CSEE undergraduates present work at URCAD

Congratulations to the CSEE undergraduate students and groups who will be presenting posters on their research as part of the Fifteenth Annual UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day. UCRAD features research, scholarship, and creative work carried out by UMBC undergraduates.

  • Natée Johnson, X-Ray Study of Nano-Scale Superlattice Materials, 3:15pm-3:30pm, UC 310, Mentor: Dr. Fow-Sen Choa
  • Sheriff Jolaoso, Spectrogram Analysis and Evaluation and Brainwave Appreciation of Music, 10:00am-12:30pm UC Ballrooom, Mentor: Dr. Fow-Sen Choa
  • Morgan Madeira and Rachel Sweeton, Finding Communities through Social Media, 10:00am-12:30pm, Mentor: Dr. Anupam Joshi
  • Ross Pokorny, 12:30pm-3:00pm, UC Ballroom, TweetCollector: A Framework for Retrieving, Processing, and Storing Live Data from Twitter, Mentors: Dr. Timothy Finin and Dr. Anupam Joshi
  • David Shyu, Patient Identification and Diagnosis Using Fourier Analysis and Beam Forming of Multi-electrode Brain Wave Signals, 12:30pm-3:00pm, Mentors: Dr. Fow-Sen Choa and Dr. Elliott Hong
  • UMBC Game Developers Club, Innovations in Computer Game Development, 12:30pm-3:00pm, Mentor: Mr. Neal McDonald

Serial entrepreneur David Turock to talk at Baltimore Emerging Technology Center

The Baltimore ACM Chapter, the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, and the Emerging Technology Center are hosting a free, public lecture on entrepreneurship by David Turock at 7:00pm, Wednesday 27 April in the ETC Canton facility (2400 Boston St., Baltimore).

David Turock will present a side-by-side comparison of two telecommunications start-ups that he launched: one successful, and one not. He compares and contrasts their funding sources, agility and scalability of their business models, hiring practices, and more. His experience and lessons learned will be valuable for aspiring tech entrepreneurs. He finishes with how his interests have shifted to using technology to promote social and environmental causes.

David Turock is a veteran entrepreneur and currently a Director of Counsel RB Capital. He holds a patent on VoIP, and is an expert on telecommunications technologies and their applications. Mr. Turock began his career working with AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1982 and Bell Communications Research in 1988, and subsequently founded enhanced telephone service provider, Call Sciences. He later formed Interexchange, which designed and operated one of the world's largest debit card systems. Most recently, from 2001 to 2007, Mr. Turock was Chief Technology Officer of Therap Services, a provider of informatics services to disabled patients. Mr. Turock received his B.S. in Experimental Psychology from Syracuse University, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers University, and his M.S.E. in Computer Science from the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Baltimore ACM chapter invites attendees for pizza starting at 6:30pm. There is no charge, but please RSVP to Emil Volcheck at

The ETC Canton facility is located at the American Can Company complex, 2400 Boston Street in Baltimore. ETC is on the 3rd floor of the building that houses the Austin Grille restaurant and the entrance is next to the Lenscrafters store. There is a 3 hour visitor parking in front of the building on the Boston Street side.

Computing enrollments up 10% nationwide

The CRA reports that total enrollments among U.S. computer science undergraduates increased 10% in 2010 based on data from its most recent annual Taulbee Survey. This is the third straight year of increases in total enrollment and indicates that the post “dot-com crash” decline in undergraduate computing program enrollments is over. The Taulbee Survey is conducted annually to document trends in student enrollment, degree production, employment of graduates, and faculty salaries in Ph.D-granting departments of computer science, computer engineering and information systems in the United States and Canada. You can find the data in a CRA report on Computing Degree and Enrollement Trends.  The full data from the Taulbee report will be available later in May from the CRA Web site.

The data for UMBC computing majors shows similar increases in the past three years.

Subjects sought for Python programming study

Participate in a Python programming study and win a iPod

Last chance to participate & enter drawing for a free iPod Nano!

We are a group of students who are performing a research study to investigate how students learn and improve their performance at different aspects of Python programming. For the study, we are looking for students who are currently enrolled in CMSC 201 or who took CMSC 201 in the last semester or two and have not yet completed CMSC 202.

In exchange for your participation in the study, we will provide pizza for the participants, and each student will also be entered into a drawing for an 8G iPod Nano, in the color of your choice. One participant, of the 24 to 32 students that we recruit, will win the Nano.  We are currently signing students up for the following three time slots:

  • Wed 4/6, 7pm-10pm: free pizza will be available for registered participants at 6:45
  • Fri 4/8, 10am-2pm: Show up *any time* between 10am and 2pm — whatever works for you! Pizza will be ordered around noon.
  • Mon 4/11, 10:30am-8pm: Show up any time between 10:30am and 8pm! Pizza will be provided around noon and again around 6:30 if there are participants there to eat it!

The study will take place in ITE 240. Please sign up in advance if at all possible, and let us know what time you expect to arrive during the open sessions, so that we know how many students to expect and how much pizza to order!

The study involves four stages: first, you will be given a brief tutorial in the Python-based RUR-PLE visual programming environment and be asked to answer some warm-up questions to help familiarize you with the RUR-PLE environment. You will then be given a pretest that asks you to answer some basic multiple-choice programming questions. Next, you will be given a series of problems to solve within RUR-PLE, either by writing Python programs to perform a specified task, or by predicting the output and behavior of a given program. Finally, you will take a posttest that is similar to the pretest. We will record your answers to help us understand how to predict student programming performance and learning, based on their starting knowledge. The length of time to complete these tasks will vary, depending on the student, from one to two hours. Your data will be completely anonymized, and no information about you personally will be stored with the results of the study.

If you have any questions or wish to volunteer for the study, please contact Amy Ciavolino at Prof. Marie desJardins () is the faculty advisor for this project, and you may also contact her with any questions or concerns.

Amy Ciavolino (), Robert Deloatch (), Eliana Feasley () and David Walser ()

Cyber Defense Team meeting, Noon 4/4 ITE 325b


The UMBC Cyber Defense Team, aka the Cyberdawgs, will host a technical briefing on Monday April 4 featuring two guest speakers from the DoD. The topic will be the cyber competitions between the service academies, and other cyber-related topics may come up as well. The meeting will be held in the CSEE conference room, ITE 325b, from Noon to 2:00pm.

The Cyber Defense Team is a SGA recognized student organization whose members share a common interest in computer and network security and participating in cybersecurity competitions and events. It is open to everyone regardless of your major or current knowledge level. If you are interested in joining come to this meeting or any of the weekly meetings held on Monday's from Noon to 2:00pm. You can also subscribe to its mailing list by sending a message to

2011 Google Summer of Code open for applications

The 2011 Google Summer of Code pays students $5000 to work on one of a set od approved open source projects

Still looking for a summer internship? Check out the Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

This is a is a global program funded by Google that pays undergraduate or graduate students a $5000 stipend to write code for open source projects. GSoC has worked with the open source community to identify and fund exciting projects for the upcoming summer. The FAQ is a good place to find out more.

A set of open source projects (aka mentoring organizations) has been selected. Students apply to work on one of more of these and each mentoring organization ranks the students interested in working with them. Google facilitates the final selection and pairing. The mentoring organization works closely with the student to define tasks, check progress, help solve problems, etc. Typically the thudent works remotely, interacting with his or her mentor via email, chat, skype, etc.

Students can submit applications via the Google Summer of Code 2011 site from March 28 to April 8. Google says that that the best applications they receive are from students who took the time to interact with one of the participating mentoring organizations and discuss their ideas before submitting an application. Check out the information on the Advice for GSoC Students Page which links to a list of the 2011 mentoring organizations.

I have a plug for a particular project: Elgg. "Elgg is an award-winning social networking engine, delivering the building blocks that enable businesses, schools, universities and associations to create their own fully-featured social networks and applications." One of the people involved with Elgg's GSoC effort works at JHU/APL and may do mentoring locally. They are looking for people who know (or are willing to learn) PHP, JavaScript, and basic web development. Send email to to find out more about the ideas the Elgg project has proposed for GSCO 2011.

Women in Technology: Spring into Leadership, 4/5

Women in Technology: Spring into Leadership

UMBC will hold the first annual Women in Technology: Spring into Leadership event from 6:30-8:00pm on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 in the University Ballroom. The program will focus on the importance of building relationships and developing one’s inner leader. Ms. Myra Norton, CEO of Community Analytics and a member of the College of Engineering and Information Technology’s Advisory Board, will be the featured speaker and facilitator.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Women and Information Technology, the CWIT Student Council, the UMBC Student Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, and the Information Systems Council of Majors. All students are welcome and women undergraduate and graduate engineering and IT majors are especially encouraged to attend.

The event is free but space is limited and registration is required by March 30. For more information about the event, contact Dr. Susan Martin, CWIT Associate Director, at 410.455.3109 or susan at @umbc.edu.

CIA info session, 5-6:30pm Tue March 15th, ITE 456

Are you interested in a career, internship or co-op position at the CIA or want to know if you qualify for a top secret clearance and employment opportunities at the CIA? If yes, we welcome you to attend an information session on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in ITE 456 from 5pm-6:30pm. You are encouraged to visit the CIA career page before attending to view the internship and full-time opportunities.

The CIA seeks Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Information Systems majors for full-time positions and summer internships. Apply by midnight Wednesday March 2 via UMBCworks to participate in an on campus resume review and interview with the CIA. A 3.00 GPA and US Citizenship are required. See:

  • CIA Undergraduate Internship/Co-op Position (UMBCworks Position ID- 9243367)
  • CIA Undergraduate Full-Time Positions (UMBCworks Position ID- 9243369)

The CIA is an independent agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers. They carry out “the intelligence cycle,” the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information to top US government officials.


ACM student chapter meets Wed 3/9 at Noon

UMBC's ACM student chapter will hold a meeting at Noon on Wednesday, March 9 in ITE201 to discuss chapter activities and hold elections for the chapter's executive committee.

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. It provides members with resources that advance computing both as a science and a profession. UMBC's chapter meetings are open to all undergraduate and graduate students of any major.

The main goal of the March meeting is to have a round-table discussion about where to take the chapter. It was created to bring students together to discuss interesting and relevant topics and share experiences. Come and share your opinions on the subjects that you would like to hear about in the coming semesters that will make the chapter exciting and relevant.

While you do not need to join ACM to be a part of the local chapter, the annual membership dues for students is only $19, heavily discounted from the non-student rate. See the ACM site for more information on student membership and its benefits.

The election will be held by ballot and the winner determined by plurality, i.e. the person with the most votes. According to the chapter bylaws, only members who are also members of the National ACM are eligible to vote, so bring some proof of your National ACM membership (membership card, print out of current information, etc.) if you want to vote.

If you have any questions, you can send them to the acmofficers at lists.umbc.edu.

Computer Engineering Open House, 11:30-12:50 March 2, ITE 456

UMBC Computer Engineering open house meeting

Current and prospective undergraduate Computer Engineering majors are invited to an informal open house meeting from 11:30am to 12:50pm on Wednesday, March 2nd in ITE 456. CSEE chairman Gary Carter and CMPE faculty will present information on the undergraduate program and its tracks and courses as well as offer academic and career advice. There will be ample time for questions, feedback, comments and discussion. Lunch will be provided.

We are also recruiting current majors for a student advisory panel to review the CMPE program and courses. To volunteer for the panel, please attend the meeting or contact the CMPE undergraduate program director, Professor Curtis Menyuk (menyuk at umbc.edu).

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