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October 2013


Thanks to our partner AllPoints LLC, Dr David Ferucci visited SPSU on Friday October 25 to talk about Artificial Intelligence.  As you will recall, Dr Ferucci led the team that developed Watson, the program that beat the best human players in Jeopardy.  Dr Ferucci spoke about the lessons he and his team learned from the Watson experience, the future of AI, and the relationship between intelligent machines and human cognition.  The Marietta Daily Journal covered the event (  I was personally very impressed with the way in which Dr Ferucci was able to make the talk accessible both to those who had no previous background in AI and to those who had.

The presentation was followed by brief performances by Lindee Link and a new band called The Rising.  The occasion was the launch of A-OK Radio, a AllPoints app promoting unsigned musicians and bands, and available from the Apple Store.

I wanted to express my appreciation to James Gosse from AllPoints for inviting Dr Ferucci to come and speak at SPSU, and to Dr Ferucci himself for such a wonderful presentation.


On October 15, President Lisa Rossbacher announced the results of our PolyDay fund raising campaign.  During PolyDay, SPSU approaches alumni, civic and professional organizations and businesses in the Cobb county to help raise funds for scholarships etc.  This was the second year SPSU ran PolyDay, and the goal the Advancement Office set for this event was $200,000.  The actual amount raised totaled $309,109, including $66,002 contributed by SPSU faculty and staff.

A significant amount of the contributions for CSE were reaction to the Klaus Family Foundation Challenge Grant (  The Klaus Family Foundation has agreed to match any donations for the CSE endowment that we raise before July 2014 up to $100,000.  We are making steady progress but we of course welcome any additional contributions.  You can make a contribution by going to, and clicking the Give Now button.  Please make sure that you type “CSE Endowment Fund” in the designation field.


Among the many professional service activities that CSE faculty undertake is peer review of paper submissions to journals.  For those of you who are not familiar with this process, most scientific journals rely on a peer review process by which submissions are reviewed by independent experts in the field for correctness, relevance, appropriate references to previous research, and so on, before they are accepted (or rejected) for publication.  Reviewing paper submissions is a time consuming and somewhat thankless task that often goes unrecognized.

In light of this, I am pleased to report that Dr Edward Jung of our Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering was recently recognized by the International Journal of Applied Intelligence, Neural Networks, and Complex Problem-Solving Techniques ( for his continued commitment and service.  

Congratulations to Dr Jung.


AITP (the Association of Information Technology Professionals, is holding its annual National Collegiate Conference (NCC) in Atlanta from April 10-13. The event allows students in Information Technology or Information Systems to compete in various competitions and to meet with potential employers.

AITP relies heavily on student chapters to help it organize its NCC, and, under the leadership of Dawn Tatum and Jack Zheng, AITP NCC had its Georgia student chapter kickoff meeting on Saturday, Oct 5 at SPSU. The event was attended by student representatives from Central Georgia Technical College, Chattahoochee Technical College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gwinnett Technical College, and of course Southern Polytechnic State University. 4 professional members also attended.

As has become customary, the meeting felt it necessary to improve on the Harlem Shake. You can check it out at  I can only hope that the event itself goes more smoothly than the shaking.

Thanks are of course due to Dawn and Jack.


CSE will host SIGITE 2014, the 15th Annual Conference on IT education, and RIIT 2014, the 3rd annual Research in IT Conference.  The two conferences will be co-located and will take place from October 16 to October 18, 2014.  Dr Becky Rutherfoord and I will be the local organizers, and we will start working soon on the local arrangements.

I wanted to thank Dr Rutherfoord for bringing this conference to SPSU.  It is likely to involve a lot of work but it will again raise the profile of CSE and SPSU within the academic computing community.


As I reported earlier, CSE is a sponsor of the 4th annual Health IT Leadership Summit.  The summit will take place on November 12 at the Fox Theatre. The Summit will once again bring together a diverse group of leaders from nearly every part of the healthcare industry, including ­providers, payers, vendors, government, academia and non-profits.

The daylong event will be filled with opportunities for networking and education via seven sessions and three awards presentations. Featured speakers this year include Jeff Arnold, founder of WebMD and current CEO of online consumer engagement platform Sharecare, and Reed Tuckson, MD,Managing Director, Tuckson Health Connections, LLC and Former Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs, UnitedHealth Group.
You can learn more by visiting the Summit website at and you can register here at


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