Welcome to my first issue of the Debugger as editor. I want to thank Jim Wolfe for his gentle introduction to assembling this publication. I did have fears of being thrown into the deep end of the pool and have lots of students alumni picketing my office.
For the most part the issue is the same Debugger you have grown to know and love. There are the regular features by Bill Oblitey, Department Chair, Carol Miller, the one who does all the work around here, and Joe Shyrock, Lab Manager. There is another installment from Jim Wolfe's column, Your 2 cents. The topic this month is outsourcing.
In this issue, we have information about the department's Corporate Advisory Board by Charles Shubra, and also IUP's Research Institute by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics representative, Rich Hoff. These are things I did not know much about when I was a student here and so I thought the alumni might find these topics interesting.
The front cover shows an image of the new IUP logo.
Hello everyone! We are getting out of the snowy winter months and as such I hope everyone has something to feel happy about. Also, I'm very sure that getting this Debugger issue will cheer you up like all the past issues did. So now, permit me to update you on the current state of affairs in the department. I told you in the last issue of the Debugger that have placed advertisements in some selected journals and on our web site in efforts to attract quality faculty to come and join our team.
Well, things do not seem to be going very well with the search. We received more that 70 application and after conducting a few telephone interviews, we selected four people to campus for more interviews. Two appeared to us as like they will be very good fit to our program but when we extended the invitation to them to come and join us, they turned us down with the explanation that they have accepted other offers from other universities. So, our search is still on and I am still requesting that if you know of someone who qualifies for the position, you should encourage that person to apply.
We are still busy with our quest for the Association Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation. What we have been busy with this semester is the collection of data. The courses being taught in Languages and Systems (LaS) are all involved in the quest for accreditation. Every faculty teaching a course in LaS saves copies of students assignments, quizzes and exams, student responses (after blackening out the names), and a list of all topics discussed in the course. The accreditation efforts requires also that faculty attend conferences and workshops. This semester three faculty members (Dave Smith, Rose Shumba, and Sanwar Ali) attended the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (ACM- SIGCSE) Conference in Covington, Kentucky from March 7 through March 10, 2007. The department also sponsored attendance for five students from the Computer Science Club to attend the SIGCSE Conference. Faculty members (Michael Bigrigg, Raj Ezekiel, Waleed Farag, Charley Shubra, Dave Smith, and Jim Wolfe) attended the 2007 Annual Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators' (PACISE) Conference on March 23 and 24, 2007 at Lock Haven University, Lock Haven Pennsylvania. Seven students we also sponsored for this event.
Our colloquium series is very active and I want to invite you to let me (email@example.com) or Dr. Waleed Farag (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is in charge of the series know if you are interested in coming over to address us on some aspect of a computer topic that you are involved in with your company. We delight in our alumni coming over to address us at our colloquium series.
This semester we have had three presentations. Of the three presentations, I proudly stress the one by Todd Orange "An Introduction to Design Patterns in Software" on February 28, 2007. Todd is an alumnus who is currently the Lead Software Engineer at Mobilvox, Inc. Todd's presentation was well accepted by the students and faculty. I once again invite all of you to come and be a part of our colloquium series.
On March 29, the members of the Corporate Advisory Board we here to check up on our reaction to their action items that they presented to us last semester. We informed them of the progress being made in our curriculum, our plans for recruitment and retention of students, and our attempts at strengthening the Information Assurance track for our majors. Concerning the Information Assurance program, it seems that the Master's program in Information Assurance has taken another negative turn. Apparently, our administration is very concerned about how well the program can attract enough students so it can run without losing money.
It is my delight to let you know that this Summer, Dr. Ezekiel has been selected as a Faculty Fellow for the 2007 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (SFFP) at the AFRL/SN Wright Patterson AF Base, Ohio. He will be working on the program "Image Registration and Geo-Location" for 12 weeks. This is part of the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program.
Well, stay in touch. If you feel like sending e-mail to, I'll appreciate that. Even if you feel you don't have much to say, you can still say hello and it will be appreciated.
Hi to Everyone and Welcome to Spring . As I write this, it is 25 degrees and snowing in Indiana. Some Spring! Hopefully this is our onion snow and I also hope it's the last of the snow and cold temperatures. And, I hope you all had a nice holiday and got a little rest and were prepared to get back to work in the New Year.
I think everyone here had a good holiday. Some of us went to warmer climates, like Puerto Rico, and others of us stayed in PA where the temperatures were Puerto Rican like at Christmas.
There isn't a lot happening here. Charley Shubra has become a first time grandfather. His daughter, Beth, had a little girl in February. Congratulations to Charley Shubra.
And, speaking of the holidays, I had some very nice Christmas Cards:
Thank you Yiming Sun (5/01) for the nice Christmas card. It's always nice to hear from you!! Keep us posted on what you're doing. From the Landry's Mark (5/85) and Bev (Green) (5/85). Those boys are growing up fast and now I can't really distinguish who they look like, they both look like both of you!! I think it's time for them to come to Homecoming, though, what do you think? From Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92). I am very delinquent on seeing Amber, Heather and Ryan. They're growing up fast, too. Pamm Gindlesperger (12/94). Pamm, you have some "splaining" to do. Vickie (Pearce) Ringhoff (12/94) with pictures of the "kids" (two and four legged), Rylee and Tico. (Vickie, I need more pictures!) Mike Gutsat (5/87) and family (more on Mike later). Valerie Bonito (12/93) is still living in Kentucky with Scotch and Trippy (four legged). Jason Livingston (12/95) and Jennifer and family. I was orienteering at Seph Mack with Jennifer, Emma and Sean. Not their choice - it was mine, I just kind of joined them, but I sure had fun. Emma is learning orienteering (age 7) and she is GOOD. Jason was home with Ian. Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy (5/87) sent me a really cute picture newsletter of all their visiting over the year and with pictures of Olivia, Isabelle, Reagan and Callie. They're doing well with their ice cream shop which, by the way, is named Murphy's Candy and Ice Cream in case you're in the area of Ocean Shores Washington, you should stop in and enjoy. I know they're working on a web site.
We send our congratulations to Doug Lute (5/96) on the birth of his second child, Alexander Joseph, on December 26. He weighed 7 lbs, 14 + oz. and was 20 inches long. Doug and his wife have another son, Chris. They're living in Oxford, Ohio. Now, you may assume I got this information from Doug, but I really got it from the Indiana Gazette. So, Doug, that should tell you I need an update.
And, Charley Shubra had a nice note from Deb (Green) Fritz (5/79). Deb is still at AK Steel in Butler and she was lucky enough to be the one who worked with our intern last semester. You and Dan (5/82) should have come up for the presentation, Deb!!! Did you get an invitation. If not, I could have "fixed" that for you, know what I mean???
Had an update from Augustine Opoku (12/01). After graduation, Augustine went to work for Marsh & McLennan in Ft Washington PA along with some other IUP grads such as Dave Searfoss (5/01). Augustine left there after two years and went with a smaller Firm in NJ (Digital Color Image) for another two years. His wish was to work for a smaller company where he could have a bigger impact. While at DCI, he completed his Masters in Computer Information Systems at Temple University in Philadelphia where he was living at the time. After graduating from Temple, he took a position with Goldman Sachs & Co. in NYC as a Systems Developer in the Global Investment Research division which is where he is now and still lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife, Jennifer. They purchased a home two years ago and, believe it or not, Augustine commutes to NYC daily!! What a commute!! Augustine says he's just not the Wall Street type. He's still a small town guy and he'd rather deal with the daily train commute. He and Jennifer are planning a family in the next few years and Augustine promised to keep me posted. I don't know how many of you graduated with Augustine, but if you did, you have to remember Nichole, Augustine's little girl who was at graduation and who I would have kidnapped if there hadn't been so many people there to turn me in. Nichole lives with her mother in Maine and is doing great and is growing up. Great hearing from you Augustine. Keep in touch.
I had a nice update from Kris Seigworth (12/97). She is still working for IBM but she's moved to the System z Lab Services organization which is a client-facing role and where she'll be working as a technical project manager helping customers implement high availability solutions using GDPS and Parallel Sysplex. And, as part of that role (or maybe because of that role), Kris has become an author. She wrote a chapter on system management for the IBM Redbook "IBM System z Strengths and Values". And, she and Leona bought a house last year in Middletown, NY where they've moved with the dog and cats. Unfortunately, the lost Jim to bladder cancer not long after I heard from Kris and my heart goes out to you both. We're hoping Kris will come visit and give a colloquium in the near future. Thanks Kris!!!
We send our condolences to Bill Capone (8/91) on the death of his father shortly after Thanksgiving. Our thoughts are with you Bill. We need an update or a visit. After all, you do live in town., you know.
Our condolences also to Keith Vaughn (5/90) on the death of his wife, Susan, in January. Our thoughts are also with you, Keith. Stop in some time.
Mike Gutzat (5/87) changed jobs in February. He is no longer working at Salesianum School. He has taken a position as the Operations Manager at Elwyn Institute. This is a position that will open up more opportunities for career growth and expansion. Congratulations, Mike, keep us posted.
Last issue I mentioned that I had just seen where Ryan Knepper (12/01) and his wife had just had a baby boy and hopefully I would have more information in a later issue. Well, Samuel Lynn, aka Sammy, was born November 8th, 2006 at 12:45 am. He was 20" and 7 lbs 12 oz. He joins Maura in the Knepper household. If you'd like to take a look at him and Maura, the website is http://mysite.verizon.net/erinandryan.knepper/sammy.htm. Sammy recently had his four month checkup, and he's now 27 +" and 17 1/4 lbs, so he's grown just a bit! Ryan said he sleeps really well and sometimes all night; but Maura wakes up once in a while which they're attributing to maybe having nightmares. So, Ryan said between the kids and the dog needing to go out in the middle of the night, they aren't getting much sleep. (Hey, Ryan, do you forget that when you were a student, you stayed out all night partying and thought nothing of it.) Maura loves her little brother and is very possessive of Sammy. Ryan said he'd bring them over now that it's getting nice outside and I'll be looking forward to that. Thanks Ryan!!
Had a nice update from Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88). She and her family (husband, Mike, and four children) are still living in Maryland. Samantha is six years old and in kindergarten, Amanda is five years old and in pre-k, Michele is three years old and is at home with an AuPair while Cathy and Mike are working, and Michael is 2 years old and goes to speech on Mondays and is visited by a teacher on Wednesday. Cathy also sent me pictures of the kids and they are a really nice looking family! Cathy just finished her first year at Savantage Solutions who provide a Financial Service in an ORACLE 10G environment and where Cathy is a Software tester and she really likes her job. Cathy was asking about Alvin (12/88) and Elaine (5/87) Rearick, and I haven't heard from them for a few years, so you two need to update me. Cathy would love to hear from you, too.
I had a wonderful email from Marcia (Lill) Arcuri ( 5/84). Marcia was hired by IBM when she graduated and has been there for twenty two years - but she has moved from Poughkeepsie to Boca Raton to Austin. Her title is "software engineer". Right now, she is leading a team of testers for the Websphere Process Server product. She also develops and performs testing and also fixes problems with the product when they are reported. Most of her work is done in JAVA. She's been working on a part-time basis for the past eleven years, since her third child was born. She said IBM has been a wonderful company for her and her husband since not only does Marcia work part time, she also telecommutes about half her working hours. She said since 99% of them have laptops, it's easy to complete the work at home and at the same time, communicate with IBMers around the world. Marcia says it's a great company and she encourages soon-to-be graduates to apply there or start by doing an internship. Marcia is married to a fellow IBMer - they both started in 84 - and they have three children, Nick 16, Drew 14 and Carolyn 11. Marcia also send greetings to Barb Flecher (5/84) and Skip Benamati (5/84). And, she says she runs into Janis Coltin but doesn't know her maiden name, so Janis - we need to hear from you. Great hearing from you Marcia, take care and keep in touch.
I seem to have a lot of congratulations to hand out this issue and one of them goes to Mike Bigrigg (5/91) on his recent engagement to Karen Filipski. I understand that it was a very special day. Karen teaches at a charter school in downtown Pittsburgh and also is a part time teacher at Pitt. Her field is also computer science. I haven't had the privilege of meeting Karen but I'm hoping that will change shortly. And, in case you've forgotten, Mike is now a full time teacher in the IUP Computer Science Department and will shortly be (if not already) the editor of the Debugger. They are busy working on wedding plans which is to be held in November. Plans are coming along nicely since they are both in agreement as to what needs to be done and when they should do it and are working in harmony toward that goal.
Congratulations are also in order to Brian Rhea (5/02) and his wife, Angela. They're expecting their first baby on August 21. On March 14, they were going to find out if they are having a son or a daughter. Angela said if it's a girl, she knows Brian won't let her date until she's 50. But, for now, they're just enjoying the entire pregnancy experience and loving every minute of it. And, because of that, they're getting a lot of house projects done, such as painting, and getting the nursery ready! They'd love to take another vacation before Baby Rhea arrives but hadn't yet decided where. Other than that wonderful news, everything else in their lives is going great. Brian still works at Wachovia and is doing well. Angela is still at First Franklin and loves it. It was great hearing from you and please let me know (and send pictures) when Baby Rhea arrives.
I heard from Dave Murphy (12/92). Dave now lives in Falls Church, VA and has recently become engaged. They haven't set a date yet, but hopefully, when they do, Dave will let me know. He moved to DC twelve years ago thinking of it as just a starting point, and he's been there ever since. For a period of time, his focus was on development, then he moved into more and more lead roles until finally focusing on pure project management, and he is now a PMI certified Project Management Professional and he attributes his success in this field to IUP. We thank you for that, Dave! He has now formed his own company focusing on Technology Services for both the commercial and federal markets. Most of his time recently has been working with Fannie Mae doing project management on various projects related to their financial restatement. On the federal market side, his company was recently awarded a contact by GSA called the VETS GWAC. This is a vehicle specifically designed for the service disabled, veteran owned companies. Two of his partners have service-connected disabilities. That sounds like a very interesting area to get into. Keep us posted on that. Great hearing from you Dave, and please let me know when the wedding plans are set.
Congratulations are also in order to Justin Elkin (5/03). He and his wife, Kristin, are expecting baby number three the end of August, just about the time Kenadee turns three. Kenadee is their oldest. Kaelee turned one on September 29. Justin said the holidays were a lot of fun this year with the two girls and they even they did a lot of visiting. Kaelee let Kenadee open her gifts and then Kaelee would take it from her, but since Kenadee got to open all the gifts she was happy. Just wait until this Christmas, Justin!!! Justin is still working at Rosebud Mining in Kittanning. Great hearing from you Justin and send pictures when the new baby gets here (or before).
Also heard from Bret Bailey (12/82). He's one of those grads who has FINALLY decided to write. Just kidding, Bret! I don't care when I hear from, as long as I DO hear from you.. When Bret was a student he worked as a programmer in the Office of Community Affairs. He then did an internship for Bob Cardamone at Community Action during the summer and fall of 1980 and later took a full time job there while he finished school. Bret was in their office in Brookville back then. While Bret was there, Bob Cardamone introduced him to a coworker named Vicki and they were married in 1982. In the fall of 1982, he came back to IUP full time to finish his degree and then graduated in December. He then worked for Penn Traffic Company in DuBois for one year before accepting a job with the CIA and moving to the Washington, DC area. After three years with the CIA, he took a job as a consultant and project manager with Cullinet Software, which was purchased by Computer Associates a couple of years later. Bret wasn't happy there and left to become an independent consultant for a few years and eventually ended up with TERA Systems in Reston, VA, first as a consultant, then as a manager, a member of the board of directors, and eventually as a corporate officer. But, he discovered that the less technical work he did, the less he enjoyed his job, so in 1996, he left TERA and went to Sybase, Inc. as a Principal Consultant where he's back on the technical side and is very happy. He does architecture and design work on J2EE projects, and on a good day gets to write Java. His professional interests include relational database, messaging, and enterprise application integration (EAI). He did some graduate work at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, in the MBA and Computer Science programs and studied at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and where he earned his masters. He's presented at conferences in the US, Canada, and Asia, and co-authored a paper that was published in IEEE Software. In the late 90's he taught a graduate database course as an adjunct professor of Computer Science at George Mason. He really enjoyed it (even though he says it was a lot of work for not a lot money), still he thinks he could return to teaching some day. He and Vicki had their first child, Andrew, in 1986. He's now a Junior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. A second son, Ethan came along in 1991. Ethan is now a Freshman at Langley High School in McLean, VA. Both boys love sports and are active in lacrosse, basketball, and football. Bret is a boys' lacrosse referee for high school and youth games, and volunteers in church and community groups. In his spare time he enjoys bicycling, home brewing, and trap shooting. He and Vicki will celebrate their 25th anniversary in May. Congratulations to you both on reaching a milestone. Bret says he occasionally runs into IUP alumni in the DC area, and has actually been working with an IUP Computer Science graduate for the past eight years - Doug Houser (5/84). Vicki still has family in Punxsutawney and they do get up this way on occasion and Bret is going to try to stop in and see us on one of his trips. We would certainly love to see you Bret. Thank you so much for the great update and don't take so long for the next one.
Congratulations also go out to Chris Wastchak (5/03) and his wife, Jenny. They are going to become parents for the second time. Elijah Nicholas is due in May. They will call him Eli. Meanwhile, I've been waiting for the update on the website with Charlee's pictures so I can see how she's changed. She'll soon be 2. I can't believe it. Keep me posted Chris!!!
John Campus (8/91) is still at Concurrent Technology in Johnstown. He's interested in getting his Master's in IA and we sure hope that eventually we'll get our program going. Good to hear from you, John, send me a more detailed update - how is your son doing?
Becky (Salter) Corindia (12/94) is now in Texas with their three year old daughter, Kiri. Becky left the Air Force last May and has been working as a teller at a local credit union but plans on being a stay at home mom starting in April. Her husband is still in the Air Force, and will be for some time. He may attend a course in Arkansas, so Kiri and Becky think they may do a lot of traveling this summer. Thanks, Becky for keeping in touch. I appreciate it.
And, also congratulations to Jason Agostoni (12/97) and his wife, Jackie, on the birth on Skyler Madison. Skyler was born on August 28 and she is just adorable. Since Jason and Jackie usually come to the Homecoming breakfast, we wondered where they were last year, but hopefully I'll get to meet Skyler in person this fall. Jackie is finishing her Fellowship in Research and Faculty Development in Family Medicine at St. Margaret's hospital and UPMC in Pittsburgh and will then be joining a residency program as an attending physician helping to teach the next generation of Family Physicians while seeing patients as well. Jason is still working for CEI as a .NET Architect consulting for companies in PA and the surrounding states (NY, OH and others even further out). He's been with CEI for two years now and really likes it. Thanks Jason for the update and I'll hope to see you all in October.
Last Christmas, I got to meet a very special guy. His name is Braden Behune and he is the son of Kari (Robson) Behune (5/98) and her husband, Greg. I couldn't believe he was walking already and had just turned 8 months. He is really a handsome guy. And, I can't believe he just celebrated his first birthday. His grandmother (Kari's mother) watches him three days a week and Kari works from home the other two. Kari still works for PPG. You have a beautiful little boy, Kari. I'm so glad I had the chance to meet him. Thank you so much for always thinking of me when you send pictures!
Candee Kirkpatrick, wife of Eric Kirkpatrick (5/00) also keeps me well informed on their lives and I really appreciate it, Candee, and always enjoy reading your email and looking at the pictures and hearing about all the cute things Livie is doing. Eric is still working for Bayer in Pittsburgh and they had been looking for a house to rent rather than an apartment, and they found one in Butler. They found a really nice older home and it looks like a great house with a nice yard. It's on a dead end street and has a creek running through one corner of the property. Livie is growing like a weed and she is just as cute as can be. She was getting over a cold and getting teeth and she was pretty miserable, but still being mischievous. She was also helping to pack and anyone with a small child knows how much fun that is. They had a lot of fun with her at Christmas. This was the year Livie really enjoyed the festivities. I'm sure she's enjoying that back yard at the new house, too. Thanks so much Candee for the emails. I love reading them!! Hopefully, we'll get to see you one of these homecoming mornings when you finally get here.
We had a visit from Tute' Ehinlaye (12/06). She was visiting Indiana for the weekend. Tute' is working at eBAS in Princeton Juntion, NJ. eBAS is a software company and Tute is a quality analyst. She tests the software and applications before they're released. They go through a training period on the software and are then interviewed to see if the users will be comfortable with it. And, she says there is no coding. Tute' lives within a half hour of Philadelphia and New York, so she can visit either with equal ease. Great seeing you Tute'. Stop in any time you're in town.
Scott Whitney (5/00) was here not long ago with his son, Cameron, who is seriously considering coming here in Computer Science this fall. Scott is working at True Commerce in Cranberry PA. Hopefully, once Cameron is one of our majors, we'll be seeing more of Scott. Great seeing you Scott.
That's about all the news I have for this time. If any of you are planning a nice vacation or a party or wedding or even soccer game, write and tell me about it. I also expect to get many baby announcements and pictures before the next edition. Don't forget, this is job security for me so help me keep my job.
Hey guys, the end of the semester is coming up on us here at the university. For once it appears we will have a semi quite summer. The university has not set official dates on the upgrade process for going to Vista, perhaps fall 2009. Office 2007 updates are planned for fall 2008.
New machines are proposed to replace those in 220 the classroom of the future and Tompkins lab, hopefully this summer will be the one when the machines are replaced.
The discussion question that I posed last time was, "Should every graduate of a computer science or information science or information technology program be required to have taken a course in Computer/Business Ethics?" This question didn't seem to resonate as well as the first one; but I did get three very interesting responses, one on each side of the issue and one with an intriguing story to tell. Ryan Bassaro (12/04) was on the "pro" side; Andy Weiss (5/93) was on the "con" side; and Mr. X, someone who wanted to remain anonymous, provided the story.
When I posed this question, I was not suggesting that those of us who work with computers have any greater or lesser need to behave in an ethical way than anyone else. The idea for the question came from the ABET (Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology) guidelines for accreditation. They suggest that every Computer Science graduate should have a least a one-credit course in Computer Ethics. We currently do not have such a requirement for our curriculum; so I thought I would get the "alumni perspective." By the way, we now have a proposal in the pipeline to change COSC 380 (the professional seminar) to a two-credit course, the second credit will be devoted to computer ethics.
Rather than try the back-and-forth structure that I used last time. I am simply going to put forth Ryan's and Andy's responses as they wrote them.
Ryan Bassaro responded to the question with an uppercase "YES". He then wrote, "Dealing directly each day with computer auditing, I can bluntly say it should be a requirement. The processes and policies for information systems auditing are imperative; and simply performing the "steps" but not understanding the "why" makes the steps harder than if you have the information and see the cases or research on why it is necessary. The programmers of the future should take an ethics class ... Most of the programmers that are audited do not have the sense or understanding of why documentation and controls are a critical aspect of the computer industry. I can think of a handful of classes that I wish I would have substituted for an Ethics class."
Andy Weiss didn't see any particular need for people in computer-related professions to have any greater requirement for ethics instruction. He wrote, "Do computer/business ethics differ dramatically from general ethics? If not, then I say leave the ethics up to the individual's religious beliefs and family values. By the time one hits college, one's ethics have already had a pretty major foundation laid down from family and educators. A one-semester course isn't going to alter that foundation much."
Andy then asked, "Who decides what is ethical? With something so subjective as ethics, I worry that a particular narrow point of view may be advanced. Do ethics mesh with our current form of capitalism? Would you consider Donald Trump or Bill Gates entirely ethical? Success, at least by definition of most Americans, does not necessarily include outstanding ethics. The department should educate students on computer science, on methods, on algorithms, on how to process logically and efficiently. Leave the moral debates for others. Or, require an ethics course for all college students, regardless of major."
Mr. X was also very strongly in favor of a Computer/Business Ethics course. He went on to provide a "case-study" from his own experience to support his position. The case study story is repeated here without any identifying labels. Mr. X writes, "I was hired as the Manager of Technical Support and Services by a new VP of Information Systems, who had been assigned the task of bringing the department's budget "under control". In departmental manager's meetings the topic of removing some of the marginally used software was discussed as a cost saving measure. Compilers of fairly static systems were the first target - the thought being that if the systems are static then the compilers were no longer necessary. However due to some poor programming practices, the compilers were still used to make minor changes. The date was set for the conversion of these programs and the removal of the compilers. I was instructed to write letters to the vendors involved canceling the software license for these products. The date of conversion came and went, priorities changed; we continued to use the products, but we were no longer being billed. Soon after that, more software was targeted to be removed. I was instructed to write the cancellation letters, and the same process occurred again. The last software to be cancelled was an infrequently used mainframe operating system - which of course had little chance of being removed."
"I was very bothered by this - my solution was to:
"It was a real struggle weighing obligations to my family, the software vendors, my company, my superiors ... Having a course which would have given me the chance to think about all of this before might have been extremely helpful - not necessarily to the company, but definitely to me."
And now it is time for this Summer's question: What can be done to attract more students to the field of Computer Science?
For several years, the number of freshmen choosing computer science as a major has been going down nation wide. This trend has been despite the job market in recent years and all official projections of future increases in computer jobs. As with the previous questions, I am asking all alumni for their responses and if you want to remain anonymous in your comments, please say so; otherwise, I will assume I may attribute what you say to you.
Send responses to email@example.com
In early March five students and three faculty had the privilege of attending the ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) in Covington Kentucky. Grady Booch from IBM was the keynote speaker. In his usual charismatic style he presented his optimism for the field of Computer Science in his talk "Read'n, Writ'n, 'Rithmetic and Code'n". Of course he had to include a video clip from the TV show Numbers where the main character says something along the lines "to understand this problem we need to construct a UML state diagram". The sessions often expressed concern of the dropping enrollments in Computer Science. The challenge was given to make Computer Science more interesting and compelling. Many sessions reported their experiences with integrating such topics as gaming and robotics into the core curriculum. Georgia Tech is using robotics in CS1 and each student is required to purchase the $100 scribbler robot. University of Denver is experimenting with a "Games first approach". University of Havard is using the Lego Mindstorm Brick in the assembly language course. Carnegie Mellon provided several sessions on "Alice", a Computer Science learning language in which students develop programs to drive that drive an animated movie. In the process students are introduced to all of the fundamentals of a programming language including object orientation, algorithmic development, variables, and functions. Microsoft offered a number of session related to gaming in which I often found several of our students.
Dr. Shumba joined with colleagues from Northern Kentucky University and presented a Workshop on "Software Security". This was a follow up workshop to the one she presented at the Mid West CCSC conference in October, 2006. The attendance and response was good. Dr. Shumba also attended sessions that provided on teaching materials for information assurance courses. Dr. Ali attended four presentations on ABET accreditation, as these presentations might be helpful for our ABET accreditation.
The five students that went along; Amanda, Lindsey, Matt, Frank, Jason, and Chad enjoyed the experience. In Lindsey's words "SIGCSE presented a blend of topics including demonstrations given by vendors to promote their newest products alongside more serious discussions and presentations. It was a highly enjoyable experience and not just for talks. It offered a unique opportunity to become better acquainted with faculty members and other students that we might not have gotten otherwise." One more comment, Frank won a Zune player from Microsoft.
In addition to the conference we also tried out some very good ethnic restaurants in Covington, Tanzanian, Korean, Greek, and Japanese. All in all it was a good time.
The IUP Research Institute (RI) is a not-for-profit company established by IUP and the State System of Higher Education to facilitate research. The RI is currently staffed by an executive director, pre- and post-award accounting personnel and project development officers who work with interested faculty members and students to identify, propose, receive and manage funding from external sources.
The RI and the School of Graduate Studies and Research work collaboratively to create and maintain research infrastructure that catalyzes external research funding and integrates research results into the curricula and academic community, thereby enhancing both undergraduate and graduate education through hands-on experiences. Because the conduct of research varies considerably from research management, the RI and GSR provide resources for faculty and students alike to participate in creative and educational aspects of academic research while minimizing the time impacts of state and federal grants/contracts compliance.
Project Development Officers (PDOs) employed by the RI conduct grant searches, proposal development, budget development, grant authorization and post-award management of external funding. Becoming a PDO is involves a working knowledge of contracts, accounting, management and compliance issues that vary among granting agencies. PDOs interact with investigators and granting agencies to ensure that funds allocated for research are spent in accordance with all applicable regulations and within the specified period of performance. PDOs order and receive equipment, help with trouble shooting and even make travel arrangements for student and faculty members engaged in sponsored research. The role of the PDO is to support the university's research agenda for the overall benefit of the entire academic community.
The CAB met in March 2007 attended by Mr. Robert Cardamone (Community Action Inc. Punxsutawney, Pa), Mr. Dom Glavich (Computer Technology Corp Johnstown, Pa), Mr. Chuck Kalish (Computer Associates Pittsburgh, Pa), Mr. Patrick Campbell (PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa) and Ms. Carol Young (Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pa). Carol Miller yet again played a critical role in the organization of the meeting and the facilities. The meeting agenda concentrated on the progress made on action items and recommendations made by the CAB at the July 2006 meeting. Faculty committees and administrative personnel have been hard at work considering the recommendations made by the CAB. Some of the Action Items and the Formulated Responses provided by the faculty to the CAB follow.
We have started to move in the direction of allowing programming language to fulfill Natural Science and Mathematics foreign language requirement. In association with applying for ABET accreditation, we have proposed the Languages & Systems track in a form that uses the study of programming languages as a substitute for foreign language. Other tracks have not been changed yet.
COSC 300 remains in the core, although in a revised form. The course is now about half computer organization and half assembly language. The inclusion of computer organization is necessary for accreditation, to provide students better hardware understanding for some systems courses, and to improve student performance on the GRE. The essential approach and elements of assembly language are still present.
COSC 415 will have its course number changed to COSC 365. It will become a required course for the Applied track. Lowering the number was critical to getting the students to take the course earlier. The COSC 415 subject matter will be expanded and split into the new COSC 365 course and a follow-on course.
The new Languages & Systems track will be the second track to require a networking course. COSC 345, previously named Data Communications, is now Computer Networks. This course has been revised to do away with the information theory elements and focus on network issues. We are still not at the stage where a network course is part of the core. The Information Assurance track has required several network courses since its inception, but the BA and the Applied track have no network requirement as yet.
Mike Bigrigg and Rose Shumba
Four faculty will teach the Summer ARIN program in June. Two courses, Introduction to Computer Security and Computer Concepts will be offered as part of the continued education program. High school students from the Armstrong and Indiana County have been invited to attend.
A "Meet the Faculty" pizza night was held in November 2007 on the computer science specialty floor in the Whitmyre Hall dorm.
Posters have been created to market computer science as a major for all the students who come into the 320 Stright lab for the 101 Microbased Computer Literacy class. We have attracted many students into our program from that course.
A "CS Day" is being planned. It will be a day for prospective students to come to IUP with programs to highlight computer science. Topics will range from web programming to internship opportunities for computer science students.
Material is being created to educate the admissions staff that already travel to the 900+ high schools in Pennsylvania. The R&R committee has met with the admissions staff to determine what efforts the computer science program can do in conjunction with the admissions staff to increase the number of students in our program.
There have been efforts to retain the few women in computer science through the CREU (Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduate) program. This is Sponsored by Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and the Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC), the CREU program is geared toward increasing the number of women and minorities who go on to CS&E graduate programs. Three women attended and presented at the Grace Hopper Women Celebration in October in San Diego, CA. The women are also attending and presenting at the PACISE conference on March 23, 2007. The CREU women and Dr Shumba have hosted a number of social events; eating out and Pizza socials for the women in Computer Science.
For the past few years, there has been no get-together of graduating seniors in December. This situation came about because none of the graduating groups wanted to have the get-together. This past December was different. The graduating seniors decided that they wanted to have some sort of gathering; and so we did. The photo shows those who attended (and one non-Computer Science student who was also graduating). The students in left to right order are: Wo Yam Lam, Ozzy Ometere (not a COSC grad), Max Aubry, Alicia Coon, Tuté Ometere, Terry Ahmad, Dennis Christman, Derek Foster, and Tim Foley.
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.
A pledge of $100 is less than $10 per month. Please consider this opportunity. To join cut off the form in the next column, complete it and commit yourself to giving $100 for 2005. Your gift to the Century Club is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.