Fran Berman talks self-driving cars and data stewardship with Women in Tech

Fran Berman visited the Seidenberg Lounge in NYC on April 9th to discuss self-driving cars, data stewardship, and her latest projects on the social and environmental impacts of IoT. She spent time with the student-led Pace Women in Tech club, then sat in conversation with Professor Cathy Dwyer.

Fran Berman is an Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, and a Fellow of the Harvard Data Science Initiative.

Fran discussed her latest project which focuses on the social and environmental impacts of IoT. Her focus is on maximizing the benefits of IoT while minimizing risks. The most talked about point was the ethical structure of IoT.

Fran also took the time to explain data stewardship: “[data stewardship] is about creating a home for data that both takes care of it now and takes care of it in the future.”

The distinguished professor’s latest passion is IoT’s potential inflience on cyber/physical-biological systems. She explained that the intersection of the subjects, with the addition of artificial intelligence, is “both an amazing thing and a scary thing.”

Fran illustrated her point using self-driving cars and the ethical thought process behind them. She made the point that a self-driving car has to make the same decisions humans must make while driving, including what to do in instances of an imminent collision.

“Each one of us has an ethical framework,” she said, suggesting that one day perhaps self-driving cars (as an example) would be programmed to make decisions based on the individual’s moral configuration rather than a standardization. IoT could make this possible.

Fran also identified some of the largest issues that graduates will encounter in their careers: industries are not turning to technologists to be leaders, and women are challenged when finding their place in the technology industry. But if Fran can do it, so can any female computer scientist—she’s a living example of female leadership in the technology industry.

As for what the future of technology looks like, “hopefully this is what it looks like,” Fran stated, indicating the many female students in the audience. 

One piece of advice Fran offered was the importance of getting involved. It’s a huge learning opportunity—one that students can truly benefit from.

“If you have clubs here, become an officer of the club,” Fran advised. Becoming a club officer is a notable accomplishment. If you’re excited about something, then you should get involved with it.

“Waking up every day and feeling really excited about what you do . . . that’s another super important thing,” Fran added.

One of the most significant things Fran spoke about was the concept of failure as a good thing. Failure, Fran suggested, is just a part of the process of life. If you mess up, then that’s how you end up figuring out how to do it better the next time. Failure is expected and should be celebrated!

As an example, Fran spoke about her first job. “When I first got there, I had no idea how to do all the stuff I was supposed to do.”

“If you don’t keep at it, you’re never going to figure it out.”

The biggest piece of advice that Fran focused on was a single word: resilience. She outlined the ways that resilience makes a great leader.

“At the end of the day, don’t give up. Find your own heart and passion in it, find a network of people who can go through it with you and support you, be strategic, and be resilient,” she said. “It’s not always easy, but if it’s important to you it’s always worthwhile.”

As for Fran’s time at Seidenberg, she only had good words: “I had a blast. I think everyone here is wonderful.”

We were so lucky to have Fran at the Seidenberg Lounge for this intriguing and empowering discussion. We would like to thank Fran for taking the time to visit our campus for the WiT event.

Keep updated on the Seidenberg socials and follow WiT to hear about future events!

 

Social Media: a talk with Matthew Knell

Matthew Knell, Tech Mentor-in-Residence and former Head of Social Media Care and Community Programs at Samsung, came to Pace University’s NYC campus for an open discussion on social media with students. The advisory board member and Seidenberg alumnus has twenty-plus years of experience in social strategy, customer experience, and community building. Students were engaged from start to finish—and not just because pizza was provided.

Matthew explained that he came to Seidenberg to share his “knowledge and experiences in a practical way… with the folks here who are learning how to be a professional and… [learning] new skills in the environment.”

Matthew opened the talk by explaining how to survive in the technology industry. His words of advice were wise and concise: “roll with the punches and…be willing to adapt yourself to the roles that exist.”

The discussion moved from current social media trends to the way media affects society, and lastly, to how it will continue to evolve in the future. Students engaged in open discussion and stayed after the event to ask more questions. Matthew explained that he hopes to offer up practical advice to those in attendance.

“As [students are] thinking about what they’re doing with their career and their life, I like to offer a few nuggets of [advice] to help them figure out what they want to do next” he stated.

While adding knowledge and names to your resume is important, gaining practical advice from an industry professional is priceless. Matthew took the time to steer students in the right direction, whether they were interested in social media or not. In an industry where connections and professionalism mean everything, it was a chance for students to understand just what it takes to be a leader.

Matthew noted that these discussions are important as they are a “good opportunity for anyone to grow and learn in their career.”

To wrap up his experience, Matthew noted, “[It was] a very engaging crowd. I think that it was really great to get a bunch of awesome questions. It… demonstrates the quality of the Seidenberg School and their students, and what they’re doing. It’s just fun to come back home and get to meet some new folks.”

We’re lucky to have such an involved alumnus who’s willing to reach out to the Seidenberg community. Make sure to attend future events to gain industry knowledge and much more!

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Seidenberg hosts IBMCyberDay4Girls for middle school girls

The Seidenberg School of CSIS hosted the IBMCyberDay4Girls event on March 28 on Pace University’s Westchester campus. Over 100 middle school female-identifying students attended the event and were introduced to the world of technology and cybersecurity.

According to IBM, the IBMCyberDay4Girls events began in 2016 and have been held in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria. The events bring cybersecurity awareness to seventh and eighth-grade girls. IBM sponsors hundreds of events like these each year.

At the event, attendees learned about careers in tech through conversations with IBM professionals. They also learned about college life and STEM majors thanks to a panel of talented Pace students, including computer science majors Ashleigh Brown and Shayna Rosado. And last but not least, the girls had an opportunity to tour our beautiful campus!

Seidenberg Sophomore student, Ashleigh Brown, explained that she “jumped at the opportunity” to be on a panel at the event. The Computer Science major explains how she got involved.

One of my friends from Setters Leadership remembered that I am a part of Seidenberg. Over spring break, she sent a screenshot of her conversation with Alexa Dalbis, who was helping with the event. They needed volunteers who would talk to the girls, so I … emailed Alexa for more information,” Ashleigh explained.

Ashleigh noted that while on the panel, she and the other speakers covered several subjects regarding higher education within the world of technology.

“We talked about life on campus, applying for college, and opportunities in the field of technology,” she explained. “Some of the girls asked some really good questions, such as what you needed to include on your high school resume, residential life, and what skills you learn in computer science overall.”

The discussion gave the young women the change to learn about technology and higher education. Ashleigh noted that the events and panels scheduled for the young students “were educational and helped broaden their knowledge of cybersecurity.”

Getting young women into the field of technology is a step in the right direction, according to Ashleigh.

“There are many young girls who I’m sure are interested in cybersecurity, but most schools either aren’t going into depth about the field, or they don’t introduce the field at all. These girls are luckier than I am to have learned about this field, and computer science in general, at this age,” Ashleigh explained. “Also, because technology is evolving almost on a daily basis, there are new ways being invented for achieving identity theft online. It’s important to know how to protect your personal information, and I truly feel they learned a lot about that from this event.”

The middle school female students left with introductory knowledge of computer science and cybersecurity, but the real goal of the event was to encourage those students to enter the field of technology when they reach college.

Ashleigh expressed her gratitude, stating: “I really appreciate IBM taking time out of their schedule to put this event together and send representatives to Pace, especially since it is such a well-known company. I also applaud Pace for hosting the event and helping to inform young women about the field.”

We want to give a big thanks to Pace University alumni, Alexa Piccoli, and John Guckian, for bringing this event to the Seidenberg community.

Revolutionizing the healthcare industry: CIO Daniel Barchi talks innovative technology at NewYork-Presbyterian

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital stands tall and proud next to the Pace University New York City campus. The building is located just across from 1 Pace Plaza, offering healthcare to a vast number of patients each day who are seeking the best services that the city has to offer. It is because of NewYork-Presbyterian’s unique focus on rendering services using artificial intelligence (AI) and telemedicine technologies that the Seidenberg School is presenting the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award to NewYork-Presbyterian at April 24th’s Seidenberg Innovation Awards.

The award is being presented to the entire IT team at NewYork-Presbyterian, a team which has driven many exciting initiatives that use pioneering technologies to provide the hospital’s patients – and its medical and administrative staff – with excellent and effective service. These initiatives have been driven in large part through the leadership of Chief Information Officer, Daniel J. Barchi.

Headshot of Daniel Barchi from his LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-barchi-8719a63/

Many of us at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University first met Daniel when he visited campus in the fall semester of 2018. He was here to participate in the Tech Leadership Series, a run of guest speaker events that bring high-level industry workers to campus to share their stories, tips for success, and to inspire students to achieve. During that event, Daniel shared stories of hacking scares, the fascinating applications of AI in healthcare, data privacy, work ethic and leadership, and more – so when the opportunity to get to know him better in interview came up, we jumped at the chance to share more of his story.

Daniel has had a very interesting career, in which many of his experiences are what he attributes his success to. Before he became CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian, his life as a naval officer was his primary identity. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1991, he spent six years serving at sea and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for Leadership. After deciding to leave the Navy for a new opportunity, he grew as a project manager within the telecom industry.

Daniel’s new job within the telecom industry “was full of many global challenges, and that experience of solving problems around the world led me to work for a health system and run a biomedical institute which needed to be improved.”

After running Carilion BioPhile Biomedical Institute as CEO and then President for several years, Daniel was invited to step into the role of Chief Information Officer – “and I’ve been doing healthcare IT ever since,” he says.

Once Daniel entered the world of healthcare IT, it was clear he’d found his niche.

“I think the amazing thing about healthcare IT is that people with technical and process skills can help impact patients’ lives,” Daniel says. “Without being physicians or nurses ourselves, our work is deeply critical to the outcome of patients. We develop and implement and maintain the systems that provide clinicians with the right tools they need to take care of patients, and the . . . analytics that they need to make decisions.”

While the tools that NewYork-Presbyterian IT specialists create and implement build a stronger service for patients, it’s the IT team itself that really stands out. According to Daniel, healthcare IT is “80% people, 15% process, and only 5% technology.” That means that alongside having smart and innovative individuals on staff, it’s also important to have open and attentive communication across all departments.

“The way we make this work best . . . is to listen to what the clinicians need and make sure the systems are working for them,” he states.

An example of these systems is one that is providing more accessible healthcare to all patients: kiosks. NewYork-Presbyterian has placed kiosks in Walgreens stores as part of their NYP On-Demand strategy. Patients can use these kiosks to get direct access to a physician on call. Daniel believes this is a fundamental part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s service.

“We have world-class physicians . . . but not everybody has immediate access to those physicians either from a time or geography perspective. We wanted to make sure that we could reach many more patients when and where they are via virtual medicine.”

Another example of the hospital’s drive to use technology to provide better service is its ‘mobile stroke ambulances’. If a 911 call is placed where the patient is displaying symptoms of a stroke, a radio ambulance (an ambulance that interrupts nearby car radios with information about whether the ambulance is responding to an emergency and which direction it is traveling, intended to assist drivers in moving out of the way as it passes) and one of the stroke ambulances are immediately dispatched to their location. “Right there on the side of the road, we take a CT of the patient’s head and beam the information back to a neurologist who can . . . start the treatment right there,” Daniel explains. This service speeds up the treatment process up as much as 45 minutes which can save critical brain cells. The ambulances don’t just save lives—they prevent life-threatening situations in the first place.

“Not only are we leveraging technology for the good of that one patient . . . we use telemedicine to allow one neurologist to provide care to all three, remotely,” Daniel says. NewYork-Presbyterian operates the largest fleet in the United States, including three mobile stroke ambulances.

These strategies and innovations are the reason why NewYork-Presbyterian is so notable for its patient care system.

Adopting technology into healthcare creates widespread care at a smaller cost.

“We are rapidly adopting artificial intelligence as a way to improve operations and the care of our patients. Quality is delivering outstanding care at a good value, and we’d like to reduce the cost of delivering care,” Daniel says, going on to emphasize that the introduction of AI technologies was pulled from the vision of the organization’s CEO, Dr. Steve Corwin.

“Several years ago, he encouraged us to invest in telemedicine and advanced technology as a way to continue to grow the quality of care that we deliver, but also to reach a broader population.

“NewYork-Presbyterian serves more underserved New Yorkers than just about any other health system, and we wanted to make sure that we could meet the needs of everybody, not only the patients who come to one of our hospitals.

“We started implementing artificial intelligence in the back office, rolling it out on timekeeping, [invoicing], follow-up, and other financial areas as a way to make the work that we do more efficient.”

That efficiency has grown over time.

“We’ve now started rolling it out in clinical workspaces as well: sending nudges to physicians, letting them know when patients are due for specific tests or other things that we can do to speed up a patient’s discharge, so their length of stay in the hospital is reduced,” he states.

One thing that is clear is that NewYork-Presbyterian does not implement new technology just for the sake of doing so. Every decision leads toward achieving the goal of providing faster, better, and more efficient care to as many patients as possible.

“Telemedicine—over the past three years—with the support of NYP leadership, our trustees, and philanthropy has allowed us to invest in advanced technology as a way to provide that outstanding care.”

AI and telemedicine are the present and future of healthcare and NewYork-Presbyterian is at the forefront of utilizing those resources. During Daniel’s visit to Pace University, he discussed many of these innovations with the Seidenberg student community.

Daniel Barchi’s visit to the Seidenberg School was “fantastic.”

“I’m impressed by Pace and, particularly, the programs of the Seidenberg School. The quality of the students, the focus of the faculty and curriculum, and the idea that Pace is creating a learning environment which ties directly to the needs of New York and other institutions allows us to create this pool of advanced technologists who are ready to implement everything that they’ve learned at Pace in a real-world environment immediately.”

Daniel Barchi chats with Dean Hill for a Seidenberg event.

Daniel also took some time to discuss what this honor means to him and his team.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I’m proud that we’re recognized by a great institution: Pace University, here in New York, for this advancement. I think that recognition like this is good because it encourages us to do more and it also highlights for other health systems what is possible.”

We will be honoring the achievements of Daniel’s team at the Seidenberg Innovation Awards on April 24th, where the IT group at NewYork-Presbyterian will receive the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award.

The Seidenberg Innovation Awards (SIA) recognizes the remarkable work done by individuals and organizations in our community. Proceeds from the event will directly support our students as they progress into the “advanced technologists” Daniel described. Tickets, tables, and student sponsorships are available by clicking this link.

The Seidenberg School wishes Katie Todd a Happy Birthday!

By Jai Dengle and Brianna Adkins

The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is here to wish the happiest of birthdays to Katie Todd! The Pace University alumna and current Assistant Director of Communications and Strategic Operations has been with us since she began her Master of Science degree in Publishing in 2013. Upon graduating in 2015, Katie became the Communications Manager for the Seidenberg School. The Seidenberg School has so much radiance and hilarity with Katie around, which creates an environment everyone wants to be in.

As the Assistant Director of Communications and Strategic Operations at Seidenberg, Katie manages the activities and functions of the office whilst also instilling a culture of communication among everyone within the Seidenberg School. She’s a major contributor to the welcoming energy that’s contained within the Seidenberg Lounge and beyond.

In honor of her birthday, we asked the Dean of Seidenberg, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and student employees to express how they feel about Katie. Their quotes perfectly capture what Katie means to the Seidenberg community.

“She’s wonderfully perfect in every way, but don’t tell her I said that,” Dr. Hill explained with a whisper.

Jai Dengle, a student obtaining her masters in Information Systems, explained just what makes Katie a “boss.”

“The one who is beautiful at heart, obliging to everyone, sincere with work, and strict for perfection. That’s my boss, Katie Todd,” Jai exclaimed!

Christopher “Topher” Cherestal, a senior Information Systems major at Pace University, stated: “not only does Katie have a smashing accent but she also has this ability to make you feel like you’re on top of the world while also grounding you and bringing you back to earth, she’s amazing”

We want to express our gratitude to Katie for all that she does for Seidenberg! Katie, happiest of birthdays to you!

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Seidenberg PhD candidate Sukun “Luna” Li presents paper in Shanghai, wins ‘Best Presenter’ award

Sukun “Luna” Li

Pace University PhD in Computer Science candidate Sukun “Luna” Li was awarded “Best Presenter” at the 2019 International Conference on Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems, which took place March 22-24 in Shanghai, China.

This conference discussed artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and  deep learning. Comprised of two sections – oral presentations and a poster session – the conference brings experts from around the world to present their research and share their discoveries. Luna was invited to give an oral presentation of her PhD research paper, titled “Feature Extraction Method of EEG based Biometrics”, and after giving an excellent presentation, was given the best presenter award.

Luna attributes her achievement to good advice and plenty of practice: “I think the reason I received the award because my research advisor, Dr. Sung-Hyuk Cha, told me a PhD student should not only be good at writing a paper, but also should spend more time on presentation. One of his requirements for me is presenting my research paper with passion and appeal, and I practice as much as I can,” she said.

Pics or it didn’t happen – Luna’s certificates of presentation for the award

Luna’s paper will go on to be published in the Conference Proceeding, which will be indexed by databases including Thomson Reuters, Inspec, El Compendex, and more.

“I am a very shy person on public speaking, especially for English (my second language),” Luna added. “But our school, Seidenberg, gave me a lot of chances to speak in public places, like the Finland and Austria trips for NYC design factory.”

Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, said: “Luna’s achievement is testament to her talent and dedication as a student of Computer Science and a practitioner of Design Thinking. Her research work is incredibly detailed and she has developed truly stellar presentation skills with which to describe her work. Luna is a hard worker and is always willing to go the extra mile. She is a fine representative of the Seidenberg School and one we are very proud of having in our PhD program.”

Sukun Li receives the award from Conference Chair, Prof. Majid Ahmadi, Associate Dean of the University of Windsor, Canada.