School of Computing and Software Engineering School of Computing and Software Engineering Southern Polytechnic State University

Dean's Update, October 2010

GOOGLE PARTNERSHIP

Thanks to the efforts of Briana Morrison of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Less Lincoln from Google, and Denise Stover and Russ Hunt from the Extended University, SPSU recently started a pilot project in which it offers courses in networking and system administration to employees of Google. The courses mimic CSE's normal degree courses in these areas although some minor changes were made to meet some Google specific requirements. However, they are offered according to a schedule that is more convenient to Google employees. Assuming that the pilot is successful, CSE anticipates being able to significantly increase both the courses that it offers and the number of Google employees taking the courses.

GREEN WAVE TECHNOLOGY LLC SELECTED AS CONTROL4 DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR

Green Wave Technology LLC (www.GreenWaveControl.com or at www.AtlantaSmartHomes.com), a company founded by Doug Alexander (an 86 SPSU EET alum), Sharon Perry (a 96 SPSU MSCS alum) and Jason Perry (a current SPSU CS student), was recently recognized by Control4, a company specializing in home control systems that allow a user to control virtually very electronic appliance in the home, as developer of the year. The announcement was made at CEDIA EXPO, the primary trade show for the residential electronic systems industry. Green Wave Technology was also inducted into Control 4 "Founders Circle". More information about the award is available at http://www.control4.com/about-us/press/2010/09/25/developer-of-the-year/

Of course, I would like to congratulate Doug, Sharon and Jason for their achievement. For the record, Sharon also serves on the software engineering industry advisory board.

UNITY AWARD TO CAGMA

The Center for Applied Gaming and Media Arts (CAGMA) was recently selected as a first round winner in the Unity Mobile Generation Education Giveaway. Only 20 institutions in the world received this honor. CAGMA will receive a Google Nexus One Phone and "Pro" Licenses to the Unity and Unity Android game engines. In order to compete in round two, CAGMA will have to develop a one semester mobile games curriculum and produce two 20 mins video example lectures from your proposed courses, and CAGMA will learn early in the new year how it fared in the second round.

Congratulations to Jeff Chastine and Jon Preston for putting this together.

CAPSTONE PROJECT FOR ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC SCHOOL WELL RECEIVED

Most of our undergraduate students complete a capstone project towards the end of their final year with us. Every now and then, a capstone project results in a system that is being used in earnest by the customer for which it was originally developed. CSE recently learned that the class registration system that was written by Margaret Brannon, Trevor Jones, Scott Le, Hongli Li and Orly Vincent for St Joseph Catholic School is one of those. Briana Morrison, who supervised the project, received a glowing email from the school saying that "This program is going to make our lives so much easier for scheduling, checking student's required classes, .., wonderful reporting features and schedule print outs". Another important feature of the program is that it gives the school the ability to have parents directly involved.

This project, and many like it, are a good illustration of what we do to try to achieve our vision of empowering individuals and organizations to improve the quality of life for people around the globe through the application of computing and information technologies. Congratulations are due to the students and to Professor Morrison.

TEAM HORNETS WINS AT SIEGE

Earlier this month, an SPSU student team called "Team Hornets" won the SIEGE Game Design Improv Competition at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Gaming Expo (SIEGE). The SIEGE 2010 Game Design Improv Competition required participants to build a game using only business cards that are usually gathered at conventions like SIEGE. The teams had to build, test, and write down the rules of this game in less than an hour. Team Hornet members were Carted Maddux, Will Moore, Nick Mowry and Billy Olden. Congratulations to all.

STEM MINI-GRANTS FOR CSE FACULTY

The Office of Sponsored Programs at Extended University recently announced the award of a number of mini-grants to improve education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing. It awarded a total of 13 minigrants, of which CSE was involved in nine. The winning CSE proposals included:

  • Dr. Chih Cheng Hung, and Co-PIs, Dr. Edward Jung, Dr. Dawn Adams, and Richard Ngendran: "Promote the Interest of STEM Fields During Pre-College Education"
  • Dr. Chia-Tien Dan Lo, and collaborators Chung T. Ho and David M. Bush: "Promote Computational Thinking in STEM Education"
  • Professor. Briana Morrison, and collaborator Ria Galanos: "Disciplinary Commons in Computing for High School Teachers"
  • Dr. Shangrong Deng with Co-PI Dr. Chih-Cheng Hung: "Enhance the Student's Calculus Homework Practice with OnLine Homework System WebWork"
  • Dr. Sarah M. North with Co-PIs Dr. Adeel Khalid and Dr. Max North: "Immersive Visualization Techniques in Enhancing K-12 STEM Pedagogical Processes of Computing Concepts"
  • Professor Briana Morrison with collaborators Thomas Cooper, Owen Matthews and Jam Jenkins: "Effectiveness of Distance Collaboration in an AP Computer Science Class"
  • Dr. Jon Preston with Co-PIs Dr. Jeff Chastine and Professor Briana Morrison: "Real World Impact of STEM: Relating to College Students"
  • Dr. Larry Wang with Co-PI Dr. Chia-Tien Dan Lo: " Improving Student Learning in Math Through a Virtual Tutoring Center"

The success rates in this grant competition reflects well on CSE in that with less than 15% of total full-time faculty CSE faculty members were involved in almost 70% of the successful applications. Congratulations to all.

STAFF/FACULTY FUND RAISING CAMPAIGN

October also traditionally sees the conclusion of the staff/faculty fund raising campaign. As you may be aware, the state puts restrictions on how we can spend money we receive either from the state directly or from tuition. For example, we cannot use the money to host welcome receptions for new students or receptions for graduating students, award scholarships to students, or provide tangible recognition to faculty or staff for outstanding service. We therefore need to raise funds from other sources to support these activities, and I am pleased to report that members of CSE were as generous this year as they have been in the past, with an almost 100% participation rate of our faculty and staff.

I do hope that some of you will want to follow the good example set by members of the school. If you are and you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make checks payable to "SPSU foundation", record "CSE" in the memo field, and send them to me at

Han Reichgelt,
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering
Southern Polytechnic State University
1100 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA 30060-2896

AND FINALLY ...

If you see something in this update that you want to comment on, please send me an email at hreichge@spsu.edu or call me on 678-915-7399. Also, if you know of somebody who might be interested in receiving the Dean's updates, please ask them to send me an email. We will gladly add them to our mailing list. Finally, if you prefer not to receive the Dean's updates, please let me know as well.

Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering