Remember, Remember, 5 Things for September

In just 5 days the Fall semester here at Pace will begin (as surely you have all realized by now. We hope). As usual, we don’t hesitate to get the motors running with the semester’s start. For example, here are 5 big things already happening in September that we think will fuel your engines for Fall 2014. 

WriteSpeakCode

1. September 13th – Write/Speak/Code

Our friends at Write/Speak/Code will be hosting a free, full-day, intensive developer’s workshop for women. The workshop will offer a chance for women to work in tandem to learn, practice, or improve upon their skills in software development. Not only will women be able to level-up their expertise, but the workshop is a great way to network with other developers in the field. Registration is open now, and the event includes breakfast and lunch, if you weren’t already convinced.

2. September 10th & 17th – Student Panel

Assuming this year is like any other, a great many of you are possibly in the midst of a stressful, agonizing job search. If you’re tired of being inexperienced (or just plain broke), Seidenberg will be hosting two student panels focusing on how panelists found their summer’s jobs or internships. The two days will be split between undergrad (17th) and graduate (10th) panelists. For information on the dates, keep up with Seidenberg’s Twitter or Facebook feed, where we’ll be announcing information as we receive it and posting reminders for your convenience. 

3. September 18th – AgileDay NYC

The 5th annual Agile Day will once again be happening here at Pace University. The event consists of talks from various Agile front runners, with topics such as ‘Innovation in a Rapidly Changing World,’ and ‘Developing Product Developers and Product Ownership.’ Once the talks finish, the entire Student Union will open up to host workshops and activities to promote Agile ideologies and networking within the expected crowd of 350+ agile professionals. Registration is ongoing and filling up fast, so take a look at reserving a spot. Or, as admission can be pricey on a student’s budget, we are offering a number of volunteer spots. Volunteers will be able to attend the event for free; those interested in volunteering should email Wilfredo Pena at wpena@pace.edu.

4. September 25th – UX Agency Launch

Seidenberg students Stas Vaisman and Adil Hasan are building up a UX agency that will be launching this fall. Their goal is to gather a team of students from a multitude of disciplines (Hey, Dyson! Hey, Lubin!) who will ultimately work with Seidenberg Creative Labs to enhance UX on various platforms. UX – User Experience – is rapidly emerging as a career field, focusing on all aspects surrounding product development (especially in start ups). The agency, also known as Schooled, has connections to a university in Germany, offering students who join a chance to build their own international network while gaining real-world experience. On the 25th at 6pm (Bianco Room, One Pace Plaza), Vaisman and Hasan will be fully explaining their initiative to anyone interested in joining. No reservations are required and free pizza will be served as bait!

5. September 20-21st – DroidCon 2014

DroidCon2014For all you Android enthusiasts, DroidCon is definitely going to be worth your while. This event will be the “world’s biggest, community-driven, Android developer conference,” according to the DroidCon home page. As an international conference, you’ll have a chance to learn about Android advances from the farthest corners of the world. DroidCon has also officially announced its top-10 speakers for the event, boasting an impressive host of professionals in the Android community. Registration for the conference lasts until the 19th. Tickets start at 100$, but of course we have your backs with free volunteer positions at the event. Those interested in attending DroidCon for free as a volunteer should email Dr. Christelle Scharff at cscharff@pace.edu.

 

 

Most Doors in Life Seem Closed…

…So, If You Want Them to Open, You Need a Cool Knock.
By Suhail Bhandari

As an international student at Pace University, I’m always amazed by what can be achieved by simply knocking on someone’s door. I recently tried the theme from Mission Impossible, and by the time I was done knocking, I’d made friends with the CEO of a very successful startup, a Google developer, and two very famous Glass explorers. All this whilst at my very own Google Glass workshop.

It all began in my third week at school, when I met two very important people.

The first, was a gentleman named Freddy. It was as though Waldo had come alive and was every bit as interesting and worldly-wise as you’d hoped he’d be, with all his travels! (See if you can spot him in the picture below.)

photo

We’d often delve into interesting discussions regarding the future of wearable-tech or how to build digital communities. Sometimes we’d even debate the hard stuff like, ‘why is everyone obsessed with Candy Crush?’ or ‘what the heck do I do with all my NikeFuel points?!’ It was fantastic to have someone on campus who I could go to whenever I needed meaningful advice, or just wanted to share an idea… So, you can imagine my shock when I found out, a month later, that my friend “Freddy” was actually Professor Wilfredo Pena, who taught an Information Systems class! Yet, and as odd as it sounds, we’re still best buds and it was his little push that gave me the confidence to organize my own Google Glass Workshop – “Instead of just talking about them all day, go to Dr. Scharff, ask her if you can borrow her glasses for a day and invite a few students over!”

Was it just that simple?

Students who tried on Glass at the event. Click-through for full-sized images
Students who tried on Glass at the event. Click-through for full-sized images

Then I met Dr. Christelle Scharff, Chair for the Computer Science department at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science. I would imagine during my first visit to her office I looked every bit as thrilled as Charlie did, when he first walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. She had Google Glasses, access to 3-D printers, a Raspberry Pi and the latest active gear smart watch! There was even an oompa loompa in the corner – “This Android bot is a trophy for my students, if they do well in today’s class.” She gave me a patient listen, even though I was all over the place with my ideas, and within minutes she offered to not only to speak at the workshop but she would allow any student who wanted to try on the $1,500 Glass a chance to do so.

The next day, far more confident about my idea, and egged on by Freddy and Dr. Scharff, I sat down with Glass, and dictated an e-mail. “Ok Glass, send this out to…” I reached out to a popular agency that had been working with Glass for a few months now. 48 hours later, they replied, “It’s high time kids started doing more stuff like this! See you there!” Time to go bigger! A few days later – and what are the odds of this happening – I bumped into Steve Motino, a Pace Student/Google developer/Glass Explorer at a Pace University job fair! 15 minutes later, he was onboard as well and even offered to talk about a few apps he was working on. Even bigger! We reached out to city event guides and Explorer clubs! And finally, with some deft social media management by a fellow student, we reached out to everyone at Pace!

Walter White Harry Potter Jonathan Hill Pace News
We not only had the Seidenberg’s associate dean don a promotional pair, but Harry Potter and Walter White too! 

That evening, my small workshop idea transformed into an entire 3 hour event with over 50 attendees! We had students from Pace as well as other universities, developers, working professionals, 5 guest speakers and 7 Google Glass Explorers!…And it all began with a cool knock.

—–

More pictures from the event can be found on Seidenberg’s Facebook. If you tried on a pair of Glasses at the event, find your picture and tag yourself!

 

Asif Khan to Discuss Mobile Health Initiatives

Asif Khan, from the UN Foundation (UNF), will be making an appearance at Seidenberg on March 27th to introduce the UNF and Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) to anyone interested in learning about the ways in which mobile apps can help solve age-old issues around the world.

“The UNF links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and US-UN relations.”

Asif, who has been with the UNF since 2011, currently works with the Director of Global Partnerships, based in New York, on sustaining and building corporate and NGO partnerships for the UN Foundation. His previous role was as the Global Coordinator for MAMA, where he oversaw communication, coordination, finances and outreach for MAMA Global in Washington as well as MAMA’s three country programs in Bangladesh, South Africa and India.

Through the MAMA Global Learning program, a team creates tools and resources to strengthen new and existing mobile health programs that provide trusted information to mothers. MAMA has developed free, adaptable messages informed by experts in maternal, newborn, and child health. These evidence-based, culturally sensitive mobile messages are currently in use by 300 organizations in 70 countries around the world.

As MAMA is an innovator in mobile health, which is one of Seidenberg’s top initiatives, Asif will be demonstrating how his work with the alliance can involve you, the students (or whomever else may be interested), in the futures of your careers. The event will be on Thursday, April 3rd, 6pm, at 163 William St (Seidenberg HQ).

Seidenberg and AHRC Are Hosting an International Film Festival

As many of you know, one of Seidenberg’s outreach programs works with AHRC of New York City, an organization for helping individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Together, with Pace’s Dean of Students, Dr. Marijo Russell-O’Grady, they will be hosting an International Film Festival in celebration of Individuals with Disabilities in Film.

This is the second annual film festival to be held at Pace for the occasion. According to an official media release for the festival, “the festival focuses on individuals with disabilities expressing dreams and hopes to be contributing members of society like other individuals without disabilities.”

A discussion of the films will be included, featuring distinguished panelists

  • Alice Elliott (Director, Welcome Change Productions)
  • Dr. Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz (Member, Board of Directors, AHRC New York City)
  • Maria Hodermarska (Parent and Teacher, NYU)
  • Gary Lind (Executive Director, AHRC New York City, Community Engagement Partner with Pace University)
  • Adil Imran Sanai (Self-Advocate)
  • Issac Zablocki (Co-Founder and Director, ReelAbilities: New York Disability Film Festival)
  •  and Dr. Marijo Russel-O’Grady, Dean of Students, who will act as Moderator.

The festival is free and welcomes all members of the public. For seat reservations and RSVPs, you may email Dr. James P. Lawler, Chair of the International Film Festival and Professor of Service-Learning of the Seidenberg School, at lawlerj@aol.com or at 212-346-1013.

The festival will take place Monday, March 31, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street, Manhattan, New York City.

First Week Back to School

We are officially into the Fall 2013 semester of class. This post is to recap all the things that are going on around NYC and Pace for you to enjoy before classes get serious.
First off, it’s Broadway Week for anyone interested in seeing some excellent performances. Broadway Week means all shows are doing a 2 for 1 ticket deal, but it only lasts until the end of the week! Seats are disappearing fast, so grab some before they’re gone!

From left to right, Dr. Richard Kline, Dr. Christelle Scharff, Kalevi Ekman, Dean Amar Gupta, Dr. Jonathan Hill, and professor Bryn Haffey all stand together, prepared for Fall 2013.

Quick note on classes that you may have been to that you’re already dreading. Our advice: drop them and substitute another. You have a few weeks to do this without penalty or before you miss too many hours of the class you may switch into. If you don’t like a professor or the syllabus makes the upcoming weeks seem dreary abort the mission. It’s not worth your time and effort to suffer through terrible classes and there are enough options available for you to switch without mussing your schedule. College is meant to be flexible and enjoyable. Some classes you will eventually have suffer through, but at least ease your pain by waiting until a decent professor comes along.

In Seidenberg news, the Finns have struck again. If you haven’t met our partners from Aalto University (including Peter Tapio who was here during the Summer Scholars Experience), they’ve been around for the last few days and leave this evening, unfortunately. They will be back eventually, so catch them while they are around. They are all a wonderful resource available to learn about project development in many fields.

The aforementioned workshop with Kalevi Ekman was a delightful afternoon. Photos from the event and a video that showcases Kalevi’s lessons on design will be available for viewing on Thursday. He himself is another one of our Finnish partners, also a head professor for the PDP (Product Development Project) program that Seidenberg takes part in. This program is an incredible opportunity for students and also gives students involved the chance to visit Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.

Lastly, don’t forget that Computing Society meets on Wednesdays and there will be free pizza, just so ya’ know.

 

Participants Respond to Saturday’s Event: BlackGirlsCODE

The aforementioned BlackGirlsCODE event has now come to pass, but before its closure, participants had a few things to say not only about their involvement in the event itself, but also in BlackGirlsCODE as a movement.

Some of the more important members of the community are the parents; these parents have urged their daughters to open up to the world of computing, especially when the girls are naturally inclined to do so. Monica Jeffery and her daughter Shameya attended the event together. Monica expressed that she “[wants Shameya] to get more in-depth and  learn how to problem solve. [She wants] her to learn how to code and wants something more technical.”  Other parents voiced similar wishes, but also said they appreciate that these workshop opportunities are available to a range of age groups. Meibell Contreras brought her 10 year old daughter Maya (both pictured below), believing that her age is prime for learning how to code.


Along with the parents, volunteers and instructors are crucial to the workshops and the BlackGirlsCODE community. Errol King, game designer, actor, business owner, and instructor at the event made a statement about why the BlackGirlsCODE movement is so important: 

 “You have something really beautiful to offer the tech space that is missing. When there is a critical mass of black females created in the tech space, I think there will be something that will come out of that that we won’t even expect and that’s why we are here–to create that catalyst.”

Volunteers also expressed their excitement about the workshops. Harlo Holmes and Michael Hackney agree how fantastic it can be to see girls of a young age grasp these programming concepts so quickly and so thoroughly and continue to remain enthusiastic about it. Holmes called it ‘heartwarming.’

The girls themselves had a lot of comments after Saturday’s workshop. Most agreed that they liked having a class with all girls, and that learning about programming in Beta was a great introduction–one that sparked an interest in pursuing further education in engineering and programming.