The Debugger, Summer 2004

  • In This Issue

    From the Chair: Jim Wolfe

    Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

    Full Circle: David T. Smith

    May Graduation

    News From Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

    Century Club

    M.S. in IA Survey


    Hopefully, you noticed the unusual cover for this issue. It is a direct reference to the survey which this issue contains. That's right; the request for help is not about money; it is about information. Please do not ignore it. We need your input, in every sense of the word "need."

    The Computer Science Department (along with Criminology, Business, and Political Science) is considering the creation of a Master's program. We need to know what our alumni think about this program because we expect that our alumni will be a primary source of students for the new program. So, if we can't create a program that will satisfy what alumni want, we probably won't have a successful program. But, we also need to get feedback from prospective students to satisfy the Graduate School and eventually the State requirements. If we cannot show that there is demand for a program such as the proposed one, neither the Graduate Curriculum Committee nor the Board of Governors will approve the proposal. But, don't get the idea that we are asking you to fudge the demand. We are interested in receiving both positive and negative feedback regarding the proposal. There is no point in trying to develop something based on a lie.

    This issue also contains an interesting article from Dave Smith. Dave was with us as a temporary faculty member last Spring. This Fall, he joins us in a tenure track position. So, by way of introducing himself, he takes you back to the days when he was a student at IUP. I think many of you (especially those that remember Howard Tompkins) will find it entertaining.

    Naturally, you can find Carol's update on what we have heard from the alumni, my rambling about what is happening with the department, and Joe Shyrock's report on the state of things in the labs. I have also included a graduation picture from May. And, throughout the issue, you will find little reminders about the Homecoming Breakfast that we are putting on and you are invited to - it's free, you can't beat the price. 

    Jim Wolfe, Editor 

    From the Chair 

    Jim Wolfe

    A lot has happened this summer. It's hard to know where to begin; but, here goes.

    In late April, the Provost got together a group of faculty from the departments of Computer Science, Criminology, MIS, TST, and Political Science to discuss the creation of a new Master of Science program in Information Assurance. All of the parties present had previously expressed an interest developing such a program. In May, I was charged with getting representatives of this group together to get the ball rolling by developing a draft structure for the program and designing a survey which we could use to get a read on potential student interest.

    Throughout the summer, the committee met to develop the curriculum and survey. As you might expect with representatives from so many disciplines, it took a fair amount of discussion to reach consensus on many elements of the program. But, we did reach agreement and everyone seems satisfied with the proposed program. One version of the survey is contained in this issue of The Debugger. You may notice that the survey is fairly generic and is really directed at former Criminology and Business students, just as much as former Computer Science students. This is because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the three tracks that we designed into it. We think the MS in IA proposal represents a very interesting combination of courses and topics; and we are hoping you agree when you send us your responses to the survey.

    At the same time that the MS in IA was being worked on, Mary Micco retired and Leem Shim decided to resign. Mary has been with the department since 1987. She was a prime mover in developing several areas within the department. She created courses in Artificial Intelligence, a related synthesis course called "Can Computers Think?", Internet and Multimedia, Internet Programming in Java and Cybersecurity. She was a driving force in getting grant funding for the Cybersecurity lab and was one of the developers of the Information Assurance track and minor. Both Information Assurance and Internet and Multimedia turned into interdisciplinary programs, primarily because of Mary's work with other departments to reach inter-departmental consensus. In earlier years at IUP, she obtained significant grant funding to do research on information retrieval techniques for libraries. Mary contributed a lot to the department and IUP during her tenure here.

    Leem was only with us for two years. He decided to leave for a position in industry. He is moving to California to work with a small company founded by a friend of his. During his time at IUP, he may be best remembered as the coach of the programming team; the team continued its winning ways under his direction.

    During the upcoming year, the department will again be engaged in searching for new faculty, to replace Mary and Leem. Whenever we are in this shorthanded situation, tensions are high because everyone has to handle more than his/her share of classes and committee work. There are a couple of additional burdens that we need to bear also. IUP is undergoing re-accreditation from Middle States. Several of the faculty are on various subcommittees associated with the self-evaluation report that the University must produce for the Middle States Team. And throughout IUP, there is a great push to incorporate more outcomes assessment at every level. This is also being driven by the re-accreditation effort.

    Don't forget Homecoming is going to be upon us soon. You can see notices of the Homecoming Breakfast that the department puts on scattered throughout this issue. You are invited to come back and reminisce, see what has changed, see some of your former classmates, and note how gray the faculty have become.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 2, 2004
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-6014 
    Do It Now!

    Carol’s Corner 

    Carol Miller

    Hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Our summer here in Indiana has actually been very pleasant. We've had a lot of rain; but we haven't had many high temperatures. IUP has also been pretty pleasant this summer. On the less pleasant side of the IUP summer, Mary Micco retired the end of June and we shall miss her; and, Leem Shim has resigned to work in Los Angeles.

    Heard from Jason Wiest (12/00) who had some good news. He became a father on April 15 (that sure takes the pain out of paying taxes, doesn't it?). Jason and his wife had a baby boy named Dylan. Jason sent me the URL for a web page he put together and I looked at all the pictures and would send it along but I tried it the other day and it didn't work. But, at least I got to see the pictures of Dylan. What an adorable little boy!! Congratulations to you, Jason, and your wife on the birth on your son. Oh, and, by the way, Jason is still working for Merck and is still liking it. Thanks for the update and the pictures, Jason; keep them coming!

    Matt Handwork (12/00) has had quite an adventure since we last heard from him. Probably the last time we heard from Matt was last summer when he had just started working for CTC in Johnstown. He had an excellent six month review at CTC and was given a nice raise. But, about the same time Matt started at CTC, he had an offer to work on a temporary assignment as a civilian contractor for another company and that assignment involved going to Iraq - he turned it down. Actually he turned it down four times; then he accepted it. He decided it was just an opportunity he really couldn't afford to pass up. So, he talked with his manager at CTC about leaving and told him how much he enjoyed the company and the people he worked with; but he had gotten an offer he just couldn't pass up again and he would have to put in his notice. He was feeling pretty bad about leaving and leaving a company he really enjoyed working with, not to mention leaving after such a short period of time. Well, CTC surprised Matt by giving him an extended leave of absence and told him his job would be waiting for him when he got back. So, Matt was really thrilled that, in this day and age, a company would think enough of its employees to make such an offer.

    Now, while he was in Iraq, something very nice came about. The company provided their employees with a round trip ticket to anywhere for two weeks every 90 days. Matt flew to Venice, Italy and got an apartment for two weeks. Then he flew Lacy over and (girls, you're going to love this) proposed to her in a gondola under the Rialto Bridge. An interesting aside to that is that Matt's mother gave Lacy a care package to bring to Matt in Italy. She didn't know she was carrying her engagement ring in that care package. They haven't set a wedding date but maybe in a year or so. Matt also sent me some pictures of him in Iraq and he and Lacy in Venice; and he kept me up to date about his progress when he was leaving Iraq. It was really nice to be able to follow his progress and just kind of "follow him around" for a couple weeks, and, even though it wasn't always good news he sent, it certainly could have been worse. We're glad he's back. And, I haven't forgotten about Gage. Gage is 3 already and he's in Panama City Florida with his mother and was arriving in PA in July to spend the summer with Matt. I'm hoping to be able to see Gage while he's here.

    Also heard from Justin Patterson (12/02). Last issue I told you Justin was contemplating a layoff at Marsh Affinity and was looking around for another position. Well, Justin accepted a position as a Senior Applications Programmer Analyst with Penn State University in State College. He started work on June 7th and was really looking forward to getting started. Keep us posted, Justin, on how it goes.

    And, I heard from Jason McCombie (5/98) who was sitting in training in Buffalo for .net. It was his second class on the technology and it was going well. All is also going well with Jason's job. He not only made the promotion to Senior Analyst at M&T, which I mentioned in The Debugger but has made promotion to Staff Specialist. He works as the technical lead for teams of developers to write software solutions for the bank. The rest of life is going well (other than an little infection from a trip to Cancun which spread to his blood and wasn't looking real good for a bit). As a result of that, Jason is vacationing in Myrtle beach this summer. Dawn is doing great. She still likes her job, does websites on the side and takes pictures of their cats to put on her personal website (I took at look at them, they're really beautiful cats!)

    I don't know if everybody remembers, but when Jason was a student, he was involved in music; but I'm sorry to have to report that the music career hasn't gone too far. Jason recorded an album while he was still at IUP and made a few copies; but he says that, unfortunately, it never went anywhere from there. So, Jake Williams is dead, and so is the Jake Williams Band. Sorry to hear that, Jason. But, Jason (Jake to many) does still have copies of the album if anyone still wants one! Jason found that computers are a much more lucrative business. He still runs FYIT, but doesn't do much development on the side anymore. He's considering a new venture; but right now, there are too many possibilities to narrow it down to one and get started. He's going to be doing some market research, additional planning and then get started on whatever it's going to be. Jason calls it his get rich quick attempt. He's tried several, including Skadmin which failed, the Electronic Recipe Manager (ERM) which was a mild success, and ERMster which never caught on. But, he's going to keep trying. Meanwhile he'll be writing banking solutions for M&T Bank Corporation which is something he enjoys doing. Good luck, Jason, on the get rich quick plans. Thanks for the update. It's much appreciated.

    Heard from another old timer (his words, not mine), Ken Monarch (5/78) and it sure was great to hear from him. He wrote to say how much he enjoys The Debugger (thank you, Ken) and to update his history. After exciting times in some dot-coms, he has chosen the safer route and is working in the Maryland school system as an IT Manager. He moved them from an antiquated AS/400 and onto a SQL Server & .net platform. He finds the work to be challenging but also very rewarding. It was so good hearing from you, Ken, please keep in touch (in other words, don't wait another 26 years) and keep us updated on how you're doing.

    And, after a little urging, I heard from Matt Arezina (5/86); and he gave me a nice little update. After several years of dating, he proposed to Alice Mahoney in January 2002 and they were married on November 9, 2002. Alice is a 1991 Accounting graduate of Cabrini College and works for a small venture capital company as a Controller. In April 2003, they decided they maybe needed a little more space and after perusing the existing real estate, decided to build, and in November 2003, they settled into their new home in Collegeville, PA. Matt sent me some pictures, too, and it certainly isn't a little house - 3500 sq ft, 4 bedroom , 2.5 baths, 3 car garage - it's beautiful!!! And, Matt says it's the smallest in the community of 33 homes. They're still trying to settle in and make the adjustment from a townhouse to the big house. For starters, they invited Alice's family for Christmas and Matt's family in January for Matt's birthday. I won't tell you which one - but it was one of those milestone birthdays.

    In March, Matt celebrated 16 years of gainful employment with Keane and is currently working on a subcontract for IBM as a Senior Project Manager at Merrill-Lynch. The latest project involved the installation of 50-some servers, infrastructure hardware and software in Southbury, CT and Boulder, CO Datacenters and six months, 70 technical folks, 25,000 labor hours and $1.5 million later, successfully completed the project AND saved $100,000 from the original budget. Their next project is to install 1300 servers and 25,000 workstations across the Merrill-Lynch organization by the end of 2004. Another interesting aspect to the job is that Matt works from home 99% of the time which he says has its good and bad points just like any job or work environment. Although working from home sounds great, it means going a whole day with minimal social interaction, not leaving the house, and staying focused on work. (Sounds pretty good to me.) So Matt, I sure am glad you wrote and brought me up to date on what's going on with you. Please keep in touch (don't make me come after you again) and let us know how things are going.

    OK, now! Remember last issue when I told you I had heard from Duane Aylsworth (8/89) and he referred to Jeff Sell (12/87) as "Nunzio". Well, I heard from Jeff and he gave me the explanation and, as Jeff said, it's kind of like an episode of Seinfeld. Jeff calls it "a nickname about nothing". It was a nickname that was given to him by friends because he didn't have a nickname; and it just stuck. Jeff gave me the long, interesting version, but I won't go there. But, NOW, I want to know where Duane got the nickname "Bullwinkle". But along with the Nunzio explanation, Jeff gave me a nice update of what he's been up to. In January 1988, after he graduated from IUP, he took a job with Marriott International in Bethesda, Maryland where he stayed, working in a variety of positions, until June 1999, which was when they changed the system. Jeff worked on everything from SPA R/2 to PeopleSoft. In July 1999, he began working for Northrop Grumman in Baltimore. He works with SAP R/3 as an ABAP Programmer Analyst. In 1991, he married Karen (Yankasky) Sell who was a December 1989 graduate of IUP (but not Computer Science). They live in Frederick, MD with their two daughters: Amanda and Shannon who are 8+ and 6+. Karen has the best of all worlds, she runs a small Children's Daycare business out of their house. They were really happy to be able to do this since one of their priorities was having a parent home with their girls during their formative years; and they did whatever it took to make it happen (and I certainly applaud your decision Jeff). Karen has a degree in Fashion Merchandising from IUP and has managed stores for Fashion Bug and also done work in the Pension Administration field over the years. Jeff is originally from Ford City (and Karen is from Worthington) and they come through here once in a while and Jeff said he'll stop in one day. I do know how it is, though, when you're on a run into town to visit the parents. So, Jeff keep in touch and stop in one day. If I don't hear from "Bullwinkle" I'll let you know. Sometimes I have ways of making people talk.

    Mark Scott (5/80) sent me an email, too. Mark is working for Raytheon in State College and when Mark graduated and went to work for Raytheon, he was one of three IUP grads there. The others were Dean Woodle (5/80) and Mark McBride (5/80). All three of them are still there, too; Mark and Dean in State College and Mark McBride is working at their Maryland location. Mark also did some recruiting for Raytheon here at IUP for a bit. Right now he is currently a Software Engineering Manager at Raytheon and one of his duties is interviewing and hiring for one of the five software sections and, of course, he recruits them from IUP and, he even dropped some names - Mark Long (12/00), Derricott Morrison (12/01), Derek Fairman (5/03), Michael Pace (12/03) and Tony Boslett (5/92). Lisa (Dillon) Boslett (12/93) was also in his section when she initially worked at Raytheon. Thank you, Mark, for all the nice kudos for our program. We hope we can continue to supply good employees for you. Mark is also interested in some post-graduate candidates who have been out in the work force for a bit and are interested in a change and particularly if they have security clearances since most of their work is defense related. So, if anyone is interested, let me know and I'll pass the information along to Mark or his email is Thanks so much, Mark, for contacting us and letting us know what you're up to.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 2, 2004
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-6014 
    Do It Now!

    My apologies to Wendy (Liskey) McIntosh (5/94). In the last Debugger, I called her McIntire. I don't know why but it probably has something to do with age (mine, not hers). I'm sure it also has something to do with brain function (again, mine, not hers). [Note: Whew! I'm glad she didn't blame the editor.]

    Kris Seigworth (12/97) stopped in one day; she was in the area visiting her family. She was sporting a new hairdo and she sure did look nice. She was in town partly became her grandmother had been ill and she was visiting with her. Kris is still with IBM in Poughkeepsie, still living in the same house and taking care of the same felines. Kris, it was really nice to see you. I really enjoyed your visit. Stop in again when you're in the area.

    I received a gorgeous little picture in the mail the other day. It just happened to be Ian James Livingston. I mentioned last time about the interesting Christmas card I got from Jason and Jennifer Livingston (12/95) that indicated a new baby might be on the horizon and this was later confirmed. Ian arrived on July 1. He was 10 lb. 7 oz. and was 21< inches long. I'd call that a big baby. And, I understand that he made his first orienteering meet on July 25th. There was an orienteering meet that day and Ian made his debut. Sorry I missed him. Congratulations Jen and Jason!!

    I also had a nice visit from Tim Ferra (12/97) and the kids, Haley, who is 11, and Reed, who is 10. They were in town visiting Tim's parents who, as some of you may remember, live in Indiana. Tim is still working for Ritchie Capital Management, LLC and still really likes his job and they are still living in Chicago. Tim has a couple of really good looking kids!!! Thanks for bringing them in, Tim.

    Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92) and family are all doing pretty well. The kids are enjoying outdoor kid things and Tanner (the bunny) is getting bigger. Janie said he was supposed to be a dwarf rabbit and he most definitely isn't! The kids like to put Tanner on his leash and take him walking around the yard. Ron is in a new job at Raytheon and he likes it. Janie is still doing the same old thing at Minitab and also likes it.

    Lynn Styers (12/95) is still with Siemens Company Solutions Health Services (formerly Shared Medical) in Malvern where she's technical lead for conversion. She's been doing a lot of traveling - India in November for one. Jeff is still with CRS Auto Parts where he's now an office manager. Brittany is 13 already and has become your typical teenager. Lynn contacted me about a job opening at Siemens and I passed the information along and I hope you found someone. It was so nice to hear from you, Lynn. Stop in sometime.

    Justin Elkin (5/03) wrote to tell me (in his words) that he is finally putting his Computer Science degree to work. At the time he graduated, he was planning an August wedding and was pretty well caught up in that and which Justin said went very well (so well, that additional congratulations will be in order in September which is when they are expecting their first baby). After the wedding, Justin started focusing on a job in the computer profession. Throughout college and until fall, Justin had been working in the warehouse at Douds of Plumville. Then, in November, they moved him into a sales position where he was able to meet a lot of different people and talking with those people was his ticket into a computer position. He talked with the accountant from Rosebud Mining Company in Kittanning for a few minutes and sometime later he got a call from the accountant saying they may have a job for him; and, a week later, he was hired at a nice starting salary. He'll be the IT Department and will manage all the new workstations they bought, as well as the work stations at the mine sites and coal cleaning sites. He'll also be the accountant's assistant and help with payroll. Wow, Justin, that's really great. Congratulations on the position, on the marriage and on the new baby. Please let us know when (s)he arrives and, of course, stop in and see us - Homecoming Breakfast would be a good time!

    Had an e-mail from Jane (Cunningham) Harnagy (5/87) with pictures of their 4th of July picnic on the beach of Ocean Shores ,WA but also pictures of their new house which is going up in Ocean Shores. Let me tell ya folks, it's going to be a big house. So far, the walls of the 2nd story are up and there is one more story to go; then Jane said the outside will stall for a bit while they work on the interior of the house. Meanwhile, they changed rental houses the beginning of summer because the house they were renting was sold and the new owner wanted to move in. Since the Harnagy lease expired, they didn't have a lot of choice but to find another place so hopefully they'll be there until their house is ready. And, gang, you should see those kids! They are so cute and are they growing! And so is Ollie. And I noticed they were dressed patriotically for the 4th of July. Stop in on your next trip through PA, Jane!

    We had a very welcome visitor one day and we sure were happy to see her. It was Wendy (Lassiter) Godin (5/83). Wendy is now living in the Avonmore/Salina area and is working sorta /kinda taking over her father's insurance practice (she calls it helping him, so...). He reached retirement age and spends a lot of time in Florida and Wendy stays here and works in the insurance office. But, since she has a need to become a bit more updated in the computer industry wanted to talk about what is being used in industry now and what she should be learning. Wendy has two children, Sarah, who is 13; and Phillip, who is 14. Sarah is spending the summer abroad with another exchange student and is having a wonderful time.

    We read about Dave Farrer (5/03) in the Indiana Gazette, Sunday Business section, no less. Dave is the Director of Systems Engineering for Apangea Learning Inc. here in Indiana at IUP's Small Business Incubator. Apangea is a software company using tutoring assistance from humans and computers to help students improve their standardized test scores. Let us know how it goes, Dave.

    I finally heard from Vickie (Pearce) Ringhoff (12/94) about her wedding, honeymoon and subsequent trips. I did report to you on Vickie's wedding - that information came from Pamm Gindlesperger (12/94). As I said last time, the wedding took place here in Indiana at Grace United Methodist Church, and the reception was at Indiana Country Club. It started out as a bad rain day, but it cleared as the day went on (I think I remember that cause I was doing the Heartwalk that day). Vickie actually wanted to have the wedding on Homecoming weekend, but the church wouldn't schedule a wedding on Homecoming (go figure) and Homecoming turned out to be a beautiful fall day. But, they did honeymoon in Costa Rica, and absolutely loved it there, and hope at some point to go back. They saw everything from an active volcano to poisonous snakes to white-faced monkeys. Then, at the beginning of July, Vickie took a wonderful trip to Alaska while Jeremy went to Daytona to see the NASCAR race and golf with some friends. Vickie's parents are retired and have been off traveling since June 8th, and they volunteered to pick her up at the Anchorage airport if she would fly up to be with them, so, of course, she did. She landed in Anchorage around midnight on July 4th, and stayed for 10 days. She absolutely loved it. She said next time, she'll take Jeremy. She did send me pictures of the wedding, honeymoon, Brewski and the trip to Alaska. They were awesome. She and Jeremy are hoping to make it to San Diego in September to visit Vickie's cousin. Vickie is still working with FedEx Ground, and has been pretty busy. Currently, she's working on a PeopleSoft portal application for all of the contractors and drivers across the country to access their business information online. She says it has proven to be quite the challenge, and they were looking to go live on August 1st.....maybe. Vickie said she'll stop in someday since she does make it to Indiana fairly often to visit family. Thanks, Vickie, it was really good to hear from you and I'll certainly be watching for you to drop in.

    Congratulations to Chris Wastchak (5/03) on his and Jennie Kastner's upcoming marriage. They are getting married September 4 in Pittsburgh. We wish you both well. Chris, as I think I reported in the last Debugger, is working for Allegheny Energy in Greensburg. He recently moved into an apartment in Plum Borough. Again, Chris and Jenny, congratulations. I'll report more in the next issue.

    And speaking of Pamm Gindlesperger (12/94), she had sent an e-mail out for everyone to put her brother in their prayers as he was probably shipping out to Iraq. But, she sent along the good news that he was home and they didn't know at that time just where he was being shipped, maybe Afghanistan, or Fort Indiantown Gap, or maybe nowhere. But, he's home for a bit and we're happy for you, Pamm! Keep us posted.

    Tim Bassett (8/02) sent an e-mail and he has been busy since he graduated; and he actually admitted that he hasn't given us much thought. But he did have a programming job for a while after he graduated and then he decided to enter the military. He graduated from OTS in December, 2003 as a communications Officer and is now stationed at Grand Forks AFB. Fortunately, he was having a slow Friday and decided to drop a line and let us know what was happening. Thanks, Tim! Also thank you for the nice kudos to Jim Wolfe and Charley Shubra and the fine job they do in their classes. Thanks for the update, Tim, please keep in touch and let us know how things are going with you.

    Congratulations to Sabrina Alam (5/04) on her recent engagement. I'll have more to report on this in a later issue.

    Last, but not least, I got an e-mail just this week from Dan Yuhas (5/88). Congratulations are in order to Dan and Chris Beers on their upcoming wedding on September 18. I hope to have more information on the wedding for you in the next issue of The Debugger. The wedding is to take place in Northern Cambria at the Prince of Peace Chapel. Again, congratulations, Dan and Chris!

    I shall sign off until the Fall semester. Please let me know what you did this summer.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 2, 2004
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-6014 
    Do It Now!

    Full Circle

    David T. Smith

    Over twenty years ago, I was an undergraduate student majoring in Physics and Math education. In my second semester I took my first Computer Science course. My instructor, Mr. Maple, taught an introduction course using the FORTRAN language. It seemed strange and cryptic. Programs had a lot of I and J variables, some GO TOs, and numbered labels. I was lost with concepts like floats, major order on two dimensional arrays, and subroutines. I just did not see how it all fit together. Needless to say I did not get a very good grade. I was relieved that I was not a Computer Science major.
    It was not until my sophomore year that I got daring and signed up for another Computer Science course. I enrolled in Dr. Tompkins' COBOL course. His class emphasized structured programming. Dr. Tompkins was very picky about Stylistics. Students were expected to create programs with correctly spelled variables and comments, consistent indentation, and reserved use of periods. A period could only be used at the end of a non-simple imperative statement; and it must be on its own separate line. COBOL made sense. I could see how to develop business batch programs. As a result, I took a second course with Dr Tompkins; Large Files Organization and Access.

    Soon after that I completed Numerical Methods and Data Structures. With these combined classes I had 15 credits in Computer Science. It was not bad after all. I liked it. So why not do an internship? Allegheny Power accepted me as an intern COBOL programmer, which provided me with great experience. I gained a variety of valuable skills in COBOL, JCL, TSO, SPF, and Total. In addition the pay of $830 a month made the entire experience a good one.

    I graduated with my Bachelors degree in a Physics/Math Education, with an extensive Computer Science minor. My alma mater? If you have not guessed it by now, I am an IUP alumnus.

    Upon graduation, I went back to Allegheny Power and worked for them for three years. I helped them rewrite their time of day metering system (MIPS). It was interesting work, yet I had the desire to go deeper into Computer Science. I was more interested in developing tools for programmers than developing applications.

    As a result, I resigned to pursue a graduate studies. I enrolled at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I was in the vacation capital of the world and basically broke. I was making $300 bi-weekly as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. This stipend had to cover tuition as well as support for myself, my wife, and my first child. Nonetheless, it was a great time; and we did make it to Disney a few of times.

    My education from both IUP and UCF has served me well. It launched an interesting career which has taken me to the west coast and back. I have worked for a number of database vendors and software tool companies including Unify, SmartStar, XDB Systems, and Data Access Technologies.

    A highpoint in my career was the complete development of a 4GL object based interactive development environment. This product resulted in the successful sale of the company I was working for a tidy sum of $ 30 million. The company owner was very pleased and decided to go into the real estate business.

    The assignment that I found of most interest was the development of component assembly environment for developing enterprise level web services. This was a research project funded by a government grant from NIST. The results of this project influenced the eDoc standards by the Object Management Group (OMG) and the ebXML standards from the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

    Another noteworthy accomplishment was the development of JetConnect which included the first commercially available JDBC driver for Java. The development of tools for Java was a lot of fun in the early days; but there was just one problem; no one was making any real money doing it.

    In addition to tools development, I have developed my share of business applications including a web-based career assessment tool used in Fortune 500 companies including Bayer and Martin. I also worked on a bug/incident tracking system, and an Internet based media scheduling program used by cable network companies including Sci Fi Channel, Discovery, Rainbow, and Turner Broadcasting. My latest assignment was the development of an application for the assessment of real estate and publishing of the assessments on the Web.

    Designing tools for programmers has always been a highlight of my life and brought me much
    fulfillment. Yet, I also have the desire to immerse myself into a research environment where I can further my career while at the same time developing young minds who have a desire to pursue similar interests. Thus, I am excited to join the Computer Science faculty here at IUP.

    If your experiences have been along similar lines, or maybe our paths have crossed, send me an
    email, at, or stop by Stright hall. I would be glad to hear from you.

    David T. Smith (IUP class of 81) 

    May Graduation 

    The picture on the next page shows some of the graduates from May 2004 graduation. As usual, not all of them came to the department ceremony. But, those who did are pictured here (except for Aaron Johnson who came late). Shown in the back row are David Pazzaglia and Matthew MacDonald; in the middle row are Zachary Palmer, Andrew Williams, Michael Mattis, and Zachary Torba; and in the front row are Brandon Minich, Joshua Lightcap, Adam Clark, Sameena Hossain, and Sabrina Alam. All are listed in left to right order.

    Comp Sci May 2004 Grads

    Aaron Johnson's picture is on the following page.

    Comp Sci May 2004 Grad Aaron

    News From Tompkins Lab 

    Joseph Shyrock

    The fall semester is already upon us and with it comes more changes for the university and the computer science department. The changes this semester are primary software related. The university has updated their Microsoft office suite to Office 2003 and also updated the Visual Studio .NET to Visual Studio .NET 2003. The computer science department is also in the process of upgrading our servers from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 which the university is moving towards. In addition to upgrading windows software, Kodiak, the department's Linux server, has been upgraded this summer to Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES.

    The University has also purchased multiple licenses of Microsoft SMS to aid in the deployment of operating system security patches. This is planned for a fall semester roll out and we are waiting for new server hardware to arrive so we can start taking advantage of this management package. This will also allow us to remotely install software and allow remote desktop to aid end users at their desktop.

    Also the cyber security classroom has undergone some changes. The Cisco equipment which includes routers, hubs and firewalls has been incorporated into the current environment so that the students can get hands on experience with the new hardware. Some wireless access points, hubs and routers have also been purchased to give students hands on exposure and they will be utilized in the near future.

    The student's home directories have also undergone an upgrade over the summer break. Every university student's home directory, which is their H drive, has been upgraded from 20 MB to 50 MB.

    I will keep everyone updated as more computing news becomes available. Have a nice fall and maybe I'll see some of you during homecoming! 

    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 2004 or 2005. Your gift to the Century Club is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 2, 2004
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-6014 
    Do It Now!