The Debugger, Summer 2005

  • In This Issue

    From the Chair: Bill Oblitey

    Carol’s Corner: Carol Miller

    News From Tompkins Lab: Joseph Shyrock

    Research on Covert Channels: Kathleen Reiland

    Innovation in a Multidisciplinary World: Michael Bigrigg (5/91)

    My Summer Vacation: Jim Wolfe

    May Graduation

    Century Club


    Well, I'm back wearing just one hat again - editor. It was hard putting together each issue of The Debugger and having to write an article as chair, the "From the Editor" page and often another article or two. At least I have managed to turn over the "From the Chair" report to Bill Oblitey.

    In this issue, we have encountered a stroke of luck. I have to describe it that way because it seems to happen so seldom these days. I managed to convince one of our alumni, Mike Bigrigg, to write an article for the issue. Actually, Mike wanted to put something in the issue about his new business; but I told him we don't accept advertising and suggested he write an article instead.

    In addition to having an alumni article, we also have a current student article. Kati Reiland is one of several students that have been working with three of the faculty on grant sponsored research. I think everyone involved is reaping some benefits from this project; Kati tells you about what she has gained.

    Over the past few years, the Summer issue of The Debugger has often been on the small side. That is certainly the case with this issue. It is hard to find faculty and students to contribute articles; alumni are off on vacations and wait until the Fall to update Carol; there are fewer classes going on - it's just slow. At least that is the way it seems while I have my editor's hat on. If I put my faculty hat on, as I did when I wrote the article, the summer didn't seem slow in any way.

    I have also included a picture from May graduation in this issue. A large portion of the students graduating actually came to the department ceremony; fifteen of them came, along with their families. We had to do some scrambling to set up enough chairs.

    Oh yeah, the cover. This is the contents of the first of four panels on the sculpture "Kryptos" by James Sanborn. The sculpture has stood in from of the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA since 1990. This portion has been decrypted. I'm using it as the cover because it relates to this summer's research and because it contains a few errors - it could use a little debugging.

    Jim Wolfe, Editor

    From the Chair 

    Bill Oblitey

    I thought I was done with sending you messages as chair of the department but apparently you will have to deal with me for another three years. It was good to have Jim Wolfe as chair. He got a lot done; and we tried all we could to get him to serve another term; but he knew better.

    Somehow, I delayed moving into the chairman's office; but it had to be done. Jim Wolfe had to move back to his office, which Dave Smith was then occupying; and Dave had to move into the office that I was occupying. Thus, I had to move and it took pains and some effort coupled with some student help to get my books and other items into the chairs office. Then about a week and a half after we have moved and I thought I had the office organized, our Dean's office decided that the carpet in the Computer Science Department's office needed to be replaced. That meant that both Carol and I had to get everything out of our offices for the carpet to be replaced. This meant that I had to move twice into the chairman's office (after moving out of it) in a period of about three weeks. So I now get confused as to where I have placed some documents; and I will have to live with it for some time.

    Under the leadership of Jim Wolfe, we updated three of our computing laboratories and established another laboratory solely for faculty research. The faculty laboratory has the state of the art equipment in it and is currently being used for the covert channels research that we (Oblitey, Wolfe, and Ezekiel) are working on. He has also put a master's program in Information Assurance together for the University. This program involves the Computer Science department, the Criminology Department, the Department of Management Information systems and Decision Science, the Department of Technology Support and Training, and the Department of Political Science. The course proposals for the program have been completed and are being submitted to the Graduate School for approval. From there the program will seek the University Senate's approval and a final approval from the Chancellor's office in Harrisburg to put the program in operation. We expect the program to start in Fall, 2006.

    The news update, which Carol's Corner just mentioned, is that we now have ten full time and three adjunct faculty. Dr. Felix Hamza-Lup is our newly hired tenure-track faculty. He comes to us from the School of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida where he obtained his doctorate degree and served, from August 2004, as a Visiting Assistant Professor; he was in charge of their Object Oriented Programming course. We are expecting Dr. Waleed Farag to return to us from Egypt in January, as soon as he gets his visa status rectified. Our adjunct professors are Ms Andrea Morman, Mrs Marcia Rettig-Seitam and Mr. Michael Bigrigg.

    We have recently established a complete wireless computer laboratory in Stright room 220. This is for teaching purposes. The entire laboratory is isolated from the Internet, except for the professor's teaching machine, but they can interact with each other through wireless communication. We have also installed state-of-the-art podiums in our teaching classrooms. These consist of our normal Dell computers but they have now been equipped with DVD, VCR, projectors, and document viewers, all in the podiums, for making classroom presentations.

    My major concern for my current term as chair of the department is to do something to increase our enrollment which seems to be declining. I have a few plans to test and see how efficient they will be. Dr. Gary Buterbaugh has also volunteered his time to help. Some of the plans will involve traveling to the major cities in Pennsylvania to recruit; and, when we are coming to your area, we will announce it ahead of time and make plans to meet at some common location to reminisce. I think you can also help by enrolling your children in IUP Computer Science and/or getting your friends to talk their children into considering IUP Computer Science.

    Carol’s Corner 

    Carol Miller

    Hi Gang -

    It's summer in Indiana; and it must be summer every where else, too, because not many of you have written or called or stopped in; so this is going to be a short article.

    It's been real quiet at IUP and not many folks have been around. We actually didn't have many classes this summer, so nobody much has come in. But, we've added one new tenure track faculty who will be here soon to get settled in at IUP and find a place to live. His name is Felix Hamza-Lup; and I'm sure you'll be hearing from him in one of the coming issues.

    Talked to Janie (Pike) Kustaborder (5/92) one day. She's still working for Minitab in State College; they were considering interns at the time. Everything is going well with Janie, Ron and the kids. I can't believe Ryan is 4 years old already. Janie was about to register Heather for kindergarten and Amber is in second grade. Amber had a rather exciting event in her life. She did a project for school and designed it after a book written by Jack Gantos. (I'm not sure of the spelling on this, but he writes children's books - like Rotten Ralph). But, anyway, Jack Gantos visited Amber's school; Amber met him while he was there; and he autographed her project for her. That is so nice for Amber!!! Isn't that great?

    Congratulations to Eric Kirkpatrick (5/00) and his wife, Candee, on the birth of a beautiful baby girl. She was born on May 25, weighed 8 1/2 lbs, and was 21 1/2 inches long and her name is Olivia Jade. I got pictures of her from her proud grandfather, Tom, who works here at IUP. Eric is working at Bayer Corporate and Business Services, North America Information Systems, Technology & Operations in Pittsburgh. He loves his job and says he has an awesome boss and works with a great crew. Candee is on maternity leave from Bobcat of Pittsburgh. Eric wants to get into the Bioinformatics Division of Bayer. Bioinformatics is a combination of Biochemistry and Computer Science. Eric promised (sort of) to try to bring Candee and Olivia up for Homecoming breakfast this year.

    In the last issue, I noted that Cathy (Ferguson) Johnson (5/88) needed to update me on her family; and she did. I was right; Cathy and her husband, Mike, added another baby on November 26, 2004. His name is Michael David Johnson and Cathy said he is a wonderful little person. She also added Michele Patricia Johnson on June 25, 2003. I wasn't sure if I knew about Michele, but I think I did. I definitely knew about Amanda born December 6, 2001 and Samantha born November 11, 2000. Samantha is going into school Pre-K. Amanda loves her sisters and new baby brother. Cathy is working for Lockheed Martin; and her husband is now an employee of the federal government. Cathy also sent me pictures of the kids. They are so cute!!! All four of them!! Thanks, Cathy!!

    Brother Milt Ferguson (12/96) has stopped in a couple times to check out the bulletin board in the hall. It's always nice to see the Fergusons. Milt is still with Sheetz and driving to Altoona every day.

    And, if you remember, last time I told you about Dan Sterrett (12/04) and his new baby? Well, I made a big discovery: Dan Sterrett is the brother-in-law of Tanja (Soltis) Petersen (12/01). Sometimes when you can't get in the front door, the back door will open; and that's what happened. Tanja sent me the news on Dan's baby. Dan and his wife, Anna (who is also a graduate of IUP) are the proud parents of Matthew Douglas (Matty). At that time, Matty was 5 months and a week old and just as adorable and cuddly as can be. She sent a picture; and he is as cute as a bug!! She also apologized for not sending pictures of his feet. Everybody knows how I love baby feet!!

    And, the news on Tanja and hubby, Brian (5/02) - Tanja was getting over a nasty head cold, but was doing well. She and Brian moved into their new house a few weeks ago so they were getting situated. I announced last time that Tanja and Brian were expecting, well, in last night's Indiana Gazette, I saw that Tanja and Brian had a baby boy on July 30. Needless to say, I don't have any details on him yet, but I'm sure by next issue I'll have all it all, so stay tuned. Thank you so much, Tanja, for giving me all the news about you and about Matty!!! I'll be waiting for the details on Baby Boy Petersen.

    News from Jason Livingston (12/95). Daughter Emma entered the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest and won first place at the Kindergarten level for her story "How Can Owl Fly?" Her story has also been sent to the national competition in which Levar Burton will be judging. Good luck to Emma. We hope she wins! For winning at the local level, Emma received a Reading Rainbow backpack full of goodies such as an episode of the show, a Junie B. Jones book, a Reading Rainbow t-shirt, scribble pad, crayons, scissors, and a bookmark. Plus, her story was also shared with everyone who visited the WQED Multimedia Education & Community Resource Center tent area at the Carnegie Library's Summer Reading Extravaganza on Sunday, June 12 at the main branch in Oakland. That's such great news, Emma, you keep up the good work! [Ed. note: Sorry to say that Emma's story did not win at the national competition.]

    It was great hearing from Gautam Swaminathan (5/02). He's working with Terminal Services and says some of the features that they are coming up with would be extremely productive for the faculty and the labs and hopes maybe eventually we might use them. Gautam was happy to hear about our new Masters program and about the research that is happening within the department lately. He realizes how important research is since working on his masters at Virginia Tech. Gautam also wanted to touch bases with Yiming Sun (Standing Bear) so Yiming, if you're reading this, send email to Gautam at Thanks for writing Gautam. Stay in touch!

    Valerie Bonito (12/93) has moved. She's still in Ohio, but has moved to Blue Ash, Ohio. I'm sure I'll get more info as time goes by, but that's all I have for now.

    Becky (Salter) Corinda (12/94) is back in Texas with Kiri; and her husband, Dan, should be back by now; and they then plan on house hunting. I'll keep you posted on that front, also.

    Jane (Cunningham) (5/87) and Bob Harnagy have moved into their new house on the beach in Ocean Shores Washington. Congratulations, guys!! Send pictures!

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 8, 2005
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-2524 
    Do It Now!

    Bruce Weinsheimer (5/78) is now working for the Department of Revenue in Harrisburg as an application developer. And, we are NOT to blame him for the high taxes, he's not a tax collector. (And, therefore, I guess we can't blame him for the legislators voting themselves a 18% raise.) Bruce is hoping this will be his last job; and he'll be able to retire with state benefits. Meanwhile, his son has one more year at IUP and we expect to see Bruce at homecoming. Congratulations on the new job, Bruce. Hope it goes well.

    Warren Hilton (5/95) and his wife, Jana, moved into a new house in December. Warren is now the Director of Career Development at Moravian College in Bethlehem PA. Warren and Jana got together for lunch with Brent Cramer (5/95) in Pittsburgh last August; Warren works right down the street from where Brent and his wife had their wedding reception. (Did anyone see an announcement in The Debugger about Brent's wedding??? Well, that would be because Brent never let me know!!! His name is now on the roster; and you all know what roster that is, don't you?) Warren sent me job descriptions for programmer jobs that were open at Moravian. I did get those to people here, Warren, and I hope there was some interest.

    Another name that pops into my mind is Dewey Miller (12/94). Dewey, you need to send me e-mail, too. I could just have something you might be interested in.

    I apologize to Lance Wilkinson (5/76). I printed his name as Wilkerson in the last edition. I thank Mark Strawcutter (12/76) for being the first, but not the only, person to point this out to me. Sorry, Lance and thanks, Mark. [Ed Note: I need to apologize too; as editor, I should be checking the spelling.]

    Our condolences to Tim Ferro (12/97) on the death of his grandmother, Ruth Louise Ferro. Tim, we're all very sorry.

    And, I had a wonderful visit from Ryan Knepper (12/01) along with Maura. What a surprise!!! Maura is so adorable. She wouldn't let me hold her, though. She was 7 1/2 months at that point; and she sure does love her daddy. Ryan is still working here in Indiana for a small company mainly doing customer support for a large client. I think I mentioned before that Ryan and his wife bought a house here in town on Maple Street. His wife teaches music and was off for the summer. They still have their Shi Tzu who they rescued from being put down. It was so great to see you Ryan. I hope you stop in again any time you're over in this area. I'm more than happy to spoil Maura for you.

    I've been telling you in the last couple issues that Mike Bigrigg (5/91) has been coming to IUP to work with Dr. Rose Shumba in the Software Engineering course. Well, Mike has agreed to join the faculty in a temporary position for the Fall and Spring semesters this year. Mike is expecting his Ph.D. in Computer-Aided Engineering in August of 2006. Welcome Aboard Mike!!

    Mike Rozdilski (12/84) dropped in to say "Hi" since he is now Director of Technology Development for the IUP Research Institute. He had been in Indiana working with MobilVox, setting up an office for them and getting it up and started. So, we have brought another one back to the flock; and it sure is nice to know you're here, Mike!

    And, speaking of MobilVox, there was a real nice article in the Sunday Edition of the Indiana Gazette (I bet it surprises many of you that there is now a Sunday edition of the Indiana Gazette) about MobilVox, and mentioning that they had nine programmers at the present time including many IUP grads and an IUP intern. And, there was a picture along with the article and that picture featured Todd Orange (12/03) who is the lead programmer and Tony Popp (12/98) who is a software engineer. It was really great to open the paper and see two of our own right there. Congratulations guys!!

    I had a call from Susan Culp, Jim's (12/00) wife (thank goodness for wives!). Jim is still working for Raytheon on three different projects. They've been married for 4 years but had dated for five years prior to being married, and have a little girl, Emily, who is a year and a half old and they also have Amber, who is two - Amber is the dog. Two years ago they built a house in Bellfonte; and there was even a trip to Australia in March. Susan also sent me some pictures. Emily is just too cute - so is her dad - he was with her! And Amber is just about the most regal dog I have ever seen. She is a beautiful and looks like she knows it. Thanks so much, Susan for calling me. Stop in for a visit when you're in the area and please keep in touch.

    Chris Wastchak (5/03) called to touch bases. Chris is still working for a software development company in Pittsburgh developing solutions for the real estate industry. Their baby, Charlee Alexa, is due in August; and they are VERY excited! Chris' brother is coming to IUP in the Fall as a Computer Science major (what else?) and we're excited to have him here. And, I want you to know, Chris, we'll look after him in the same kind and gentle manner we looked after you :-}

    Good news for Indiana and for Cindy Zeng (5/98). Cindy's husband, Dr. Mohammad Numan who teaches in the Physics Department at IUP, has opened a new Indian restaurant on Philadelphia Street. It's called the Tandoor Restaurant. I'm not sure when it opened, but it was fairly recent. There was an article in the Indiana Gazette describing it; and they invited guests to join them to try the cuisine on July 9 (we weren't invited), so it was very recent. Next time you're in town, you might want to give it a try. Footnote to this since I wrote it: Bill Oblitey took me to Tandoor for lunch to celebrate my birthday on August 2; and we thought it was very nice.

    Mike Rhoades (5/05) got a job with Pyramid Health Systems in Altoona where he had been a summer intern. Now he is a Network Administrator. Congrats, Mike. Keep in touch.

    Dan Douglas (5/03) is in Taji, Iraq where he's taken a job as a network engineer, running the network for about 150 people in his camp. He's doing everything, from trouble shooting computer problems to writing code for a work order program. He's working long hours and says it's a little frustrating; but he likes it. He said the weather is little hot - 130 during the day. He recently was in Germany; and while he was there, he had a chance to see some castles and do some other sightseeing. But other than that, he's working twelve hours a day and then sleeping the rest. Dan, it was great hearing what you've been up to. Keep in touch!

    Had a nice e-mail from John Campos (8/91). John is now in Johnstown working for CTC . He's been with them since November 1997 after having worked for PA DEP in Harrisburg for four years. He is now a Senior e-Systems Engineer mainly doing Database design and development for their clients. While at CTC, he's worked with several IUP Computer Science grads including Dave Diehl (5/88), Bonnie (Slowik) Matous (5/96), Steve Knoll (5/87), Dom Glavach (12/93) & Jim Butler (8/88). John finds his projects challenging and rewarding. On the personal front, his son, Andrew, will be attending the 8th grade in the fall. He is very involved in Boy Scouts and is on his way to Eagle Scout. John's also interested in our new Masters Degree in Information Assurance program; and hopefully, he'll be stopping in to talk about it before too long. It was great hearing from you, John; and we'll hope to see you in the fall - maybe at the Homecoming breakfast??

    And, I just heard from Kim (Phillips) Bobik (12/97). Kim's big news is that she got married in May of 2003. Shea Paul (5/98) was her maid of honor. Among those attending the wedding was John Uselman (5/98). Kim's still working at Siemens Health Services in Malvern where she supports mainframe and client server applications. Siemans was previously Shared Medical, as many of you may remember; and Kim says it's still a good place to work but has lost some of the family feeling it previously had. Kim and her husband are currently living in Devon and are house hunting. Shea Paul is also working Siemens; and they get together on a regular basis and reminisce about good old IUP. Thanks, Kim, for the update and, like I said, come visit us sometime.

    I also got an update from Mike Whyte (5/01). The last time I talked with Mike he was getting ready for an interview at Penn State. Well, he got that job and in April of this year started working for Penn State as a programmer/analyst in the Office of Research Information Systems. They develop internal software for tracking various parts of research proposals/grants and funds. After Mike graduated, he went to work for Copper Beech Townhome Communities and stayed there until October 2003. Then, in March 2004, he started working for the Centre Daily Times (the local newspaper for State College) as a systems technician which Mike said was basically a jack of all trades computer position. Most of his duties were tied to end user support of both Windows and Macs of various operation system versions. Eventually, he was also the main/lead programmer for a college oriented website call which is the web version of a printed publication on the Penn States campus call Blue. So, everything is going well for Mike, and we wish him much success; and, please Mike, continue to keep in touch.

    Well, I promised this was going to be short and it certainly is, but look at it this way, it gives you more time to enjoy the summer. But, you also need to remember, that this is job security for me, so keep those e-mails coming. Have a good summer and don't forget to write and let me know what you did.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 8, 2005
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-2524 
    Do It Now!

    News From Tompkins Lab 

    Joseph Shyrock

    The fall semester is upon us and we are busy getting everything ready. This has been an unusually quite summer for the technology team. The biggest change in the classrooms is the additional multimedia cabinets that are being installed in the classroom labs. Stright 320 and Stright 220 are now being equipped with such cabinets. The projectors have been replaced in 320 and 220; along with a new projector, a document camera, a DVD, and VHS player are being installed. The multimedia upgrades are possible in part due to the new technology fee the university is using to better equip classrooms.

    Some new instructional programs have been purchased. The software is Net Support, which is very cool. This software enables faculty to view student's computers from the instructor machine, block Internet access and disable mouse and keyboards among other things. I think that it will be very popular (with faculty) in the teaching labs.

    The biggest university-wide change is the implementation of a block list to fight spam. Recently, the university has been inundated with spam. This addition of a block list has seemed to help combat this massive problem that everyone faces.

    We have also received an evaluation beta copy of Windows Vista to play with which is pretty interesting to say the least. It has some nice new features but appears awhile away from being a finished product.

    I hope that everyone has a nice fall and maybe there will be more exciting new in the next Debugger.

    Research on Covert Channels 

    Kathleen Reiland

    I began working on this research project, under a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA), in January of this year in collaboration with Drs. Ezekiel and Oblitey, Professor Wolfe, and undergraduate students Bob Trimble, Mike McFail, and Eric Pennington. When I first applied for the position, I thought it looked like a great opportunity to explore a specific topic within my major and emphasis, Computer Science and Information Assurance. As it turns out, I was right! We have read, discussed, and picked apart a number of published papers and other resources on our topic, Covert Channels. We each began with only a basic knowledge of covert channels, but have now obtained a wide base of understanding about how they work, why they need to be reduced within any system, and
    how they can be detected and prevented.

    I and the three other students have each presented on a couple of topics for nearby conferences. Personally, I presented on "Steganography and Covert Channels" at PACISE 2005 at Bloomsburg University and "Covert Timing Channels in Network and Multilevel Environments" at the Academy of Business and Information Technology 2005 conference in Monroeville, PA. This experience alone has been very helpful to me personally. I have always been uncomfortable with public speaking; but every time I compel myself to speak in front of a group of people, no matter the size, I move a step closer to being more at ease with the process. Also, attending conferences gave us the opportunity to listen to other student and faculty presentations on their research experiences. It is very interesting to hear all of the other possibilities and ideas that are currently being studied about computer science and technology.

    Beyond all of this, the complete experience of researching has been eye opening for me. I now have a more theoretical look at information assurance and security, rather than just the view of security through simple policies. I have also learned a lot about the general evolution of the computer age and more about how hardware and software work together and about the workings of communication within a system and throughout a network.

    It has been a great experience to be able to work with a few of my professors that are as interested in security as I am. I have a lot to learn and developing that knowledge is a much more palatable job when working with a team of people. The variety within our team also adds a lot to our base. With Eric's leaving for an internship this summer, we are now a team of three undergraduate students and three faculty members, all from the computer science department at IUP and all with a strong interest in information security. There are numerous aspects and views on every section of covert channels that we study and each team member brings their own past experiences and knowledge to the table.

    The overwhelming task of writing an NSA white paper is now coming together as our summer comes to a close. We have gone through the process of tackling an enormous topic and breaking it into smaller pieces, such as the history, storage covert channels, timing covert channels, detection, and analysis. After finishing the white paper "Covert Channel Analysis: A State of the Practice," we hope to work further on specific procedures and tools to detect covert channels and protect against their malicious use within a system.

    Innovation in a Multidisciplinary World 

    Michael Bigrigg (5/91)

    Fifteen years ago when I graduated from IUP, I knew what my job prospects were. There were a handful of large companies that employed COBOL programmers. There were a few medium sized companies that did other kinds of programming. A few of us, like myself, would go to graduate school. We all had a clear idea of what we were going to do next. We were going to be programmers. When I finally did graduate, I worked for a company developing compilers. Yet still I was a programmer. Currently, I am a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. I also teach there as part of a team that teaches product design. I have also been teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. For the next year, I will be teaching at IUP as well. I believe that students are the same everywhere; and they will inevitably ask me what they should do to find a job after graduation. Lately, I have started to hear everyone tell me that in spite of the dot coms and all the outsourcing of particular industries, what our graduates will do is innovate. They will innovate in multidiscplinary teams with engineers, business types, writers, and designers. I miss the time when as a programmer I mostly worked with other programmers.

    My research is in the area of reliability. The topic sounds golden. My work is on improving the quality of products. For many companies, reliability sounds too much like liability. If the pursuit of tobacco companies has taught us anything, it is that you are only allowed to produce a dangerous product as long as you are unaware of the dangers. What this also means is that our companies are driven less by product improvement than by innovation. There are still those whose companies that require reliability. If your company has a need for reliability, by all means, contact me; I always need more case studies. Seriously, write me at Innovation is the key as customers will pay for additional features, but not for bug fixes.

    I gave in to the current wave of innovation. At CMU I developed a mechanism to calibrate resistance-based sensors so they may be attached to computer joystick ports. Quite a few thousand dollars later in lawyer fees, I have a patent. The sensor system allows you to deploy en masse a network of sensors on desktop computers. It leverages your existing computing infrastructure (including antiquated older computers) as a platform for new applications such as building management (how uncomfortable is your office), or energy monitoring (where is the energy waste). It is also targeted to individual computers to understand the computer's operating temperature, help mitigate problems and prolog the life of your temperature-sensitive hard drive. It was by having to explain how a sensor works to a multidisciplinary team of students that I came up with the idea.

    You can learn by being formally taught, or you can learn by doing. In business, I rolled up my sleeves and tried it. I'm working on my third company and I hope the third time is a charm. Pervasive Sensors, Inc., has taken the sensor technology and made a product, the Critter sensor. (If you're interested in the sensors, let me know and I'll see if I can make up an IUP CS alumni discount). A multidisciplinary team is critical for business. I am bad at marketing. My technical skills make me too detail oriented to be useful. The sales people will talk about the need for customer demographics and I ask about the maximum number of characters in a customer's last name.

    I stumbled into being innovative. I still struggle with multidisciplinary teams. Since this is an article aimed at my fellow alumni I would like to hear your own experiences. How do you teach innovation? Is innovation prized more than quality? What skills do students need to function in a multidisciplinary team when they graduate? It would be nice if the next time a student asked me what to do after graduation, I could give a good answer like I had when I graduated. You can contact me at

    My Summer Vacation 

    Jim Wolfe

    Before the summer began, I had a little hope that this summer would not be as busy as the previous several summers had been. But, by the end of May, it was obvious that there was no hope; this was going to be another very busy summer. I had accumulated three large projects (four if you want to count getting ready for Fall classes); and any one of them could take up the whole summer, if I were to work on them at a reasonable pace. So, reasonable was not an option, if I wanted to get them done.

    First, there was the Masters program in Information Assurance. At the end of Spring semester, I thought we had syllabi and supporting material for all of the 20 new courses that were being developed for the program. That was a major misconception. When I took inventory, I discovered that half of the supporting material was missing and many of the syllabi needed some kind of adjustment. Fourteen different faculty were working to develop this material; now, I had to track them down and request, cajole, beg, urge, nudge, shame or belittle them into completing a task that I thought they had already done. So, I sent out a deadline to everyone; and I thought it was a reasonable one, July 15, and continued my work on the main program proposal.

    It took quite a long time for me to gather all the pieces that went into the main proposal - a 25-page document with 50 pages of appendices. As July 15 came and went, I checked the courses and found that almost nothing had been done. This led to request, cajole, beg, urge, nudge, shame and belittle part II. By mid-August, I had almost everything from the other faculty. The problem was that every missing part, large or small, prevents putting the whole document together - this, by the way, is a task that I dread because I have to use Microsoft Word and everyone one of the course syllabi have some kind of quirky formatting elements that I have to edit. As the Fall semester begins, the approval process for MS IA also begins. All we need to do is get four departments, three colleges, the graduate school, the University senate, the IUP board of governors and the PASSHE board of governors to approve the program and its ready to go.

    At the same time that all of the MS IA work was going on, I needed to do the job that I was being paid for - research on covert channels and writing a paper related to that. Kati Reiland gave you her perspective on the research in another article. It has indeed been an interesting challenge to read and analyze dozens of journal articles, discuss them with students and other faculty, and then try to summarize the findings in a paper of our own. We needed to organize our task, divide it into reasonable pieces and make all of the written pieces fit. As I write this, we are in the final stages - editing the chapters. We have to be; the report/paper is due at the end of August.

    The third project was my own doing. I was determined to at least come close to completing the field checking and cartography for an orienteering map that I am drawing - Pine Ridge Park near Blairsville. So, I spent probably 100 hours out walking around in the woods and another 25 hours on a computer drawing what I saw. As things stand at the moment, there are only 30-50 acres yet to check. That's not bad, considering that I started with about 700 acres.

    May Graduation 

    At the right you see a picture from the May graduation. It is the only picture we have in which someone's face is not completely obscured. So, despite the expressions on some faces and the fact that some faces are partly obscured, this is the picture we are publishing.

    Comp Sci May 2005 Grads

    The graduates shown are: in the front row, Rebecca Muller and Laurie Frazier; in the second row, Jason Sym, Jared Bovard, Jason Solan, Matthew Griffin, and Brian Henry; in the third row, Luke Stormer, Matthew Michael, Michael Rhoades and Jeremy Peles; and in the back row, Joseph Darney, Douglas Lowmaster, Brandon Hunter and Darynn Flango. All were May graduates, except Darynn who graduated in August.

    Homecoming Breakfast
    9 am October 8, 2005
    Contact Carol Miller to RSVP
    724 357-2524 
    Do It Now!

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