A Survival Guide to Learning Remotely

If you’re a student struggling through this shift from going to class or work each day to learning remotely from home, you’re not alone. We’re all going through this together as a community, so this guide is for all of us. Whether you need help making a schedule, navigating Blackboard, or keeping in touch with your professors, this guide has helpful information for all of the facets of remote learning. Read through our seven tips from Leanne Keeley, Web Developer for Pace University and Seidenberg Community Member, for an easier and more organized virtual semester!

1. Focus on communication…

Check Blackboard and your student email every day for announcements from your professors. Email or call your professor for any reason—whether you have questions about the course overall, about an assignment, and if you’re struggling with anything. Make sure you know when your professor’s office hours are so you can contact them when needed.

2. Make a schedule…

Use an online or paper calendar to keep track of class time, assignments, and due dates. It can be hard to stay on top of classes when moving to a new environment, so making an organizational system for yourself can be key.

3. Create an organized space for yourself…

Set aside a space for doing classwork (besides your bed, of course). Use a desk or table and create a space for yourself. Let your family and anyone else in your space know that you are in class or working so they do not disturb you.

4. Utilize your computer…

Set up a folder for each class on your desktop so you can organize class lectures, assignments, and other varied course work. Make sure all of your folders and documents have good file names so you can easily find them. Ensuring that your computer is backed up in case of an emergency is also good practice!

5. Check-in with yourself…

Take care of yourself. Use Pace and Seidenberg resources if you need help. Check-in with faculty or staff if you are worried about your classes or confused about how to be a remote student. You do your best work when you are happy and healthy.

6. Know your academic resources…

There are many academic resources for students working remotely. You can get an appointment with a tutor for most general classes, get a specific tutor for your Seidenberg classes, and even check out Pace OneDrive. You have access to so many resources that you can find on the Pace University or Seidenberg websites.

7. Utilize your health care resources…

Even when learning remotely, your health care resources are available. If you are worried about your health, university Health Care is just a click away. If you feel anxious or need someone to talk to the Counseling Center is always available to help.

Pace Women in Tech host Sunflower Hack

Pace Women in Tech (WIT) hosted their largest event for the spring 2020 semester on February 29th with an incredibly successful turnout: Sunflower Hack. The hackathon took place on the New York City campus at the Seidenberg School where fifty coders and twenty organizers participated in 12+ hours of ideation and implementation.

Once the clock hit 9am, hackers came rushing into the venue to take part in the event. Pace WIT election board members and hackathon hosts, Jennifer Rhau, Sammy Chen Li, Vivian Ng, Minying He, Angela Bonsol, and Rey Kam kept the event running smoothly all day. Volunteers made sure to assist hackers in any way possible. Workshop leaders Dhruvil Gandhi and Olga Bogomolova (along with the Entrepreneurship Lab) kept the creativity flowing by hosting workshops in Design Thinking, Pitching 101, and Android 101.

Sunflower Hack held winners in a total of five known categories and one unknown category which was revealed as the Surprise Prize category. The five known categories were Best Beginner’s Hack, Best Entrepreneurial Hack, Best Theme Hack, Best Technical Hack, and Best Design Hack. The winners of each category are as followed:

Best Beginner’s Hack: Food for All

Best Entrepreneurial Hack: The Trackers

Best Theme Hack: Cultivate

Best Technical Hack: To The Moon

Best Design Hack: College Community

Surprise Prize: DJ & Know Your Skin

This event was a phenomenal opportunity for the Pace WIT members and Seidenberg community members to show off their talents. We’re so proud of all the work Pace WIT put into this event. We look forward to next year’s hackathon! You can check out all of the winning hacks on the SunflowerHack devpost.

We also caught up with Pace WIT e-board members and Sunflower Hack hosts, Vivian Ng and Angela Bonsol, to see how they thought the event went. Check out their interviews below!

 

Why was it important for Pace WIT to host a Hackathon?

Vivian: It was important for Women in Tech to host Sunflower Hack because it was something that we had been planning for over a year. I remember sitting in the Seidenberg conference room a year ago with the rest of the team wracking our brains for possible event ideas and the idea of a hackathon popped up. A year ago, it was just an idea on paper, but a year later, it became a reality. Sunflower Hack was our brainchild and we were going to make sure to see it through. We wanted it to be something that the future board members of Women in Tech could carry on after we graduated. 

 Angela: As a Women in Tech organization, we wanted to host the first student-run hackathon at Pace University. We also just wanted to give a chance to those who have not gone to a hackathon, especially Pace Students, yet to be first time hackers at an environment they are most comfortable with. It was also important for us to share what Women in Tech is all about. Like the theme authenticity, that’s what Pace WiT is all about… No matter how different you are, that doesn’t make you any less or less qualified for you not to reach for your goals and do what you want to do. 

 What did you expect from Sunflower Hack?

 Vivian: When we first started planning out the logistics for Sunflower Hack, I wasn’t expecting much. I had more concerns about it than anything (you can ask anyone else and they’ll tell you the same thing). My biggest concern was if we were going to meet our goal of 60 attendees, but that concern went away the moment I saw people rapidly entering our hacking space. 

 Angela: I really didn’t think I was expecting much, I thought it would happen just [like] a regular hackathon. I don’t know if it was because I was part of the organizing team, but compared to as when I was a hacker myself, Sunflower Hack was just so different. I definitely felt [a sense of] comfort within the hackers. I just really wanted participants to enjoy the event, and learn a few things here and there. Working in teams within a limited time, experiences that could help them in the real world. 

 How do you feel the Hackathon went?

Vivian: Sunflower Hack exceeded my expectations from the moment it started on that early Saturday morning. All the weekly meetings and late nights were worth it seeing just how successful it really was. It didn’t matter how stressed or tired we were at the end of the day; what mattered was that we put forth something that I’m incredibly proud to say I had a hand in. 

 Angela: It definitely went amazing! It went by a lot more smoothly than I imagined. It really warmed my heart when people stopped to tell me how great the event was going, especially for participants because this[the event] was all for them. There was just a lot of love going on. It was interesting to see our picked theme come to live and be envisioned by all these participants. 

What was your favorite part of the event?

Vivian: My favorite part of Sunflower Hack was the closing ceremony where we got the chance to learn a bit more about our judges and watch as prizes were distributed to the winning teams. As an organizer, the most important thing for me was to know that our attendees enjoyed their time with us and each other. To me, Sunflower Hack wasn’t just a networking event for our sponsors and participants, but a unique experience for everyone to learn and develop their skills as well as make lifelong connections. 

Angela: My favorite part of the event was probably watching the hackers do their thing. My feet were tired, but I still kept making rounds around the lounge because I wanted to see what everyone was working on and just asking them on what they’ve created so far. Also, their interpretation of what authenticity means to them was interesting to find out. I felt really active and out there. They were so into it, it felt like a real hackathon you know. It felt special. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Seidenberg community?

Vivian: I strongly encourage students to attend Sunflower Hack in the years to come; any hackathon you come across and are interested in really, but most importantly Sunflower Hack. The idea from the beginning was for it to become a legacy event for all future Women in Tech student leaders and we hope it continues to grow and flourish. We’re incredibly thankful for the support that we received from all of our sponsors and participants. We truly could not have done any of this without you! 

 Angela: I just want to thank everyone who was involved in making Sunflower Hack come to life. I hope they know how we truly appreciate them. I commend my fellow organizers, you can really see the passion we all had in making this event happen. I remember when we just first started organizing this event, it felt like we weren’t getting any done. As time pass by, it was amazing how slowly this event come to life. From just an idea to actually making it happen. I think that was really the message we were trying to get across. If you have an idea, make it happen! There shouldn’t be anything that can stop you! ​There will always be people supporting you! 

Pace Professor Miguel Mosteiro Gets Work Published in the JACM

The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is proud to announce that the work of one of our very own community members, Associate Professor Miguel Mosteiro (as seen on the far left), has been accepted by the Journal of ACM for publication. The ACM, or the Association for Computing Machinery, is an organization that “brings together computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field’s challenges.” Through the ACM, members of the computing community are constantly encouraged to expand their knowledge and discover new ways of thinking.

Miguel’s article on “Polynomial Counting in Anonymous Dynamic Networks with Applications to Anonymous Dynamic Algebraic Computations,”, which also won an award for best paper at ICALP in 2018, will soon be added to the ACM’s list of prestigious journal publications. With papers ranging from top research institutions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Cornell University, it is an honor to have Miguel be recognized amongst other top educators in this field.

“These results received the Best Paper Award at ICALP 2018, the flagship conference of the European Association of Theoretical Computer Science and top 4 worldwide, and now were accepted for publication at the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (JACM),” Miguel explains. “To have one’s work published in JACM is an important accomplishment for a CS researcher. The ACM is the top scientific computing society worldwide, and JACM is the top 1 journal venue* in Theoretical Computer Science (TCS). I am honored to have our work on ADNs so recognized by the TCS scientific community, and I look forward to continuing this successful line of work.”

Congratulations to Miguel Mosteiro on his accomplishment. The Seidenberg School is proud of his work on dynamic networks and we’re excited to cheer on his future achievements moving forward!

The 8th Annual Celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film Movie Marathon is Postponed

EDIT: The FILM FEST is postponed indefinitely — WE WILL UPDATE ASAP

A DAY OF CELEBRATION AT PACE UNIVERSITY

Pace University is once again celebrating diversity with its eighth Annual Celebration of People with Disabilities in Films Film Festival. This year, the festivities have expanded into Disability is Diversity Day, which will take place on March 30, 2020.

As always, this event is free and open to all.

The festival offers the opportunity for guests to meet alumni, faculty, officials, and students of Pace University, as well as distinguished advocates for people with disabilities. This includes governmental legislators, municipal officials, delegates from the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, non-profit organizational officials and staff, and people with disabilities and their families.

EVENT DETAILS

Monday, March 30, 2020
Reception: 5:00pm
Program start: 6:00pm
Pace University
Bianco Room
3 Spruce Street
New York
RSVP: contact James Lawler at jlawler@pace.edu or (212) 346-1013

ABOUT THE FILM FEST

The program includes inspirational short films featuring people with disabilities. The characters are depicted personally and professionally, living with pride in their abilities. There will be a keynote speech and an interactive panel to discuss the films, as well as musical performances.

Most of the films in the program have been recognized at the international Sprout Film Festival, with whom Pace is partnered in 2020. The films are a mix of comedy, documentary, drama, narrative and poetry, and international screenings. The program will demonstrate the breadth of life experienced by people with disabilities.

The Eighth Annual Celebration of People with Disabilities in Films Film Festival: Disability is Diversity Day at Pace University will be an evening of festivities, fun, and learning with refreshments for all. The program will emphasize the rights of people with disabilities in a society which often marginalizes them.

The Film Festival will be held on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, in the Angelo Bianco Room, G Level, 3 Spruce Street, Pace University. The event will include displays and exhibits, a networking reception, and refreshments beginning at 5:00 PM.

The program is free for all.

To RSVP, contact Jim Lawler at jlawler@pace.edu or (212) 346-1013.

Hackathon Survival Guide

If you’re already into the tech scene, then chances are you already know what a hackathon is. However, if you haven’t, the definition of a hackathon is as follows: it is, “a social coding event that brings computer programmers and other interested people together to improve upon or build a new software program.” Hackathons are great for improving your coding skills, learning more about technology, and coming up with ideas that can garner the attention of major businesses. GroupMe is one example of a hackathon idea turned multimillion-dollar acquisition. The prototype, which was created at TechCrunch Hackday, did not win any prizes but it did become successful later on. It was the experience of going that provided the creators with the inspiration needed to conceive the idea of GroupMe. Their success is one of the many reasons you should consider attending a hackathon. If you’ve never attended a hackathon, here are the top 17 tips for surviving your first one.

17 Tips for Surviving Your First Hackathon

1. ARRIVE EARLY

Person Jumping

The best thing you can do for yourself when attending a hackathon is to arrive early. If you’re attending a hackathon that’s a good distance away plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get there. For the most part, hackathons have many participants, all of whom are trying to arrive around the same time as you. Take this into account when planning your departure time and you should be good to go.

2. BE OPEN

Man Opening DoorsIf you decide to work in a team for the hackathon, being open-minded is crucial. There is nothing worse than working with someone who has no interest in understanding your point of view. Teams are a collaborative effort and in order to succeed, you must be willing to compromise.

3. BRAINSTORM BEFORE YOU GET THERE

Person Confused

If you’re given the project before the hackathon even starts, do your research and brainstorm. This saves you the trouble of having to desperately think of an idea on the spot. Instead, you get to focus on successfully implementing that idea in a timely manner.

4. THERE ARE USUALLY PRIZES

Although the experience of going to a hackathon should be enough encouragement to go on its own, it’s also good to remember that there are usually monetary prizes. If not, companies sponsoring the event tend to give away their own products as prizes. For example, at Technica in 2019, VR headsets and Google Home Minis were offered as incentives.

5. BRUSH UP ON CODING SKILLS

Cat Typing Really FastGetting some practice in beforehand is essential for keeping your coding skills sharp. Whether that be Java, C++, HTML, or CSS. Practice whatever language needed to implement your project successfully. Websites like Codecademy and Udemy are perfect for reviewing how to program.

6. MENTORS ARE AVAILABLE

There are usually mentors available to assist you, whether that be helping you fully understand the project or answering any coding related questions you may have. Mentors are volunteers who want to help you so please don’t be afraid to ask them questions.

7. TAKE LOTS OF BREAKS

Spongebob Taking A BreakPlease do not stress yourself out to the point of exhaustion. It’s nearly impossible to put out good work when your brain is fried, or your body is tired. That’s why you should take as many breaks needed to refresh your mind and body for the competition.

8. EXPECT COMMUNITY GAMES

Community games are held for participants to get to know each other and relax in between working. These are a great way to make new friends and have fun so if possible, you should consider taking advantage of them.

9. KNOW HOW LONG THE HACKATHON LASTS

Lady Pointing To Her WristThere are many different types of hackathons. Some last 24 hours, 36 hours, and even 48 hours. Know how long yours is and prepare accordingly. If it’s your first time going to a hackathon maybe a 24 hour one might be a good place to start. However, if you’re feeling ambitious maybe a longer hackathon is perfect for you.

10. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WORKSHOPS

Take advantage of the workshops that hackathons have to offer. More often than not, they provide beneficial information that can help with your current project in addition to your future ones.

11. THEY HAVE SLEEPING SPACES FOR STUDENTS

Animated Cat Yawning

Although sleeping spaces are usually provided, be sure to bring an air mattress and/or sleeping bag as necessary. Although some hackathons do provide air mattresses, don’t be surprised if there aren’t enough or if the ones they provide aren’t the best quality.

12. DO RESEARCH ON SPONSORS

Woman Holding Phone

Check to see if any of the sponsors for the hackathon are companies that you might be interested in working for. Some sponsors actually have internships or job opportunities available. Because of this, going to a hackathon puts you at a far greater advantage than most people who are also interested in those companies. It’s also a good idea for you to bring a few copies of your resume. Doing so shows those companies that you’re serious about working for them.

13. CHECK OUT DEMOS

At the end of a hackathon, there is usually a demo session of all the projects. Use this as an opportunity to look at what everyone else has made. Demo sessions are not only for company representatives. Participants are encouraged to look at projects aside from their own for innovative inspiration.

14. MOST HACKATHONS ARE FREE

Girl SpeakingAlthough most hackathons are free of charge, there are a few that may require a fee. This is rare but double-check that it’s free to be sure.

15. TRANSPORTATION MAY BE PROVIDED

Some hackathons do provide transportation. This could mean that they provide their own OR they refund your travel expenses. The refund process is that you have to pay your traveling fees at first, and then afterward they will refund you. Because of this, it is important that you hold onto all your traveling receipts so that they know exactly how much to refund you.

16. PACK LOTS OF SNACKS

Patrick Eating A Lot Of PattiesWhether you have any dietary restrictions or not, pack as many snacks as you can. Hackathons usually provide food for participants, however, if late-night cravings are a common occurrence for you or you simply cannot eat the food they have to offer, then it’s probably best that you bring your own snacks.

17. IT’S OKAY NOT TO KNOW A LOT OF CODE

Elmo Shrugging

If you have a brilliant idea but don’t how to create it, making a presentation is also acceptable. Making a visual presentation allows you to convey the idea you’ve come up with without the pressure of having the full code prepared. Even if you don’t have any code at all, presenting a few slides is better than presenting nothing at all.

For this article I’d like to thank Seidenberg senior, honors college student, and vice president of Women in Tech, Sammy Chen-Li for sharing her vast knowledge of hackathons! If you’re looking to attend a hackathon anytime soon, Pace University’s Women in Tech Club is actually having their very own hackathon called Sunflower Hack! It’s scheduled to take place Saturday, February 29th, 2020 from 9 am to 9 pm on the 2nd floor of 163 William Street. It’s an 8-hour hackathon open to all current undergrad and grad students at Pace. For more information please click here!

Seidenberg Alumnus Feature: Jonathan Etkin ’02

Each year, Seidenberg students graduate and move into the workforce. Graduates build their careers and hold close to the knowledge they gained at Seidenberg. When we have the chance to share the stories of alumni who’ve gone on to succeed in their fields, we jump at the opportunity. Alumnus Jonathan Etkin shared his story with us.

The Danbury, Connecticut native spent four and a half years at Pace University to obtain a master’s degree as a part-time student while also living a double life as a full-time employee and commuter. Jonathan’s path to higher education was strenuous, but he made sure to keep his eyes on the goal: a Masters of Science degree from the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Before his time at Pace, Jonathan got his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from SUNY Albany. While he knew he wanted to work in the technology industry, the light bulb didn’t go off for him until 1995 when he was working in NYC as an accountant and Microsoft software was becoming an office staple.

“Working in that field for a while was when I realized that I really had an aptitude and a passion for technology,” he explains. “That’s when I decided to pursue the masters at Pace.”

“The first technology I was introduced to in-work was the thing I intended to do my studies and my papers on—multidimensional databases.”

This led Jonathan to the Masters of Business Information Systems program at Pace University. From there, it took a lot of focus to keep his eye on the prize.

Jonathan set out to work full-time, study as a part-time student, plan a wedding, and juggle life as a commuter. The key was to find a flexible job. He made sure to unlock his potential by finding a job that understood the importance of the education that he was pursuing.

“It’s important to find a job that is willing to let you leave on certain days at certain times,” Jonathan expresses.

Doing this allowed him the flexibility he needed while he was commuting from work to Pace’s former White Plains campus. Jonathan’s work schedule had him leaving work 2 to 3 times a week for class. It was a wonderful opportunity for him to gain work experience while also gaining a degree that would open up more doors for him.

Jonathan was introduced to “Enterprise Performance Management” technology early in his career. This new form of multidimensional databases furthered his passion to work in the industry he dreamed of.

“Not only did I have the personal desire to go in that direction, I found the benefits and how much more efficient you could be and how much more quickly you could get things done and get them done accurately,” he explains.

Once Jonathan graduated with his master’s degree from Seidenberg in 2002, he immediately began to excel in management positions in the tech and consulting industries, implementing Oracle / Hyperion Performance Management Solutions.

In 2017, Jonathan shifted his career to become the Customer Success Director at Anaplan, a modern, cloud-based planning platform. At Anaplan, Jonathan’s team is in charge of customer implementations to ensure success.

When asked how he feels in his role at Anaplan, he explains that “it’s exciting, to be honest. It’s a new cutting edge technology. Anaplan was born to be a cloud software product, so it’s just a more modern take on the same type of technology.”

“I work with our implementation partners and our customers to make sure we are delivering on what they feel they purchased from us,” he explains.

When talking about the work he and his team members do, Jonathan explains with an example. If a company wants to track their expenses or any other possible variables, the implementation partners at Anaplan ensure that the company’s goals are met. Jonathan’s team makes sure the transition is seamless and efficient and that the customers are satisfied with the product.

“We do what we need to do to make the customers happy and successful,” he explains. “We’re pulling in all the right people to make sure we’re successful.”

As a professional successfully making moves in the technology industry, it’s safe to say that Jonathan’s advice is something to listen to. We’re proud of everything he has done since his time at Seidenberg. He wanted to leave us with some words of advice for Seidenberg students:

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that…simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I would advise people who are learning technology to not over-engineer solutions for their end-users,” Jonathan advises. “Your main goal as an implementer should be focused on the end-user experience. Make it simple, easy to understand, scalable, and easy to maintain.”