Pace University’s STEM Collaboratory Camp 2014

pace-university-stem-campLast month twenty high school students from across the five boroughs embarked on a summer STEM adventure as part of Pace University’s STEM Collaboratory Camp, a collaboration of Pace and AT&T. For two weeks they learned and experimented with coding, robotics, Cybersecurity, Design Thinking and scientific research processes, among other skills. Then, they began to put their skills to work.

STEM Camp 2014_Seidenberg
On August 1st, 2014 the camp culminated with students formally presenting their very own Cybersecurity mobile apps. 

Special guests included Elizabeth Segal from AT&T, Kelli Kedis Ogborn from DARPA Legislative Affairs – Spire Communications, and Brook Gesser from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Office.

Members of the media were invited to attend the graduation reception.

To view the work done by each team, simply click on the links below.

Team Cybot comprising of Jacob Sadeh, Lary Toyter, Maryia Spirydonava, and Mariah Torcivia presented their app,  Cyber Triv — an app that raises awareness about Cybersecurity.

Team Cybot | STEM Camp '14 | Seidenberg

Team FoCS (aka FOX), comprising of Nicholas Austin, Sole Stewart, Loreen Chan, and Christopher Boyce, created WE-FE — an app that allows you to monitor who’s on your Wi-Fi and take appropriate action. 

Team FoCS | STEM Camp| Seidenberg 

Team Rocket, comprising of Kemar Dudley, David Lebron, Summer Carrio, and Dishan Win, created the app Secure-IT — an app that shows you just how secure you are online.

Team Rocket | STEM Camp '14 | Seidenberg

Team Phisher comprising of Iya Hawkins, Anthony Agbofoati, Anastasiya Malinouskaya, Jeremy End invented Phisher — an app that allows you find all your old posts … and have a good long think!

Team Phisher | STEM Camp '14 | Seidenberg

For more pictures and videos from STEM Camp, follow us on Facebook.

Suhail Bhandari 

India gets a new prime minister …aaand a NEW PRESIDENT?

Not to take anything away from Mr. Modi, but this celebration’s a little closer to the heart!

Congratulations to our very own Seidenberg grad student – Arbaaz Sayyed, on being elected the new President of the Pace Indian Students Association (PISA).

We were lucky enough to spend some time with him before he headed off to India for the summer – one heck of a victory lap and some serious planning for PISA! Here’s what we found out.

Arbaaz Sayyed, President, PISA
Arbaaz Sayyed, President, PISA

Q. Pick 5 words that describe you the best.

A. Leader. Perfectionist. Experienced. Sociable. Um, modest? (…he said with a wide grin)

Q. What makes you qualified for this role?

A. Within the last 8 years, I’ve been a Committee Member, an Organizational Secretary, and a Chairperson. I’ve even coordinated activities for the IEEE in India .It becomes a-lot more fun when you love what you do. My first job at Pace was with SDACA. We did some great work for the student body.

Q. Tell us about PISA.

A. PISA is a cultural, professional and social association made up primarily of Indian students at Pace. Up until last year it was purely for Lubin students, but now it’s open to everyone. One of our main focuses this year will be to better connect with all the incoming international students so that we can offer them a better experience at Pace. I’d also like to slowly grow the work PISA does and collaborate with other existing associations & clubs at the university, so as to provide a more holistic member experience.

Q. What will your first move be?

A. Right now, our agenda is to plan and execute events for humanitarian causes, professional development workshops and networking opportunities for students.

Q. How can one join PISA?
A. Just walk into one of our meetings. It’s that simple! You can even email me at or call me on 646-492-8590. 

“It’s a proud moment,” says Dean Amar Gupta of The Seidenberg School of Computer Science & Information Systems.

Dean Amar Gupta

“The Pace Indian Students Association (PISA) originally started as the PISA Graduate Student Organization at the Lubin School. During recent months, its scope was widened to include Seidenberg, and we are honored that Arbaaz Sayyed from our school has been elected as its President. With his interest in Leadership activities and his diverse background, Arbaaz is ideally suited to lead this organization. My hope is that the scope of the activities and the membership will continue to grow under his leadership.”


– Interviewed by Suhail Bhandari

A Lesson in Managing Distributed Teams

by Suhail Bhandari


When it comes to agile methodology and managing distributed teams, there’s only one master.

          “I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome
          I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome
          I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there
          And I gotta girlfriend everywhere…”

                                             – Lou Bega

The last AglieNYC meeting, held at Pace University’s Seidenberg School, was a real eye opener.

With the world becoming smaller and businesses embracing buzzwords like multi-team, multi-location, multiple business area and even multi-time zone, it’s surprising how many people still use ‘distributed teams’ to defend moments of unproductivity.

“Distributed teams are inevitable, so they can’t be excuses!” began Ian White and Andrew Borrows, the presenters that night. “Lets start out by listing the biggest problems faced by POs and distributed teams.” The problems were:

  • Inefficient communication
  • Poor prioritization of tasks
  • Inconsistent technology and connectivity
  • Different work cultures and languages
  • Ineffective decisions and delegation
  • Distrust between teams
  • Time zone irregularities
  • Duplication of efforts

There’s a common feeling that the main issue is all about ‘lack of communication’. However, the problem is actually poor project structure and teamwork.

“Now we can find solutions by asking ‘why,’ at each step…”

  •  It’s a PO’s job to point out problems a team’s having when they can’t see it for themselves. Some ways to do this are one on one chats, setting weekly goals and holding teams accountable, timely interaction, periodic reviews, and reports to measure team effort vs. client happiness.
  •  Remove cultural limitations and distrust. It’s a widely held perception that Indian software professionals will always say ‘yes’ to everything when asked a question such as ‘are you on schedule?’ or ‘Do you think you will hit the deadline?’ By discussing this very point with offshore teams and explaining that a problem shared is a problem halved, it can start to build a safe environment for employees, whereby a dishonest ‘yes’ at least turns to an honest ‘not sure’.
  •  Incorporate Skype and WebEx into daily routines. Frequent simulated face-to-face discussions provide valuable feedback – instantly.
  • Share the risk, don’t just outsource projects. This encourages teams to ping-pong ideas back and forth, reducing scope creep to make room for ad hoc requests.
  • Follow the first principle of the agile manifesto – Thou shall make our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. This helps POs control the project pipeline and not overload their team.
  • There is no excuse for starting a project with incomplete or inaccurate high-level requirements. This almost always causes time and resource wastage.

Management is a crucial aspect of ensuring any team operates efficiently – especially if that team happens to be dispersed around the globe. As always, good planning and communication really helps keep things running smoothly. A distributed team is not a limitation; it’s an opportunity – and it’s time we take advantage!


5 Career Fair Hacks

By Suhail Bhandari

UnCubedNYC- Seidenberg

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Uncubed, NYC. For those of you who haven’t been – it’s a swift kickstart in the pants to get your career going. You can expect to find promising startups from just about any industry, coding & marketing jobs, free beer, and an umpteen number of networking opportunities. I spent the whole day there, going from one booth to another – occasionally stopping by GrubHub to pick up some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies – and here’s what I learned.

1. Call Ahead and Make a Reservation

At the Meetup booth, I was mid-way through a riveting ‘30-second-pitch’ when my interviewer suddenly lost all interest. “Hi Julie!” he screamed to the girl who’d just walked in. “I’ve been looking through your work, and it’s great to finally meet you in person. Let’s talk about spending your summer, interning with us.” What? How?

I bumped into Julie later that day – she’s goes to Pace University as well – and asked her what that was about.

Turns out, in order to distinguish herself from the rest of the crowd (me!), Julie had begun working this job fair a month ago. Via a series of e-mails and phone calls, she’d already managed to build a relationship with the guys at Meetup. So, by the time Uncubed came around, they knew who she was, taken a look at her portfolio, and were ready to offer her an internship. All she needed to do was show up that day.

2. Is Your Resume SEO Friendly?

It was at the SoftNice Consultancy booth that I got one of the most helpful tips of the day. “Your resume will not get you hired, like this. Bullet points, figures & crisp sentences are not as important as keywords.” Think of your resume as a business card. It simply announces you. When a company receives a resume, before they read it, they scan it for keywords. These words depend upon the job profile you are applying for. In order to even qualify for consideration, you need to have at least a 70% match — only then will they begin to find out more about you.

3. Google Before You Greet

Now, this one’s just common sense. Some of the best startups have the vaguest names. So, if you’re planning on working the entire fair, odds are you’re not going to know what every company does just by their name. Oscar? Trulia? All fantastic companies… once you know what they do. Don’t wing it! That’s just insulting. Instead, find a quiet corner and Google them. Then, mentally jot down a few talk points.


4. What do First-year International Students Do at a Job Fair?

By law, an international student cannot work off-campus (paid or unpaid) for the first 365 days of their program. All the more reason I suggest you walk in like a boss! Without the onus of a job opportunity hanging over your head, you’re free to mingle, seek advice, collect a few visiting cards, and have companies tell you exactly what they want you to do for the next few months so that they can hire you.

A silver lining on a silver platter!

5. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words






Most Doors in Life Seem Closed…

…So, If You Want Them to Open, You Need a Cool Knock.
By Suhail Bhandari

As an international student at Pace University, I’m always amazed by what can be achieved by simply knocking on someone’s door. I recently tried the theme from Mission Impossible, and by the time I was done knocking, I’d made friends with the CEO of a very successful startup, a Google developer, and two very famous Glass explorers. All this whilst at my very own Google Glass workshop.

It all began in my third week at school, when I met two very important people.

The first, was a gentleman named Freddy. It was as though Waldo had come alive and was every bit as interesting and worldly-wise as you’d hoped he’d be, with all his travels! (See if you can spot him in the picture below.)


We’d often delve into interesting discussions regarding the future of wearable-tech or how to build digital communities. Sometimes we’d even debate the hard stuff like, ‘why is everyone obsessed with Candy Crush?’ or ‘what the heck do I do with all my NikeFuel points?!’ It was fantastic to have someone on campus who I could go to whenever I needed meaningful advice, or just wanted to share an idea… So, you can imagine my shock when I found out, a month later, that my friend “Freddy” was actually Professor Wilfredo Pena, who taught an Information Systems class! Yet, and as odd as it sounds, we’re still best buds and it was his little push that gave me the confidence to organize my own Google Glass Workshop – “Instead of just talking about them all day, go to Dr. Scharff, ask her if you can borrow her glasses for a day and invite a few students over!”

Was it just that simple?

Students who tried on Glass at the event. Click-through for full-sized images
Students who tried on Glass at the event. Click-through for full-sized images

Then I met Dr. Christelle Scharff, Chair for the Computer Science department at Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science. I would imagine during my first visit to her office I looked every bit as thrilled as Charlie did, when he first walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. She had Google Glasses, access to 3-D printers, a Raspberry Pi and the latest active gear smart watch! There was even an oompa loompa in the corner – “This Android bot is a trophy for my students, if they do well in today’s class.” She gave me a patient listen, even though I was all over the place with my ideas, and within minutes she offered to not only to speak at the workshop but she would allow any student who wanted to try on the $1,500 Glass a chance to do so.

The next day, far more confident about my idea, and egged on by Freddy and Dr. Scharff, I sat down with Glass, and dictated an e-mail. “Ok Glass, send this out to…” I reached out to a popular agency that had been working with Glass for a few months now. 48 hours later, they replied, “It’s high time kids started doing more stuff like this! See you there!” Time to go bigger! A few days later – and what are the odds of this happening – I bumped into Steve Motino, a Pace Student/Google developer/Glass Explorer at a Pace University job fair! 15 minutes later, he was onboard as well and even offered to talk about a few apps he was working on. Even bigger! We reached out to city event guides and Explorer clubs! And finally, with some deft social media management by a fellow student, we reached out to everyone at Pace!

Walter White Harry Potter Jonathan Hill Pace News
We not only had the Seidenberg’s associate dean don a promotional pair, but Harry Potter and Walter White too! 

That evening, my small workshop idea transformed into an entire 3 hour event with over 50 attendees! We had students from Pace as well as other universities, developers, working professionals, 5 guest speakers and 7 Google Glass Explorers!…And it all began with a cool knock.


More pictures from the event can be found on Seidenberg’s Facebook. If you tried on a pair of Glasses at the event, find your picture and tag yourself!


Don’t Pass on Google Glass

“Ok Glass, write this down for me…”
By: Suhail Bhandari

Not since 1997, when Harry Potter first came out of his cupboard, have I heard such a rumpus over a pair of glasses! But this time, we’re talking actual magic. The kind of medical magic, where doctors don’t have to waste time sifting through tons of records in order to diagnose a symptom — or the murder-mystery kind, which drastically increases the chances of a detective tracking down a serial killer — or, for that matter, even the miraculous kind, which makes a blind man see.

Yet sadly, when it comes down to it, this is what 7 out of 10 people think of Google Glass.


An End to Privacy
Really? Really?? How many of us continue to use Gmail, knowing full-well that each e-mail we send or receive is being read, scanned, and then offered back to us via an eerie personalized ad? Or how many of us continue to upload pictures of ourselves to Facebook and Instagram, adding to a massive facial-recognition database that we have no control over. Or how many of us continue to walk down a street, pinging our exact location to every server within a 10 mile radius, simply because it’s “it’s too much effort to turn off Wi-Fi detect.”

The answer is, most of us. But the truth is, all of us. That privacy-ship set sail a long time ago.

And no, Glass isn’t on all the time, and doesn’t record everything you say or do. (But if you’re still paranoid, look out for a bright red light located above the camera.)

It Looks Ugly
Sure they’re ‘bulky,’ ‘plasticky,’ and quite ‘constrained’ when it comes to color – but despite it all, people seem to love their Warby Parkers!

In its current, early version, Google Glass may have been referred to as ‘the scarlet letter of technology.’ But quick to change that, and in true Google ‘dominate-the-market’ fashion, their partnership with Luxottica might very well be the “biggest step yet into the emerging smart-eyewear market.” According to reports, the first smart glasses by Luxottica for Google Glass will go on sale in 2015 and be offered with brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.

What Does It Do?
We’ve all seen the videos. “Ok glass, take a picture;” “now, e-mail it to John Smith;” “oh, remind me to call him this evening at 6pm,” and then some about videos, maps, and messaging.

But again, it’s more about the potential.

Google Glass is a first of its kind product, with a major company to back it. Quite like when the first iPhone launched in 2007, with its pre-installed apps and novel touchscreen. It had the same ‘worth it or just hype?’ question surrounding it. Owning Google Glass is like owning the first TV on the block. No one has seen it in person before and everyone wants to come over and try it out. Though, still more fun than functional right now, it has the promise of becoming the next big thing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 12.00.41 PM

How Do I Get One?
So, according to Mashable and Scotty Kowall, Google is planning on opening up a store right here in NYC, within purposeful proximity to the Apple Store in SoHo. With any luck, it’ll be across the street from Warby Parker, making it rather convenient for Google Glass buyers with prescriptions!

For the time being, the glasses are “BUY invite only.” Pretty much like when you first signed up for Gmail. The only difference being this time there’s a $1,500 acceptance fee! So, if you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve just said and have the money to spare, their next guest list will be out April 15th, and you can sign up right here – Google Glass Registration.

So stop thinking of it as a fashion faux pas, or having to give up your privacy, and start thinking of it as the future, right there, sitting on your very nose.

P.S. If you want to try on Google Glass for free, stop by the Seidenberg School at 163 William Street on April 16th at 6:30pm. They’re having a small workshop that will teach you how to use them, let you play around with a few apps, and even introduce you to some of the guys that helped make Glass possible. See you there!


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