Sunday, May 13, 2018

Class of 2018

Congratulations Computer Science, Information Technology, and Mathematics Graduates of the University of St. Francis.

(L to R) Derek, Tim, Ruth, Zach, Meera, Ben, Vicky, Johnathan, Irma

On May 5th, 2018, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science was awarded to Meera Chouhan, Derek Ryan Dailey, and Zachery Michael Watts.   A Bachelor of Science in Information Technology was awarded to Benjamin Ray Knight.  A Bachelor of Science in Mathematics was awarded to Timothy Daniel Delacy, Johnathan Richard Marquardt, and Irma Veronica Sandoval Vizcaino.  Irma was also the University of St Francis Lincoln Laureate winner for 2018 and represented the school at a special session in Springfield.

We're proud to have you as our newest Alumni.

Professors Vicky Lewis and Ruth Weldon corralled the students for a brief photo-op after the ceremony. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Fun Before the Storm (of Finals)

Pizza, frisbee, bean bag toss,  day-glo football and even chess made for a fun afternoon to finish off the last day of classes and relax heading into finals on Friday afternoon, April 27th at the Quad Pavilion.   That's what Mathematics and Computer Science Department Picnic was about!

The event was sponsored by Aftermath and USF Computer Club (the Byte-ing Saints?)  our two student organizations, but the majority of the thanks goes to Dr. Angela Antonou for her fantastic work on getting everything together for a truly fun afternoon.

Awards were handed out (including a few gift cards) for students whose service to the department went above and beyond.  Tee-shirts for the USF Computer Club were the fashion must have.  Kudos on the design to Brett Pluth (Web Dev).  A number of humorous acknowledgements were made for students and teachers.

To top it off the weather cooperated and didn't turn to rain until after our picnic wound down. 

Don't miss our annual event at the end of each Spring semester.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It's a Skill... it's a Cloud...

  It's Senior Project

(L-R) Jim, Alejandra, Derek, Zach, Meera, Mike, & Ben
Congratulations to the our 5 students from the Computer Science and Information Technology majors for their work on  the 2018 Senior Project.   We had two teams this year.  They presented the results of their efforts on Thursday, April 26, 2018 in the President's Room

Our IT graduating senior, Ben Knight worked solo on building and configuring a server to house  virtual servers.   His client was USF's Mike Gende (CS 1987)  who was looking for a more cost effective solution for supporting a variety of classes. 

 Ben was able to cannibalize several servers and drives to create a server environment using 2 Dell PowerEdge servers with 32 GB of storage and a NAS server with 8 TB of storage.    A RAID 1 and a RAID 5 configuration were used for the NAS.   VM Ware was used for the bare metal operating systems.  A number of ISO images were created so that students would have a choice for configuration.  Documentation on creating virtual servers was provided.
Ben was able to test and tweak the environment by having the database administration class use the server for classroom projects and homework.

Our 4 CS students, Meera Chouhan, Derek Dailey, Alejandra Medina, and Zachary Watts worked as a team to build a new skill for the Amazon Alexa.  Their client was Jim Schuler (CS 2003) of Franciscan Ministries.   Jim was looking to use Alexa for their retirement communities.  The goal was to provide a  convenience to the residents while in the common areas of their community to find out menus and scheduled events.   These menus and events would be on Google calendars. 

While Alexa does have some calendar skills built in,  it was not able to look at the detail information or offer it in the manner that Franciscan Ministries was hoping for.   Since the change of use of Alexa from home to organization/business use is new, different tools for creating these skills were needed.  While there were options it required a great deal of trial and error before a skill that was comprised of PHP code, a JSON file, an export tool, and Storyline was found to be the answer.  And Alexa would begin by telling us:  Welcome to Franciscan Ministries.

Of course, documentation on how to update and modify the skill was provided as part of the turnover to Jim Schuler.    The new skill is being submitted to Amazon Alexa for certification and will be available publicly in June.  That means residents can use the skill from the convenience of the apartments or their family members can find out what's up on any given day.

Service is an important part of learning at USF.  In Senior Project we help non-profits with technology solutions that help them provide to others.  Students use their knowledge in various technical topics to contribute to society.  

A big thank you to USF CS alumni, Mike Gende and Jim Schuler, for providing our students with unique opportunities.  Congratulations to everyone on Senior Project.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cyber Security - Fall 2018

We delighted to announce that in Fall 2018 we will be offering a graduate level Cyber Security Certificate.    We received University approval on April 12, 2018.    There will be four required graduate level courses. 

  • Comp 520 Security and Information Security Systems
  • Comp 550 Network Security and Encryption
  • Comp 575 Computer Forensics
  • Comp 580 Ethical Hacking and Vulnerability Analysis
 All classes will be online and 8 weeks long.

First up in Fall 2018 will be Comp 520 and Comp 575.   In Spring 2019 we'll offer Comp 550 and Comp 580. 

USF's Admissions will soon have the information about enrolling.

You can't top this

... but each year we do.

April 12, 2018

What a great time we had at the USF Alumni Student Networking Event this year.   Once again a wonderful turnout.  For those alumni who couldn't make it this year, not to worry.  We're having too much fun to stop now.  We'll be back in April 2019,  as usual, sometime in the first two weeks as we work around Easter, school events and the like.  

We made an exciting department announcement about the approval of the grad level Cyber Security Certificate that will be starting in the Fall of 2018.  All classes will be online and 8 weeks long.   The certificate consists of four classes.

More news:  our Computer Club is now an official USF club.

Our newest members of Epsilon Delta Pi, the Computer Science honor society were announced.  We were proud to induct Derek Dailey, Philip Kiska, Alejandra Medina, and Zachary Watts.   We gave a certificate of appreciation to Anthony Derusha for his work in the lab.  Announced our Meritorious Service winner, Zach Watts, and our Joan Nahas Ramuta Award winner, Derek Dailey.

We had a great give (the Alumni) and take (the Students) about resumes and interviews.  A number of alumni shared that their companies had either full time or internships.

Michael Garver had suggestions on what students should do while students to get hired.
It was taken from an article from Skillcrush about 12 things to do to land a web developer job.  Here’s the link:   But many of the ideas apply to just about any tech job.

After the general discussion we had a wonderful time chatting and students took advantage of getting some one-on-one advice about resumes.  Students were fascinated by the stories alumni exchanged about what happens on the job.   Alumni enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new connections.

We want to give another shout out to Aubrey Knight and Alumni and Family Relations for supplying pizza and soft drinks and also to the USF Computer Club for getting pizza for the event as well.  Serious inroads were made on all the food.   Alumni and Family Relations also supplied alumni 'swag'.

We had such a good time that many lingered talking and nibbling as some reluctantly took their leave with the press of early morning commutes and classes.

Many thanks to those who made this event a success and to all the alumni and students who came out for this.    We look forward to this each year!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Not all fun and games!

But it’s close.  

This Spring 2018 saw the first offering of the USF Computer Science Game Design class.   It was developed by Panos Kourtidis, CS 2003.  This class is offered as a topics class and requires a first class in a programming language such as C++ or Java.  A variety of game engines can be used by the students.  Teams are building their own games as a semester project.

 This class proved very popular with students who eagerly enrolled.  I think we can safely say this class will be back!

There’s a club for that!

In Fall 2017, due to the diligent efforts of Derek Dailey (CS, 2018), we now have an official USF Computer Club.

Events have included a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry, a movie night with a screening of War Games, club meetings including a preview of an upcoming game design class.  Planned events include a hard drive eraser event so people can bring hard drives to be cleaned and then safely recycle their computer.

Thanks, Derek, for all your hard work!