Gianna Sorrentino is double majoring in an awesome combination: Computer Science and Criminal Justice. With a graduation date of 2019, we can’t wait to see what she gets up to over the next few years!
We asked Gianna to tell us about the classes she’s taking this semester. She’s in CS 271: Fundamentals of Unix, taught by Professor Paul Benjamin and CS 242: Data Structures and Algorithms, taught by Dr. Miguel Mosteiro.
In CS 271, the focus is on the fundamentals of Unix. This multitasking and multi-user operating system offers a simple set of tools that perform a limited, well-defined function with a file system that is used as the main source of communication. Depending on what task you are trying to complete, Unix can be used to get it done! One of their class projects was to work on basic commands. Gianna was able to make a print out calender (pictured) for any month of the year by typing in “cal” followed by a month and/or year.
She also got the program to perform cool tasks using a simple command of the word ‘echo’ followed by different combinations of words.
“By typing in ‘echo’ followed by different phrases in brackets separated by commas, it can print out all of the combinations of words,” Gianna said.
In CS 242, the main focus is understanding running time scenarios and the most efficient ways to run a program. The goal is to find a way to complete the task both in the least amount of time and to do so correctly. In her freshman year at Pace, Gianna learned how to code. In this class, she is learning to use code more effectively.
Professor Mostiero assigned his students a snippet of code and gave them the task of understanding it and then running it. Each user was made to input a list and then that specific program gives them a running time, in nanoseconds, of how long it took to search the list. Pretty cool!
Thanks to Gianna for taking the time to talk about her classes with us. Keep up the great work!
On Tuesday, September 20th 2016, Pace graduate Computer Science students showcased their projects from the computer science classes they had been taking. Dr. Christelle Scharff, the Chair of Computer Science in New York, curated the projects from different courses. The presentations were attended by fellow students in the Seidenberg and the Pace community, and were a way for students to share what they had learned and accomplished, and encourage other students to build fantastic projects when they take the classes for themselves.
Undertaking projects in classes useful for getting the hands-on experience of building something, but it’s also great for job interviews. “It is important for students to use courses they take to build innovative projects; they can use these projects for their portfolios,” Dr. Scharff said.
The showcase was an excellent demonstration of some of the projects students realized in their classes. Here’s some of what our students shared:
William Dickerson, who had taken CS 641 Mobile Web Content and Development with Professor Haik Sahakian, used Ionic and D3 to develop an app that helped people become better informed of how accessible New York City is from the user’s location.
“I want people to have a, ‘this is where I am, how accessible is my city?’ feel” William explained. “For example, like Google Maps, City Access will guide you to the nearest subway stations; however, it will also include nearby restaurants, parks or anything in your area you live in that you should know about.”
Multiplayer Maze Game
In the SE 765 Distributed Software Development class taught by Dr. Tamer Avcilar, Ersin Akkaya used Java and socket technology to develop a multiplayer maze game. The program has several available mazes. The mazes contain coins that users need to connect without intersecting. Students could even play the game during the presentation.
Tony Chen and teammates Greg Goldberg and Jones Rawles, built an app that allows New Yorkers to get free things! Stooper shows listings and locations of places nearby that are giving away items that you can take without spending a penny.
The team split the tasks to ensure the app will be developed during the 3-week project. Tony created the login, contact, register and listing screens. Greg worked on the the splash screen, navigation drawer and the Google Maps integration. Jones Rawles was in charge of creating the donation page, where users can donate money to a charity. This app was the result of taking CS 639 Mobile Application Development with Dr. Scharff.
In Professor Chernak’s capstone course, CS 691 Computer Science Project I, teammates Harshada Gothankar, Akash Khedekar, Akanksha Gupta, Alex Lieberman, Ayesha Imran and Bijen Khakkhar developed a web app that serves as a commercial real estate portal. “It’s a very unique project in that it relates to finding commercial spaces,” says the team.
Users pick a location they are interested in finding commercial real estate space in and, depending upon the type of business, the app will come up with potential locations within budget and provide with information about the type of environment the space is located in (e.g., parking space).
These capstone courses (Computer Science Project I & II) present students with opportunities to work on projects they are passionate about. It’s a great chance to come up with innovative ideas such as this one!
The CS graduate showcase is a recurring event, taking place at the beginning of each semester. If you are interested in learning more, talk to a professor about it or get in touch with Dr. Scharff.
On October 20th, the Westchester County Association (WCA) will be recognizing five women for their extraordinary efforts in STEM fields as part of their third annual “Women in Tech” awards. One of these women happens to be our very own, Professor Jean Coppola!
The WCA started this event in 2014 in order to recognize women for their remarkable contributions and achievements while working in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM).
Professor Coppola will be recognized as an award-winning educator, author and professor of gerontechnology at Pace University.
“We are delighted at this recognition of Dr. Jean Coppola’s work,” said Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill. “Through her research into healthcare IT in general and gerontechnology specifically, Jean has made great contributions to the discipline and, through this work, has made vital contributions to the Westchester County community. Her work has enabled hundreds of Pace University students to become engaged with their neighbors in life saving ways and we all benefit from this work.”
Coppola has won numerous national awards for her extensive research and work with the effects of technology on the quality of life for older adults, including attitudes towards aging and cognitive functioning.
It’s finally here! The NYC Design Factory is the twelfth in the ever-growing network of Design Factories around the globe. On Friday, September 30, 2016, we launched our brand new factory with a huge number of guests who came to celebrate with us.
Among those in attendance were Pace University Provost, Dr. Uday Sukhatme, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, and very special guest Kalevi “Eetu” Ekman, the founder of the first Design Factory at Aalto University in Finland.
Despite the event’s 8am kickoff, we had an amazing turnout. After spending some time enjoying breakfast pastries and getting to know one another, the program started with introductory remarks from Seidenberg School Dean, Dr. Jonathan Hill.
“I did not know it was possible to empower students like this,” Dr. Hill commented while describing his passion for Design Factory.
Dr. Hill then introduced Provost Sukhatme, who said a few words of congratulations. “I think this is the beginning of good things to come,” said Provost Sukhatme. “Pace students have innovation in their interdisciplinary work. The Design Factory concept falls right into the Pace Path.”
Design Factory creator Eetu Ekman then took the stage and gave a keynote on the incredible ideas behind Design Factory and some of the amazing results that this unique way of product development has yielded. He welcomed the NYC Design Factory to the Design Factory Global Network family.
Dean Hill then welcomed Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who acknowledged that “Pace is a great university in the heart of a world class city. [Design Factory] is bringing people together from across the globe. It is changing the way people conceptualize designing products.”
The final big welcome was given by our good friend Viltsu Lyytikäinen from Aalto, and then it was party time! In true Design Factory fashion, the ribbon-cutting was done not with a ribbon nor a pair of scissors, but with a teamwork challenge that pit our guests against one another! Teams were challenged to fill large empty beanbag sacks (stitched together by our amazing student graphic artist Belle Krupcheck) with thousands of tiny ‘beans’ in order to create fully functional
beanbag chairs. Provost Sukhatme got in on the action, as did Dean Hill, Eetu Ekman, and Assemblywoman Glick. It was a great introduction how Design Factory eschews the norm mere moments after the launch.
Guests were then welcome to celebrate with party poppers and small glasses of a pink sparkling substance. Some made the most of the beanbag filling that had managed to get absolutely everywhere during the challenge and made for a snowy scene.
Following the launch was a two hour workshop called Identifying the Next Big Thing.
The workshop aimed to teach participants different methods of identifying opportunities. They can be opportunities for new R&D (research and development) projects, new research, theses, personal projects and much more. Participants learned new brainstorming methods, how to identify opportunities for projects, how to improve their communication skills, how to improve working under a time constraint, and – of course – they got to collaborate with our awesome Finnish guests from Aalto Design Factory!
Participants were divided into teams and had to quickly come up with a new product idea using the Design Thinking method. After the workshop, each team had to do a 30 second pitch (some of which was broadcast over Facebook live!)
As always, plenty of pizza arrived in time for lunch and helped finish off a fantastic start to one of our biggest and best projects: New York Design Factory.
Thank you to all who came to the Seidenberg School here at Pace University today. We especially want to thank our partners in the Design Factory Global Network who helped us get to where we are today, as well as members of the Pace community and beyond who provided unending support.
A special thanks to our special guests who video linked in all the way from Aalto Design Factory in Finland – it was great having you here!
Among other Design Factory Global Network guests were faculty and students from Nexus Design Factory, Philadelphia University, and our dear friends from Porto Design Factory, Porto Polytechnic Institute, Rector Rosario Gambôa and fire starter Rui Coutinho. We were so touched that so many of you traveled around the world to celebrate with us in person.
We hope you found the day enlightening and enjoyable, and we can’t wait to see you all again at the NYC Design Factory!
On October 1 and 2, Harpreet Wasan along with his team, ISSIE (ISSIE = International Space Station Interesting Exercise), will be traveling to the World Maker Faire, a huge event that gathers students, tech enthusiasts, engineers, educators, creators, commercial exhibitors, and more from all over the country and allows them to present and share the latest projects and products they have built. This is Harpreet’s first time attending Maker Faire and he and his team are looking forward to presenting their project, which is centered around augmented reality and virtual space.
Their concept is centered around physical activity for astronauts. Bones get weak while in space and they lose their density. The team has come up with an intergalactic space game that will keep astronauts constantly active while out in space. The interactive video game uses augmented reality to recreate a space environment. Through a Microsoft HoloLens headset, astronauts will see their actual surroundings and augmented reality objects such as aliens, planets and other space elements as if they are actually present. If you’ve ever wanted to pose beside a virtual reality alien, this is the game for you. Pretty cool huh?
The project started in Spring ‘16 when Harpreet attended the NASA Hackathon. Here, he met Michael Doyle, a technology manager, and his 9-year-old daughter Laura, who came up with the idea of a workout in virtual space. Harpreet and a few other students, from different states within the country, became interested and wanted to work on this project.
After doing some crowdfunding on Fiat Physica, ISSIE got to work creating the game on HoloLens in their lab space, ISSIE Labs, which is where the team meets, have hackathons and work on perfecting the game. They will soon need volunteers to try them and give some feedback – comment below if you’re interested!
We can’t wait to hear about how ISSIE does at the World Maker Faire. Stay tuned to see how they get on!
Lynne Boyles Marino graduated from the Seidenberg School in the class of ’92 with her Master’s in Information Systems. Not only has Lynne’s career since then been amazing, but she recently gave a friend an incredible gift: a kidney.
Lynne’s career has spanned working in the telecommunications and finance services industries, including working at IBM and AT&T, but it’s clear what the most rewarding thing she’s ever done is – something that, when she speaks about it, there is resounding passion in her voice.
“What I hope to do,” says Lynne, “is to inspire somebody else to be a donor.”
Just last year, Lynne underwent surgery to remove her kidney so it could be transplanted into another person. The other person was a friend and previous employee that Lynne hadn’t seen in 20 years.
But Lynne wasn’t worried about donating something so significant to someone she hadn’t seen for a long time: “She had worked for me 20 years ago and was a fantastic employee. I knew from then that she was very diligent and always followed the rules; Whatever the doctors told her to do, she would do it. We recently had a reunion and she flew from Kentucky to White Plains visit me – she has a timer on her phone that tells her when to take her anti-rejection pills. So it looks like nothing has changed.”
When Lynne heard that her friend was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, an inherited disorder that runs through her family, she knew she wanted to help. The recipient and her insurance provider covered all of the costs, so all Lynne had to do was undergo several tests, keep herself in good health, and prepare mentally for the procedure. Was she afraid? Surprisingly, no. “I felt like it was really going to be fine. Nothing was going to happen. They take really good care of the donor and put you on a wellness floor afterwards, so recovery is as painless as possible.”
Recovery is also short – just six weeks, and Lynne was back in the office after two! “I love my job!” she laughs. Like a lot of our alumni, Lynne works in finance, and even though she wasn’t able to lift anything over 10lbs during recovery, she was eager to return to work.
The recipient of Lynne’s kidney now has a clean bill of health, which is exactly what’s so wonderful about organ donation. When Lynne speaks about it, she is powerful, persuasive, and passionate. “It’s a big benefit for me to be able to say ‘Hey, this is the best gift I’ve ever given!’”
Donating a kidney is an incredible gift. At any given time, around 120,000 people are on the donor list waiting for a kidney and 15 people die every day while waiting.
There are many policies in place that exist to help out donors. For example, if you donate your kidney and one day in the future need a new kidney yourself, you go straight to the top of the list. Also, say a child had a disease that meant he would one day need a kidney, and his grandmother wanted to donate but it wasn’t yet needed (and when it was, she may not be around anymore), she could donate to a stranger and, when the time came for the child to need a transplant, he would be prioritized. There are some really incredible arrangements for just about any situation you can think of – all to encourage people to donate now, knowing that they or their loved ones will be taken care of in the future.
Did Lynne suffer any lifestyle changes brought about from her donation? Given that she had to think about her response, the answer is “not really”. She has to stay hydrated (which is good for you), eat well (again, good for you), be conscious of taking any medication that could adversely affect her, and maaaybe hold off from that last glass of wine. Lynne says, “the average kidney donor lives longer than the average person, because they are quite healthy.”
This article may not convince you to hop onto the surgical table right now, but keep the possibility of donating a kidney to save someone’s life in your mind as you go through your everyday life. There are plenty of people who have donated a kidney to someone they don’t know alongside all of those who donate to loved ones.
In the meantime, there is so much you can do to help people suffering kidney disease and a whole host of other ailments.
Donate blood. According to the Red Cross, around 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the USA. Every 2 seconds, someone in the US needs blood.
Become an organ donor. You can get it on your driver’s license – some states automatically set you as a donor but many don’t, so check and opt-in for donation. That means if something happens to you, your body can be used to save lives. You can also download a dedicated donor card.
Discuss your wishes with your family members. Even if you’re listed as an organ donor, family might step in and say no. It’s important to have a discussion where you let them know that it is your wish to help others if something happens to you.