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.

David McKinnis stops by Seidenberg for a chat about Cyber Security

David McKinnis, current CTO of Suretech.com, stop by the Seidenberg School last Wednesday, 2/13, to talk to students about cyber security and how they can better prepare their programs for real world applications. McKinnis attended Yale University and, after graduation, went to work Microsoft. In his thirteen years at Microsoft he had the opportunity to work on a variety of software projects in the Office Development Group. David held a variety of positions at Microsoft including Development Team Lead and Development Manager.

L-R: project manager Wilfredo Pena, alumni Marcelo Zimmler ‘12, speaker David McKinnis, alumni and SpaceSplitter co-founder Jeremy Pease ’12 and Associate Dean Jonathan Hill.

David McKinnis, current CTO of Suretech.com, stop by the Seidenberg School last Wednesday, 2/13, to talk to students about cyber security and how they can better prepare their programs for real world applications.  McKinnis attended Yale University and, after graduation, went to work Microsoft. In his thirteen years at Microsoft he had the opportunity to work on a variety of software projects in the Office Development Group. David held a variety of positions at Microsoft including Development Team Lead and Development Manager. After he left Microsoft, he started David McKinnis Consulting to help non-profits and small businesses use technology more effectively. McKinnis’s talk focused on the notion that developers can’t trust their users. The user may input data into the form of application that will cause problems with the software or website. Or even worse they may try to deliberately exploit a system for nefarious purposes after all a piece of code can’t tell an actual user from a hacker. McKinnis reminded students to sanitize their input data to avoid problematic interactions with their software. And then making a comparison to a bank he reminded them to somehow check the data – a bank wouldn’t trust a sack with a dollar sign on it and so a program shouldn’t blindly trust user data. He also reminded students to be safe using their own machines. You may not have sensitive data stored on your computer but hackers would still love to turn it into a bot for nefarious purpose. Overall it was a great session that left a lot of students more informed about the principles of cyber security they should be aware of. Be sure to stop by next Wednesday for another great speaker as part of the Seidenberg School Speaker Series.

Need Valentine’s plans? Spend it with Seidenberg, AHRC and Carnegie Hall

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and you haven’t made plans. Sound familiar? No worries, this year Seidenberg College has you covered with a concert. Creative Musical Sessions along with the Individuals and Staff of AHRC New York City Adult Day Services and the musicians of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall will be stopping by Pace on February 14th to perform from 11:00 am to noon in the Multipurpose Room on the B-Level of One Pace Plaza.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and you haven’t made plans. Sound familiar? No worries, this year Seidenberg College has you covered with a concert. Creative Musical Sessions along with the Individuals and Staff of AHRC New York City Adult Day Services and the musicians of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall will be stopping by Pace on February 14th to perform from 11:00 am to noon in the Multipurpose Room on the B-Level of One Pace Plaza. The performance will benefit the AHRC, which is dedicated to serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The performers will include the professional musicians, AHRC staff who are musicians part-time and individuals served by the AHRC who were paired with musicians.

The concert comes out of a collaboration in the CIS102W class. Since 2007, CIS 102W students have organized productions in the Schimmel Theater that highlight the many social contributions of individuals with developmental disabilities. At this concert students will serve as escorts, guides and hosts to guests from the local community. They will also serve as advocates for the disability rights movement. The CIS102W course has been awarded the National Jefferson Award for Community Service, a prestigious national award.

The event is sponsored by the Community Outreach Programs and Services and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. For more information contact lawlerj@aol.com