Robot wars at the 7th FIRST® Tech Challenge Hudson Valley Championship Tournament!

Just under 300 accomplished young robot engineers descended on the Pleasantville campus on Sunday, February 21, to compete in the seventh annual FIRST® Tech Challenge Hudson Valley Championship Tournament!

The competitors were part of 28 high school robotics teams hailing from all over the tri-state area who had already met with success at regional qualifying tournaments. With them, robots they designed, built, and programmed came to battle it out for first place.

IMG_6850This year’s challenge was to design robots built to avoid or pick up “debris,” navigate to lighted “rescue beacons,” and climb a five-foot “mountain.” Winners would advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship in the spring.

FIRST is an international, K-12 not-for-profit organization founded to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Participants are also eligible to apply for exclusive college scholarship opportunities totaling $25 million.

Pace University has been a regional partner with FIRST since 2003, running competitions and team workshops that have served well over 6,000 middle- and high-school students.

So onto the winners!

MedalsThe game competition was won by an alliance of three teams:

  • i^2 robotics of Westport, CT
  • Quantum Mechanics of the Dalton School, New York, NY
  • Big Bertha of Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES, Yorktown Heights, NY

Teams also earned awards in a variety of categories. The top judged award, the Inspire award, went to team NanoGurus of Morris Plains, NJ

Four teams will advance to the East Super-Regional Championship next month in Philadelphia, in hopes of moving further to the world championship in April in St Louis, Missouri. The four teams representing Hudson Valley will be:

  • i^2 robotics of Westport, CT
  • Quantum Mechanics of the Dalton School, New York, NY
  • NanoGurus of Morris Plains, NJ
  • Robogamers of New York, NY

We’d like to thank our Seidenberg student volunteers: Ethan Garrison, Sep DiMeglio, Zakiya Sims, Arize Lee, Diego Reyes-Rojas, Norissa Lamaute, Jordan Adelman, Carlo Clarke, David Bernstein and Joel Thomas.

A big thanks also to our staff and faculty who helped make the day possible: Belle Krupchek, Ava Posner, Andreea Cotoranu, Jean Coppola, Julie Gauthier, Larry Perlstein and Bernice Houle.

As if that wasn’t enough, several alumni also lent a hand! Thank you Joe Acampora, John Checco, Rocco Donofrio, Steve Grosmark, Marc Kearney, Alex Quick and Paat Sinsuwan.

IMG_6858This event wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the efforts of Dr. Rick Kline, our robotics champ. A hearty thank you and congratulations to Dr. Kline!

Introducing the 2016 Pace Cyber Team

Who’s that?

Let us introduce you to the 2016 Pace Cyber Team! From left to right, back row first: Benjamin Longobardi, Kenneth Almodovar, Gabriel Rivera, Joel Thomas, Norissa Lamaute, Mario Pichardo, and Jordan Adelman. In the front row: Joseph Glasser, Carlo Clarke, and Alexa Piccoli

These cybersecurity enthusiasts trained assiduously throughout the fall semester in preparation to compete in the Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NECCDC). The competition season started with a qualifier aiming to place the team for the regional event. Unfortunately, in spite of obtaining a qualifying score in the virtual qualifier, the team could not proceed to the regionals.

Wait… what happened?

Well, it was all Jonas’ fault! Don’t worry, Jonas is not one of the team members, but the snow storm that blasted our region on January 23, 2016. It was Jonas who forced these warriors to compete in their PJs from the comfort of their homes, rather than from their cyber den on the Pleasantville campus (aka Security Lab). We know, we know, the event was virtual, so why did this matter? Well, the game requires that the team be in one location, and their performance be observed by competition officials who ensure all rules are abided by.

Thanks a lot, Jonas!

What is CDCC?

For those not familiar with the event, CCDC is a highly regarded security competition with tiers at the state, regional, and national level. The competition challenges students to practice both their technical and business skills. Student teams are engaged in the process of securing and managing a small business network, which includes maintaining a set of critical services and responding to business requests (injects), all while defending against a “red team” attacking the network. Critical services include e-mail server, e-commerce site, DNS, etc. Examples of injects from this year’s competition include performing host vulnerability assessment and hardening, monitoring web site integrity, performing an assessment of external services, configuring NTP and a centralized logging service, and identifying and reporting on network attacks to name a few.

That sounds awesome, how do I join?

You’d be more than welcome to take part! Team training continues throughout the spring semester, primarily on weekends. The team meets in the Security Lab on the Pleasantville campus. Students interested in joining the team should reach out to Andreea Cotoranu at acotoranu@pace.edu – all skill levels are welcome!

And it’s all thanks to…

The Pace Cyber Team is supported by Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Professor and Chair of the IT Department (WEST), and is coached by Professor Andreea Cotoranu and graduate assistant, Joseph Glasser.

Seidenberg students set up tech infrastructure at Isaac Newton MS for Math and Science after $1m Apple grant

20160129_142534-1

Seidenberg students have gone back to middle school because they missed it so much. Not really, but this is one middle school that our students may wish they had attended! The Isaac Newton Middle School School for Math and Science recently received a grant from Apple to the tune of one million dollars, with an end goal of each and every student at the school being equipped with an iPad to help them engage better with their education.

Modern technology is increasingly being rolled out in primary and secondary education, with several similar initiatives like providing students with laptops and other personal devices arising within the last few years. This time, it’s Isaac Newton MS for Math and Science’s turn, and we’re excited to be a part of it!

Top Seidenberg graduate students Bhushan Suryawanshi, Jigar Mehta, Hardik Patel, Dhruvil Gandhi and Pratik Dhiman have been visiting the 20160129_142232school in order to provide support with getting its technical infrastructure up and running. Together, the students are modifying existing smart class and smart board tech to get it at par with the requirements. The school’s computer lab is also being modified to a greater standard, and they are also setting up the iPads and classrooms for new tech.

Different applications on iPad and smart class together will make the class more interactive, which can have far more appeal to middle school students who are growing up with access to various kinds of technology. With this generous grant from Apple, we’re confident the school will put its brand new tech to good use – and maybe we’ll see those students again come college application time!

Call for high school and college students for 2nd Annual Westchester SMART Mobile App Development Bowl

Registration for the 2nd Annual Westchester SMART Mobile App Development Bowl is underway, and we want you to sign up! Think you can develop a mobile app? Enter our competition and show us what you’ve got!

What do I do?

Compete in a team (two person min) to create a mobile app that will help improve the lives of people aged 65 and above, especially in area where their needs are neglected or underserved. Teams can be affiliated with your high school or college, or you can register as an independent team.

Individuals can sign up and Pace will help place you in a team.

What do I win?

Cash prizes, internships, and a collection of high-tech gear!

sign up

Registration closes February 12, so hurry up!

Hewlett Packard Enterprise cracks Fortify software at Seidenberg

HPE logoThe Seidenberg School was delighted to welcome Tom Ryan, from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, to come and provide training to our students at Pace University. In attendance were security professionals from the corporate sector as well as undergraduate and graduate students from the Seidenberg School. The training provided tremendous insight into Web vulnerabilities and how to prioritize threats.

Professor Hayes from the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems organized the training and was quoted as saying, “Hands-on training with professional security tools is paramount to the success of our students, especially given that many of those students have taken our online courses. It was heartening to see so many students attend, even before the semester has begun, in order to further their knowledge. Moreover, the participation of corporate IT professionals was an excellent opportunity for Pace students to network with industry experts and understand their challenges with Web security”.​

Juan Guzman, a Seidenberg graduate IT major, who attended the training, said, “The HPE Fortify Application training provided information on how insecure applications represent in the world of information assurance however, with the education acquired from Pace University Instructors, Prof. Darren R. Hayes and the latest approach in testing methodologies by Tom Ryan has proven that learning the latest information security is a never ending process. Thank you for the always enlightening path of knowledge”.

The HPE Fortify training was part of the Seidenberg School’s Security and Forensics Week.