Seidenberg continues cybersecurity education with GenCyber workshop

GenCyber WorkshopThe Seidenberg School has long been committed to promoting cybersecurity education through a variety of programs and activities. GenCyber, a workshop hosted by Pace and Seidenberg this month, is one of the many ways in which the Seidenberg School has contributed to inspiring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. 

The workshop is a prestigious cybersecurity education program funded jointly by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency, designed to promote cybersecurity education at the K-12 level. The 2015 Pace GenCyber was designed specifically for high school teachers, and Pace was one of only ten universities nationwide selected to host a teacher workshop in 2015. We welcomed 22 participants, mostly in STEM fields, but not exclusively so, from all over the U.S. including Washington, Florida, Colorado, and Iowa.

The workshop took place at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus, and was spearheaded by Professor and IT WEST Department Chairperson Li-Chiou Chen and Director of Assessment Andreea Cotoranu. The two organized the program from activity design, to instruction, and everything in between. Lectures for the workshop were then delivered by professors of high esteem within the Seidenberg faculty including Li-Chiou Chen, PhD, Charles Tappert, PhD, Meikang Qiu, PhD, and Darren Hayes, DPS with assistance from some of their talented doctoral students. Jigar Jadav, Computer Science teacher at Mamaroneck High-School, and Pace Computer Science PhD student, provided invaluable input on high school instruction and lesson plan development. Moreover, an orchestra of Pace and Seidenberg students and staff ensured that all logistics worked smoothly. According to Andreea Cotoranu, “this was truly a team effort.”

GenCyber Workshop

Throughout the two weeks of the workshop, the teachers dove into a variety of integrated lectures, labs, resource sharing, curriculum development activities, pedagogy, and community building that all focused on different aspects of four main pillars in cybersecurity including cryptography, network security, access control/biometrics and computer forensics. The workshop also introduced Design Thinking pedagogical strategies for problem solving, a student-centered approach to teaching that fosters learning through project development (brainstorming, creating, doing, etc.) in lieu of traditional lecture-style teaching methods.

GenCyber Workshop

Westchester Magazine quoted participant Virginia Nalbandian, a Pleasantville High School mathematics and computer science teacher, as saying, “the workshop has inspired me as a teacher to return to my classroom and inspire my students. And this is what education should ultimately be about.” Sponsors, participants, and organizers all feel hugely satisfied by the workshop’s success.

Everyone involved in GenCyber left the program with a positive, enthusiastic mindset about going forth and integrating cybersecurity in their curricula. The feedback from both participants and sponsors (NSA/NSF), has been excellent, and we are thrilled with the outcome! The organizers and sponsors are already discussing the plans for the return of the workshop next summer, and we look forward to hear how the project will grow.

 

1st year student, Niamh Fitzsimon returns to Google!

Niamh (pronounced: Neeve) Fitzsimon is freshman computer science and art (studio) double major from San Francisco. She’s Irish, and went to a small all-girls high school where she was forced to program in her freshman year. Niamh’s plan is to go into android mobile app development and work in Europe.

Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot
Friends from CSSI and Niamh, in a teacup at Google with an Android bot

Q: This will be your second stint at Google. It can’t be just “Irish Luck” What’s your secret?

I am naturally an over planner which causes me to think a lot further into the future than most. Because of this I went on an extensive scholarship search during my senior year of high school and happened upon the Generation Google Scholarship. Applying for the scholarship meant automatically applying for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute. Although I didn’t get the scholarship, I did get into the program. There I found out about the Engineering Practicum Internship, which I will be part of this summer. Honestly I was just shooting for the stars when I applied the first time, but I decided to put my doubt aside an just go for it. I think my “secret” to pass onto others is to ignore all the voices and apply for things. You have to tell yourself that the worst that is going to happen is nothing, and if you never applied it would be the same without the possibility of success.

Q. Tell us about Summer Camp at Google. How will this time be different? What are you looking forward to?

Last summer’s camp was days filled with classes, mentorship, and getting to know about the industry. It was only three weeks and included learning Python in a day and a half, thinking up and building an entire web application from scratch with a team in a week and a half, and presenting the application. The entire time was in Google’s Cambridge, MA office so I got to explore one of the Google campuses, but most of the day was spent in the same conference room. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot (You can find my team’s application at currentcssi.appspot.com).

This summer will be a completely different experience. First of all I will actually be working for Google, which means getting to work on one of their real teams on a real product and getting paid for it. The team I will work on, an internal Android app development team, is more in my specific area of interest. My team will be made up of full time Google employees, plus one other intern. I will be working at the New York campus, which is much larger than Cambridge. Besides the actual work I will have some computer science lessons and mentorship. Although the application I will be working on is internal, I am excited because people in Google will be using it. I am also looking forward to micro-kitchen access, nap-pod access (yes, they look exactly like the ones in the Internship), and meeting more computer scientists from outside of Pace.

Q. So is GOOGLINESS a real thing??

Googliness from what I have witnessed is teamwork. The employees work in teams and the offices have an open format, with each team basically sitting around a table. It is being able to have creativity and finding your own way to be productive. Googliness is wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops to work and having to worry about the Google twenty (the food is really good and free).

Q. You will be studying abroad later this year. Where are you going?

I will be studying abroad in Spring 2016. I am going to John Cabot University in Rome. I went to Rome on a pilgrimage the winter before I came to Pace and fell in love with it. I am looking forward to experiencing the Italian culture (and hopefully improving my Italian) and all the history Rome has to offer. I am excited to take a fresco painting course and an art history course that will have a trip to Pompeii. While there I will not only get to experience Italy, but also travel to different parts of Europe and experience the cultures (and the food) there.

I think every student should do a semester abroad at least once if they can, and if not at least do a summer or travel course. You get to learn more about the place (and the world) than when you go for a vacation. Hopefully you will also learn more about yourself. Even just being on the other side of the country from my home has taught me a lot about myself, I cannot imagine what I will learn while abroad. I like how Pace has events such as the Pace Path Live to expose students to the idea of studying abroad.

Niamh's ode to the Stars and Stripes - photographed and edited by her.
Niamh’s ode to the Stars and Stripes – photographed and edited by her.

Q. We saw you checking out the Ms. Marvel collection at Seidenberg. Big graphic novel fan?

Being a graphic artist myself I love looking at different aspect of design. Since I began art I have looked up to Andy Warhol and Banksy and more recently Fintan Magee (who I discovered through Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/simoncrerar/jaw-dropping-works-of-fintan-magee-street-art#.rwggV1KD6J), but the more I have gotten into the digital world I have appreciated the look of websites more. The websites with amazing graphics that move as the page does are my favorite. I am hoping to learn more about it in the Design for the Internet class I am taking next year.

Q. Tell us about the path you’ve traversed at Pace. How has it been different from everyone else?

My path at Pace so far has been mostly planning. When you take on two majors it takes a lot of planning ahead to fit all the classes needed in, and adding study abroad on top of that complicates things further. I have tried to keep a balance of CS, Art, and general education each semester. Because the two majors are so different my day is sometimes polarized, like walking into Mathematical Structures for Computer Science last semester covered with paint and my portfolio in hand, but I enjoy the balance it provides. I think my path at Pace hasn’t been very different than everyone else. If I had to point out one difference it would be that my exact plan was formulated early than most. Part of the reason I chose Pace was that I would be allowed to double major in two very different subjects and by the end of the summer I had solidified my decision to double major instead of just minoring in art.

“I will be attending Pace Path Live on April 25th. I am hoping to take away some new ideas to organize my time at Pace. Although I have planned out a lot I know there will be some curveballs and room for improvement in my plan. Overall, I believe it will be a fun and informational day.” – Niamh Fitzsimon, ’19, Pace University

Julie’s spending this summer hacking into New York’s real estate market with RentHackr!

Julie, Seidenberg1. You work for Renthackr – any tips for incoming Pace students looking to rent in the fall?

USE RENTHACKR! Even just for curiosity’s sake. You can get some insider tips on buildings in the area, see where your Facebook friends live, and get an idea of how expensive rent really is. We also just added a “find by room” feature so you can find a room and skip out on some of the apartment hunting drama.

2. Could you tell us (briefly) what you’re working on this summer?

I’m one of two interns, and we are essentially the engineering team right now. Renthackr is built with Ruby on Rails primarily, and I’m really polishing my Ruby skills. I also have the pleasure of being in charge of the analytics of the site, so I’m getting to take the data from Ruby to D3.js graphs. It’s really fun getting to learn how to work with the full stack through challenges fixing up the existing application.

3. The work you’re doing right now… do you think there’s a particular subject you took last semester that’s helping you? Or a particular Professor who’s teachings deserve a shout out?

Dr. Wolf’s class on Ruby on Rails gave me a good foundation, and showed me what I’d be up against in the web development world. Dr. Scharff’s Programming Languages and Implementations class also has been an amazing help in my process of learning Ruby inside and out. I understand different datatypes better, and know where to look in the language to work out logic problems. 

4. How does the co-working space at WeWork differ from the co-working space at Pace, Seidenberg? (Warning: Just checking to see where your loyalties lie)

WeWork is beautiful. So is Seidenberg. But WeWork is really a coworking space to be reckoned with. The design of the whole space is very welcoming and beautiful. The view from my desk couldn’t be better. Seidenberg has a great video game set-up, but so does WeWork to be honest. However, a whole lot more collaboration and teaching goes on at Seidenberg. A lot more work gets done at WeWork.

Julie Gauthier is an undergrad student at the Seidenberg School, majoring in computer science. She’s also the student manger at Seidenberg’s Creative Labs, overseeing tech projects from concept to completion, and happens to be the biggest fan of Dubstep DJ, Skrillex.

Sabiya’s spending her summer interning at IBM, New York.

SabiyaBacchus_Seidenberg1. Who are you working with this summer (… and what do they do?)

Securing a paid summer internship is easier said than done. Luckily for me, I landed an exceptional opportunity with one of the largest computer companies in the world, IBM. IBM is a multinational technology and consulting corporation that offers a wide range of products and services.

2. Can you tell us a little about what you are doing? (We might not understand the technicalities, but we’d love details!)

My four-month internship this summer revolves around the Security Intelligence Software Group that focuses on QRadar Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products.  QRadar SIEM provides solutions that give security analysts the visibility they need to protect their networks. In addition, it provides reliable tamper proof log storage for forensic investigations and evidence use. In fact, just recently IBM’s Security QRadar product was recognized as number one by the 2014 Gartner SIEM Quadrant, topping other companies like HP and McAfee!

The really awesome aspect of my internship is that I work remotely, which means I can work from wherever I want, including my own home! My internship is divided into two parts. The first includes learning about QRadar SIEM product by attending QRadar classes online, reviewing manuals, completing labs, and familiarizing myself with information technology concepts and terminology. The second part involves me shadowing my coworkers out in the field as they deploy new systems, upgrade existing systems or do health checks to improve/fix existing systems for our clients. I am scheduled to do my first visit next week. I will shadow one of the senior consultants as he deploys a new system for Harley Davidson in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

3. Is there a particular class or professor at Seidenberg that has helped you prepare specifically for your current internship? (Clearly, we’re all about shout outs this summer!)

My boss was excited to know that I was taking Fundamentals of Unix and C Programming (CS 271).

 4. Does your new office have a favorite restaurant/hangout they go to after work? (No! we’re not going to show up like proud parents!) 

I work from home. I just moved to East Harlem so I am still exploring the restaurants around my apartment.

 5. Does working at IBM live up to the hype? Like Google or Microsoft?

After visiting the offices of IBM, Google and Microsoft, I think they each have different cultures. I work from the comfort of my home (and it does not get any better than that). It’s pretty awesome not having to worry about catching or missing trains and dealing with unpleasant people face to face. I enjoy rolling out of my bed 10 minutes before I start work.

6. Any advice for the Seidenberg community?

This experience will help sharpen my communication and professionalism skills, expose me to the corporate world, and provide me with a wealth of knowledge and new talents.

Before I applied to IBM, I thought I was not good enough for them. However, here I am as their intern. My advice to everyone out there is stop being your worst antagonist. In fact, throw yourself into different situations and work hard to achieve the best possible outcomes. That way you will learn from every opportunity and you will be closer to success.

Working from the comfort of my home, not having to deal with transportation, obtaining a wealth of knowledge and getting paid—-nothing can beat that. IBM is awesome!

Sabiya Bacchus is in the penultimate year of a bachelors in Computer Science degree at the Seidenberg School. She’s also associated with the Pforzheimer Honors College, at Pace University

Cynthia’s spending her summer tracking down cyber-crime for the US Department of Justice.

CynthiaShaw_Seidenberg_DepOfJustice-205x3001. Who are you working with this summer? 

I am working for the US Department of Justice in the Criminal Division. Their purpose is to investigate and prosecute crimes on a federal level.

2. Can you tell us a little about what you are doing? 

My title is actually fancier than my job. I am called a high tech intern within the investigative unit. Basically I am working on various projects that involve computer forensics and their role in cyber crimes.

3. Is there a particular class or professor at Seidenberg that has helped you prepare for your current role?  

I think my computer forensics class with Professor Watkins was most helpful. He taught us the technical terms I would need to know, the importance of data integrity and even report writing. Each of these aspects play a vital role in my job this summer.

4. Does your new office have a favorite restaurant/hangout they go to after work?  

The other interns and I get together with the employees and do some bar trivia at a local spot. It’s a good way to unwind and get to know each other on a different level.

By day, Cynthia Shaw is an undergrad student at the Seidenberg School, majoring in information technology. By night, she’s a super hero that fights cyber-crime! Cynthia currently attends school at Pace University’s rather picturesque Pleasantville campus.

 

Kalgi’s spending her summer interning at Costco in Seattle!

1. How hectic is your internship at Costco? Are you sleepless in Seattle yet?

Seattle is not New York. But, no, I am not having any sleepless nights, though my  internship does take up a lot of my hours from Monday-Friday and some weekends too. I have to stay updated and do a lot of reading with regard to project management.

2. Could you tell us (in brief) what you’re working on this summer? 

I am working as a PMO intern with Costco IT. I am placed directly under a program manager, so I assist him with all the projects that fall under him (around 9 projects). In addition, we are developing a new dashboard for project management tools, which I am responsible for. It is in its development phase right now but we will start testing it soon. Also I am responsible for coming up with a training manual for the project managers. 

3. The work you’re doing right now… do you think there’s a particular subject you took last semester that’s helping you now? Or a particular Professor who’s teachings deserve a shout out?

Umm, I was always interested in project management. But, the IT Project Management course offered was really helpful in getting to know the basics and helped me with the lingo.

4. What is the fun stuff you’ve done in Seattle? Any explorations, tips?

Seattle has beautiful wineries and a lot of water activities. So yeah, I’ve been pretty involved in all the grape crushing, blueberry and strawberry picking, para-sailing and jet-skiing. And of course, the first-ever Starbucks is worth a visit. There are a lot of hiking places around Seattle as it’s surrounded by mountains, the most beautiful being Mt. Rainer.

Kalgi Shah is a grad student at the Seidenberg School, majoring in information systems. An avid traveler, Kalgi has visited more places in America in the last 8 months, than most people who’ve lived here all their lives!