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.

UPDATED: Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems debuts University’s first ever Massive Open Online Course

Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is excited to announce a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) led by Dean Amar Gupta for the spring semester.

Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is excited to announce a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) led by Dean Amar Gupta for the spring semester.

While the University has been making great strides into online education through services like iMentor this will be its first ever MOOC and is a bold step for both the University and the Seidenberg school. MOOCs have been pioneered by companies like Coursera and EdX and this will be Pace’s first contribution to the arena. The course is part of Pace’s efforts to use the most advanced technologies to bring their students the best educational experience possible.

The course will be made up of a four part lecture series covering the topics of “Knowledge Economy”, “International Management of Services”, “Entrepreneurship Innovation” and the “24-hour Knowledge Factory”. All of these topics are ones on which Dean Gupta has a range of insights and are sure to provide valuable information for all that participate.

The lectures begin March 6th in 163 William Street at 6 pm. They will be recorded and put on Udemy.com for everyone to access. Those interested in the course should contact kbrazaitis@pace.edu. Pace students may have the option of receiving credits for the course. Everyone interested in the 21st century global economy should tune into the lectures as they are sure to have a wealth of information that will be useful across all disciplines.

 

Pace Professor James Gabberty talks to the press about the importance of cyber security

Prof. Gabberty, a professor of information systems at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, has a busy month speaking to several news outlets about cyber security and ways to prevent cyber-attacks.

Prof. Gabberty, a professor of information systems at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, has a busy month speaking to several news outlets about cyber security and ways to prevent cyber-attacks.

He wrote an entry for the Congress blog, entitled The Hill, entitled “US must do better in preparing professionals to help fight cyber attacks” in which he warned about the rise of attacks against US business by foreign agents. He addressed the critical shortage of IT experts qualified to address the security issues and reminded readers that so much of the US military and business assets are dependent on keeping crucial streams of data safe. He also gave some practical tips on avoiding being the victim of a malware attack – such as not picking up suspicious USBs which are often strewn in company parking lots for unsuspecting employees.

He was then quoted in the Money section of the US News talking about the importance of strong passwords for online accounts. His advice was that “… the passwords to get into your PC, your laptop, and your tablet should be different. He also recommends changing passwords about every 90 days. ‘The reason is simple,’ Gabberty says. ‘Once inside your machine, key loggers—which may be lurking inside your computers right now—read every keystroke, reporting back to some ‘mother ship’ or central server information about you, your passwords, the sites you visit, and so on.”

He was also quoted in the CIO Journal blog of the Wall Street Journal about the current state of the nation and it’s vulnerabilities to outside cyber-attacks saying ‘More than 25% of Chinese exports go to the U.S. each year, so it’s unlikely that China would perpetrate an attack that would take down pieces of critical infrastructure”

Finally Prof. Gabberty was quoted in an article about President Obama’s Cyber Defense Plan in the TribLive saying “They [foreign hackers] know we’re doing a lot of chest pounding and that we’re frustrated at the lack of willingness by our own corporations to lock themselves down,” adding “It’s pretty embarrassing that the technology these guys are using is not sophisticated. It’s not rocket science.”

Prof. Gabberty is a phenomenal example of a Pace professor that actively pursues his interests outside of the classroom and is able to provide real life examples for our students. We look forward to hearing more of his insights in the field in future articles.