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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