Zhan Zhang becomes first professor at Pace to earn grants from both NIH and NSF

Dr Zhan Zhang, a member of faculty at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, recently made Pace history by earning grants from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In his ongoing NSF project, Zhan focused on enabling hands-free data collection and documentation in the field by emergency medical services (EMS) providers with an easy-to-use smart glass application.

The new NIH project investigates care coordination and communication between distributed medical teams – the EMS team in the field and emergency department (ED) teams at the receiving hospital. “The research team will explore how to leverage smart glasses and advanced system interaction mechanisms (e.g., augmented reality and hands gesture recognition) to better facilitate remote patient care guidance,” Zhan said. The scale of the new project is much larger. There are two study sites – New York and Colorado – and both EMS and ED professionals will be involved.

The study will involve the implementation of specially designed glasses that enable EMS professionals to communicate with ED physicians instantaneously. The glasses, infused with internet of things (IoT) technology, use hand gestures and voice control to transmit information efficiently.

Hands using gestures to indicate interaction with the user interface
Various hand gestures, as well as voice control, can be used to interact with the user interface (UI) of the glasses.

“There are two aims of this study,” said Zhan. “In the first year, we will conduct iterative system design and evaluation with both paramedics and ED physicians, using participatory design, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. Then we are going to test the effectiveness of our system using simulated medical events. Paramedics and ED physicians will be invited to use our system to perform patient care.”

Zhan, who joined Seidenberg’s Information Technology department in 2017, specializes in healthcare technology – particularly how computers and technology can be used in helping healthcare professionals communicate and collaborate more efficiently. “My long-term goal is to digitize emergency care with novel technologies to improve patient outcome,” he said.

“This grant is extremely important to me because I have done a lot of preliminary work in this particular problem space since my PhD, and finally, with its support, I am able to use the knowledge I gained over the past few years to build a large-scale novel system that has a great potential to transform current old-fashioned method of pre-hospital communication and care coordination.”

Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, gave his support to the project. He said: “Dr. Zhang is an extremely talented and hard-working individual. He is passionate and popular with students, and a very busy person. When he’s not winning grants for truly exciting healthcare IT research, he’s heading up the new master’s in Human-Centered Design. I am excited to see how his career continues to unfold and trust that he will do great things for the healthcare industry and beyond.”

Furthering the achievement, Zhan is the first Seidenberg faculty member to receive an award from NIH, a nod to the increasing volume of interdisciplinary research taking place at Pace’s technology school.

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Seidenberg celebrates Cybersecurity Awareness Month with stellar alumni panel

On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University hosted an alumni panel dedicated to the topic of the month, cybersecurity.

Facilitated by faculty members Li-Chiou Chen and Darren Hayes, the panel comprised of four alumni who came together over Zoom to share their wisdom and expertise with current students.

Alumni panelists included:

    • Michael D’Angelo, Director of Forensics Operations practice at Driven
    • Pierre Jeppsson, Senior Associate at Ankura Consulting Group
    • Daniel Walker, Senior Intelligence Analyst, Homicide Bureau, Bronx District Attorney’s Office
    • Jasmine Washington, Computer Scientist, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)

Over the course of the hour long conversation, panelists discussed their current positions, how they got there, and what about their experience at Seidenberg helped prepare them for a career in cybersecurity.

The panel was recorded and will be released soon (we’ll update this post when it is). In the meantime, here are some quick answers to pressing questions Seidenberg faculty posed:

What’s the most significant cyber security problem right now in industry or in government?

Jasmine: Supply chain risk – being aware of what third parties you’re connected to and how they are secured . . . another trend is ransomware attacks. We see that really relevant relevant now that we’re doing telework and we’re working from home and we’re doing this education at home

Daniel: Phishing emails, because I know that is still prevalent today. I know a lot of you probably think, Oh, maybe it was done, five years ago, but no today it’s still happening. People are still clicking on links.

As a hiring manager, what do you look for in a candidate?

Michael: I want to find analysts or investigators that . . . maybe don’t know the full breadth of what’s out there and they want to get their feet wet. Even more, they want to be exposed – they want to delve into new topics and continue to learn . . . the ability to go outside of your comfort zone.

What advice do you have for interviewing?

Pierre: For me, It was just the conversations I was having. So, I did like three or four interviews . . . but I didn’t let them interrogate me. They asked me about my life, and I just told my story . . . there wasn’t enough time for them to go “so tell me about some-” you know . . . they hit you with those kind of gotcha interview questions. I was enthusiastic and I really thought a lot about what I would say. I even did some background work, like I went on the Anchor website and I looked at their mission statement and I looked at their their history and what their employees do in the matters that they’ve been involved in and it . . . painted a picture for who I might be talking to and once I knew who I was talking to I could just be myself. You tell them about yourself and and they go “Okay, this is a person I could see working here, somebody I would want to work with.”

The recording of the event will be available soon – we’ll share on Seidenberg social media as soon as it’s up!

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Seidenberg Innovation Awards: Innovation in Entrepreneurship Honoree

The Spring 2021 session of Pace University’s Seidenberg Innovation Awards has officially wrapped up with yet another notable honoree: Josh Silverman, the CEO of Etsy. During this annual event, Josh Silverman was praised for setting an example for entrepreneurs, while also supporting the business and technology communities within the Seidenberg School of CSIS. With experience in various fields, Josh Silverman eventually settled into his current position with one of the largest e-commerce businesses in America. However, one of the first steps in his career path was not business but instead public policy. After studying public policy at Brown University and working in the field for a few years, Silverman decided to go back to school for business at Stanford. Upon graduating, one of his first jobs in the field was working for a small, lesser-known company. Although his position provided him with more responsibilities than expected, it also led to him gaining invaluable experience and knowledge that would prepare him for his future role at Etsy.

WHAT IS ETSY?

So, what is Etsy? Although many of you may already know, Etsy is an e-commerce company that allows entrepreneurs to sell vintage and/or homemade products online. Through Etsy, selling is made significantly easier so that sellers, creators, and innovators can focus more on the creation and distribution of their products. Because of this, Etsy serves as a sound platform for facilitating the needs of smaller businesses, with some of them being owned by our very own Pace students.


SUPERMOON JEWELRY

Image including shop name, number of sales, rating, and shop location for SuperMoon Jewelry.

First up is SuperMoon Jewelry, which offers statement pieces ranging from rings to necklaces and more. Whether you decide to order a pair of celestial earrings, an astrology-inspired necklace, or a surprise mystery box, just know that you’ll be supporting one of our very own. The owner of this online shop, Theresa Rodriquez, is a Childhood Education major at our New York City campus. On the Etsy webpage for her shop, you’ll see all of her creations, in addition to SuperMoon Jewelry’s Instagram: @shop.supermoon.

JESSICA ANNE RUBIN

Image including shop name, number of sales, rating, and shop location for Jessica Anne Rubin.

Jessica Anne Rubin is an Art major at Pace whose shop features vibrant, uniquely shaped jewelry. With some earrings taking the shape of popular fruits such as strawberries and oranges, her other pieces are equally as fun and eccentric. If you’re looking for accessories that’ll make you stand out, then Jessica Anne Rubin is the perfect place to stop. On her shop’s Instagram, @jessicaannerubin, you’ll also find creative ways to style your new statement pieces.

CHARMED BITCHCRAFT

Image including shop name, number of sales, rating, and shop location for Charmed Bitchcraft.

This shop, created by two friends and recent graduates Julia and Eena, features a variety of products such as spell jars in the form of earrings, necklaces, and more. Depending on what you need, each individual spell jar is filled with the right components for different spells regarding protection, purification, happiness, and self-love. This shop is the perfect place for those who find solace in witchcraft or for those who simply want to support our city witches.


MAKING WISE BUSINESS DECISIONS

When it comes to leading Etsy, one of the most important things to consider as its CEO is ensuring the company’s success. For Silverman, this is determined by the overall success of the platform’s sellers. Essentially, when the sellers succeed then so does the company. Aside from this, there are other components responsible for Etsy’s upward progression. For instance, working with companies that provide useful business tools is an easy way to improve the user experience without the pressure of having to create the tools themselves. An example of one such company would be Braze, whose products specialize in deepening the relationship between businesses and their consumers. One product of theirs that Silverman points out as particularly helpful is their tool called Segment – adept at customizing the user experience based on customers’ wants and needs. With instruments like this in place, more attention can be spent on the other operations needed to sustain Etsy. 

The choice to utilize Segment is a perfect example of effectively discerning the best possible business decision. According to Silverman, most advances should take into account two things: time efficiency and optimal economic outcomes. Although the most ideal advancement would include both, it is not uncommon for improvements to be made based on only one out of the two. In this case, using Segment covered both bases. Implementing tools like Segment that maximize company efficiency was especially important for maintaining a steady workflow during the start of the pandemic.

A SHIFT IN E-COMMERCE

One result of the pandemic, particularly during quarantine, was that the portion of Americans who typically opted out of online shopping now needed to. With things that were once easily accessible being difficult to obtain, such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper to name a few, e-commerce quickly became a reliable source during dark times. However, among the usual items that people normally purchased in-store, there was one thing that customers needed desperately and fast: masks.

In a podcast interview with Marketplace Tech, Silverman recounts that after observing this pressing need, Etsy put out a call for sellers with the right materials to start producing masks. This call came about not too long after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (in March 2020), specifically when the shortage of masks began. With the overall increase of e-commerce alongside the growing need for masks, Etsy’s sales went up as well, thus providing an opportunity for entrepreneurs to support themselves during a time of crisis.

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

Josh Silverman has not only encouraged entrepreneurship through his support of the Pace community, but he has also encouraged it through the opportunities he has provided through Etsy. As someone who started off in pursuit of one career and ended up in another, Silverman has shown that there’s nothing wrong with taking a different path. In fact, it was each varying step in his journey that prepared him to excel in the exact work he does now.

From one life stage to the next, Silverman has proved that learning doesn’t end with school, but is instead a lifelong, continuous endeavor – especially in business and technology. It is being open to new knowledge that allows entrepreneurs to try different things before settling on the right decision. Needless to say that when doing so, mistakes are all but inevitable. However, it is not the mistakes themselves that are concerning, but rather the kind of lessons you learn from them. Silverman’s career journey is the embodiment of trying new things, seeing what works, and adapting. If there’s anything to take away from his experience, it is that applying these principles can be widely useful in both your personal and professional lives. Interested in exploring a new field? If so, try taking a class or securing a related internship. If there’s a new hobby you’ve been dying to try then maybe find a way to get started. Pursuing that goal or taking on that interest will only impart clarity on whether that new venture is or isn’t for you. So with that in mind, don’t be afraid to take risks because regardless of the outcome, you’ll still manage to learn from the experience.

Welcome to Wepptek: the Newest Seidenberg Student-Led Startup

The Seidenberg School of CSIS is ecstatic to announce the emergence of a new student-led startup in our community. Wepptek—started by Seidenberg students Allan Krasner, Manuel Garza, and Isaiah Jimenez—is the up-and-coming business for all of your professional website and app needs.

Allan, Manuel, and Isaiah came up with the idea of Wepptek after acknowledging their collective potential while working together at Seidenberg Creative Labs (SCL) and the Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab). With their mix of managerial, technical, and business skills, they knew they had everything they needed to get everything going.

“The three of us met together for the first time in the eLab without realizing that we would be working much closer together in the near future,” said Allan. “Seidenberg Creative Labs helped the three of us understand how the flow of projects is supposed to work and helped us understand any potential problems that we might run into in the development process.”

While their varied mix of experiences helped this group feel confident to build Wepptek, Allan said that the inspiration for the startup was a long time coming. When Allan took on a Project Management role at SCL at the end of his freshman year, it opened his eyes up to the kind of career he wanted he wanted to build for himself.

“This experience made me realize that I love talking to people, and I’m great at breaking down complicated tasks into small pieces,” said Allan. This being combined with my drive for creating my own company set the gears in motion, but I couldn’t do this on my own.”

Allan said that his co-founders and friends Manuel and Isaiah had the ambition and goals they needed to start their company. Once they got together and realized what they could do, they got off the ground running.

“Our first project was with a charter school consulting firm where they had us create landing pages for them so that they could get their enrollment numbers up, and this happened around the end of January,” Allan said.

Through this process, they came to understand their roles within Wepptek. As CEO, Allan said that he keeps the business running efficiently and smoothly to keep snags out of the process. As CTO, Manuel assists in the direction of the technology used per project. Isaiah works at the COO and has his sights on making sure Wepptek operates properly while also bringing in more clients.

Now they are setting their sights on gathering more projects. The team is currently working on a website for the Union of Adjunct Faculty at Pace (UAFP).

“They currently have a website that got created with WordPress, but it is Wepptek’s job to maintain and add any additional features that get asked of us, such as an internal social media for people that sign up to their website directly,” said Allan.

The group is figuring their communication and workflow as they grow. It has been interesting during the pandemic while they mostly communicate online. However, they succeed in ensuring each project has its full and undivided attention. They hope to expand the business outside of their networks.

“We are constantly thinking about how we can expand and grow our business, and one of the things that we can all agree on is having a huge focus on marketing and promoting ourselves,” Allan said. “So far, most of our clients have been from personal connections that the three of us have established for ourselves, but we also realize that this is only a temporary solution.”

Currently, the team prides itself on having a satisfaction guarantee. Wepptek will work with each of its clients to ensure that each project is clean and professional level.

Are you in need of a professional website or app? Reach out to the team through their website at Wepptek.com

Seidenberg Programs: Information Technology vs. Information Systems

Congratulations to students who have been accepted into Pace University’s Seidenberg School of CSIS! Upon joining our community, one of the first things you’ll likely notice is our wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. However, our Information Technology and Information Systems majors are two programs that are often confused with one another. As you may or may not know, Information Technology focuses more on the use of systems to store, retrieve, and transmit data, whereas Information Systems is centered on figuring out the best ways to use the data collected. Knowing and understanding the difference between the two is essential to making the best decision regarding which program you should choose.


WHAT TO EXPECT AS AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MAJOR?

Man working at a computer.

As an Information Technology major, you’ll be studying the systems that operate computers, networks, and more. Through the curriculum for this program, students will get to explore a series of fundamental courses in Information Technology. Additionally, you will also get a chance to select an area of focus in IT. These focus areas include security, software development, networking, information management, and computer forensics. However, for those of you who want to take a more liberal approach, you can also create your own interdisciplinary focus.

Security

With a focus in security, you’ll have a brief intro to programming, along with an overview of networking and internet security. Through the programming course, you’ll learn basic operations of Java generally used to solve business and systems-related dilemmas. In addition to correcting system errors, you’ll also be shown how to develop operating systems for various environments.

Software Development

For this concentration, you will be able to take not only one but two courses in programming, which combined will help deepen your overall understanding of coding. In the other courses for this focus, you’ll also get the chance to explore how to analyze and design systems that manage organizations in an effective way.

Networking

Choosing a focus in networking will allow you to take an introductory programming course alongside two other classes that will shape your foundational knowledge of networks and security.

Information Management 

Pursuing this focus will teach you everything you need to know about information management skills, such as project planning and systems testing. In addition to that, you’ll also learn to master the art of developing databases and extracting data for analysis.

Computer Forensics

This concentration will provide you with the knowledge needed to conduct forensic investigations by understanding how to locate and extract permissible digital evidence on computers and other mobile devices. 

WHAT TO EXPECT AS AN INFORMATION SYSTEMS MAJOR?

People sitting down for a discussion.

Students who are interested in Information Systems will learn how organizations utilize data to make sound business decisions. Through the curriculum, you’ll be encouraged to take marketing and accounting-based classes to help make these assessments. Unlike the Information Technology major, this one doesn’t require you to select an area of focus, however, you do get to choose from a series of electives offered through the program. Information Systems does include various IT concepts, but in a way that focuses on how that data is interpreted by people. Outside of the electives provided, the Information Systems major is split into the Information Systems Core and the Information Systems Environment.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS CORE

The Information Systems Core will show you the ins and outs of the computer’s basic components, which will include an understanding of its hardware and how to effectively troubleshoot problems. With this understanding, you’ll then get into the basics of Java with two introductory programming classes. Other topics you’ll explore include global networking and distributed computing. With global networking, you’ll examine the technology used for business telecommunications while also observing case studies between various organizations. Distributed computing will show you the difference between distributed and centralized systems, along with how to address systems-related issues. On top of that, you will also learn how to design, implement, and analyze various systems.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENT

The Information Systems Environment courses cover the business aspect of Information Systems. Through financial accounting, you’ll discover the essentials of making sound administrative decisions from a business, government, and nonprofit perspective. Meanwhile, in your managerial accounting course, you will focus more on the implementation of the data collected rather than the collection of data itself. In your other courses, you will be taught basic macroeconomic principles such as economic growth and banking, managerial planning and leadership, and marketing fundamentals like product development, advertising, and sales.

THE TAKEAWAY

Although different, both programs allow students to earn credits for completing a capstone project or interning at an approved worksite. Regardless of which one you choose, both options provide you with work experience that will benefit you upon graduating from either program. With a degree in Information Technology, your career opportunities can range from IT consultant to computer technician and more. Whereas, with a degree in Information Systems, you’ll find that careers in database administration, the healthcare industry, or even the government are within your scope of opportunities. Whichever you decide, we intend to provide you with all the tools and support you need to succeed.

 

The Return of Sunflower Hack

For its second year in a row Sunflower Hack is returning – but virtually. This year the hackathon is being hosted once again by Pace Women in Tech, alongside Pace University’s POPTV and Cybersecurity clubs. The event, which will take place on March 13th from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, will be open for registration until March 7th, right before midnight.

Sunflower Hack is open to all participants over the age of 18, regardless of whether they’re enrolled at a university or not. Teams must consist of three to four members to create a hack with this theme in mind: Interaction and Communication. Once your teams are formed, you will have five hours to come up with an idea and a presentation. At the end of the event, a few teams will receive prizes based on different categories, including Best Entrepreneurial Hack, Best UX/UI Hack, and Crowd Favorite. Other potential categories include Best Communication Hack, Best Interaction Hack, and Most “Out-Of-The-Box” Hack.

The Seidenberg community is excited for the success of another engaging hackathon, where participants with various degrees of coding experience are encouraged to join in on the fun. Taking part in this hackathon will be the perfect way to meet new people with common interests, while also developing your programming, designing, and/or presentation skills. For updates on the event, please feel free to check out Sunflower Hack on Instagram, or if you have any questions, they can be answered at gosunflowerhack@gmail.com.