Dean's Update, August 2009
ENROLLMENTS UP DRAMATICALLY
The academic year started on Monday August 24, with a significant increase in enrollment both at SPSU and within CSE. CSE had enrolled almost 950 degree seeking students, or about 150 more than in the fall of 2008. Moreover, CSE's enrollment is up in relatively terms as well in the sense that a higher proportion of SPSU students are enrolled in CSE programs compared to last year.
Enrollment is up in all our degree programs. At the moment, the only exception is the Master of Science program in Computer Science. However, since this program enrolls a significant number of overseas students and many overseas students arrive relatively late, there is every chance that, when all is said and done, enrollment in this program will have increased as well.
Increased enrollment is obviously a good thing for the first strategic goal that CSE set itself, namely to increase the number of CSE graduates to better serve the community. However, it also leads to issues to do with class sizes, the need to open up new course sections and to find faculty to teach them and so on. I wanted to thank the Department Chairs, Dr Andy Wang and Dr Venu Dasigi, and their administrative assistants who worked tirelessly to accommodate so many students. I also want to express my appreciation for the faculty in CSE for their willingness to increase class sizes, and the flexibility that they have shown as we try to serve our increased student population.
NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
The new academic year also gave CSE the opportunity to welcome three new faculty members, namely Dr Edward Jung, Dr Dan Lo and Dr Abi Salimi.
Dr Jung has a Ph.D. and B.S. from the University of Minnesota, has been a visiting professor at Rutgers University, and has been a Director at Samsung Research and a Software Engineer at Motorola and Siemens. His main research is in the computer security area.
Dr Lo has a Ph.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.S. from National Taiwan University. He has taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio since 2002. His specialty area is network security.
Dr Salimi joins us on a part-time basis. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Iowa. He has prior teaching experience at SPSU (part time) and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as a substantial record of industrial experience. Dr Salimi will help us further develop our offerings in Software Engineering.
I am sure that they will make a significant contribution to CSE and serve our students well.
CSE WELCOME (BACK) PARTY
In collaboration with the student chapter of the ACM, CSE hosted a welcome (back) party for its new and returning students on September 1. Thanks are due to Jon Preston for working with the ACM to get this organized and to the Southern Engineer's Bookstore for sponsoring the event.
As you may have read, in its August meeting the Board of Regents of the University System og Georgia mandated that all employees of the University System of Georgia to take 6 furlough days, three before the end of December and three more next year. It also mandated that faculty should make sure that their furlough days did not affect teaching.
The mandate to take furloughs is in response to the deteriorating budget situation in Georgia. Since SPSU receives approximately 50% of its budget from the state, our faculty and staff understand why such drastic measures are necessary. The one complication is my mind is the mandate that our furloughs cannot affect our teaching. While it is relatively straightforward to implement this mandate for traditional face-to-face classes, it is harder to do so for our online classes, especially asynchronous online classes in which all interaction between students and instructor takes places through email and discussion forums, and which often require the instructor to log into the course at least twice a day, including weekends. However, having said this, I am sure that we will find a way around all this.
BROWN SPSU TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Each year, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce honors Cobb County teachers and recognizes their good work educating students in this region. Since 1995, the Chamber has also included post-secondary institutions. It is my great pleasure to announce that Professor Bob Brown, Professor in the Department of Information Technology, will be the SPSU Teacher of the Year for 2009. This is a well deserved honor that recognizes Bob's outstanding dedication to CSE, to SPSU and, most importantly, to his students. Please join me in congratulation Bob.
It has long been an ambition of SPSU to add to its list of engineering program. I am pleased to report that thanks to the efforts of Tom Currin, Associate Dean of the Division of Engineering, SPSU recently fulfilled this ambition when the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, in its meeting of August 12, approved SPSU's evening engineering degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. You can find details about the engineering programs offered out of the Division of Engineering at http://www.spsu.edu/engineering/. This is a momentous occasion for SPSU and Tom deserves our congratulations for the hard work he put in.
GEEK SQUAD GIRL SCOUT ACADEMY
As you may have seen in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, CSE was again involved in the Girl Scout Geek Squad Academy. Some 100+ girls came to campus July 28-30 to learn about computers and have fun. As always, the event was a great success, as you can see for yourself here. Thanks again to Bob Brown for taking the lead on this.
Dr. Kai Qian of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering co-authored yet another textbook, this time a computer science graduate textbook entitled "Embedded Software Development with C". His co-author David Haring is an SPSU Alum. The hardcover book, which will be published by Springer publishing, focuses on contemporary embedded system software design with software engineering methodologies and embedded software development with RTOS. More information is available at http://www.springer.com/computer/programming/book/978-1-4419-0605-2 . Congratulations are due to Kai on this achievement.
AND FINALLY ...
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Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering