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!

How to get back into routine after a break

And this brings an end to the Spring break! Since it’s been a while, getting back to your regular routine can be hard when fun things you did over the break are still on your mind.

Whatever you did over the spring break – whether you went on an amazing vacation and filled up your Instagram with once-in-a-lifetime experiences or you went home and visited family and friends (and your old part-time job), getting back into the swing of life at Pace isn’t always easy.

With so many exciting things you did, it’s easy to get distracted as time runs on. Remembering your happy times of the break, looking at the photographs you clicked, memorizing the amazing stuff you did, it’s really not easy to get away from your holiday mood.

But now it’s time to give yourself a push and get back to your routine! Here are a few tips to help you hit your pace:

  1. Unpack your stuff and settle back as soon as possible. Looking at the packed baggage will make you stay in holiday mood for a longer time. Clean your home. Keep your things organized. Neat and clean surroundings will make you feel refreshed, positive, and ready to tackle the rest of the semester.
  2. Make an effort to get back into your sleep cycle. By focusing on getting the rest your body and mind needs, you’ll find you have more energy to get back into your routine.
  3. Organize your schedule. Make a list of things you need to work on and continue with your tasks enthusiastically. Putting your schedule and to-do list somewhere visible like on the wall where you can see it every day increases motivation (and helps you make sure not to forget anything). When you look at it you will be encouraged to resume your work quickly.
  4. Be excited! At Pace, there’s always a lot of exciting stuff to do. The things you left behind back before your break – and that coding homework that still needs to be completed – is still waiting for you. Make sure you get everything on your to-do list, schedule your day, and enjoy getting back into your college routine.

So, yeah, spring break was awesome – but now it’s over. It’s time to hop off your bed and start working on your routine. Welcome back and make the most of it!

Seidenberg hosts inaugural student-faculty lunch in newly renovated Pleasantville office

by Kate Houlihan

On Friday, January 26th, 2018 Seidenberg students on the Pleasantville campus came out for a luncheon with Dean Hill, Seidenberg faculty & staff, and fellow students to kick off the new semester! This lunch was the first major student event held in the newly renovated Seidenberg office (which you can find on the third floor of Goldstein Academic Center) and was a huge success. 

It was wonderful for the community to reconnect after a month of being on break! Despite it being Australia Day, the Seidenberg family munched on a “delicioso” Mexican spread from Sundance Deli in Pleasantville, NY. Bellies were full and the the small amount of leftovers were taken home.

Highlights of the renovation include a newly-painted reception area, two new lounge spaces for students to congregate, a 90-inch flatscreen TV, and a spacious kitchen!

We are thrilled to host many more events in this new, functional space in the near (and distant) future for faculty and students. Keep an eye out for future events, and don’t hesitate to stop by the 3rd floor of Goldstein Academic Center to check the new space out for yourself!

New Year, New Seidenberg School

A very happy new year to our Seidenberg community, and we hope your break was restful and warm. This year, there was no rest for the Seidenberg School – throughout the holidays, construction crews have been working on both our New York City and Pleasantville campus locations, tearing Seidenberg School apart to make way for exciting new spaces. Walls have come down, and fewer walls have gone back up. We have built new spaces for our students, faculty, and staff to work, collaborate, and relax in. There is a really, really big TV in Pleasantville that can be used for video conferencing and presentations (and Netflix?) – and that’s just the beginning.

NEW YORK CITY CAMPUS

Thanks to a generous support from Pace University, we have been able to take major steps toward becoming the school of computing and technology we have always dreamed of being. Our space in New York City is becoming a STEM haven, with a spacious new collaboration area opening up where the second floor conference room and adjoining lab space was. The conference room has been moved to the opposite corner of the floor, stealing Dean Jonathan Hill and Assistant Dean Stephanie Elson’s offices (oh no!), for a spot which is not only easier to find but will allow bright and spacious video conference work.

The aforementioned collaboration space is a Design Factory must, and the project has included building a new area where groups can come together and use design thinking techniques to ideate, design, and build real world products with international students who visit us through our Product Development Project (PDP) and Product Innovation Project (PIP) programs. The classroom in room 237 is also undergoing a major development. The entire wall adjoining the main floor will be replaced with writable glass for classwork and projects. Even the kitchen is getting a makeover!

Our new collaboration space: before
Our new collaboration space: before
And after! Once our furniture is added, this will be a sleek new spot to study and collaborate
And after! Once our furniture is added, this will be a sleek new spot to study and collaborate

Seidenberg School is not just changing: it’s expanding, too. On the year of the school’s 35th birthday, we have moved out of the proverbial basement and onto the first floor… well, third. While the School is still based on the second floor at 163 William Street, rooms on the third floor have been allocated to fulfil our urgent need for space. We have more students than ever, and the extra room will help greatly with accommodating their needs for work and research space. On the third floor, the Applied Data and Networking Sciences Lab (also known as the Innovation Lab) is moving into what was previously a call center. The room is a huge space where the lab, run by Dr. Jim Gabberty, can continue to flourish. Providing hands-on experience with cybersecurity techniques, big data analysis, and networking using Cisco tools, the lab has already helped a sizeable number of students get excellent jobs since it opened at the tail end of 2016. The displaced Dean Hill and Stephanie Elson can also be found on the third floor, in new offices built where our Mac Lab used to be.

The tenth floor isn’t being abandoned, though – the Computer Forensics lab directed by Dr. Darren Hayes will be moved up into one of the light and bright rooms to allow students to crack codes in a far more pleasant surrounding.

PLEASANTVILLE CAMPUS

In Pleasantville, it’s not just about the new TV. The third floor at Goldstein Academic Center has been refloored, painted, and undergone a chunk of construction itself. New space has been created at the front desk reception area via the removal of the wall-to-wall filing cabinets and new furniture is set to arrive soon to create a much more attractive welcome area for our students and guests.

Sleek new hallways thanks to a paint job and new flooring
Sleek new hallways thanks to a paint job and new flooring

Best of all is the brand new student lounge at the back of the floor. The classroom in room G321 has been torn down to make way for a spacious hangout spot for our students – and all Pace students – to relax, do homework, collaborate, and spend time at Seidenberg. Thanks to funds kindly allocated by Pace University, we have been able to build the kind of student lounge at the Pleasantville campus we have always wanted to offer our students – so once it’s finished, make the most of it! And yes, it does happen to be the same spot as the (now famous) television.

Our new touch TV, with added Tristan for scale!
Our new touch TV, with added Tristan for scale!

The updates at Pleasantville are stage one of our renovation process. Over summer 2018, more construction is planned to upgrade the two laboratories in Goldstein 300 and 315, so stay tuned!

That just about wraps up the physical changes for now, but there are many more changes happening at Seidenberg beyond the way we look. Our department chairs are hard at work with the faculty updating our program curricula to ensure our bachelor’s and master’s degrees offer students great value. Speaking of faculty, we are in the process of hiring new faculty who will help us achieve our mission of providing an excellent academic experience alongside co-curricular opportunities you will find nowhere else. We are extremely excited about growing our team of dedicated professors and expanding our artificial intelligence, data analytics, user experience (UX), and cybersecurity.

We’re very much looking forward to welcoming our incoming students this Spring and growing together as a School, as a University, and as a community.

The new reception area with bonus Jeana
The new reception area with bonus action shot of Jeana

Welcome back to #PaceU!

Recapping MLH Local Hack Day: the 12 hour hackathon

By Kaitlyn Houlihan

On December 2, 2017, over 275 communities from every continent (except Antarctica) simultaneously hosted 12-hour-long hackathons in the 4th annual MLH Local Hack Day, the LARGEST Local Hack Day in the world. Pace University’s Pleasantville campus was just one of those communities, hosting its first ever hackathon in the Stephen J. Friedman Multipurpose Room in Willcox Hall from 9:00am-9:00pm.

Photo via Maxim Vuolle, Pace Photography Club

The idea to participate in Local Hack Day was presented by Seidenberg’s own seasoned hackers Drew Ku (BS Information Systems ’20) and Angel Rodriguez (BS Computer Science ’20), and facilitated by the fantastic Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation Andreea Cotoranu. After a great deal of thought, this terrific trio decided upon setting the theme of the hackathon to social innovation. According to the Canadian Centre for Social Innovation, “social innovation refers to the creation, development, adoption, and integration of new concepts and practices that put people and the planet first. Social innovations resolve existing social, cultural, economic, and environmental challenges.” That being said, it is almost impossible to imagine a more perfect theme for a hackathon! Because of the topic’s broad nature, participants were easily able to find brilliant solutions that better the planet, daily life, communities, and efficiency of everyday tasks.

Photo by Alec Zawadzki

On the day of the event, a total of 11 teams and 41 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students came out as early as 8:30am for this hacking extravaganza. A wide range of skill levels was present, and although beginner-level coder Justin from Mamaroneck High School found the process of developing his own program difficult at first, he felt better with guidance from faculty and student experts. In addition to faculty and student mentors providing assistance throughout the day, workshops were held to accommodate all skill levels. These workshops were led by Ben Longobardi (MEAN Stack), Drew Ku (Python and APIs), Pace alumnus and adjunct professor Dhruv Gandhi (product development and design thinking), and Angel Rodriguez (HTML/CSS).

Photo by Maxim Vuolle, Pace Photography Club

As computer science professor and faculty mentor Dr. Rick Kline noted, “everyone is eating and hacking, which is what we hoped for,” and it couldn’t have been better stated! Hackers and volunteers had plenty of food and coffee to fuel them through the day, from bagels to pizza from Sal’s to spinach and artichoke dip from Applebee’s (a Seidenberg favorite). However, the most important products of the day were most definitely the 11 incredible ideas that were developed by participants and tackled social issues from mitigating climate change to increasing socialization within communities, among others. Drew felt that “the event [best showcased] student independence because of the broadness of the theme of Social Innovation.”

Photo by Timothy Martinez, Pace Photography Club

At 7:00pm, all hackers submitted their projects via DevPost and began pitching and demoing their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges comprised of Chief Executive Nerd of Kool Nerd Club Orane Barrett, Founder and Lead Developer of Swapity Brian Brunos, as well as Seidenberg’s own Andreea Cotoranu and students Blake Hofland, Ben Longobardi, Drew Ku and Angel Rodriguez. Participants had three minutes to pitch and demo their projects. It was so amazing to witness the variety of ingenious solutions that were presented!

Choosing the winners wasn’t an easy task for the judges, especially after seeing all the effort everyone put into ideating and executing their projects throughout the day. However as all competitions go, it had to be done. Awards were given based on various categories, and the winners are as follows:

  • Best web application – Team F (Mamaroneck High School)
  • Best mobile hack – fORAGER (Pace University)
  • Best impact hack – lendme (Pace University)
  • Best designed hack – TutorFinder (Pace University)
  • Best documented hack – Vivlio (Pace University)
  • Hackiest hacker – Spotlite (Pace University)
  • Seidenberg Spirit Award – Pierre-Julien Morange (Team F, Mamaroneck High School)
  • Kool Nerd Award (sponsored by Kool Nerd Club) – Charles (TrunkPool, Pace University)

And, of course, a TON of awesome prizes were given out! Among these prizes were some Amazon Echo Dots, Raspberry Pi computers, board games, two of the coveted Seidenberg sweatshirts, and a Kool Nerd Club hoodie.

Photo by Abby Bonds, Pace Photography Club

Being Pace University’s first ever hackathon on social innovation, this event was undoubtedly a roaring success. Not only was it a blast for everyone who attended (participants, mentors, and staff alike), but it was a tremendous learning experience for all! All day long, participants ideated, collaborated, created, and demoed projects that resulted in marvelous solutions to problems we all face. In doing this, students were able to think outside the box and combine their immense knowledge of technology with their awareness of the world around them and, ultimately, grow intellectually and as global citizens. Which, when you think about it, is exactly the purpose of resolving social issues!

This would not have been possible without the student participants, staff, and volunteers who made this day so memorable. The entire Seidenberg community would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors: Virginia LeTourneau ‘85, the Seidenberg School of CSIS, Kool Nerd Club, and Swapity. Also, thanks to our student mentors, workshop leaders, judges, and especially to the Pace Photography Club for capturing the event.

Computer Science Education Week – Dec 4th to Dec 10th

We’re so excited about Computer Science Education Week next week that we’re starting early! Check out these awesome events leading up to next week’s celebrations.

Pleasantville Campus Events

Seidenberg Tech Collective – Wed, November 29th

Guest Speaker: Brian Brunos, developer and entrepreneur at Swapity

Goldstein Academic Center, Room G300.

Our special guest speaker, Brian Brunos, will be speaking about his experience of successfully developing and launching a cryptocurrency exchange that does not require user accounts and pays 100% dividends through cryptocoin, Swapcoin.

Harley the Cybersecurity Dog – Thurs, November 30th

A K9 presentation of Harley the Cyber Dog, who can detect devices that may contain illegal content. This is a great event for the entire #PaceU community! No cybersecurity knowledge required, only a love of puppies.

Social Innovation Hackathon – Saturday, December 2nd

The Social Innovation Challenge is a 12-hour long hackathon open to ALL majors and skill levels. The theme is social innovation, however you may bring your own problem as well! For more information, please visit: https://hackday.mlh.io/Pace%20University%20Pleasantville%20Campus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robotics Demonstration – Monday, December 4th

Seidenberg professor of Computer Science, Dr. Rick Kline, will give a demonstration on our new robot overlords.

12:10-1:10 in Goldstein G300.

Seidenberg Special Interest Tour – Westchester Campus – Wednesday, Dec 6

Pace University Welcome Center – Marks Hall

This campus tour is available for prospective undergraduate students interested in Computer Science and Information Systems majors. In addition to a general campus tour, visitors will have the opportunity to meet an academic representative, tour the facilities used by the program, and whenever possible, will be guided around campus by a current student majoring in the academic discipline.

Seidenberg Tech Collective – Wednesday Dec 6th

Goldstein Academic Center Room G300

Returning and interested members welcome! The Seidenberg Tech Collective is an organization that is committed to enriching the lives of students and promotes interest in technology. Join us for the last STC meeting of the Fall 2017 Semester!

New York City Campus events

Pace Computing Society – Wed, Dec 6th

Seidenberg Lounge, 163 William St 2nd Floor – 12:10-1:10

Peer Mentoring and Mentee Event

Join PCS and guests – Seidenberg advisors Stephanie Elson and Matt Brown – to talk about our Peer Mentoring Program. Open to all current and interested members.

PCS is a club that aims to promote the interest in modern computing and design by hosting interactive workshops as well as inviting industry speakers to show what the real world experience is like. Any student with an interest in design and technology is invited to join us during our meetings. During this week’s meeting, peer mentor/mentee event with Stephanie and Matt

Cybersecurity Club Metasploit Workshop – Friday, Dec 8th

12:00pm-3:00pm Seidenberg Classroom Room 237

163 William Street, 2nd Floor New York, NY

The Cybersecurity Club in NYC is hosting a series of workshops and guest speaker events throughout the Fall of 2017. All events are open to any Pace student, but must sign up for the club during the event. Students who are current members have first priority for the workshop. Metasploit Workshop Metasploit is a framework that is used to deliver exploits and payloads to victim computers. This workshop will teach students how to ethically and effectively use Metasploit for conduction penetration tests.

More info and more events to come so stay tuned!

Stay updated on Seidenberg events with our Calendar.