Category Archives: Technology and Computer Science

Computer Sciences and Business Students Participate in Hackathon

Between 9 p.m. Feb. 23 and 8 a.m. Feb. 24, 16 students from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET), the College of Business (COB) and other University colleges came together to help launch a company.

The College of Business’ Student Technology Center hosted a hackathon where these students created a website, or what they call a web store, for gamers, musicians, writers, artists, etc., to sell their content.

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon. (photos by Michael Rudd)

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon.
(Photos by Michael Rudd)

“I was working on a project in my spare time,” said Samuel Carraway, a CET junior from Chapel Hill. “I wanted to make it a reality.”

Carraway said he participated in two hackathons off campus and that’s where the idea germinated to have a hackathon at the University. He presented the idea to the recently formed student organization, EPIC or Empowering Pioneers through Innovative Culture, which includes students from all over the University who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

To help cultivate that spirit, COB’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship and instructor David Mayo oversaw that hackathon’s proceedings. Though these types of events are usually software intensive, Mayo believes it’s important to have a business component, as well.

“This hackathon not only produced a product, but we also came out with a business model that makes that product useful for the owner and the customer,” said Mayo.  “Entrepreneurship acts as a bridge for that innovation.”

We liked this collaborative atmosphere and having people from different majors and backgrounds come together,” said CET senior and EPIC co-president, Magus Pereira. “The hackathon was a good experience.”

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

Along with the new web store, a business plan was also finalized to help the store go to market. Teams of engineering and business students focused on three areas: the building of the website, a Kickstarter campaign, and a business model canvas. Business senior Christopher Rudkowski joined the hackathon and was anxious to take what he’s learned and put it to practical use. He said, “I’ve never been so immersed in a situation where we can get together and make something work.”

Business senior Dakota Votaw had never participated in a hackathon, but he’s glad he joined in this one. “It was a very positive experience for everyone,” he said. “I don’t think anyone left there thinking it was a wasted night.”

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, College of Engineering & Technology

ECU professors ‘rocket back to earth’ during NASA simulation

Three East Carolina University College of Education faculty members spent Jan. 18 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, learning about simulations for astronaut training and vehicle design.

Daniel Dickerson, Patricia Slagter Van Tryon and Abbie Brown from the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education toured several NASA project areas: the rapid prototype lab developing and testing controls for the Orion spacecraft; the space vehicle mockup facility that includes full-scale simulations of the International Space Station and Orion; the Human Exploration Research Analog that allows teams to experience spending days and weeks on an isolated space station; and the neutral buoyancy lab containing a massive pool with a replica of a portion of the space station that allows astronauts to practice walking in a weightless environment.

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

As part of the visit, Brown and Slagter van Tryon were “rocketed back to earth” through a simulation. Re-entering the earth’s atmosphere – from 200 mph eventually to 20 mph – was made real through intense sound effects and video displays, Brown said.

“We are grateful to the six NASA team leaders who were very generous with their time, providing us with a view of how our country’s astronauts learn to work in space and how space vehicles are designed and developed,” said Brown, professor and interim chair of the department. “It’s something few people get to see at such a detailed level and we are excited to take this information back to our science education and instructional technology students.”

ECU faculty are exploring opportunities for possible collaboration with NASA in the future.

The opportunity to visit NASA came about after Brown attended an Adobe MAX conference last fall and met the creative team developing simulations for NASA astronaut training.

There are approximately 160 graduate students enrolled online in the instructional technology program, which supports K-12 educators, corporate trainers and government and military instructors. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/msite/it/.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

ECU professors receive national recognition

Two engineering professors at East Carolina University have received national recognition for their work in the areas of diversity and management.

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown has received the “INSIGHT into Diversity” 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM award while Dr. Gene Dixon won the Bernard R. Sarchet Award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Brown is one of 100 women recognized by the higher education magazine for achievements that encourage and inspire women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. The magazine will be published in September.

Brown is a charter member of the STEM Girls steering committee, a member of the FIRST Robotics board of directors and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineering Honor Society and Engineering Ambassadors. Brown was the primary investigator on a National Science Foundation grant that secured $540,000 in merit and need-based scholarships for the engineering department. She has spent numerous hours recruiting for the engineering department.

LaKesha Alston Forbes, associate provost of equity and diversity at ECU, nominated Brown for the award with input from Dr. David White, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

“Dr. Brown was one of our first hires in engineering and serves as a tremendous role model for our female engineering students and junior faculty,” White said. “She is a great advocate for diversity, particularly in STEM, and she is a tireless supporter of her passionate work for diversity in the STEM fields.”

Brown said she is honored to have been nominated by ECU for the award. “I’m also hopeful that this national recognition will bring attention to ECU and the many good things being accomplished by dedicated faculty in our department, college and university,” she said.

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dixon received a national award named after Bernard R. Sarchet, a founding member and first national president of the American Society for Engineering Management.

The prestigious award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession and to the engineering management division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dixon, who has been at ECU for nine years, oversees all capstone projects required for engineering majors in their senior year. Students work in teams to complete a yearlong project for a local business or industry.

Dixon works closely with industry partners to ensure that ECU students get work experience, leadership and entrepreneurial skills before they graduate. He also helps develop internship and cooperative work opportunities for engineering majors and has written multiple articles and presented at national and international conferences.

“Gene has applied his knowledge of engineering management in his scholarship and his teaching, and we are very fortunate to have him as a colleague,” said Dr. Hayden Griffin, chair of the engineering department at ECU.

 

Gudivada named computer science chair

Dr. Venkat N. Gudivada has been named chairman of the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University effective July 1.

Guidivada

Guidivada

Gudivada is an educator, researcher and industry practitioner with more than 30 years of experience in data management, information retrieval, machine learning, image and natural language processing, cognitive and high performance computing and personalized eLearning.

Gudivada joins ECU after serving as interim chair and professor of computer science at Marshall University. He previously worked at the University of Michigan, University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) and Ohio University. He has extensive financial industry work experience as well.

He has experience developing innovative academic programs, courses and curricula and is proficient in continuous academic quality improvement and program accreditation. He has developed successful approaches to student recruitment, mentoring, engagement and retention. He also has expertise in online course development and delivery, and has won awards for teaching and research.

Gudivada has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles about his nationally-funded research on search engine optimization, data management systems and big data. He has served on program committees of numerous computer science conferences, delivered keynote presentations at international conferences and served as a guest editor for IEEE Computer Society.

He received doctoral and masters’ degrees in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He earned a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering from Texas Tech University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from JNT University.

Dr. David White, dean of the ECU College of Engineering and Technology, thanked Dr. Karl Abrahamson for his leadership and service during the nearly five years that he served as interim department chair.

ECU student becomes Red Hat Certified Engineer

ECU junior Benjamin Tillett-Wakeley has passed requirements to become a Red Hat Certified Engineer.

Tillett-Wakeley

Tillett-Wakeley

A former film theory major, Benjamin Tillett-Wakeley transferred in fall 2013 into ECU’s information and computer technology program in technology systems in the College of Engineering and Technology.

In December, Tillett-Wakeley became a Red Hat Certified Engineer, which according to the Red Hat website, indicates that he “possesses the additional skills, knowledge, and abilities required of a senior system administrator responsible for Red Hat Enterprises Linux systems.”

Red Hat, based in Raleigh, is a multinational software company providing open-source software products.

Tillett-Wakeley said his interest in Linux, an open computer operating system, inspired him to sit for the certification exam. “The RHCE is a widely-recognized Linux certification and it will benefit me when applying to jobs that require knowledge of Linux,” he said. “The exam was difficult, but I was well-prepared. It’s a bit trickier than other certifications because it’s entirely lab based.”

Tillett-Wakeley is from Kitty Hawk.

“Film-making will always be an interest of mine, but I realized I wanted something that would provide a more stable career,” Tillett-Wakeley said. “I chose ECU because it offers solid courses at a great value. The ICT curriculum is well-designed and offers the types of courses I wanted.”

ECU College of Engineering and Technology student, instructor win national award

Pictured at the award event are industry partner Shixiong Shang of Nephos6, ECU senior Dustin Stocks, ECU instructor John Pickard, and Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, founder and CEO of Nephos6, based in Raleigh.

Pictured at the award event are industry partner Shixiong Shang of Nephos6, ECU senior Dustin Stocks, ECU instructor John Pickard, and Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, founder and CEO of Nephos6, based in Raleigh.

Dustin Stocks, an information and computer technology major at East Carolina University, and ECU instructor John Pickard recently won the Academic Innovations award at the North American IPv6 Summit in Denver, Colorado.

Pickard, who teaches in the Department of Technology Systems in the College of Engineering and Technology, and Stocks presented research and findings from what started as a collaborative class project at ECU with industry partner, Nephos6.

Pickard uses industry partners in his courses because “direct industry engagement in the classroom creates a mutually beneficial relationship between students, industry, and academia,” he said.

Stocks and ECU classmate Ryan Hammond worked with Nephos6, a cloud technology firm in Raleigh whose founder and CEO, Dr. Ciprian Popoviciu, has supported the ICT program for many years.

The project researched the effectiveness of 263 government agency websites that have enabled the new Internet Protocol version 6, commonly referred to as IPv6. The original IPv6 transition timeline set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has not been met by many federal government agencies.

Under the direction of Pickard and Popoviciu, the ECU students evaluated the government websites by using v6Sonar, a cloud based monitoring service developed by Nephos6. “This is important, valuable and actionable data that helps organizations make their IPv6 transition effective,” Popoviciu said.

Stocks, a former Marine, said his military experience helped to prepare him for his education. “The military taught me how to set a goal, and achieve that goal with efficiency and effectiveness. Learning how to set goals and prioritize tasks has been the key to succeeding this far with this project, and college in general,” Stocks said.

Networking with industry representatives at the summit boosted his confidence in securing a job after graduation in May, he said. “Seeing the application of what I’m learning in the classroom and being able to see the big picture and how it fits in context with my education is important,” Stocks said. “The biggest thing I took away from this experience is how important it is to not do anything half way but do everything to your full potential.”

The award was given because of the outstanding work that Stocks continued after meeting the requirement of the class project. There is likely future research associated with this project based on the favorable response of the summit attendees, Pickard said.

Engineering Student Receives Scholarship

Anderson

       Anderson

Byron Anderson, a senior engineering student, has been awarded the Ronald C. Harrell Engineering Scholarship from the North Carolina Society of Engineers. Anderson, who is completing a double concentration in mechanical and industrial engineering, is from Wilson.

Each year, the NCSE awards a $2,000 scholarship to a student enrolled in engineering or engineering technology at one of five universities in North Carolina. A student must show financial need, good citizenship and strong academic merit. The scholarship honors Harrell, who was an outstanding NCSE member, former president and district director of the society.

Anderson decided to attend ECU because it was close to home and the engineering program was “rapidly growing,” he said. “My experience at ECU has been good,” Anderson said. “It was not only accumulated in the classroom. Faculty members help students grow as a person. I am not the person that I once was and I owe a lot of that to the engineering department.”

Undergraduate student research programs wrap up

The ECU College of Engineering and Technology hosted 10-week research experiences for undergraduate this summer, completing the program in early August. Above, participants learn about presenting research in a poster session. (Contributed photo)

The ECU College of Engineering and Technology hosted 10-week research experiences for undergraduates this summer, completing the program in early August. Pictured above, participants learned about presenting research in a poster session. (Contributed photo)

By Margaret Turner
ECU College of Engineering and Technology

Undergraduate students from East Carolina University and more than 10 other universities spent the summer learning about research practices in the College of Engineering and Technology.

The ECU departments of computer science and engineering each hosted a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, which ended Aug. 1. The programs were funded by grants offered through the National Science Foundation.

Eleven students participated in the computer science REU titled “Software Testing:  Foundations, Applications, and Tools.” Students selected their own research topics, which included developing and testing a neural network-based spam-detection system, collecting and analyzing data from a social network system, building a dynamic program analysis prototype and testing mobile computing systems.

Students also attended seminars with guest speakers such as ECU computer science associate professor Dr. Ronnie Smith, who discussed frontiers in artificial intelligence, Dr. Mary Farwell, interim assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate research, who offered advice on undergraduate research, and Dr. Ernest Marshburn, director of research development, who provided information on graduate fellowship programs. Students took field trips to the Brody School of Medicine’s robotics research and training center and the biomedical laser lab in the physics department.

Delaney Rhodes, a rising senior at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia, said she and Kevin Kulp, also from Georgia College, heard about the program from a former REU student who attended last year’s summer program at ECU. “I feel more prepared for graduate school,” said Kulp, who plans to pursue a graduate degree after graduation in May. Rhodes and Kulp said they enjoyed meeting other students and being on a large campus.

Engineering hosted eight students from seven different universities, including two ECU students for the REU titled “Biomedical Engineering in Simulation, Imaging, and Modeling.” Dr. Stephanie George, ECU assistant professor of engineering, and Dr. Zac Domire, ECU associate professor of kinesiology, collaborated on the NSF grant to fund the program.

Student research projects included testing viscosity and velocity related to nanofiber production, developing predictors of bone geometry in physically active populations and exploring modeling and simulation in biomedical applications.

“The goal of the REU program is to provide experiences that students may not have at their home institutions, to increase their interest and knowledge in graduate school, while also promoting diversity at this level,” George said. “Student summer research experiences will help to create a competitive graduate school application.”

The department of engineering was recently approved to offer its first graduate degree program, a master’s in biomedical engineering, beginning this fall.

Participants were treated to an ice cream social and attended several lunch seminars where topics included how to apply to graduate school, what to expect at a research conference and how to compose a scientific poster.

ECU engineering student awarded SMART scholarship

An East Carolina University junior is one of approximately 150 engineering students nationwide to receive a prestigious scholarship.

Swink

Swink

Jacob Swink of Roanoke Rapids was awarded the Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship by the American Society for Engineering Education and the U.S. Department of Defense. Approximately 1,900 applications were received.

The scholarship was established to support both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers who work in national defense laboratories, according to the scholarship website.

The scholarship will cover Swink’s full tuition and books through the completion of his engineering degree at ECU – an estimated value of more than $14,700. It also will pay for a graduate degree program should he choose to pursue one. The award includes a $35,000 stipend each year, as well as a summer internship and post-graduation employment with Fleet Readiness Center East, the engineering support group for marine and naval aircraft, at Marine Corps Air Station – Cherry Point.

Swink believes he was selected because of his relatively high GPA and summer work experience. He also is an Eagle Scout. “I was asked multiple questions about that, and the interviewers expressed what a great accomplishment that was,” he said.

Swink was accepted into multiple engineering programs but chose ECU because of its size. “My engineering classes have no more than 30 students in them, and I enjoy the attention the professor gives each student,” he said.

Swink is the son of David and Nina Swink. His mother has a master’s degree in math from ECU.

ECU’s engineering program, established 10 years ago, has 520 students enrolled and resides in the College of Engineering and Technology.

For more information about the SMART scholarship program, visit https://smart.asee.org/ or to learn more about the ECU engineering program, visit www.ecu.edu/cet/.

1 2 3