Pace professor Miguel Mosteiro wins Best Paper at ICALP 2018 conference

A paper written by Miguel Mosteiro, assistant professor of computer science and algorithms whiz at Pace University, was selected as best paper at ICALP 2018. Known internationally as one of the top theory conferences worldwide, the achievement is significant for Dr. Mosteiro and collaborator Dariusz Kowalski, a computer science expert from the University of Liverpool.

The paper, titled “Polynomial Counting in Anonymous Dynamic Networks with Applications to Anonymous Dynamic Algebraic Computations,” is just one of the results of a series of research that Miguel and collaborators, including Seidenberg students, have worked on over the past few years.

“It was during my research visit to the University of  Bordeaux in 2015 when my host, Alessia Milani, made me aware of the Counting problem in Anonymous Dynamic Networks,” explains Miguel, who is based at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems’ New York City campus. “At that point, the problem had already attracted a lot of attention because knowing the number of processors is fundamental for Distributed Computing, but the best upper bounds known on the running time were DOUBLY-exponential. Jointly with Alessia Milani, we improved the running time exponentially designing a novel protocol during that visit. Later on, my student Maitri Chakraborty showed experimentally that our protocol completes the computation in polynomial time, but not having a theoretical bound better than exponential we could not guarantee termination in practice. Anyway, this research was a first big step that resulted in three publications and university-wide researcher- and mentor- awards for my student and me.

Dr. Mosteiro, on the right, displays the award certificate. On the left is Paul Spirakis, Chair of the European Association of Theoretical Computer Science.

“The interest on solving Counting in polynomial time continued, and by last year we were three research groups heavily working on it independently. During my 2017 summer visit to the University of Liverpool and the University of Wroclaw, I worked intensively with my host Dariusz Kowalski in designing a new Counting protocol. Our plan was to transform Incremental Counting so that we could apply Markov Chain analysis to bound the running time. There is always a magical moment in these developments and ours was when I was giving a talk to Kowalski’s students. Explaining the challenges of Counting, and what was the core technical difficulty, the key idea for a new protocol became apparent. Seminal ideas are fundamental but one still needs to work a lot on the technical details to realize them in theorems, which we did last Fall.”

Dr. Mosteiro and Dr. Kowalski presented the paper at ICALP 2018, which took place in Prague over summer, where the importance of the problem it addresses and the strength of the contribution will be recognized with the award for best paper.

The Chair of the Computer Science Department, Dr. Christelle Scharff, congratulated Miguel on the achievement, noting that it was a great achievement, mentioning “how prestigious it is!”

Seidenberg School Dean, Dr. Jonathan Hill, also offered his compliments: “We are, indeed, in the presence of greatness! Congratulations, Miguel, on this accomplishment.”

“We are very grateful,” says Miguel about the award, and added: “as I am for the support of Seidenberg School, SRC, and Kenan Fund. Without that support, I would not have been able to visit my colleagues and focus on this research.”

Congratulations Dr. Mosteiro! If the feedback from our students is anything to go by, there is a lot to be proud of!

The Social IoT Project: Innovative, International, Inspirational

by Andreea Cotoranu

For three consecutive days in November, the Seidenberg community got larger and more upbeat thanks to the visit of friends from places far away. As part of its commitment to provide students with transformative experiences, and to grow innovative and responsible citizens, the New York City Design Factory (NYCDF) at Pace University partnered with Design Factory Korea (DFK) at Yonsei University to pilot a project-based learning experience around the Social Internet of Things (IoT) theme.

The Social IoT Project, led by DFK, aims to encourage students to understand IoT technologies and connect these technologies with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through this project, students have an opportunity to strengthen their social entrepreneurial skills for the 21st century, including complex problem solving; critical thinking; creativity; and social innovation. Students are encouraged to explore local interpretations of social issues, analyze and design an IoT based product or service, and validate and evaluate the social impact of its business model. As part of the project, student teams at DFK and at the project partner institutions, including Pace University, engaged in specific courses/projects to address a social problem of their choice. The solutions designed by the student teams, which aimed to integrate IoT or artificial intelligence components, were showcased as part of a gala which included project pitches and prototype demonstrations.

The Social IoT Student Gala featured 18 student teams from six design factories across the globe, for a total of 58 students!  In addition to NYCDF (project host) and DFK (project lead), design factory (DF) and institution partners included:  Aalto DF (Aalto University – Finland), Cali DF, DF Javeriana Bogota (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana – Colombia), and Fusion Point (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya Barcelonatech – Barcelona).

Teams were judged and awarded based on several different criteria. Here are the winners!

  • Social Innovation Award: PeriBear (DFK)
  • Design Innovation Award: Olive (DFK)
  • Digital Social Entrepreneur Award: AgriTech (NYCDF)
  • Judge’s Choice Award: Blood Pressure Project [RBAC] (CDF)
  • Faculty’s Choice Award: VH (DFK)
  • Team Impact Award: Mind Matters (ADF)
  • Industry Award: Marcalli (Fusion Point)

An Innovation Development Workshop led by the DFK team offered students and faculty the opportunity to work together to further iterate on the solutions developed and presented as part of the Gala. For the workshop, teams from different design factories were paired based on common goals. Two team pairs were recognized with the “Innovation Award” for their prototypes:  AgriTech (NYCDF) & Smart Farmers (DFK), and Mirror Mirror on The Wall (NYCDF) & LIKA (DFK).

Last but not least, students and faculty were inspired by visits to NYC-based companies well-known for fostering innovation: SAP America, Intersection, Sidewalk Labs, Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures and StackOverflow.

The Social IoT Project is one of a series of collaborative projects supported by the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN), a network of innovation hubs in universities and research organizations across five continents. DFGN “is on a mission to create change in the world of learning and research through passion-based culture and effective problem solving. Shared understanding and common ways of working enable Design Factories in the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures, time zones and organizational boundaries fostering radical innovations.”

“Through projects like the Social IoT we aim to plant and nurture innovative thinkers. Students learn by doing and build skills for careers that do not exist yet. The conditions for this kind of learning could not be achieved without like-minded partners such as DFK, the DFGN community, as well as friends from academia and industry. I am grateful to all for their commitment to drive change through passion-based learning in an interdisciplinary, international context,”  said Andreea Cotoranu, Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation and Director of the NYCDF.

On this note, “gomabseubnida” (thank you) DFK, ADF, CDF, DFJB, Fusion Point and the bigger DFGN family for participating in the Social IoT pilot! We look forward to hosting the 2019 edition!

Our thanks also go to Ursuline Foley, and Suresh Kumar (Seidenberg Advisory Board members), and John Lynn, Partner and Co-Founder of The Studio Project, and Seidenberg’s entrepreneur in residence.

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About: The NYCDF is a center for innovation and creative problem solving within the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. NYCDF welcomes students of all majors, and across New York City and Westchester campuses! 

NYCDF’s most popular projects include courses like Product Development Project (PDP), Product Innovation Project (PIP), and Challenge Based Innovation (CBI). As part of these 7-month long experiences, students travel to Helsinki (Finland), Graz (Austria) and Geneva (Switzerland) to develop solutions for challenges presented by industry clients. However, for students looking to understand what NYCDF is all about, check out CIS102Y Design Thinking and Innovation.

In addition to courses, the NYCDF supports other project-based experiences, such as the four-day Nexus Maximus or the 36-hour RAT Relay for Global Good, all designed to provide students with opportunities to learn by doing.   

Students interested in NYCDF experiences can contact Andreea Cotoranu, Assistant Dean for Academic Innovation (acotoranu@pace.edu).

Pace University Opens New Learning Space Bringing Computer Science Projects to Life

Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick celebrated the opening of an upgraded computer science educational space with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event included students, and university officials along with Assembly Member Glick and unveiled the new space at 163 William Street in lower Manhattan. Renovations were supported by a $500,000 government grant, which is part of the State and Municipal Facilities Program, also known as a “SAM grant.”

Preparing to make Pace history!
Assembley Member Glick cuts the ribbon officially opening the Seidenberg ThinkTank classroom on at 163 William Street

New features of the computer science learning space include a think-tank style classroom, and a dedicated space for the NYC Design Factory, an undergraduate program that pairs Pace students with outside companies and tasks them with developing projects and innovative apps for the companies. Reinforcing the latest research in team and group strategies for problem solving, the space provides communal areas for students to study and work in teams. The creation of these new modular meeting and training spaces provides students with collaborative learning spaces where projects can come to life.

Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick, who helped secure the grant said, “I was very happy to have the opportunity to allocate this money because Pace is comprised of a group of strivers and helping to get some resources is a great joy for me.” Glick is also chair of the Committee on Higher Education.

Pace University Provost Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., said, “We cannot do all of this alone. It is important to our institutional success and student success to have a champion like Assembly Member Deborah Glick fighting for us.”

Provost Quiñones, Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill, Assembley Member Glick, and Government and Community Relations’ Vanessa Herman, in Seidenberg’s new collaboration space

Dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School, Jonathan H. Hill, D.P.S., said, “At Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, we are educating the next generation of New York City Tech industry employees and the founders of new companies. Assembly Member Glick’s assistance has made all the difference in allowing us to create cutting edge, technology-driven collaboration spaces for learning, designing, researching, and playing for these students.”

Ribbon cutting celebration to take place on Thursday, October 25, in NYC

By Brianna Adkins

A ribbon is being cut this week at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems on the New York City campus and we want everyone to be there to see it happen.

This coming Thursday, Oct. 25, we will be celebrating a much anticipated space upgrade for students and faculty at 163 William Street. Over summer break, the construction project included the creation of a new glass conference room, a thinktank style classroom, a dedicated space for the NYC Design Factory, and comfortable lounging areas for students to study and work in teams. The creation of these new modular meeting and training spaces will provide students with collaborative learning spaces where projects can come to life from the minds of our brilliant students.

The ribbon-cutting will take place at 10:00am on the second floor at 163 William Street. A special guest – Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick – will be present to say a few words about the grant that enabled the construction to take place. Pace University Provost, Vanya Quiñones, will also share her thoughts. And yes, there will be a giant pair of scissors.

After the ribbon is cut, students have the opportunity to network over some snacks.

The five-hundred-thousand-dollar project that started at the beginning of this year refurbished and created a start-up style space that demonstrates the community and lifestyle of students in the Seidenberg School.

The new spaces are giving life to the STEM haven and giving room for students to learn how to cultivate their ideas through design thinking with one another at the NYC Design Factory.

We hope to see you Thursday morning at 10!

Advice for new students from your new Seidenberg family

Welcome new students to the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University! In special events held on each of our campuses, the Seidenberg School gave a little taste of our culture to our new family.

In New York City, a pre-convocation breakfast set up new students for their big day. We had a great turnout of new undergraduate students from all over – from New York to California, and from countries afar like Ukraine, India, and China. The party in Pleasantville was a gathering in the evening, where current students, staff, and faculty turned out to meet our fresh faces.

Dean Jonathan Hill welcomes new students on the New York City campus.

Along with Seidenberg School Dean Jonathan Hill, Seidenberg students, faculty, and staff gave some of their top advice to the incoming class. We’re sharing what some of them said below:

On the environment at Seidenberg School

“We are in an environment that is very friendly; you will have lots of support.” Dr. Christelle Scharff, Chair, Computer Science.

“What makes Pace different is this environment. This is going to be your family for the next four years.” Dr. Miguel Mosteiro.

“If you find yourself getting overwhelmed at any time, don’t panic. Talk to your advisors, reach out and talk to us. We were in your positions many moons ago.” Dr. James Gabberty, Associate Dean.

On university life

“It’s a big change going from high school to college. One thing I’d advise is taking care of your time management – there are only 24 hours in a day, so use them wisely.” Vicente Gomez (BS in Computer Science).

“Health and wellness is super important now that you’re in college.” Vivian Ng (BS in Computer Science).

“Be proud that you are here.” Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean.

Dean Hill with some of our awesome returning students on the Pleasantville campus.

On studying in New York City

“As a previous international student at Pace University, New York City – not just Pace – became my classroom. Huge opportunities will come your way.” Stephanie Elson, Assistant Dean of Recruitment and Retention.

“Networking is key.” Dr. Darren Hayes.

On making the most of university

“You can work, study, do an internship, do a research project with a faculty member, but you will have to pick and choose. Do what you love and you will do well.” Dr. Christelle Scharff.

“It’s not just what you do in the classroom but what you do outside.” Dr. Darren Hayes.

“You are about to put many years into accomplishing something. The proof in the pudding is when you get a job after graduation. You are now preparing for a career, so think about what you want to do now and start taking the steps you need to get where you want to be.” Dr. James Gabberty.


New or returning to Pace University and want to talk? Stop by the Seidenberg School at any time on either campus. We are always here for our students and want to help you have the best experience you can at Pace University. Contact us to set up some time to talk or just drop by.

Pace University concludes sixth successful year of STEM Camp

The sixth annual STEM Collaboratory NYC’s STEM Camp at Pace has concluded after two weeks of intensive summer tech-related fun. Hosted and run at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, the camp introduced participants to tailored coding programs, field trips to top tech companies, and much more.

From Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 13, 2018, high school students from the tri-state area descended upon the Seidenberg School to learn how to code Python, data science, data visualization, design thinking – to name just a few. Workshops run by Seidenberg faculty Christelle Scharff and Frank Parisi offered an in depth exploration of hot tech areas, while Seidenberg student mentors led NYC Design Factory soft skills development events.

Getting to know you, getting to learn all about you… one of our icebreaker exercises that totally worked the way we meant it to and didn’t end up with twine everywhere.

Students weren’t restricted to the four walls of One Pace Plaza, however – several organized field trips included visits to Google for a tour and panel discussion, as well as a trip to local startup AppFigures. As is STEM Camp tradition, the cohort also enjoyed a boat ride to Governor’s Island to visit Billion Oyster Project (during an intense summer heatwave, so ice cream may have been involved).

Science takes safety seriously! STEM Camp visited Governor’s Island to work with Billion Oyster Project.

The Seidenberg School runs STEM Camp in partnership with the School of Education via a grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). As part of our initiative to bring technology education to the high school classroom as well as our established college experience, STEM Camp was created to bring gifted high school students to Pace University for an unforgettable summer experience that encourages participants to pursue STEM degrees.

The camp closed out with project presentations from the students, which we streamed live on Facebook.

We’d like to thank Dr. Lauren Birney from the School of Ed, Dean Jonathan Hill, and our amazing team at Seidenberg who made STEM Camp possible: professors Christelle Scharff and Frank Parisi, students Vivian Ng, Allan Krasner, Sven Nussgruber, Jackson Bynes, Guillermo Schneider, Aditee Verma, Anna Marinina, Milind Ikke, and Seidenberg staff lead, Melanie Madera.

Student mentors Sven Nussgruber, Jackson Bynes, Allan Krasner, Guillermo Schneider, Anna Marinina, and Aditee Verma, making it happen! Not pictured: Vivian Ng.

Stay tuned for a video highlighting the best moments from this year’s camp!

Read about previous STEM camps.