GenCyber cybersecurity workshop for high school teachers enters fourth year at Pace University’s Seidenberg School

For the fourth year, Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems hosts a GenCyber cybersecurity workshop for high school teachers. The workshop, which is supported by a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to introduce methods for educators to bring cybersecurity into the classroom through a seven-day program on Pace University’s Pleasantville campus.

Dr. Li-Chiou Chen introduces the fundamentals of Linux and Raspberry Pi.

Over the course of the workshop, the 24 high school teachers in residence will undergo rigorous training in various cybersecurity topics and learn the tools to impart that knowledge to high school students when they return to the classroom. The workshop kicked off on Thursday, July 12, 2018, and will run until Friday, July 20.

On day one, the workshop kicked off into high gear with unplugged activities running in the morning before it was joined by a few guests for lunch. Dean of the Seidenberg School, Jonathan Hill, as well as the new Pace Provost, Vanya Quinones, stopped by to greet the participants.

Assistant Dean Andreea Cotoranu introducing the next training exercise to participants.

Andreea Cotoranu, the Assistant Dean of Academic Innovation, and the Pace GenCyber Program Director, welcomed the group and thanked her “partner in crime,” Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Chair of the Information Technology Department, and Pace GenCyber lead instructor, for her contributions to designing and teaching the workshop. “I am very excited you are all here,” said Dr. Chen.

Pace Provost Vanya Quiñones and Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill welcomed participants on Day 1.

Dean Hill gave participants an overview of their host: “Welcome to Pace University and the Seidenberg School,” he said. “The Seidenberg School is the third oldest school of computer science in the country. We are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year and there are several things that are . . . part of our ethos that we are incredibly proud of, and having the opportunity to host you here is a great reflection of that.

“We believe in a strong pipeline from K-12 all the way through to the highest levels at University so we have such deep respect for all the things you do in your classrooms.

“This is a competitive program; we get a lot of applications, and the fact that you are here speaks volumes . . . the material you are going to get is incredibly compelling.” He added: “Pace is a university where you not only get a great technical education, but you get a great liberal education and a great scientific education.”

Dr. Hill then introduced the new Provost of Pace University, Vanya Quinones, who was only on her sixth day so far at Pace! Provost Quinones welcomed the attendees, saying that she was glad to meet them so early on in her tenure at Pace. “It shows how Pace is committed to the future of our country and future generations understanding the importance of cybersecurity, computing, and technology,” she said. “We are proud that you are here, and we are excited that you are able to come and meet Pace and see the wonderful things that we do here.”

Dr. Li-Chiou Chen demonstrating a cryptography wheel.

The Seidenberg School is delighted to run the GenCyber workshop for high school teachers as it fully aligns with our cybersecurity initiative, which emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity education and awareness today and going forward. The School has been having a powerful impact in higher education and industry communities for years, but the chance to extend our impact into high school classrooms is an opportunity we are extremely proud of and enthusiastic about.

“We are excited to have you here,” said Assistant Dean Andreea Cotoranu. “This year, with this cohort, we are reaching [a total of] 90 high school teachers across the country that have been participating in Pace GenCyber. By teaching you, the teachers, we have an opportunity to impact thousands of students across the country and we are very proud of that.”

Participants hard at work on a cryptography exercise.

Read about previous GenCyber workshops!

Jonathan Hill reappointed as Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University

The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University is delighted to announce that Jonathan Hill, DPS, has been reappointed as Dean.

After two years of service as Dean of the Seidenberg School (following one year as Interim Dean), Dr. Hill has built a list of achievements that have elevated the School as an institution of academic excellence and opportunity for our students. Under Dean Hill’s leadership, enrollment at the Seidenberg School has grown year over year, and the School’s presence on both New York City and Pleasantville campuses has improved with new construction work, additional lab space, and active participation in unique programs like the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN).

In a letter to the Pace community, President Marvin Krislov wrote, “We appreciate and admire Dean Hill’s many accomplishments for the Seidenberg School and for the University. We look forward to his continued success and progress.”

Dean Hill’s ability to engage students, faculty, and staff in the community is reflected in the culture of the Seidenberg School – or, as we like to say, our Seidenberg fam!

We very much look forward to supporting Dean Hill in his vision for the Seidenberg School and continuing to offer a great student experience for Seidenberg and Pace students alike.

Please join us in congratulating Dean Hill!

The Fourteenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest

The Pace Pitch Contest was held on Thursday, April 19th, 2018, in the Bianco Room of Pace University, and we are proud to announce that our Seidenberg students achieved the first and the third places.

The contest started with a short opening speech by Prof. Bruce Bachenheimer, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab. He explained basic pitching rules to all of the finalists and welcomed the judging panel for the contest.

Each of the nine finalist teams were provided with 3 minutes of time and 5 slides to present their pitch.

Finalists had to touch upon the following during their pitch:

  1. Business description – details of the venture and what it does
  2. Market analysis – characteristics of the market and description of its customers
  3. Product or service analysis – the specifics of the product or service
  4. Competition – identify current and potential competitors
  5. Marketing strategy – how sales will be achieved
  6. Operations – how the product or service will be produced and delivered
  7. Management – an assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team
  8. Finances – an overview of the required resources and economics of the venture
  9. Investment proposal – the terms and conditions offered to investors
  10. Presentation – overall effectiveness of the actual presentation

The judging panel –

Danny Potocki, Founder, FINIS Ventures

Christine Roth, Economic Development Advisor

Jonathan M. Satovsky, Founder & CEO, Satovsky Asset Management, LLC

Sandy Wollman, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Westchester Angels

With this, started the 1st pitch of the night-

Quincy Doccy (BS in Computer Science), Weichao Hou (MS in Finance) and Avinash Mudduluru (MS in Computer Science) presented AngelEats – an online platform building a bridge between restaurants and non-profit organizations and giving food to people in need.

Followed by that was Arogyaa – a mobile application that maintains patients’ medical history, and which coordinates with different doctors and helps them collaborate with patients. Arogyaa was presented by Ankit Mohokar, Chinmay Deshpande and Shivani Gade all from (MS in Computer Science)

The next pitch in the list was Cuddlefish, presented by Sumeet Gujaran (MBA in Financial Management) and Jethro Widjaja (BBA in Finance). Cuddlefish is a blockchain based platform which aims to promote financial inclusion for all through microfinance funded by retail investors in developed countries.

Our next pitch is iCards, an app which seeks to revolutionize the game designed by the pitchers, fully integrating the best parts of the industry into a comprehensive, universal platform to trade, play, and collect cards. iCards was presented by Jen McCall (BS in Computer Science) and John Mulcahy (BS in Computer Science)

Now it was time for Redact– a legal organization that works with individuals who have been convicted of a crime to have their criminal records sealed. It was presented by Christopher Matcovich (full-time 3L)

RockBox was our next pitch presented by Zakiya Sims ( Bs in Computer Science) and Nathan Robinson, delivers handmade cocktails from all over the world to the customers’ doorstep. With monthly subscriptions, customers will be provided with the alcohol, bitters, mixers and fresh produce needed to create their own boozy beverage.

Next pitch Sylvian Hyde was presented by Jabari Chambers (MBA in Human Resources and Financial Management) and Sylvian Hyde. It’s an emerging luxury menswear brand founded and based in New York City. The company currently offers ready-to-wear men’s apparel as well as custom and bespoke design services.

WOTOPA is an online platform where campus students can buy, sell, donate, offer services and can build an inter-university network by exchanging ideas and collaborating via forums. It was presented by Haseeb Ur Rahman (Computer Science), Suman Saurabh (Computer Science) and Varad Raj Shere (Computer Science) and Dipika Sankhe.

And the last one, @Pace (Augmented Tour of Pace University)– a Business-to-Customer (B2C) software startup focusing on augmented reality (AR). The program allows users to explore Pace University via a mobile application. The pitchers were – Kenneth Okereke (Computer Science) and Stephanie Okereke (Computer Science)

After the end of our last pitch, now it was time for the judging panel to make their decisions.

Here are the results:

  • AngelEats – Quincy Doccy, Weichao Hou, and Avinash Mudduluru was awarded 1st prize of $1000
  • Sylvian Hyde – Jabari Chambers and Sylvian Hyde achieved 2nd position with a cash prize of $500
  • iCards – Jen McCall and John Mulcahy received 3rd place and prize of $250

 With so many amazing pitches, the 14th annual Pace pitch contest was a huge success. And now we are eagerly waiting for the 15th annual Pace pitch contest next year!

Seidenberg also swept the stage at the 13th Pace Pitch Contest – read all about it here!

Tech Leadership Series – Pioneering Pace Pride at the Seidenberg School

On Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 Seidenberg School of CSIS hosted Leadership in Technology – Pioneering Pace Pride, a technology and networking event with six alumni who were the first generation from immigrant families to go to college. The event was held at 165 William Street and was a great opportunity for our students to hear from and network with inspirational alumni. With six leading personalities in the technical industry, the discussion was compelling and Pace students who attended were privy to a fascinating perspective.

The event started with a warm welcome to all the six leaders from our Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill on behalf of the entire Seidenberg School. Over the course of the evening, each of our guests shared their life experiences, career stories, and as their memories of Pace University which was a great help and motivation to all our current students.

Here are our honorable guests:

  • Michael J. Lynn – Currently Principal, ARG* Oversight. Michael’s parents are basically from Ireland. They moved to New York when he was a child. Initially Michael was very much interested to pursue his career as a doctor, but due to financial problems in his family he decided against it. After that, he planned to become an engineer. However, during those days there were almost no jobs in the field of engineering, thus he quit this thought too. Michael finally decided to achieve his career in the field of finance and came to Pace University. He worked as a student assistant at the Pleasantville campus, graduated in 1978, and remarked that “Pace gave me lots of opportunities to succeed in the first ”
  • Dora Gomez – Currently Dora is a board member of ACFE, HTCIA, and INFRAGARD. Initially she lived in Ecuador with her parents and her elder brother. Dora believes in working independently and not relying on anyone. She too got admission to Pace University and loved the environment and the people she met. Dora worked two internships (one during the summers and the other in the winters) during her studies, through which she was able to pay for tuition and books herself. Dora Graduated in 1986. She believes in the thought “Work hard to get what you want.”
  • Tom Reynolds –Tom comes from Ireland where he is the eldest child among five kids. He was inspired by his father (who worked for 12 hours a day) and so Tom started working at the age of 13 to support his family. After completing his high school, Tom got admitted to Pace University. Tom mentions that fellow panelist Maurice Dimeo was the first person he met at Pace. Due to his financial family conditions Tom wasn’t able to buy professional clothes for his internships that he did during his studies. Thus, he worked for loading and unloading of trucks to earn money for clothes. Tom graduated from Pace in 1982. He says “Pace gave me opportunity to work” and, presently, Tom works as Controller at Stone Harbor Investment Partners.
  • Vito J. Depalo – Presently, Chief Auditor of Global Information Technology, AIG. Vito is a techy, through and through. He comes from the southeast of Italy, where his father worked six days a week and 15 hours a day to support his family. Vito says: “Every day while getting ready I remember my dad’s hard work.” Vito had a cousin studying at Pace who always had great things to say about it, and so Vito ended up coming here too. Vito believes “No matter be it Columbia University or Stanford or Pace, it’s all about EDUCATION.” He had three internships during his studies. The last internship he had was converted into full time job after his graduation in 1996. Vito says “Coming to Pace was a like a land of opportunities for me which prepared me for the corporate world.”
  • Joe Nocera – Graduated in 1981 and currently, Deputy Chief Auditor BNY Mellon. Joe was born and raised in Coney Island. He says that he had no idea regarding business before he came to Pace. Joe expressed “Pace not only gave me an education foundation but also many more things apart from academics. Pace provided me opportunities to do different, do better. I learnt to take up and handle responsibilities here.” He advised students to listen to the professors and counsellors who will always help them to get better. He believes “You have to ask questions if you want to learn.”
  • Maurice Dimeo – Presently, Maurice is a Client Technology leader at EY. He comes from Italy. His father worked in the Navy and was a huge inspiration to Maurice. He has a very strong work ethic and believes in hard work. Maurice says “Work as hard as anybody can!” Maurice graduated from Pace in 1987, and added “Pace is one of the schools where we get a chance to prove ourselves!”

After the highly motivating discussion from the tech leaders, our students were really excited and curious to know more about their success and life achievements. Here are some questions that were asked by our current students to the panel.

  1. How did Pace give opportunities?
  • Joe said “Pace teaches to learn to speak, learn to observe, learn to interact which is necessary to succeed”
  • Tom expressed: There are so many similar students in the same class. You need to be different. You need to stand out from the crowd. Pace helps to choose the right way for this which definitely was a great opportunity.
  • Dora said: Pace has high level of education compared to other schools. Teachers give good advises not only on academics but also regarding careers. Pace helps in building relationships which definitely helps in building careers.

2. What are the necessary skills that interns and employees must have?

  • Vito started with a great answer: “Hard work beats talent!” Everyone should be a hard worker, may he/she be an intern or an employee. Another important thing that Vito said, an understanding of the technology is really important and working passionately is a must.
  • Joe added up to this saying: “It’s all about communication (verbal and written). One must hire people who can communicate really well.”
  • Dora explained this by saying that interns and employees must have respect and good manners. It’s about how a person represents himself and lastly a person’s language is important too!

3. What slogan do you live by?

  • Tom: “Be on Time! Be late, be fired!”
  • Vito: “Regret the things you did, not the things you will do!”
  • Dora: “Take Risks!”
  • Joe: “Work hard and never forget where you came from!”
  • Maurice: “Live by your purpose!”
  • Michael: “Never give up! Do the best you can! Love what you do!”

4. How should Pace University’s students compete from other top level universities’ students?

  • Maurice came up with an outstanding answer to this saying that: “School doesn’t matter, what matters is EDUCATION! Show hard work, gain good knowledge, built in great skills and be passionate!”
  • Joe ended up with an amazing thought. He believes: “No doors will be shut if you are at PACE, all door will be open if you are here!”

The event ended up with our Dean Dr. Hill’s thank you note to all the six great leaders who were a huge motivation for all our current students. We thank our panel and hope to see them all again with an amazing event like this one!

Your Guide to Seidenberg: IS 623 Information Systems Design and Development

IS 623 – Information Systems Design and Development is a course at Seidenberg School of CSIS which focuses on Business Analysis. This is a Graduate level course included in the curriculum of Information Systems. It is a much needed course for students who are aspiring to become business analysts, as well as students interested in learning about the analysis and design phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The course emphasizes software engineering best practices in creating robust, reliable and appropriate systems. This course instructs students in learning current methods of analyzing businesses and deals with the documentation that a Business Analyst needs to work with.

WHAT?

The WHAT part of this course deals with gathering the requirements that are needed for building a system, setting up the system scope (a boundary of the system that says what functionalities will be a part of the system) and the defining goal and objectives for a system. It includes creating a Business Requirement Document (BRD), which lays out the requirements for the system being developed, a scope statement (this sets a boundary to the system), a decomposition diagram (this explains about the system’s functions) and the process flows diagrams (this explains the working flow of the system).

All of the above comes together to answer what students will build in a particular system, including what will be included and what will be excluded, as well as what the functionalities will be.

HOW?

The HOW part of the course focuses on methods for developing logical and physical designs of systems. It includes defining the database model, designing the wireframes/prototypes (designs for how the screens of the system will look) and Use cases which show the flow of screens one after the other. Finally, these designs form the bases of systems for the actual development and implementation. In short, this part deals with the question HOW? How will the system be developed? How will the system look and operate?

IS 623 also provides students with knowledge of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) methodologies such as Waterfall and Agile. Students get to learn different phases of SDLC and how to use it to define a system.

Alongside tech knowledge, students get the opportunity to work on crucial soft skills. The course emphasizes necessary communication skills and interview skills a business analyst must have. This course induces into students the idea of thinking like an analyst.

IS 623 is available at the New York City campus and is also available Online. If you love to study at home or in a calm surrounding you could register for the online course. Studying in a techy surrounding is fun too. Go ahead with NYC campus if you are a techie!

Interested in registering for IS 623? Head on over to your Pace Portal and sign up!

Tech Athletes Series: running hot races and cool code

“Neither of us came here just to run,” Ricky Harris (BS in Computer Science ’20) says while teammate Dan Citardi (BS in Computer Science ’18) nods in agreement. “I chose to come to Pace University because of the great academic program and the great internship opportunities.”

That particular choice paid off: Ricky interned at the White House in summer ’17 and has his eye on a number of very cool opportunities for his third summer at Pace. Spending a few months working in Washington DC wasn’t an excuse to slack on his fitness though. Did Ricky run, Captain America style, around the iconic National Mall park? “Every day,” he admits. You’ve got to stay in shape if you want to serve the country well!

While Ricky and Dan may not have come to Pace to run, it still figures greatly into their schedules and has been one of the most enduring memories of their Pace experience. Both cross country racers, these speedy computer scientists spend their weekdays taking capture the flag cybersecurity challenges or coding mobile apps and their weekends competing against other schools to traverse five miles of trails in the quickest time possible.

Many view running as a solitary sport, and it’s difficult to think of how a cross country ‘team’ can compete as a group when only one person can cross the finish line first. How do Ricky and Dan deal with the idea of working so hard as a group yet just one person getting the glory?

“Pace is its own team,” Ricky says.

“If the two of us are running together, we’ll push each other to go faster,” Dan adds. Rather than racing individually with the goal of placing in the top three, Pace runners strategize on how best to use each individual’s strengths and, when they need it, motivate one another to inch a little bit closer to the kind of peak performance that results in great victories. “Plus,” Dan continues, “I hate to say it, but there’s always bragging rights. If someone were to come out and beat me, of course I’m going to be more motivated to beat them the next time – especially if I see them all the time!”

All of that running takes time, though. Between practice, cross training, and the racing itself, there has to be a balance struck between ‘pace’ and ‘university’. How do the students juggle athletics and academics?

“I balance athletics and my studies by setting aside four to five hours a day to either study for a test or work on any assignments that were given to me and due within that week,” says Ricky, indicating that organization is key.

Dan found that athletics had a positive effect on how he approaches schoolwork. “Having some sort of athletic activity helped me balance more effectively than I otherwise would have,” he says. “If I know I have practice or a meet at a certain time, I know that I have to get my work done beforehand because, naturally, I’m always a bit tired after running. Being an athlete also got me out of the habit of procrastinating – which, after four years, I couldn’t be more thankful for!”

While Ricky is about to enter his third year with Pace, Dan has just about wrapped up his degree and is graduating in Spring 2018. What did he like studying the most?

“Going into college I knew I wanted to do something with computers but, to be honest I didn’t really know what,” says Dan. “But after taking all the classes and doing a lot of side projects, I really took a liking to mobile app development. A huge reason behind that was because of Dr. Jean Coppola; she took me under her wing in freshman year.”

Lining up together to set the Pace

Ricky also worked a lot with Jean, and under her guidance the two runners built a mobile app together (with fellow Seidenberg student, Mackenzie Dolishny) called DiscoVeR, a virtual reality app designed to help individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia cope during a period caused by the disease known as the ‘sundowning’. During this time, which is typically in the late afternoon to early evening, the individual can experience confusion and agitation, which may lead to panic and can be difficult for caregivers to deal with.

Through the app, Ricky and Dan aim to help.

“Dr. Coppola gave us the idea of doing something with virtual reality,” Ricky says. Working together, the two came up with an idea of creating an interactive world where users have to complete simple tasks that help take their minds off of the sundowning experience. “It’s a visual effect, a very simple interactive world . . . they can go into a world and – say there’s a gorilla that needs a banana – they use virtual reality to look around for it.”

DiscoVeR netted the team prizes in both the 2017 #WestchesterSMART Mobile App Development Bowl and the Pace Pitch Contest. It would appear that athletics is not the only area in which Dan and Ricky excel! That said, there are plenty of other achievements in the running realm for both students.

Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill, Dan, Ricky, and former Westchester County Exec Rob Astorino at the #WestchesterSMART Mobile App Development Bowl
Dan, Mackenzie Dolishny, and Ricky after placing in the Pace Pitch Contest

Dan’s most memorable moment as an athlete was being named team captain in his sophomore year. “I was never the type of person to really be vocal and take charge. Since the team was relatively young and inexperienced, I stepped up and took on that leadership role. From my freshman year to senior year, it was incredible seeing how much the team was able to grow, not only in terms of our running abilities but also our sense of family. We would always hang out, have team dinners, play video games, or do whatever we were feeling.  That sense of team bonding and unity made every second that much more enjoyable.”

Dan also ended up becoming the president of the student athlete association and became a voice for athletes on campus. He got to go to conferences and meet others, which he enjoyed immensely.

Ricky also made great memories at Pace: “My most memorable moment as a Pace athlete was Regionals this past season. The entire 10 kilometer race was ran through a flooded muddy golf course. Even though the whole team was covered in mud by the end of the race, we still pushed each other to perform our best. It was also the last meet for all of the seniors, so we left all we had out on the course to give them a last great memory as a Pace athlete.”

With graduation coming up, things will be quite different for Dan. He’s already got a job lined up doing app development for QSI, a software engineering company. As for running, the competitive field changes too. “After college it’s not going to be the same running and competing as I’m not going to have the same team around me,” Dan says. “But I’ll always be really active!”

Of course, he may also be heading back to Pace to do his master’s in software engineering… we won’t complain if he does!

Ricky Harris and Dan Citardi are two Seidenberg students who embody the Pace Path and have successfully explored the possibilities of coming to Pace in both their athletic and academic worlds. Do they have any advice for incoming students on how to make the most of their time at Pace?

“Take advantage of everything,” Dan says. “Internships, app development, chats with professionals, workshops, whatever it may be. Seidenberg has so much to offer, and if you put effort into it, the benefits will be impossible to ignore. At Pace in general, the biggest thing I would say is to get involved.  And it’s never too late to try something new. I got involved with Colleges Against Cancer my junior year, and ended up becoming part of the committee that helps plan Relay for Life. You never know the opportunities that will present themselves and you never know who you might meet.”

Ricky and Dan at the 2018 Relay for Life in support of cancer research

“Just be involved in as many opportunities as you can,” Ricky confirms. “Don’t push anything to the side, take advantage of every opportunity and develop yourself as a whole person. I would recommend to go to every event Pace and Seidenberg have because at every event you’ll meet someone new and make new friends also it’s how you make connections with people. Seidenberg is like a family and you won’t find a better group of friends or family on campus.”