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

 

Steve Ettlinger visits Seidenberg School for constructive afternoon

Author of Twinkie, Deconstructed Steve Ettliger stopped by 163 Williams Street during common hour to speak to students about his book and upcoming project. The event was well attended with some students having to stand through its duration.

Author of Twinkie, Deconstructed Steve Ettlinger stopped by 163 Williams Street during common hour to speak to students about his book and upcoming project. The event was well attended with some students having to stand through its duration.

Ettlinger started in magazine publishing and worked as a photo editor for a while developing an ability to tell stories. He then decided to investigate a different story – that of the Twinkie. Using its ingredients label he looked into all the ingredients that make up the icon treat – how they’re grown, how they’re processed, and for some, even how they’re mined.

His next project is looking at a similar sized, similar ubiquitous, albeit inedible, product – the smartphone. He talked to students about the research he’s done so far – tracking down the manufacturing of all the components in the phone, down to the last microchip. Ettliger said he wants to give readers a visual representation of computer production. The book should be an insightful read for anyone wondering just how that fantastic in their device works.

Although you may have to wait a while as Ettlinger is still working on it. Not surprising however as you can do a lot more with an iPhone then you can with a Twinkie.

Be sure to stop by next Wednesday for another great speaker as part of the Seidenberg School Speaker Series.

Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems goes to New York Tech Meetup

The Seidenberg School is excited to be able to extend 5 free tickets to the New York Tech Meetup to all current students and alumni.

Founded in 2004 by meetup.com founder Scott Heiferman, NYTM centers around monthly meet ups where emerging companies demo new ideas and technological experts give talks on leading-edge thinking in the field. The organization has over 29,000 representing all parts of the New York technology community and fostering a strong network of support for innovative ideas.

The meetups are always an inspiring blend of different ideas that is sure to leave attendees inspired and awed. You can read about last month’s meetup on our Tumblr and if you’d like to attend please e-mail nnebeluk9977@gmail.com

Upcoming NYTM Dates:

February 5th, 2013

March 19th, 2013

April 9th, 2013

Pace hosts Hudson Valley FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament

The gym of the Goldstein Fitness Center, long accustomed to feats of athletic prowess, played host to a different sort of competition this past Sunday as 36 teams from across the region participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge Hudson Valley Regional Tournament. Despite the cold weather hundreds made their way to the Pleasantville campus in support of the FIRST program.

The gym of the Goldstein Fitness Center, long accustomed to feats of athletic prowess, played host to a different sort of competition this past Sunday as 36 teams from across the region participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge Hudson Valley  Regional Tournament. Despite the cold weather hundreds made their way to the Pleasantville campus in support of the FIRST program.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a robotics competition for students in grades 7-12. Each year a new game is announced and  students must build a robot using a kit of parts, and their own ingenuity, that is able to navigate the playing field and score maximum points. The 2012-2013 game was called “Ring It Up!”. The game, a robotic tic-tac-toe, consists of two alliances, each made up of two teams, competing to place as many rings as possible on a double sided 3×3 pegged PVC wall, earning more points if they are able to make a line across 3 pegs. They initially have a 30 second autonomous period, where using senor inputs the robots must maneuver themselves to accomplish the objective, and then a two minute controlled period where student drivers control the robots. If at the end of the game a robot is able to lift its alliance member onto itself then the team scores even more points.

The event started at 7:30 am with teams getting access to their “pits”, small areas given to each team to work on their robots. Once the teams were ready they had to have their robots undergo inspection and make sure it met all size, safety and component regulations. The opening ceremonies kicked off shortly after 10 am and the teams then played 45 qualifier matches to determine who would go onto the finals. Each team participated in 5 qualifying matches, each one with a different partner team.

After the 45 matches the top 4 teams are selected to be Captains, they then pick 2 other teams to join them in their alliance. The four captain teams were Team 5069 – The Robogamers from New York, NY, Team 4244 – Brobotics from Yorktown Heights, NY, Team 3951 – Suffern’s Reactors from Suffer High School in Suffern, NY and Team 4784 – Tetricons from Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, NY. During these elimination rounds alliances play up to three rounds with the team winning two moving on.

The closing ceremonies were held at 5 pm after the last match and Alliance 4 led by Team 4784 – Tetricons won the day, joined by Team 5484 – Enderbots from Corning, NY and Team 5637 – Tech-Wise Guys from Brewster, NY. The win qualified Team 4784 – Tetricons for a spot in the national competition in St. Louis. The runner-ups were Alliance 3 led by Team 3951 – Suffern’s Reactors and joined by Team 3351 – Tater Bots from Mount Hope High School in Bristol, NY and Team 5602 – Bionic Gaels from Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY.

Other teams were also recognized for their efforts in a variety of fields outside the game itself. Team 5477 – Innovo from George W Hewlett High School won the Promote Award for their FTC Public Service Announcement video and the Rockwell Collins Innovate award for most creative robot design solution. Team 5484 – Enderbots won the PTC Design award for best designed robot. Team 4326 – The Basement Lions from the Horace Mann School won the Motivate award for having the most team spirit and enthusiasm. Team 4183 – The Icebreakers sponsored by the Nassau Country Girl Scouts won the Connect award which is awarded to the team judges feel is mostly closely connected to their local community. Team 4082 – The RoboSpartans won the Think Award for having the best Engineering Notebook, a key reference for judges who look over the robots.

Finally The Inspire Award, given to the team that judges feel truly embodied the “challenge” of the FTC program and served as an example to other teams, went to Team 5069 – RoboGamers. Since they had already qualified for the national tournament in an earlier tournament their win allowed the first picked partner of the winning alliance to gain a spot at nationals, this was Team 5484 – Enderbots.
About 700 people attended the event with more than 100 students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends from the industry (many from IBM) coming together to help the event run smoothly. Over 25 Seidenberg majors, some returning for their third year such as graduate student Paat Sinsuwan, served as volunteers working in a variety of positions inspecting the student’s robots, judging games and helping to set up the game space. Recent graduate and founder of SpaceSplitter Jeremy Pease served as the head software inspector for the tournament. Pace students Daniel Rings and Patrick Pribyl served as the announcers for each match.

Former Dean of the Seidenberg School, Dr. Susan Merritt, said “I … stopped by and – having been to many of these over the years – found this year’s to be outstanding.   One thing that I noticed was that many more young women were engaged, than in the past.  A terrific improvement! Kudos to Bernice, Richard, and also our Seidenberg alums who are an important part of making if all happen!”

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is a non-profit organization founded by noted inventor Dean Kamen for the purpose of exciting young people about pursuing college and careers in the STEM fields. Pace first began working with FIRST in 2004 when a robotics event for the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was held at the Pleasantville campus. Pace is proud to continue supporting the program and hopes to see many of its alumni become alumni of our Seidenberg School.

For more information about FTC in the Hudson Valley be sure to like their Facebook page. For pictures from the event you can find a gallery here