Associate Dean Dr.Hill pens Op-Ed in The Hill’s Congress Blog about immigration reform

Associate Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Jonathan Hill, recently penned another opinion piece for The Hill’s Congress blog about the importance of comprehensive and fair immigration reform. In the piece, titled “Practical enhancements must not be lost in push for immigration reform”, Hill talks about the importance of providing H1-b visas to qualified foreign born workers and F-1 visas for qualified students at universities.

Associate Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Jonathan Hill, recently penned another opinion piece for The Hill’s Congress blog about the importance of comprehensive and fair immigration reform. In the piece, titled “Practical enhancements must not be lost in push for immigration reform”, Hill talks about the importance of providing H1-b visas to qualified foreign born workers and F-1 visas for qualified students at universities.

Without comprehensive immigration reform the piece warns that we may not be able to provide enough technically skilled employees to major tech companies to keep the American economy at the top of these sectors. Hill hopes that “the ongoing need for comprehensive immigration reform that will create adequate, timely access to high quality scientists, technologists and engineers to support American scientific leadership and innovation cannot be left unaddressed.”

The full piece can be accessed on The Hill’s website.

What do you think is the right direction for immigration reform? Tell us in the comments. Be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, to get the latest updates about our faculty and what they’re saying.

 

Prof. Sotiris Skevoulis talks about “Mathematics and Music” Summer Class

Prof. Sotiris Skevoulis will be teaching a cross disciplinary class this summer focusing on the relation between mathematics and music. He took the time to write up a description of the class for our blog:

The extent to which science and society are governed by mathematical relationships is evident not only by the astronomer’s Galileo Galilei’s observation in 1623 that the entire universe “is written in the language of mathematics”, but in the ancient Greek works of scholars such as Pythagoras. It may come as a surprise to some that music is also based upon mathematical relationships. Several musical concepts such as scales, octaves, rhythm and harmony can all be explained and understood logically using simple mathematics.

Prof. Sotiris Skevoulis will be teaching a cross disciplinary class this summer focusing on the relation between mathematics and music. He took the time to write up a description of the class for our blog:

The extent to which science and society are governed by mathematical relationships is evident not only by the astronomer’s Galileo Galilei’s observation in 1623 that the entire universe “is written in the language of mathematics”, but in the ancient Greek works of scholars such as Pythagoras.  It may come as a surprise to some that music is also based upon mathematical relationships. Several musical concepts such as scales, octaves, rhythm and harmony can all be explained and understood logically using simple mathematics.

Using this knowledge questions such as – which instruments and notes actually make up that wild opening chord of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night”? – can be answered simply. Using a mathematical  tool called a “Fourier Transform” Dalhousie University mathematician Jason Brown analyzed and solved the decades-old mystery and no, it was not only George Harrison’s 12-string guitar!

The math-music connection is not limited to only those two fields.  This relation even has an effect on Education; research has shown that students who learn their academics through music retain the information better than children who learn the same concepts by verbal instruction.

This course is an extended review of the relationships of music, mathematics and computing. Simple knowledge of High School math is the only prerequisite. It will meet in a blended form onsite and with online components. It examines the relationships of music and mathematics from Pythagoras to J.S. Bach and W. A. Mozart as well as focusing on modern digital music and Ianis Xenakis. It explores the areas of mathematics that are used in music theory and music composition. Because of computing, only recently composers can incorporate complex mathematical models in composition without having to make the tedious calculations they require. Students will be able to implement simple musical algorithms and create small programs for electronic sound synthesis, explain the mapping between music and mathematical models and above all appreciate the mathematical structure of music

My work on music and mathematics involved the study of the theory of music and probabilities. The analysis and study of the probabilities moving from one musical note to another could be used in the study of musical plays and help us identify common characteristics between different composers and musical plays.

Who can take this course?

  • Current Pace students
  • Visiting students from other Schools who want to study an interesting topic over the summer and transfer the credits back to their School
  • Any student who is interested in technology, math and music

For more information please feel free to contact me at: sskevoulis@pace.edu

Sotiris Skevoulis, Ph.D.

Professor

Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Now that sounds like an interesting class! And is sure to be an interesting introduction to complex mathematics and computer science for students outside the Seidenberg school Are you excited to take this class? Tell us in the comments. Be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on FacebookTwitter, or Google+ to get the latest updates about what unique classes and opportunities are available.

 

Seidenberg Student Julie Gauthier shares her experience at Pace Women in Technology event

The panelists of the Women in Technology event

Pace Student Julie Gauthier attended last month’s Women in Technology event and was kind enough to write about it for our blog. Read about her experience at the event and meeting all the wonderful female technologists:

What makes hosting events focusing on women in technology a challenge, is that there are so few women in computer science, the audience for the panel is typically as large as the panel of accomplished women. The Women in Technology event held by Pace University’s Career Services and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems last month was not one of those events! The panel of brilliant tech-ladies drew in a large crowd of not only women in computer science, but also gentlemen and other ladies from outside of the strictly computer science focused Seidenberg community. The panel included Maria Naggaga, Liz Young (my fabulous graphic design professor), Vanessa Hurst, and Izzy Johnston. These remarkable women came from different backgrounds in the technology, and each had their niche. Vanessa worked with databases, Izzy was an extremely motivated, multi-talented developer, Maria is a technology evangelist for Microsoft, and Liz owns her own web development and marketing strategy company, as well as teaches at Pace. Instead of focusing on bringing more women into the technology industry, these ladies focused on why going into the technology industry is amazing!

 The technology industry has infiltrated every other field. Technologists are able to work in whatever field interests them at the time. With constant developments, jobs in technology are never stagnant. We’ll never stop learning! It was inspiring to hear these women talking about how excited they are about their jobs and what they do. I share that same passion.

Many of them also talked about the sense of community that they have within their development groups and in their respective universities. Maria talked about her mentor from her school in Canada, and how he pushed her to do well. I could relate to the sense of having a community and support within that community. I feel that way about the Seidenberg School. Often it is assumed that there is a lot of sexism in computer science communities, but that is very much untrue of the Seidenberg School. True, I’m the only girl in a few of my classes, but I’d never know it, and I don’t think any of my friends realize it either.

It is my firm belief that women should be able to pursue whatever career they choose. While this may not be programming or web development, that doesn’t mean that women should not be exposed to technology at an early age! Technology is revolutionizing every sphere of our lives and early exposure will be key to future success. I am a mentor for the Lego robotics team at the Chapin School on the Upper East Side. It’s my goal to demonstrate to the girls that programming is not that difficult. It doesn’t take a special type of brain, that supposedly only men have, to understand it. In fact, if they like making things and problem solving, they might like programming too!

This event was also a great opportunity to network; even if only with a few other women in technology. In fact, I’m off to meet up with Liz Young and hear about her company’s projects right now!

Seidenberg staff and faculty posing with the panelists at the end of the event

 

Excited students came out to hear the panelists speak

Pace University is dedicated to promoting women in technology and making sure that all our students have an opportunity to achieve greatness. Do you have a personal story of overcoming adversity in the workforce? Be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on FacebookTwitter, or Google+ to get the latest updates about what opportunities are available to students and upcoming events

All photo credits to Chidimma Chuke

Associate Dean of Seidenberg, Jonathan Hill, speaks to National Journal about STEM Collaboratory and The Hill about the Sequester

Dr. Jonathan Hill spoke to the National Journal’s – The Next America about the new STEM Collaboratory sponsored by the Verizon Foundation. The Stem Collaboratory is a joint partnership between the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and The School of Education here at Pace University. The collaboratory will be a place where inner-city teachers, university professors, industry executives, and government officials will come together to help improve the STEM education of students in New York City public schools

In the interview Dr. Hill, along with assistant professor at the School of Education Lauren Birney, spoke about the challenges that minority students face in pursuing educational opportunities, particularly in STEM fields, and how the collaboratory hopes to address these issues.

The two also penned an opinion piece for The Hill’s Congress Blog about the negative impacts of the Sequester on education especially in the STEM fields.  The piece talks about the negative impacts of budget cuts across the board that may end up costing New York State 1,100 jobs alone and warns “The fact that spending on education is considered ‘discretionary’ is, in itself, cause for concern.”

How do you think the budget cuts will affect education at your school? And the possibility of collaboration among departments? Tell us in the comments. Be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on FacebookTwitter, or Google+ to get the latest updates about what our faculty is saying and doing in the professional world

Graduate Student Nina Freeman attends IndieCade East, shows of game made at SONY Game Jam

Nina Freeman, a graduate student of Computer Science at the Seidenberg School, recently attended the IndieCade East Indie Game Festival after working on her own game at the Playstation Mobile Game Jam. She was kind enough to write about her experience for our blog. Nina’s previously written for our Tumblr about the NYU Global Game Jam and you can read that piece here. Read on ahead for an exciting account of a Seidenberg student developing her own gam

Nina Freeman, a graduate student of Computer Science at the Seidenberg School, recently attended the IndieCade East Indie Game Festival after working on her own game at the Playstation Mobile Game Jam. She was kind enough to write about her experience for our blog. Nina’s previously written for our Tumblr about the NYU Global Game Jam and you can read that piece here. Read on ahead for an exciting account of a Seidenberg student developing her own game.

“IndieCade East, the first time IndieCade has been held on the east coast, took place during the weekend of February 15th. However, for me, IndieCade began the weekend prior with the PlayStation Mobile (PSM) Game Jam. The PSM Game Jam was a weeklong collaboration between Sony and IndieCade that brought together a group of developers based in the New York City area. Our task was to develop games for the PSVita during the week leading up to, and the weekend of, IndieCade East. It was a unique opportunity to take the technology offered by Sony, and to use it to make a game of our own design. All teams were given access to the PSM SDK, a yearlong publishing license for the PSVita, and most importantly to developers that worked on creating the SDK itself. It was exciting to have the help of Sony developers’ in-person, especially because none of us jammers had any experience with the SDK beforehand.

The most exciting and challenging part of the SDK was that it uses C#. I had no experience with C# prior to the jam. Needless to say, by the end of IndieCade I felt like a C# savant. The week leading up to our final presentations was an absolute rollercoaster, during which I learned more about games programming than I ever dreamed of. My teammate and fellow programmer Emmett Butler pair programmed with me for the first 2 days of the jam. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful the pair programming approach was. It was by far the most productive way we could have taught ourselves C# in such a short amount of time, because we were able to both learn the SDK while also setting up the basic framework for our game. Once we had an understanding of the SDK, we started to build our game, which would come to be called Cybrid 7-x.

Cybrid 7-x was our first response to the jam’s theme of “evolution.” We wanted to create a self-reproducing system, mostly because it was an interesting experiment in code. From that idea came a robot stuck in a garden full of over-zealous plant life. Our game is essentially a flower breeding game in which you try to control the types of flowers that are reproduced. For example, if you plant the rose next to the mushroom, the next generation that spawns will be a combination of the two. The actual reproduction happens when it rains or if you choose to water the plants. The goal is to breed the plant that appears on the computer screen in your garden, and to plant it in the plot below the screen. If you let the flowers get too out of control, they take over your garden and you lose. The game sounds simple, but it took us the entire week, up to the very last minute, to really fine-tune our idea. The Sony developers were extraordinarily helpful in untangling some of our tougher problems. My team found z-indexing within the SDK to be quite the puzzle, but the Sony developers did their best to help us put the pieces together. Having that kind of support during the crunch of a game jam is very encouraging.

I was happy to meet so many talented programmers and designers throughout the jam, from both Sony and elsewhere. It was really rewarding to participate in an event where everyone was so clearly excited about games and making them. Seeing the other teams games at the final presentation was really inspiring. It’s incredible to see what kinds of ideas can come out during the hectic atmosphere of a game jam. I’m a big fan of game jams, and hope to do more in the future. I feel very lucky to have worked with Sony and with my amazing teammates. You can check out our tumblr,donutgoku.tumblr.com, to see some screenshots of the game. If you ever get a chance to do a game jam, go for it! You never know what kind of exciting ideas will come out of it.”

Sounds like she had a great time. Do you have your own Game Jam or Development weekend story you’d like featured on our blog? Shoot us an e-mail to paceseidenbergschool@gmail.com. If you’d like to contact Nina you can reach her at nf20069n@pace.edu nf20069n@pace.edu.

Pace University to host first ever Research Day

Pace University prides itself on helping students find prestigious internships that will give them skills for once they graduate – but for some students those skills come from working on projects within the school itself. University faculty and students at Pace have a long history of working on cutting edge research which contributes to their field and puts students at the forefront of their pe

Pace University prides itself on helping students find prestigious internships that will give them skills for once they graduate – but for some students those skills come from working on projects within the school itself. University faculty and students at Pace have a long history of working on cutting edge research which contributes to their field and puts students at the forefront of their peers. Be it computer science or chemistry or speech pathology the University is committed to providing its students with research experiences.

Provost Uday Sukhatme understands the importance of continuing this legacy of research and that’s why he is partnering with the Office of Sponsored Research and the Faculty Research Planning Committee to host the First Annual Pace Wide Research Day. The Research Day will be held in Pleasantville on Thursday April 25th from 10am to 3pm in the Gottesman and Butcher Suites. In New York the day will be on Tuesday April 30th from 10am to 3pm in the Student Union and the Schimmel Lobby.

Last year, Pace faculty submitted 141 proposals for external funding and received 97 external awards. The Pace Research Day will celebrate and recognize the faculty research, both funded and not funded. All faculty are encouraged to present the results of their current research undertaken by the faculty as well as jointly with their students. This will be a fantastic opportunity for attendees to see the wide array of research being undertaken at Pace at both the Pleasantville and New York City campuses.

The research will be displayed in books, posters and computer/tablets. There will be a light lunch and awards will be given to the most impressive projects. This will be a fantastic opportunity for faculty in different departments to see what work their colleagues are engaged in and to speak to students interested in doing research. Those interested in participating in the event should e-mail Mitsuko Rendon at mrendon@pace.edu

The Seidenberg School is sure to have a strong presence at the event with research initiatives such as the CyberSecurity Institute, The Computer Forensics Lab and The Robotics Lab. If you are interested in the research being undertaken at the Seidenberg School you can read about our research initiatives on our website.

Are you excited to see what research projects the University has been working on? Or will you be going to show off your own work? Tell us in the comments. And be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to get the latest updates about what’s happening at the school – research or otherwise.