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A New Dean!

I hope by now everyone has heard that Dr Amar Gupta will be joining Pace University in August to serve as the new Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.  You can read about Dr Gupta here.  Dr Gupta joins us from Arizona State University, where he was the Thomas R. Brown Endowed Professor of Management and Technology.  He was also the director of Nexus of Entrepreneurship and Technology Initiative (NEXT).

This is an exciting time technology in New York, and particularly for our School and our University.  Next year the Seidenberg School celebrates its 30th birthday.  I can’t know what the next 30 years will bring, but I can be sure that we are headed in a new direction.

I have been pleased and privileged to serve as the Interim Dean of this fine School for the past four years; I look forward to a sabbatical in the fall and a return to the classroom in spring 2013.  This will be my last post here-please join me on my other blog where I muse about being a professor.


Hard to believe that the semester is over, and we’re looking at graduation this week!

We are very excited to be honoring Judy Spitz at our 17th annual Leadership and Service in Technology award reception.  Soledad O’Brien is scheduled to be our keynote speaker-this is truly a “don’t miss” event.  And if you haven’t seen O’Brien’s CNN special, Education in America: Don’t Fail Me which focuses on the role of FIRST in energizing students around STEM issues, I encourage you to visit the introduction link.

In this issue of Refresh you’ll also have a chance to share in our successes.  Pace University was designated a 2012 ComputerWorld Honors laureate, thanks to the work done in gerontechnology by Dr Jean Coppolla and her colleagues Dr Sharon Wexler and Dr Lin Drury in the College of Health Professions.   Dr Richard Kline received a Jefferson Award for his involvement with the FIRST organization and his mentoring of students in LEGO robotics, and two Seidenberg faculty and their undergraduate student researchers were successful in the Provost’s First Annual Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Showcase-you’ll have to read the article to learn who they are and what they researched!

We had the pleasure of inducting students into the New York Delta Chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the national honor society for computing and information disciplines.  You can read about the event in this issue.

And continuing our work in cybersecurity, a team of students competed in this year’s Northeast Collegiate  Cyber Defense Competition.  There’s more-a RIM Hackathon, a Tech Talk, but as they say in the newspaper business, “read all about it” in this Spring issue of Refresh.

And as always, we welcome your comments.

Welcome to our latest issue of Refresh, the e-newsletter of the Seidenberg School.  We’ve been quite busy, launching institutes, winning awards,  attending conferences, running robotics challenges, and in general, getting attention for the good things we have been doing!

We are very excited to be launching the Seidenberg CyberSecurity Institute.  The Institute will showcase research, educational opportunities and public/private partnerships in the areas of secure software development, cybersecurity, pervasive computing, robotics, computer forensics and information assurance.  We will be offering a Certificate for Chief Information Security Management Officers in the very  near future.  Check our Web site for updates.

The Seidenberg School’s online  bachelor’s degree, offered in partnership with NACTEL, the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning, was ranked among the Top Online Education Programs by U.S. News & World Report.  We are so proud of everyone involved, all who teach in the program, support the program, and have graduated from the program!

In this issue you’ll also  read about the FIRST Tech Challenge, held on the Pleasantville campus on January 29.  Thirty-three teams of high school students competed for prizes and the winners were….well, you’ll have to read the article.

Valerie Cayo (BS/CS, ’15) and Julie Gill BS/CS ’13), two of our Seidenberg Scholars, traveled with me to Portland, Oregon to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  As every information technology professional knows (!) Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper is credited with popularizing the word “bug” for computer problems – the bug was actually a moth but that doesn’t sound nearly as good.  You can read more about the conference, which attracted almost 3,000 people, mostly women, in this issue.  One of the highlights for me was hearing Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, speak about women, leadership and technology.

As always, we are proud of our students, and we have much to be proud of.  Vinnie Monaco (BS/CS, BS/Math, ’12)  received honorable mention in this year’s Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Competition.   Vinnie was profiled in our last issue when he received the Department of Defense’s full scholarship to study Information Assurance.  Yuriy Tankskiy (MS/IS) a member of the New York State Guard, was honored for service in New York’s response to Hurricane Irene.  You can read about Yuriy and why he won the New York State Humane Service Medal.  And John Calvert (DPS for a cohort of Education Professionals) was recognized for his work in using technology to advance education in the Clarkstown School District.

We are proud of these students and all who make the Seidenberg community such a vibrant one.  I hope you enjoy this issue of Refresh!

Happy holidays!

Hard to believe but the semester is over and most of us have turned our thoughts to the holiday season.  I have always found this a perfect time to reflect on the past year and set an intention for the upcoming year.  I have been very influenced by Meg Wheatley, a scholar who has been applying systems theory to organizations.  I highly recommend her book, Perseverance.  In it, she helps to answer the question, what makes some people, even with failures and setbacks, keep doing work that they care about, that they feel is important.

I recommend it because all of us have failures, setbacks, disappointments and obstacles to overcome.  All of us.  And we need to learn to persevere, to “keep on keeping on.”  Sometimes school is like that-I know it was for me when I returned at the age of 40 to begin working on my doctorate.  Sometimes work is like that-in the words of Jim Croce, “some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.”

We all just need to keep showing up, to remember that each day is a new beginning.

And so I wish for you and your families and your friends a peace-filled holiday break.  I look forward to seeing you all in the new year, a new beginning of a new semester.

We all have a lot to be grateful for (I know I do!).  And it’s wonderful that the calendar provides us with an opportunity to do so.

Enjoy the holiday, with (or without) the turkey.  Being a vegetarian, I’m looking forward to a polenta bean dish but that’s just me.

Safe traveling to all of us who are traveling, and enjoy the break in the routine.

Fall, 2011

What a busy fall this is turning out to be!  In this issue you can read about those to whom we are saying “hello” and those to whom we are saying “goodbye.”

We are saying “hello” to our first Tech Mentor-in-Residence, alum Matt Knell, class of 2000, and director of social media at AOL.com.  Matt has been involved in social media for most of his career, which began even before he graduated from Pace University!

And we are saying “hello” to our new class of Seidenberg Scholars.

We are saying “goodbye” to Professor Joseph Bergin who has retired.   Professor Bergin has some thoughts about his 39 years of teaching, including 22 years at Pace University.   You can read his reflections here.  We’re  not letting him get too far away, though.  Dr Bergin will continue to be involved in our Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS) program.

We have updated some of our curricula and expanded our reach, enrolling students in India who work for IBM in Bangalore.

We are very proud of Marius Agica, a senior majoring in both computer science and economics, whose performance playing competitive contract bridge for his home country, Romania,  earned him a mention in the New York Times’ bridge column on September 7.

Enjoy this issue, and let us know what you’d like to see covered in future issues of Refresh.


I’m writing this post from Portland, Oregon where I’m attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.  This event, named for Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, brings technical women together from all over the world.  This is my second time at this event and I know it won’t be the last.

Yesterday we heard Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg give an inspiring speech in which she reminded all of us (as if we need reminding) that tech jobs are where the growth is, and Cameron Wilson, ACM’s director of public policy, has been working to educate members of Congress who make funding decisions that “computing is fundamental.”  Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk last year in which she talks about why we have too few women leaders, and here’s a link to ACM’s public policy page where you can learn what the ACM does on a wide range of computing issues like accessibility, innovation and education.

And here’s a link to a story on this morning’s NPR radio show “Morning Edition” that includes a slide show of important women in computing, including Anita Borg, who died much too young, and whose eponymous institute hosts the celebration.

Being here has made me think about students and conferences.  There are a few “major” conferences for those of us in information systems/information technology - ICIS, the International Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS, the Americas Conference on Information Systems, and ISECON, the Information Systems Educators Conference.

The conferences in computer science are much more specific.  The ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery-not a great name but we members can’t agree on a better one-long story) hosts a number of conferences with an “alphabet soup” of names-you can see a list here.  These conferences have names like ISCA, International Symposium on Computer Architecture, and HotNets-X, the tenth annual conference on Hot Topics in Networks.

Some of the ACM Special Interest Groups (SIGs) host conferences.  For example, ACM SIGBioinformatics hosts a conference.

And then there are tech meet ups, like the NYTech Meetup, which we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a few times.

Okay, so here’s the punchline:  students, if we could find the funding, would you want to go to conferences?

Please post comments here telling me:

  1. What kind of conference you would want to go to (a  big ICIS-type or a smaller ACM SIG type) and on what topic(s)
  2. Why you would want to go (what you think you would get out of it) and
  3. What you would do with the knowledge you gained from the experience (make a presentation to a class/club or others, write a paper, whatever).

Your comments will help me put together a proposal for funding such experiences.

Faculty, will you comment on conferences that are particularly good for students to attend?  What conferences encourage faculty-student papers?

Thanks everyone!  I fly home tomorrow and will be at the New York city open house on Sunday-see some of you there.

Hope everyone’s semester is going well, and if Thanksgiving is in a few weeks, you know what that means-it’s almost finals!



Welcome back!

I don’t know about you, but I feel as though the spring semester just ended, and here we are, back on campus again (or perhaps back on campus in cyberspace again!).

Convocation yesterday was wonderful, a terrific way to start the semester.  I hope you were able to join us for the day’s events, and in particular, I really hope that you were able to hear Chris Cleave’s keynote address.  You can learn more about convocation here, including information about Little Bee, our common reader for this year. Continue Reading »

We hope you are enjoying our redesigned newsletter Refresh.  Thanks to those of you who either posted comments or spoke to us directly.

The big news is the graduation of our first Seidenberg Scholars.  While it may seem that we were just welcoming them as first year students, we have seen them mature, learn and contribute in so many ways to the School.  We will miss them but the bonds of our community are strong, and we know that they will keep in touch.

Our thanks to our friends at ADP, and particularly Gary Butler, CEO and President, for a very successful Leadership and Service in Technology event.  Those of us who were able to attend had a wonderful time reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.  And thanks to our friends at IBM for bringing Watson! to PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the evening.

Our students continue to excel; don’t miss the stories about Vinnie Monaco and Marc Kowtko.  Our faculty have been getting press coverage, as you’ll learn when you read the articles about Jean Coppola, Darren Hayes and Chuck Tappert.

The Seidenberg Institute for Computing Innovation, led by Lixin Tao, provided an opportunity for faculty and colleagues at other institutions to share their knowledge and hone their technical skills.

As we gear up for the next academic year, know that we look forward to hearing from you.  Anything you’d like to see in Refresh?  Let us know.

And finally, congratulations to Linda Kurtz (DPS ’10), the winner of the $75 American Express gift card.


We’ve hinted at a change and now it’s here!  Welcome to the inaugural issue of Refresh, our redesigned electronic newsletter.  Hopefully you will find it engaging, relevant and fun to read.

In celebration of our new look, readers of the inaugural issue of Refresh are eligible to enter a drawing for a $75.00 American Express gift card to be chosen at random by me.  All you have to do to be in the running is to look for and click on the hidden Watson icon while reading through Refresh.

The Seidenberg School continues to be a busy place.  Our premier event, the Leadership and Service in Technology Award Reception, will be on June 22.  This year we will be honoring Gary Butler, CEO and President of ADP; hosting a panel discussion of the emerging field of “cloud computing”; and featuring a special demonstration by IBM’s Watson.

This has been a time of recognition and awards for the students, faculty and alumni of the Seidenberg School.  Two Seidenberg students partnered with a student in the Lubin School to win a place in the Pace University incubator for the “best new business concept,” a Seidenberg student came in second in IBM’s “Master the Mainframe” contest, and our founding dean, Dr. Susan Merritt, was recognized for her work in computing by the Verizon Foundation, who named a scholarship after her.  Dr. Merritt presented the first scholarship to a student at the Westchester County Women in Technology Awards luncheon.

Please let us know how you feel about Refresh at seidenbergdean@pace.edu.  Your thoughts and suggestions are always appreciated.

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