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.”

Seidenberg Director of Development Deth Sao wins Business Council of Westchester Rising Star award

Our very much loved Director of Development, Deth Sao, will be honored by The Business Council of Westchester on June 21, 2018, at an event celebrating 40 of the most promising young professionals in Westchester County.

In an announcement about the winners, the President and CEO of Business Council of Westchester, Marsha Gordon, wrote: “Each year I am impressed with the quality and diversity of candidates, and this year is no exception. I congratulate the winners who represent a new generation of up and coming professionals in public relations and marketing, education, healthcare, real estate and other fields.”

Deth has been the Director of Development for the Seidenberg School for the past four years, during which she has helped forge excellent relationships with many Pace alumni and prominent business and industry communities. She has successfully organized and run our annual fundraiser, the Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards, and in recent years spearheaded a set of distinctive speaker series that bring expert tech leaders onto campus to share their knowledge with our students.

Regarding her nomination, Deth said “I am honored and humbled to be recognized for this distinction, which is an affirmation of the Seidenberg School’s commitment and continuing success in advancing our STEM mission and students. It is also a privilege to be part of and play a role in the fruitful collaborations among Pace and the business and alumni communities in Westchester.”

Deth in her usual state of being hard at work.

We at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University were delighted by the news, and even more so to find that the nomination for the honor came from Pace’s own Government & Community Relations office.

“Deth is the type of colleague you want to work with and strive to be,” said Bill Colona, Director of Government & Community Relations. “She is hard-working, creative, unflappable, and has unquestionable integrity and character. She is the type of professional we hope our students will become when they graduate.”

The Assistant Vice President for Government & Community Relations, Vanessa Herman, added: “Deth is smart, gracious and an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a tremendous asset to not only Seidenberg but to the University as a whole. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.”

Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School, praised Deth’s work. “Under Deth’s stewardship, the Seidenberg School has seen notable increases in charitable gifts received, and highly proactive working relationships with the tech industry in the greater New York area, including major corporations and key players in the start-up scene.”

A hearty congratulations to Deth – we look forward to your many successes to come in the future!

Recap: the 6th Annual Celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film Festival

The 6th annual film festival at Pace University was one to remember. This event has been an annual celebration of our similarities and differences, organized by Seidenberg faculty member Dr James P. Lawler. Over the course of the evening, a series of short films made by and starring individuals with disabilities was screened, with a panel discussion in between each screening. The festival also included several guest speakers, one of whom was the Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who gave a passionate speech about the difficulties faced by individuals with disabilities and their families. Assemblyman Weisenberg is a staunch advocate for people with disabilities, and fought to legalize Jonathan’s Law, which protects developmentally disabled children from abuse, amongst other incredible things. “Be a voice for people who don’t have one,” he told a packed room at the festival. “You have to be the voice of the people who cannot advocate for themselves.”

Seidenberg student, Adil Sanai, on the panel with Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg

Seidenberg School alumna Tabitha Haly, a self-advocate and talented musician, gave a stunning musical performance and kindly provided merchandise for the winners of a raffle that took place during the evening. She also participated on the panels, and between all the guests some tough truths were shared – such as how there has been a 14% decrease in staff of people that have left their jobs because they cannot pay their bills. How the people taking care of children with physical and developmental disabilities are getting paid the absolute bare minimum – people who dedicate their lives to take care of our families and cannot pay their bills. There were 83,000 cases of neglect and abuse in the most recent years, with people with disabilities, less than 5% were investigated. This festival was put together to educate others and force change.

At this event, many films were shown to highlight the different challenges many people face in this world. These films were very touching and heartfelt as the filmmakers showed the disabilities in a beautiful way. These films show a person that having a disability should not stop you from what you want to do and everyone has something unique about them to contribute to society.

Getting ready for a fun evening of movies!

There were so many great films but one of my favorites was Humans of San Jose by Wataro Kubo. Made about Wataro’s brother with autism, Humans of San Jose was about embracing what makes you different. “I think I want to stay different” was an amazing quote from the movie that really strikes you. This filmmaker offers us to think about autism from a different lens. Maybe autism is just a different aspect of normal. Different makes us all better. This film successfully shows there is no such thing as normal.

As in previous years, the film festival was a massive success. The Bianco Room was packed and many people had to stand (but at least there was free popcorn!).

We would like to thank all of our incredible guests and panelists, our movie makers and stars, and Dr. Lawler for his tireless work as an advocate and organizer of these special events.

Seidenberg Students Finalists at the Fourteenth Annual Pace Pitch Contest

The fourteenth annual Pace Pitch Contest is underway and we are proud to announce that the finalist teams are packed with talented Seidenberg students! Run by the Entrepreneurship Lab at Lubin School of Business, the Pace Pitch Contest challenges teams of students not just from Pace but from other universities around the tri-state area (including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Princeton and Stanford) to not just come up with a cool new business idea but to pitch it successfully to a panel of judges. This competition is not for the faint of heart!

The Pitch Contest is based on the Elevator Pitch concept, popular in the venture capital community. It is an extremely concise presentation of an entrepreneur’s idea, business model, marketing strategy, competitive analysis, and financial plan, which is delivered to potential investors. The premise is that it could be made in a few minutes, should the entrepreneur spot a potential investor on an elevator and have the opportunity to pitch their idea during the brief ride.

The final round will be held TONIGHT, Thursday, April 19, 2018, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm in the Bianco Room, One Pace Plaza of Pace University.

Last year, Seidenberg superstars Rachel Gonzalez (MS in Information Systems), Andrew Ku (BS in Computer Science), and Rohana Sosa (BS in Computer Science with minor in Computing Information Technology) took the top spots by pitching their ideas for meditation and artificial intelligence-infused security. Read more about it in the 13th Pace Pitch Contest blog post!

There are a lot of areas teams will be evaluated on during their pitches.

New Business Concepts will be evaluated on the following judging criteria

Business Description: Details of the venture and what it does.

  1. Market Analysis: Characteristics of the market and description of its customers.
  2. Product or Service Analysis: The specifics of the product or service.
  3. Competition: Identify current and potential competitors.
  4. Marketing Strategy: How sales will be achieved.
  5. Operations: How the product or service will be produced and delivered.
  6. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
  7. Finances: An overview of the required resources and economics of the venture.
  8. Investment Proposal: The terms and conditions offered to investors.
  9. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

Social Ventures will be evaluated on the following judging criteria.

  1. Assessing the Need: An analysis of the social issue and its affected population.
  2. Well-defined Target: Characteristics of the market and targeted population.
  3. Management: An assessment of the entrepreneur(s) and team.
  4. Creativity: A demonstration that the proposed solution displays a unique approach.
  5. Feasibility: A demonstration that the venture can be successfully implemented.
  6. Planning: A clear and well-defined strategy to achieve objectives and goals.
  7. Operations: How the product or service will be physically produced and distributed.
  8. Sustainability: Long-term prospects for viability and success.
  9. Social Impact: The value that the new venture will bring to society.
  10. Presentation: Overall effectiveness of the actual presentation.

Participants must work on both New Business Concepts as well as Social Ventures to make their venture a success in the final round.

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab, oversees the contest.

The judging panel includes:

  • 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

In total, we have 9 Finalist teams for the contest with around 2 – 3 participants in each team.

Here are the Innovative Ideas our students have come up with:

  1. AngelEats
  • They have come up an idea to combat food waste from restaurants and share the food to nonprofit organizations like orphanages and homeless shelters. Their focus is building a bridge between restaurants and nonprofit organization and giving the food to the people in need.
  • Team members from Pace – Quincy Doccy (BS in Computer Science), Weichao Hou (MS in Finance) and Avinash Mudduluru (MS in Computer Science)
  1. Arogyaa
  • Sanskrit origin meaning – Overall well-being, the health of mind, body, and spirit). It’s been observed that around 251,454 people die due to lack of information about background history and wrong treatment annually. So the application maintains the patients’ medical history, and which coordinates with different doctors and helps them to collaborate to cure patients.
  1. Cuddlefish
  • Cuddlefish is a blockchain based platform which aims to promote financial inclusion for all through microfinance funded by retail investors in developed countries.
  • Team members from Pace – Sumeet (MBA in Product Management) and Jethro (BBA in Financial Research)
  1. iCards
  • Capturing and keeping tangible mementos of your favorite interests has been around for years, from sports cards to niche entertainment references, trading cards have been collected and enjoyed by young and old individuals for years. The team developed iCards that seeks to revolutionize the game, fully integrating the best parts of the industry into a comprehensive, universal platform to trade, play, and collect cards.
  • Team members from Pace – Jen McCall (BS in Computer Science) and John Mulcahy (BS in Computer Science)
  1. Redact
  • Redact is a legal organization that works with individuals who have been convicted of a crime to have their criminal records sealed. Redact’s mission is to unshackle those New Yorkers from the stigma and disabilities that come after a criminal conviction will give a segment of society the chance to get back on their feet.
  • Team member from Pace – Christopher Matcovich (3L, Pace Law School)
  1. RockBox
  • RockBox 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. RockBox plans to target professional millennials who enjoy drinking alcohol and take pride in crafting their own cocktails from the comfort of their home.
  • Team member from Pace – Zakiya Sims (BS in Computer Science)
  1. Sylvian Hyde
  • Sylvian Hyde is 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. In the future, the brand plans to gradually expand the product offering to menswear accessories such as belts, bags, shoes, and later a women’s line. The Sylvian Hyde® brand aims to provide men with more options with modern, sophisticated aesthetics and functionality
  • Team member from Pace – Jabari Chambers ‘18 (MBA in Human Resources and Financial Management)
  1. WOTOPA
  • WOTOPA is a platform where campus students can buy, sell, donate, offer services and can build inter university network by exchanging ideas and collaborating via forums. WOTOPA aims to be one stop solution for buying, selling, promoting and collaborating under one roof with safe, secure and easy to use environment for Students.
  • Team members from Pace – Haseeb (MS in Computer Science), Suman (MS in Computer Science) and Varad (MS in Computer Science)
  1. @Pace (Augmented Tour of Pace University)
  • It is a Business-to-Customer (B2C) software startup focusing on augmented reality (AR). The software program allows users to explore Pace University via mobile application, without having to attend a scheduled tour, meaning that – it allows the user to interact and explore the facilities of Pace University, without having to be physically present.
  • Team members at Pace – Kenneth Okereke (MS in Computer Science) and Stephanie Okereke (BS in Computer Science)

Up for grabs is a 1st Prize of $1000 Cash, 2nd Prize of $500 Cash and the 3rd Prize of $250 Cash.

The Seidenberg School of CSIS wishes all participants the best of luck in the contest!

Seidenberg conducts a Rat Relay for New York City Design Factory

Woohoo! This semester’s Rat Relay was an enormous success! Students from Pace and other universities around the world participated in this exciting hackathon from March 20-23 across four days of innovation and design.

Rat Relay is a four day global design hackathon that is run by the Design Factory Global Network, of which our very own NYC Design Factory (NYCDF) is part. During the event, students from different parts of the world worked on real problems for NGOs, non-profits, or businesses located just about anywhere around the world. Nine Design Factories participated in the challenge, which are: NYCDF, Frisian Design Factory, Melbourne Design Factory, Aalto Design Factory, Porto Design Factory, Cali Design Factory, Bogota Design Factory, Warsaw Design Factory and Ghent Design Factory. Students worked together to define the problem a business may have, and came up with solutions through ideation, prototyping, and testing, before finally presenting their materials.

Rat Relay was held in the Seidenberg Lounge at 163 William Street (with students from other universities around the world participating digitally over Skype!). It was a 36 hour event, which was divided into separate slots of 6 hours each. It worked just like a relay – just as one member passes the baton to the next, participants worked on one aspect of the innovation for 6 hours and when time was up for one slot they handed off their project to another team from another part of the world. The new team then picked up the project where the previous team left off.

Here’s what happened in each part:

Slot 1: Tuesday, March 20th, 3pm-9pm

It started with New York Design Factory. The innovation theme they worked on was EMPATHISE (Getting to know the user). The challenge: how to help students with autism learn how to self-advocate. The sponsors – Tech Kids Unlimited – had come and they spoke to the participants about autism in this slot.

Slot 2: Wednesday, March 21st, 8am-2pm

The project was handed off to Aalto Design Factory in slot 2. The aspect of innovation they worked on was REFRAME (Redefining the problem). The challenge they worked on: how to keep people involved in an environmental campaign.

Slot 3: Wednesday, March 21st, 3pm-9pm

Frisian Design Factory worked in slot 3. The theme was IDEATION (Coming up with possible solutions). The challenge they worked on: what to do with the waste from natural disasters.

Slot 4: Thursday, March 22nd, 8am-2pm

The project went to Melbourne Design Factory for slot 4. The aspect of innovation they worked on was PROTOTYPE (Making designs for solutions). The challenge they worked on: home use for graphene floors.

Slot 5: Thursday, March 22nd, 3pm-9pm

Cali Design Factory continued with project in slot 5. The aspect of innovation they worked on was TESTING (Testing the Prototype). The challenge – how to stop kids from joining guerrilla gangs.

Slot 6: Friday, March 23rd, 8am-2pm

New York Design Factory took the project in the last slot. The aspect of innovation they worked on was PITCHING (Presenting all the created stuff). They presented the challenge: how to help students with autism learn how to self-advocate

By the end of the, the distributed team had come up with a solution: a mobile application named “SPEAK UP STREET”. This app teaches the students with autism how to speak up for themselves in real world situations. The app is designed as a game where users choose between a selection of responses to different types of situations. The app challenges users to play in in-game locations such as at home, at a friend’s house, school, and many other social places. When travelling to these locations, users will encounter various situations where they have to respond to a stimulus. Choosing the right option will explain to them why it is right and it will move them forward in the game. If they choose the wrong answer it will explain why it is wrong and ask them to choose something else or come back to it.

It was wonderful to have such an energetic and enthusiastic event when students had just returned from their Spring Break! Hosted by Dr. Jaclyn Kopel, Director of the Pforzheimer Honors College and Interim Director of the NYCDF, each slot of this Rat Relay was packed with excitement. Participants really enjoyed working with people around the world, and there were 50 unique participants in total. From Pace, both undergraduate and graduate students came from the Seidenberg School of CSIS, the Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Science, the School of Education, and the Honors College.

Getting real world experience working for international companies, working with innovation, improving one’s problem solving skills, and working in international, interdisciplinary teams is a hugely beneficial experience for students. Participants received a certificate saying they worked with 9 international companies and 8 countries. Freshmen and sophomores students had the advantage of getting on the NYCDF radar for the expanded versions that involved travel to other countries (Finland, Portugal, Poland, and Austria).

As always, the Rat Relay was an exceptional event and we can’t wait for the next one in the fall!