie were there. Jackie is now a real doctor. I've been reporting each year on her progress and this year, she is a real doctor. Congratulations, Jackie! Jason is still with PPG and he told us that Jeff Scott (5/90) is no longer with PPG, so Jeff, I think we need to hear from you. Did you retire????

    Micki Hart (5/91) came by. Micki is still working for SungardSCT and she just loves it. She does training and travels wherever they send her. She kept her house here in Indiana and that's her base when she's not off somewhere doing training. Micki's exciting news was that her daughter got married this summer in Los Angeles. She had pictures to show me and it was such a beautiful wedding. When I started working at IUP, Micki was pregnant with Samantha and this is the daughter who got married. Isn't that a scarey thought not Samantha - but, that she hadn't been born when I started here and is now a married lady.

    Ryan Repinski (5/00) was also at breakfast. I didn't talk a lot with Ryan again; but I do know he's still working at PPG.

    Zack Howe (12/96) was not only at the breakfast, he stopped in Friday afternoon and visited with us for awhile. It was really nice to talk with him. Zack is no longer working for T-Mobile. He has gone independent and is working with Teradata in Jacksonville, Florida. He still has his house in Atlanta, though, and plans to return there. Great to see you Zack! How was Salzburg?

    Scott Becker (5/90) and Louise were here. They had Rachel, Steven, Erin and Ryan with them. The kids are getting so big. Rachel is 13 now. Ryan is doing well. You may remember that Ryan was adopted from Haiti and didn't speak any English when he got here, but he's doing fine and Scott and Louise have located all his family members. He had a lot of brothers and sisters (nine I think) and they were trying to find them so he would know where his family is. Always great to see you guys! You're a beautiful family!

    Milt Ferguson (8/96) was here with his wife, Lori, and son, Ian. Milt is still working at Sheetz in Altoona and commuting from Coral/Graceton. Lori is still in school here at IUP, and Ian is five and he's as sharp as a little tack and just as cute, too. Tim Jamison (8/98) got a reminder from Milt and he made it, too. It was so nice to see them!!

    I mentioned earlier that Tony Popp (12/98) brought Victoria and what a doll she is. Not sure if I mentioned that Tony is still at Concurrent Technologies in Johnstown.

    Greg Foster (8/87) and Tyler were here. Greg is still working for the Technical Services Center here at IUP, and Tyler is still a pistol!! He's nine and riding motorcycles now. He's also, doing Tae Kwon Do. Tyler and I had an interesting little chat.

    Mike Rozdilski (12/84) is now working at IUP as the Director of Technology Development for the Research Institute and his office is located in the University Towers. Mike dropped in one day along with Brian Petersen and while they were here, Justin Streiner came, so we had a nice little homecoming.

    Charlie Pauch (12/97) is working as a Support Technician II for The CBORD Group, Inc. in Ithaca, NY. CBORD is a food service software company and they have positions open and if you're interested in changing jobs, take at look at ( There already are two other IUP alumni working there (Jonathan Mowery and Gerald Hess), and Charlie wanted to get the word out to our grads. The HR manager is Bernie Heath ( and Charlie's manager in tech support is Walt Bojan ( and if anybody's interested, they can email (, or call at 607 257 2410.

    I also heard from Tosha (Fadness) Siconolfi (5/96) thanks to Zack Howe who provided her email address along with pictures of Olivia who was born on August 5. You can see her at /do/site/photo?ID=41516 and she is a real doll baby. And, Tosha says Olivia is the most amazing thing that's happened to her and her life has been absolutely wonderful. And, if you visit the website, you'll see where you could vote for her Halloween costume. Well, she ended up being both the princess and the pumpkin because she spit up on the first one, so Tosha had to go for the back-up. Tosha has been out on maternity leave since Olivia was born and was just getting ready to go back to work on November 4. Up until August, Tosha had been working at Citigroup for over 7 years. When she started, it was with Smith Barney, but after all the mergers / acquisitions, she became a Citigroup employee. When she returns from maternity leave, she will be the Chief of Staff for the Head of Technology Global Business Continuity Services. Her boss is responsible for ensuring the recovery of any Citigroup owned technology in the event of an outage/disruption, globally. Tosha's not exactly sure yet what she'll be doing day to day, but it will definitely be more strategic and less 'technical'. Tosha, thanks so much for writing and take care of that baby. Hopefully, one of these days, we'll see you for the homecoming breakfast. Thanks so much for the update Tosha!

    I opened my copy of IUP Magazine and who should be there but, Roy Lampe (5/88) and Julie (Paserba) Lampe (12/87) and Brad Moyer (5/88) celebrating their annual reunion which they had in Hershey this year. I admit to a little twinge of jealousy that I wasn't given the information; but I'll get over it.

    And I got a big, big surprise e-mail from Mindi Lawton, wife of Brian Lawton (5/93). I haven't heard from them for years and was amazed to learn that Briana is now a freshman in high school. Kevin is in 6th grade. Brian and Mindi are doing very well. Brian quit his job this past summer and is now working independently, doing some database work and such. He is also in grad school, taking classes at Loyola University. He is doing well and is helping to coach Bri's Cross County team this year. Mindi has also gone back to school and will be graduating from Towson University in December! She's finishing the education degree she started here at IUP so many years ago. She wants to teach kindergarten or pre-K (and she'll be good at it). Everything is going great for them in Maryland. They bought their dream home last year. A four bedroom home on five acres and with a swimming pool and lots of trees and squirrels!. Mindi said they're very proud of their little piece of "Indiana, PA" in Maryland! Briana runs cross country and does quite a bit of drama; she's playing Sandy in Grease in a couple weeks. Mindi sent a picture and I just couldn't believe that was the same little blonde, curly headed kid that ran around my office. She has a boyfriend, too! Kevin is in Boy Scouts, plays basketball, and loves to be outside with the dogs (they have two Jack Russell Terriers and are getting a chocolate lab at Christmas). Mindi and Brian, it was so great to hear from you. Please keep in touch.

    Josh Lightcap (5/04) is still working for Community Action in Punxsutawney. He did his internship there and has been working there for almost 3 years (in January). He's also thinking about graduate school.

    Another one of our alumni who is doing well for himself is Jim Maple (5/86). Jimmy's company, Trusted Computer Solutions, has signed a patent license agreement with NSA to market NetTop which is a desktop technology developed by the research arm of NSA to address information assurance requirements and stream line the methods intelligence agencies use to manage sensitive data. Congratulations Jimmy!!!! That's great news! We need for you to come up and do a colloquium for us. I know you're busy, but, since you have your pilot's license, you can just hop in one of those planes and be up here in an hour, talk for an hour, have dinner with your sister and nephews and fly back home!!! How does that sound?

    [Ed note: Jimmy Maple is visiting IUP on November 17 and plans to discuss speaking at a colloquium in the near future. Plans are currently to ask him to speak to the senior seminar class and perhaps a security class.]

    Ryan Knepper (12/01) stopped in one day. I also ran into him in the coffee shop beside Pizza House one day. He didn't have Maura with him, but he promised to bring her by again one of these days.

    That's all the good news I have for you this time, but I promise to have more in the spring. Have a good holiday season!

    News From Tompkins Lab

    Joseph Shyrock

    The end of the semester is here and that also means it is the holiday season, so I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday. Nearing the end of the semester things usually pick up and this semester is no different.

    A new acquisition for the department is a DLT backup system. This system is a BenchMark Blade backup system. It has an eight cartridge 320/640 GB capacity, which the department is taking full advantage of. Backups are run three times a week. I would like to do them more frequently, but due to the time that it takes to complete them this is not feasible. We are using Veritas Backup Exec and it has been working very nicely.

    The Stright 220 lab has also been turned into a wireless hands-on lab for the students. This classroom is running by a wireless 802.11a network. Also, it is still autonomous from the rest of the university's network, which enables students to try things that otherwise would be prohibited on the campus network in terms of hacking and computer exploitations.

    Lastly, we are planning on upgrading the Oracle system that is currently used in the databases classes. This system is currently running Windows NT 4.0 and Oracle 8i. We would like to upgrade this up to Windows 2003 and the newest distribution of Oracle to keep the students current with the latest software.

    We are excited to be continually upgrading our technology services, and as always I'll keep everyone posted as more changes occur in the future. Take care.

    Brief Autobiography

    Dr. Felix George Hamza-Lup

    Dear reader of this newsletter and highly respected IUP community, I must confess I would feel honored if you could spare some of your precious time and peruse this article, in which I took the opportunity to introduce myself.

    Belonging by birth and early education to a special geographical area, situated at the crossroads of Western and Oriental cultures and civilizations, I should consider myself a European. My native country is Romania, a country blessed by God with an amazingly beautiful nature, offered by the misty Carpathian Mountains, by the picturesque hills and fields surrounding them, by the unique Danube Delta and the sandy Black Sea coast. My folk and fellow countrymen have always been lofty culture and civilization creators, endowed with kindness and moral and spiritual purity, being worthy of their Roman ancestors and a good example for the future generations. Although I am sometimes overwhelmed by every day life activities, I still find time to nostalgically think of Romania and bring back into my memory the splendor of my homeland; then I can hear the purling of the foamy springs, the rustle of the leaves on the forest paths, the breath of wind gently touching my face and the sounds of the echo joining the mountain peaks.

    I was a lucky child to be born and raised in a family that offered me a sound and spiritually rich background. My parents have been by my side from the moment I was born and throughout my whole youth with their precious support and valuable advice, but they also had the wisdom to let me have my own choice, my own way. From my mother- a teacher of English- I have inherited a gentle, caring soul, a kind heart, the love for everything that is beautiful, be it an art masterpiece or a little flower, and that understanding of and concern for people which so much helped me in my teaching career. From my father- an electronics engineer- I have inherited a certain attraction for figures, mathematics and sciences in general. They have both modeled my character and have both been my role-models in life, turning me into a fighter aware of the fact that, in spite of all hardships and difficulties, one can succeed through hard work and perseverance. And so step by step I have built my career.

    I graduated high school in my native town, Oradea, a city lying in the northwestern part of Romania; then I went on to study computer science at The Technical University of Cluj- Napoca, a city in the heart of Transylvania with an old tradition in the field of high education; I received my Bachelor of Science degree in 1999. I worked for almost a year in the IT industry for a French company in Paris, but after attending a training course at a company in Atlanta, Georgia, I decided to continue my studies. It was to be a lifelong journey, a new quest for knowledge, an opportunity to meet new people, to come into contact with new lifestyles, but above all, a new chance to better understand my own self and assess my potential. I joined the Computer Science Department at The University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando in August 2000. From that moment on, the sunny Orlando with its innumerable glistening lakes, ever green palm trees, cool springs and fascinating theme parks has become a new hometown for me. A year later, in 2001, I was awarded my Master of Science degree in Computer Science and I began to work with a very talented and highly trained group of people doing research and teaching at the School of Optics and at the School of Computer Science, UCF. In the summer of 2004, I was awarded my Ph.D. degree in Computer Science, the utmost reward for these years of hard and assiduous work.

    While at the UCF, my research was focused on developing and enhancing Augmented and Virtual Reality applications and training tools for different domains: medical, entertainment and military. I was involved in Research and Development work with people from different fields: mathematics, physics, biology, psychology, engineering and optics. I have to admit that I enjoyed working in this interdisciplinary environment and I learned that computer science has huge, still unexplored potential applications in all these fields.  Finally, year 2005. Here I am in this fairyland landscape of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by the people of Indiana who impressed me by the way they know how to get straight to my heart, and by the way they give a helping hand when needed.

    I would like to conclude by encouraging students to share with me their ideas, interests and viewpoints regarding computer science or any other discipline. Stop by my office at any time or drop me an e-mail.

    ACM Programming Contest

    David Smith

    IUP joined the ranks of University of Pittsburgh, Kent State, Slippery Rock and 50 other universities in being stumped by the problems of this year's ACM regional programming contest. Even so, Amanda Schiel, Matt Selnekovic, and Soon Hoo are to be commended for their participation in the event. Amanda offered several submissions on a problem involving the successive removal of 4 or more collinear points from a grid size of 10,0002. While her algorithm was correct, it exceeded the execution time limit. Matt and Soon wrestled with problems: a cellular automata on a toroidal surface; a chess defense problem like the 8 queens problem, only the board is 1000 by 1000 squares and includes knights and pawns; and determining the difference in scores in a card game where one player uses a greedy strategy, the other uses an optimal solution, and the size of the deck can be up to 1000 cards!

    The contest was held on November 5 at Ashland University. Ashland did an excellent job in organizing the contest. The teams enjoyed a pizza shin-ding the night before, cooked breakfast before the contest, and boxed lunches. The problem submission and score keeping system executed smoothly. Both the practice and the contest started and ended on schedule. Almost forgot all contestants received got an ACM T-shirt and a CD carrying case.

    Interest in programming contest on the part of our students was low this year. We will undertake steps to stimulate interest during the spring semester as IUP prepares to host this coming year PACISE Programming Contest.

    Odds and Ends

    Jim Wolfe

    Here are a few items that Carol didn't write about or that have happened since she finished her article.

    I received a surprise e-mail from Howard Tompkins at the end of October. None of us had heard anything from him for at least a couple of years. He wrote to congratulate me on surviving being chairperson. Howard still retains his sense of humor as he writes, "At age 83 we [both he and his wife] are slower, have a longer average memory retrieval time, and live on pills. That's not really news."

    I also received an e-mail from Adnan Al-Ghourabi (5/02) who is currently a Senior IT Associate for Business Applications at IHS Inc. He reports that he recently successfully defended his Master's thesis comparing ASP.NET and WebObjects. He also offered to present a colloquium at IUP some time in the Spring.

    A final note about the Masters in Information Assurance. The program continues to make its way through the approval process. It is going a little slower than I had hoped; but it is moving. In early November, the college of NS&M approved the program; Eberly college is also on the verge of approving it.

    Century Club

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

    A pledge of $100 is less than $10 per month. Please consider this opportunity. To join cut off the form in the next column, complete it and commit yourself to giving $100 for 2006. Your gift to the Century Club is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.