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September 2013


Dr. Kai Qian of our Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering received word from the National Science Foundation that the grant proposal entitled “Real World Relevant Security Labware for Mobile Threat Analysis and Protection Experience” has been funded to the tune of $140,000.  This is a joint project with Drs. Prabir Bhattacharya and John Franco from the University of Cincinnati.  Dr. Ming Yang from the Department of Information Technology will work with Dr. Qian on the SPSU element of the project.  Details on the project can be found at

Congratulations are due to Drs. Qian and Yang.


Two CSE students have been awarded 2013 scholarships by the Upsilon Pi Epsilon international honor society for the computing and information disciplines (  The recipients are Andrew D. Rice, a graduate student in software engineering, and Jamar Hoseng Salmon, an undergraduate student in information technology.  
The Executive Council of Upsilon Pi Epsilon selected the two from a large pool of applicants at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Applicants were competitively evaluated based on academics, faculty recommendations, contributions to their university and UPE chapter, and long-term plans in the profession.  
Andrew and Jamar are among only 31 recipients selected worldwide for scholarships, and SPSU is one of only four universities to have more than one applicant selected.
Congratulations to Andrew and Jamar, and thanks to Jonathan Lartigue, the faculty sponsor of UPE.


The National Science Foundation supports a number of grants to help undergraduate students become involved in research.  The grants typically support students’ travel to another university over the Summer, as well as their living costs.

Clinton Walker, a senior in Computer Science, was offered one of the NSF funded summer research position at Texas State University, San Marcos, to work with Dr Qijun Gu on Mobile Cyber-Physical Systems.  His work has now resulted in a paper entitled “Computation Integrity in Mobile Cloud: Running Probabilistically Checkable Proof on Android”, which Clinton will present at the first Internet of Things workshop in Austin, Texas, on October 20.

Congratulations are due to Clinton, Dr Gu, his adviser at Texas State, and the faculty who Clinton worked with at SPSU to prepare him for the research position with Dr Gu.


It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Richard Kelly Warren, Jr., a senior majoring in our BAS Information Technology program.  Richard was 27 years old.

Our condolences to his family and friends.


The SPSU Linux User Group, which is advised by Dr. Richard Halstead-Nussloch of the Department of Information Technology, hosted a Linux Install Fest on September 15.  During the event, our students provided participants with any required assistance to install Linux on their machines.  The event therefore not only allowed our student to provide an important service to the community, but it also allowed them to develop further hands-on experience in IT Infrastructure Management and IT Service Delivery.


On September 10, CSE will host the welcome cookout for our new and returning students.  The event will allow students to meet some of their faculty and staff in a more informal environment and to become familiar with our various student organizations.  I wanted to thank Ashley McClure and Ron Sweatland for taking the lead in organizing this event.  It is one of the many things CSE does to engage its students as we know that more engaged students are more likely to graduate. 


SPSU again hosted a very successful fall game jam from September 20-22.  The game jam attracted a large number of sponsors, with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being the main sponsor, but the event also attracted sponsorship from Autodesk, Child’s Play, the Games for Health project, the Georgia Game Developers Association, Microsoft, and others.  Almost 300 students participated physically on the SPSU campus, with another 55 or so participating virtually from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Participants were asked to write games to help CDC advance its “winnable battles”, such as food borne diseases, HIV/STDs, teen pregnancy, and tobacco control.  Experts from CDC were on hand throughout the event to work with the participants on their games.

CDC had hoped for around a dozen games or so, but participants created a total of just over 30 games during the jam, five of which were selected by experts from CDC, as well as professional game developers, for further development.  These games will be presented at SIEGE on October 4, at which stage the winner will be selected.  The winners will be offered a paid internship at CDC to learn more about public health and the use of games to promote public health.

Information about the winning games, as well as the other games that were developed at the jam are available at  The jam also attracted the attention of Fox 5 Atlanta.  They aired a segment on the jam, which you can see at

Organizing a game jam is a lot of work, and this is an understatement.  I am grateful to our gaming faculty Jeff Chastine, Mike Franklin, Rick Gesick, Chao Peng, and Jon Preston for the incredible amount of work they put in to make this possible. 


Following yet another successful (local) game jam (see above), Dr Jon Preston of our Computer Game Design and Development program has been appointed as Regional Coordinator for the Southeastern United States by the Global Game Jam organizing committee.  This is obviously a reflection of Jon’s outstanding work to get game jams going at SPSU.  I congratulate Jon on receiving this recognition (even though it is likely to involve a lot of additional work for him).


Thanks to our partner AllPoints LLC, Dr David Ferucci will be visiting SPSU on Friday October 25.  As you will recall, Dr Ferucci led the IBM team that developed Watson, the program that beat the best human players in Jeopardy.  We are anticipating that Dr Ferucci will give a general presentation and that we will organize some social event around Dr Ferucci’s visit.  As we work out the details, I will let you know.