Jeff Coffin embeds knowledge in embedded systems talk at Pace University

The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University welcomed a guest to the Tech Leadership Series for a discussion with Seidenberg students.

On Thursday, October 25, the Software and Systems Engineer at AJA Video Systems, Inc., Jeff Coffin, spoke on the New York City campus for a discussion on the topic, “Embedded Linux: What the Heck is it?” Students had the opportunity to dive into what an embedded system is all about with Jeff. The talk took the form of an interview, where Jeff was posed questions by a very special Seidenberg student – Charlotte Coffin, aka his daughter!

Jeff, current AJA Software and Systems Engineer as well as former American Airlines Software and Systems Engineer, specializes in the operating system known as Linux. The operating system runs most devices that people use every day along with running most of the internet. With an industry professional who has vast knowledge of such an integrative piece of technology, it gave students an opportunity to use critical and creative thinking skills.

Students also received the opportunity to speak with Jeff about his many years of experience in the technology industry. Networking also occurred at this event located in the Seidenberg lounge.

Jeff Coffin and daughter Charlotte Coffin – a Seidenberg student superstar – talk tech

If you missed out on this event, no worries! We have many more speakers lined up for the rest of the Leadership in Technology series.

November 14 – Peggy Yao

Goldstein Academic Center, 12:00pm

Tech Collective Lunch & Learn: Mindfulness for Professional & Personal Success

Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Westchester campus is hosting another segment of the leadership series starting at 12:00pm at the Seidenberg Lounge in Goldstein Academic Center. Special guest, Peggy Yao, will be a speaker at Seidenberg Tech Collective’s lunch and learn. Her speech will be dedicated to the topic, “Mindfulness for Professional & Personal Success,” a topic not often associated with the technology industry. Students will be able to learn tips for a more mindful outlook, network with Yao, and free lunch is, as always, provided. RSVP here to attend.

November 28—Merin Joseph

Goldstein Academic Center, 12:00pm

The Seidenberg Tech Leadership Series

The next event in the series will be on Nov. 28 at the Westchester campus at the Seidenberg Lounge at 12:00pm. Merin Joseph will be giving insider experience from her position as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at WESTMED Practice Partners and WESTMED Medical Group. Students can attend this event to get networking experience and tips on how to succeed in their chosen fields. RSVP here to attend.

December 12 –Daniel Barchi

163 William St., 12:00pm

The Seidenberg Tech Leadership Series

The last event in the series will be on Dec. 12 on the New York City campus at the Seidenberg lounge at 12:00pm. The last series speaker, Daniel Barchi, will be giving the inside scoop on his career goals and experiences as Chief Information Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian. Students can join in on this final event to get networking experience and tips on how to succeed in their chosen fields. RSVP here to attend.

We hope to see you at these events for the Seidenberg Technology Leadership series!

Messy, fun, and rewarding: CIS 102Y Design Thinking and Innovation

A new course is coming to Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems for students who want to be in the room where design and innovation happen.

In Spring 2019, Pace students have the opportunity to take the new course Design Thinking and Innovation. This project-based learning course is offered on both the Westchester and NYC campuses. According to Professor Andreea Cotoranu, who teaches the course on the Westchester Campus, “innovation is something everyone seems to strive for these days. Through this course, students will learn the tools that can help unlock and fuel their creative problem-solving potential, all while working together on problems that matter to them. Just like the creative process, this course experience will be messy, fun, and rewarding.”

Course Description

This project-based learning course introduces students to innovation and problem solving using the design-thinking framework. The course emphasizes complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication and teamwork.  The course is a corner stone experience for students in their first or second year at Pace University and is open to all undergraduate majors.

As part of this project-based learning course, students engage in a series of exercises that build upon each other to gain an understanding of the design thinking process including:

  • Gaining empathy to define a problem;
  • Brainstorming to generate creative solutions;
  • Prototyping as a way to represent one or more solutions to show to others;
  • Testing prototypes with the user for feedback.

Students apply the knowledge acquired through these exercises to a team-based project. Projects are based on problems posed by industry clients. Industry clients may include not-for-profit or for-profit organizations. Project deliverables include a mid and end of semester presentation, an electronic or physical product prototype, and written project reflection reports.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • recognize the value of creative thinking;
  • give examples of innovative ideas;
  • apply human-centered design techniques to define a problem;
  • employ ideation techniques to generate creative solutions;
  • recognize the benefits of engaging with students of diverse backgrounds and experiences in the formation of ideas for project solutions;
  • use data synthesis and idea generation to refine problems;
  • prototype, test and iterate a solution with user feedback;
  • use prototyping and storytelling to pitch a solution;
  • demonstrate teamwork in interdisciplinary and self-directed teams

Professor of Information Technology, Dr. Jim Lawler, who teaches the course on the NYC campus, described the course as “an exciting and fun opportunity for students to learn a highly marketable methodology prevalent in entrepreneurial innovative organizations.”

Through this course students will learn about project-based experiences, in particular those offered through the NYC Design Factory.

About NYC Design Factory

The NYC Design Factory is a hub for innovation and creative problem solving housed within the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. The NYC Design Factory welcomes students of all majors. The most popular courses include Product Development Project (PDP),  Product Innovation Project (PIP), and Challenge Based Innovation (CBI). As part of these courses, students travel to Helsinki (Finland), Graz (Austria) and Geneva (Switzerland) to develop solutions for challenges posed by industry clients. These courses link technology, production, and marketing  Check out the NYC Design Factory website to learn more about our offerings. Are you looking for an exciting course to register for in Spring ’19?  Look no further – register for CIS 102Y Design Thinking and Innovation today!

Peggy Yao inspires mindfulness through a discussion and lunch at Pace University on November 14

The Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University is welcoming another guest to the Leadership in Technology Series, so get excited.

On Wednesday, November 14, Peggy Yao, the first Mandarin-speaking Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher in the Tri-State area, is coming to the Westchester campus for a Tech Collective Lunch and Learn on “Mindfulness for Professional and Personal Success.” Peggy will be on campus to meet students and impact our School’s community in a positive way.

Yao, an alumna of the Pace University, attended several classes in Pace University’s Lubin School of Business Masters of Business Administration program from 1979 to 1981. She used her learning experiences to grow a lifelong dedication to community service and charity. As an MSBR teacher in Chinese schools and senior centers, local libraries, and the Tzu-Chi Foundation—of which she is an active member—Yao has served the community with her approach on growing stronger personal physical and mental health.

This event comes at a perfect time as the stressful season of midterms has just finished up. Students will have the opportunity to dive into a conversation about mindfulness and mental health with Yao over food provided by the School.

The event will take place at 12:00pm on the third floor at the Goldstein Academic Center. Students will have the opportunity to network and chat with Yao in the Seidenberg lounge.

RSVP here to confirm your attendance.

1st year student, Niamh Fitzsimon returns to Google!

Niamh (pronounced: Neeve) Fitzsimon is freshman computer science and art (studio) double major from San Francisco. She’s Irish, and went to a small all-girls high school where she was forced to program in her freshman year. Niamh’s plan is to go into android mobile app development and work in Europe.

Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot
Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot

Q: This will be your second stint at Google. It can’t be just “Irish Luck” What’s your secret?

I am naturally an over planner which causes me to think a lot further into the future than most. Because of this I went on an extensive scholarship search during my senior year of high school and happened upon the Generation Google Scholarship. Applying for the scholarship meant automatically applying for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute. Although I didn’t get the scholarship, I did get into the program. There I found out about the Engineering Practicum Internship, which I will be part of this summer. Honestly I was just shooting for the stars when I applied the first time, but I decided to put my doubt aside an just go for it. I think my “secret” to pass onto others is to ignore all the voices and apply for things. You have to tell yourself that the worst that is going to happen is nothing, and if you never applied it would be the same without the possibility of success.

Q. Tell us about Summer Camp at Google. How will this time be different? What are you looking forward to?

Last summer’s camp was days filled with classes, mentorship, and getting to know about the industry. It was only three weeks and included learning Python in a day and a half, thinking up and building an entire web application from scratch with a team in a week and a half, and presenting the application. The entire time was in Google’s Cambridge, MA office so I got to explore one of the Google campuses, but most of the day was spent in the same conference room. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot (You can find my team’s application at currentcssi.appspot.com).

This summer will be a completely different experience. First of all I will actually be working for Google, which means getting to work on one of their real teams on a real product and getting paid for it. The team I will work on, an internal Android app development team, is more in my specific area of interest. My team will be made up of full time Google employees, plus one other intern. I will be working at the New York campus, which is much larger than Cambridge. Besides the actual work I will have some computer science lessons and mentorship. Although the application I will be working on is internal, I am excited because people in Google will be using it. I am also looking forward to micro-kitchen access, nap-pod access (yes, they look exactly like the ones in the Internship), and meeting more computer scientists from outside of Pace.

Q. So is GOOGLINESS a real thing??

Googliness from what I have witnessed is teamwork. The employees work in teams and the offices have an open format, with each team basically sitting around a table. It is being able to have creativity and finding your own way to be productive. Googliness is wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops to work and having to worry about the Google twenty (the food is really good and free).

Q. You will be studying abroad later this year. Where are you going?

I will be studying abroad in Spring 2016. I am going to John Cabot University in Rome. I went to Rome on a pilgrimage the winter before I came to Pace and fell in love with it. I am looking forward to experiencing the Italian culture (and hopefully improving my Italian) and all the history Rome has to offer. I am excited to take a fresco painting course and an art history course that will have a trip to Pompeii. While there I will not only get to experience Italy, but also travel to different parts of Europe and experience the cultures (and the food) there.

I think every student should do a semester abroad at least once if they can, and if not at least do a summer or travel course. You get to learn more about the place (and the world) than when you go for a vacation. Hopefully you will also learn more about yourself. Even just being on the other side of the country from my home has taught me a lot about myself, I cannot imagine what I will learn while abroad. I like how Pace has events such as the Pace Path Live to expose students to the idea of studying abroad.

Niamh's ode to the Stars and Stripes - photographed and edited by her.
Niamh’s ode to the Stars and Stripes – photographed and edited by her.

Q. We saw you checking out the Ms. Marvel collection at Seidenberg. Big graphic novel fan?

Being a graphic artist myself I love looking at different aspect of design. Since I began art I have looked up to Andy Warhol and Banksy and more recently Fintan Magee (who I discovered through Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/simoncrerar/jaw-dropping-works-of-fintan-magee-street-art#.rwggV1KD6J), but the more I have gotten into the digital world I have appreciated the look of websites more. The websites with amazing graphics that move as the page does are my favorite. I am hoping to learn more about it in the Design for the Internet class I am taking next year.

Q. Tell us about the path you’ve traversed at Pace. How has it been different from everyone else?

My path at Pace so far has been mostly planning. When you take on two majors it takes a lot of planning ahead to fit all the classes needed in, and adding study abroad on top of that complicates things further. I have tried to keep a balance of CS, Art, and general education each semester. Because the two majors are so different my day is sometimes polarized, like walking into Mathematical Structures for Computer Science last semester covered with paint and my portfolio in hand, but I enjoy the balance it provides. I think my path at Pace hasn’t been very different than everyone else. If I had to point out one difference it would be that my exact plan was formulated early than most. Part of the reason I chose Pace was that I would be allowed to double major in two very different subjects and by the end of the summer I had solidified my decision to double major instead of just minoring in art.

“I will be attending Pace Path Live on April 25th. I am hoping to take away some new ideas to organize my time at Pace. Although I have planned out a lot I know there will be some curveballs and room for improvement in my plan. Overall, I believe it will be a fun and informational day.” – Niamh Fitzsimon, ’19, Pace University

Zakiya Sims is on a mission to grow PCS!

Pace Seidenberg _ Digital Cloud
Zakiya Sims at Digital Cloud

This winter break I embarked on a quest to make the Pace Computing Society bigger than itself. In the process I was faced with challenges and disappointments but (kinda) accomplished what I set out to do. Over the intermission I wrote tons of emails, made several phone calls, and attended many events. With these activities I’ve learned how to make meaningful connections and get out there to make things happen.

I started my journey with the goal of getting guest speakers for every PCS meeting. I began by writing emails to celebrities who have invested in startup companies. I know it seems like an unreachable goal but I figured if you took a shot in the dark you might hit your target. Well, I didn’t hit my target but I did manage to graze a few people nearby. I emailed the managers of celebrities such as Nas, Andy Samberg, and Leonardo DiCaprio. That was when I was able to find their email. It was by pure luck and great search engine skills that I was able to find some of the managers’ contact info which I doubt were reliable.  I mean I found Nas’s cell phone number in a matter of seconds…I don’t think it was his number. I did not get a response from their managers which was expected so I lowered my standards a bit.

Pace Seidenberg _ WeWork
The WeWork office space in downtown, NYC

Next, I contacted the CEO’s of big companies such as Twitter, Spotify, and Tumblr. Spotify was the only company that responded. The CEO’s assistant essentially said no, but that was enough encouragement I needed to get out there and email more companies. I then proceeded to email local startup companies. I figured if I got in the “I help you, you help me” mindset, companies would send speakers to us. In the email I asked them the send a representative, which would be a great opportunity to promote their business and garner users and revenue through our students. The next few days were followed by emails from the companies explaining how they were unable to speak at our meetings. I did get some success, however. Someone from the partnership department at WeWork contacted me and forwarded the email to the Director of Business Development there! He was willing to speak for our first meeting. Next came several speakers from companies such as BuzzFeed, General Assembly, HATCH, UNICEF, Strolby, IBM, and Uncubed who were willing to come. With every person that responded there were two companies that didn’t and with every one that did responded, half said no. There were some people that said they were willing to speak at PCS but when I sent an email to follow up they never responded.

With several speakers confirmed for the spring semester my next step was to broaden our audience and reach people who weren’t PCS members to have them attend our meetings. One way to do this was to contact local high schools. I tried a few but they declined the offer. However, the adviser of the Girls Who Code chapter at Brooklyn Tech offered me hope. They weren’t able to attend our meetings because of the conflicting times, but offered for me to speak at their first meeting. We were allowed only 3 minutes, so we had to be concise. Kendra, vice-president of PCS, and I went there and delineated what Pace University had to offer in NYC and the tech field, and explained the Stem Camp and Summer Scholars program. Afterwards we offered them gifts. The teacher was very grateful and told me to send her more information on the summer programs. That event made me feel as though the publicizing of our club was an essential way to get us known to people who would not have known us otherwise. This motivated me.

Pace Seidenberg _ Brooklyn Tech
Zakiya Sims at Brooklyn Technical High School

My next mission was to get our name out there. I sought to do this by creating the PCS website and promoting the club’s events on Facebook page and Eventbrite. I also attended a Women Who Code front end development discussion group with Kendra. There we met female software development and coded in JavaScript… and raided their refrigerator. We were able to get the business card of one the employees which could be a potential opportunity. I continue on with the goal by accompanying Wilfredo, project manager for Seidenberg and Kendra to the WeWork headquarters. We got a tour from our first speaker, Jesse Middleton. He talked to us about the company’s goal which is to create a community through the work spaces. He also told us that there were a few “fast growing startups” that worked in the building and suggest that we can get a group of our members to tour their work spaces. It seemed like a great idea as several of our members’ are looking for jobs.

The break is starting to come to an end but I still aim to continue finding more speakers, events, and business opportunities for the members of PCS. This week I was planning on going to a Lunch Talk where I will practice my sketch noting skills in order to glean information to pass on to the members. Furthermore, I will be going to Playtest Thursdays at NYU Poly to perhaps procure more attendees for our events and get more ideas and connections. In addition, I will be attending a hackathon, sponsored by Spotify, to gain experience and exposure that I will share with other PCS members. I would not have thought a few months ago that PCS would be where it is now but I pulled a few strings, made it happen, and now we’re known by a bunch a girls at Brooklyn Tech, the speakers I’ve invited, people who saw me steal food at the WWC meeting, and soon the world.

-Zakiya Sims, 1st year Computer Science at The Seidenberg School & treasurer, PCS.

High School Students Explore Robotics & Game Programming @ Pace

On Saturday November 1st, the Seidenberg School hosted their second Hands on Technology Day Workshops (HOT Workshops).  High School students attended workshops about Game Programming, taught by Dr. Mary Courtney, and Robotics, taught by Dr. Pauline Mosley. Participants were able to get a real hands-on experience. In Dr. Mary Courtney’s workshop, participants learned interactive programming using an international programming environment GreenfootThey also used the Java language. In Dr. Pauline Mosley’s workshop, students learned how sensors can assist autonomous vehicles in detecting objects. They each got to program, build, and test their own robot.

We collected a lot of great feedback from the event form both the professors and participants. Participants loved the topics that were covered, the hands-on elements, the instructors, and the current Pace Seidenberg Students who came to help out. The Professors were greatly encouraged by the excitement that the participants brought to the sessions and how they really dived into each of the workshops.

The Seidenberg School would like to thank all the staff from Seidenberg and the Pace University Admissions office that helped make the day a wonderful success.

Here are some pictures from the event:

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