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February 2014

GENERAL MOTORS INNOVATION CENTER RECRUITING SPSU STUDENT

Thanks to the efforts of Christi Pichon from the SPSU Careers Services and John Davidson from the GM Innovation Center in Roswell, General Motors has begun to officially recruit SPSU students for its Roswell Innovation Center.  GM established four innovation centers around the country to help it in its strategy to bring the majority of IT work in-house instead of it being outsourced, both to drive down cost and to increase innovation.
 
Like many large corporations, GM only recruits from pre-selected schools and getting on the list therefore opens up important new avenues for our students, especially in light of the fact that GM has aggressive growth plans for its Roswell location.  The GM Innovation Center has already recruited 7 students from the School of Computing and Software Engineering.


CONSOLIDATION UPDATES

We have been making steady progress on the consolidation between Kennesaw State University and SPSU.  As I reported previously, there is an Operational Working Group for Computing and Software Engineering (CSE OWG), which is tasked with integrating our programs and courses in these areas.  We are close to completing the mergers between our BS and MS programs in Computer Science, at least at the program level.  These are the only two programs that both KSU and SPSU offer, and we have therefore concentrated on these.  Obviously, once we have consolidated the programs, our next steps will be to consolidate the courses that make up the programs.

At the request of the Dr Papp, who will be the president of the consolidated university, the OWG also brought out an initial recommendation for the departmental structure in what will be the College of Computing and Software Engineering in the new university.  Based on enrollment and faculty numbers, the OWG recommended the following departmental structure:
•        Department of Computer Science
•        Department of Information Technology
•        Department of Software Engineering and Computer Game Development

Note that this is just a recommendation at this stage and that the Consolidation Implementation Committee may reject this recommendation.

I will of course write additional posts when there is news to report.


SCHULER RECEIVES IGDA SCHOLARSHIP

Erich Schuler, a student majoring in SPSU’s New Media Arts program and minoring in International Studies and Computer Game Design and Development, and one of the most active students in our various game jams, recently received a scholarship from the International Game Developers Association (http://www.igda.org/) to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this March.  Erich was one of only 15 students world-wide to receive this honor.
 
The scholarships are awarded to the most promising students studying anything related to game development. Scholars receive an all-access pass to the Game Developers Conference, as well as mentorship from members of industry, opportunities to visit local studios, and meeting with senior figures in the industry.
 
The Game Developers Conference (http://www.gdconf.com/aboutgdc) is the world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event. It is the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry. 

Erich deserves our deepest congratulations for receiving this honor.


PRESENTATION BY JESSE JAMES ALLEN, EA LEAD AUDIO ENGINEER

On Monday, Feb. 10th, CSE hosted Jesse James Allen, the Lead Audio Director of Electronic Arts (EA), for a talk.  Jesse James Allen was also scheduled to meet with the capstone students in our Computer Games Design and Development program on Tuesday morning, but the weather put a stop to that.

Mr Allen’s presentation, which was very well received and showed some interesting techniques that EA uses to enhance the audio experience in its games, was jointly sponsored by the Georgia Game Development Association, the Atlanta Institute of Music, and the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and I would like to express my appreciation to Dr Zvi Szafran for his generosity.


CSE AWARDS FUTURE CITY PRIZE

SPSU is the Georgia venue of the annual Future City competition (http://futurecity.org/).  Future City is a national, competition in which students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade work with a teacher and an engineer to imagine, design, and build cities of the future.  Winners of the regional competitions, which are held in February, compete at the National Finals in Washington DC.

Part of the competition involves student teams planning their city in SimCity™ software, and CSE awards a prize for the teams that perform best on this part of the competition.  This year, there was a tie between
•        Team Wonderland from Double Churches school working on the supervision of their teacher Mandy Chase, and
•        Team Ultimo Transito from Bear Creek Middle School working under the supervision of Curtis Mathis.
The winners of course deserve our congratulations.

The Future City competition is an example of the type of outreach SPSU engages in to make sure school kids become interesting in computing, engineering, science and technology, and the local organizer of the competition, Dr Tony Rizzuto, Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, who is the main organizer of the competition, deserves kudos for his hard work to pull this off every year.


LARTIGUE AND BROWN JUDGES AT PIEDMONT REGIONAL TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION

On January 25, Professor Jonathan Lartigue and Dr Bob Brown were judges at the 2014 Piedmont Technology Fair at River Ridge High School in Woodstock.  The event was aimed at students from grades 3-12 from Cherokee and Cobb counties who competed in all manner of categories that all have something to do with computers – from programming to hardware, case modification to robotics, as well as software driven categories.  1st place winners go on to compete in the Georgia Educational Technology fair on March 8, 2014 at Middle Georgia State College in Macon.

I wanted to express my appreciation to Professor Lartigue and Dr Brown for their willingness to increase CSE’s presence in the community.


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. If you prefer not to receive the Dean's updates, please let me know as well.

Finally, you can also stay abreast of developments in CSE by subscribing to the Dean’s Blog at http://cseatspsu.wordpress.com

Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering



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