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California State University, Long Beach

Computer Engineering & Computer Science (CECS)

CECS Newsletter 3 for AY 2010/11

December 9 2010

by Dr. Alvaro Monge


Industry News

  • Computer Science Education Week: The week of December 5-11 has been dedicated as Computer Science Education Week. This week was chosen as it is also the week of Grace Hopper's birthday (December 6 1906), one of the pioneers in the field. CSEdWeek recognizes the critical role of computing in today's society and the imperative to bolster computer science education at all levels.
  • YouTube CEOHP channel: A YouTube channel for Computing Educators Oral History Project. The CEOHP is a NSF-funded project that will be archived and hosted by the Charles Babbage Institute. It will continue to be under development with curricular materials and additional interviews being added in the near future. You can find out more about this project at the CEOHP website
  • The State of Computer Science Education: A report describing the state of education in computer science. It reports a decline in K-12 CS education efforts while there's an increase in enrollment of students majoring in computer science in higher education. A related report Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age also describes that K-12's are more about teaching how to use a computer while AP computer science courses are declining.

CECS Events

  • Congratulations to David A. Barahona, Computer Engineering. He is a recipient of the 2010-2011 Hispanic Scholarship Fund(HSF)/HSBC-North America Scholarship.
  • Congratulations to all students who participated in the ACM Regional Programming Contest. The final standings, more more detailed results, and also the the problem set are all available online. Following are the results of the CSULB teams, see previous newsletter for the students who competed:
    • Team Nuggets ranked 34 out of 60 by completing 3 problems.
    • Team Giant Fiasco ranked 58 out of 60 by completing 1 problem.
    • Team Beach Bombers ranked 60 out of 60 by completing 1 problem.
    • Team Robot Unicorn received an honorable mention on the rankings.
Computer Science Senior Projects

On Monday December 13th at 12:30pm, students in the CECS 491 Software Development Project class will demonstrate and present their final senior projects. The demonstrations will take place in ECS 403, everyone is welcome to attend. The following is a brief description of the four projects that will be presented.

  • Acoustic Telemetry Information System: The team of Eric Clarke, Edward Han, Nick Velasco, and Eric Wright worked with Dr. Chris Lowe (Marine Biology at CSULB) and his graduate students to define the needs of a web information system to maintain acoustic telemetry data – such data is generated by transmitters placed on fish and detected by receivers anchored on platforms at different locations out at sea. The web application should allow researchers to upload new data and to analyze the data for patterns of interest. The project was developed using PHP and MySQL.
  • Tetris in 3D Space: The team of Damon Chastain and Matthew Urtnowski proposed, designed, and developed the classic game of Tetris along with several variants. The gameboard and play is still in 2D, though play pieces are 3D and the board itself is within 3D space, allowing a player to rotate the entire board within this space. The project was developed using C#, .NET, and Microsoft XNA Framework v3.1
  • BoxEye Game with Physics Engine in Python: The team of Chris Hoffman, Robert Nagel, and Nathan Scott proposed, designed, and developed a 2D physics engine BoxEngine using mass-spring method to simulate object interactions and built a game BoxEye based on that physics engine. The team put a lot of their mathematical background to work as they had to implement several important and challenging issues including collision detection and resolution. The project was developed using Python and the Pygame library.
  • QuickChef Web/Desktop Application: The team of James Booker, David Keller, and Juan Solis proposed, designed, and developed QuickChef, an application with a desktop and a web component that allows someone to maintain a database of cooking recipes. Two key features of their project is the ability for a user to scan a recipe and apply OCR to extract the recipe into their database. A second feature allows a user the ability to provide voice commands to the desktop application. The project was developed using C#, ASP.NET, and OCR and Microsoft voice recognition/synthesis libraries.

Advising Corner

Advising to resume in Spring 2011

  • All official advising hours will end the week ending December 10th. Advising will resume at the start of the Fall 2011 semester, the week of January 17. Any urgent matters that need immediate action should be addressed to the department chair.

Spring 2011 classes

  • A new section of CECS 444 has been added to accommodate a large demand for this class. The new section is scheduled to start at 8am on Tuesday/Thursday. Note: this is a one time addition of another section, future semesters will not have multiple sections of this course.
  • The department will take steps and make efforts to accommodate those students on wait lists.
  • If you continue experiencing problems registering in classes due to a section being full, you need to contact your advisor if you are graduating in Spring/Summer/Fall 2011. If you can justify that you are graduating soon, then you have priority enrollment in some courses.


2011 IEEE Computer Society Simulator Design Competition

The IEEE Computer Society is presenting the 2011 Simulator Design competition for students worldwide with a top prize of $8,000 USD and a second place prize of $2,000 USD. Student teams will be invited to design a CPU simulator, a program used in many architecture courses to illustrate how computers work.

“This is an exciting competition because it cuts across traditional boundaries by combining architecture with program design and software engineering – just like real life,” said Alan Clements, chair of the competition and an emeritus professor of computer science. “All you have to do is to write a program. Well, that's not quite all. You have to write an excellent program using professional design techniques.”

The competition requires that students have taken a course in architecture and have both programming and software engineering skills. Student teams will submit both a report and a working program at the end of the competition.

Who can compete? The competition is open to student members of the IEEE Computer Society organized into teams consisting of three to five students enrolled at the same institution of higher learning.

Current IEEE student members can add Computer Society student membership (8 USD)

Non-member students can join both IEEE and IEEE Computer Society (40 USD)

As part of their member benefits, all student members receive access to the Computer Society Digital Library (CSDL).

The competition is conducted through online submission of reports and simulators to the panel of international judges (chosen by the IEEE Computer Society). This year's judges include Bob Colwell, one of the world's leading experts on computer design and Intel's former chief architect on the Pentium 4 processor.

To register and for more information visit the competition web site. Registration deadline is 18 January 2011.

Internships and Jobs

NSF Internships

The National Science Foundation (NSF) provides Summer 2011 internship opportunities available through the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network in Washington, DC, for undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field. The ten-week (May 31 – August 5, 2011) internship opportunities are made possible through a grant to the QEM Network from the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA), NSF. The NSF internship will provide round-trip airfare, assistance with local transportation costs, summer housing on a local college campus, and a stipend ($3,000 for undergraduate students and $4,000 for graduate students), payable in three installments. In addition to the ten-week summer internship, interns will be strongly encouraged to implement science-oriented outreach activities during the academic year when they return to their home institutions to continue their studies. These activities would focus on pre-college students residing, or attending school, in neighboring communities. To be eligible for science internships at NSF, an applicant must be:

  • a citizen or national of the United States
  • must be a rising junior or senior, or a graduate student
  • currently enrolled in a science or engineering degree program at a minority-serving institution or at a non-minority institution with a track record in producing science and/or engineering graduates from underrepresented groups.
  • Other eligibility requirements are listed in the application packet.

During the internship, following a one-week orientation at QEM, science student interns will be mentored by NSF program officers who are involved in implementing science policies and in managing/directing programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The interns will have opportunities to further develop their research, communications (oral and written), and other professional skills as well as to become a part of a peer network that includes students from across the country who are serving as summer interns in other QEM or NSF internship programs. Interns will be expected to prepare, and discuss with their mentors, individual development plans (IDPs); conduct a research project under the guidance of their mentors; submit mid-term and final written reports to QEM; and make several oral presentations throughout the summer.

The application is available online, along with additional Program information. The application deadline is Friday, January 28, 2011. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

DHS 2011 Summer Internships

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sponsors a 10-week summer internship program for rising juniors and seniors majoring in homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) disciplines. The DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program provides students with the opportunity to conduct research in DHS mission-relevant research areas at federal research facilities located across the country.

The goal of this program is to engage a diverse, educated, and skilled pool of scientists and engineers in HS-STEM issues and to promote long-term relationships between student researchers, the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, and federal research facilities to enhance the HS-STEM workforce.

DHS has partnered with Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) to manage the application and review process, notification, and implementation of the Program. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate reviews applications and makes the final award selections.

2011 Summer Internships for Undergraduate Students

  • 10 week research experience; $5,000 stipend plus travel expenses
  • Areas of research: Engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological/life sciences, agricultural sciences, environmental science, emergency and incident management, psychology, social sciences
  • Projects offered at: National research laboratories: Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, Sandia, Savannah River; DHS laboratories: Transportation Security Laboratory; Other research facilities, including Battelle, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Locations include CA, CO, IL, MD, NM, NJ, SC, TN, WA
  • U.S. citizenship required
  • Application deadline: January 5, 2011

Visit the DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program for complete information including application.

Adobe Flash Programmer needed

Goodsmith and Co, a local firm, has purchased a Website template for creating a new site for one of their companies, and the template includes an embedded Flash movie. While they have the skills in-house to personalize the HTML portions of this Website template, they are seeking help from someone with skills ad decompiling and editing Adobe Flash (.swf) files.

This is expected to be a short project in which few text items in the file need to be modified, so there should not be a lot of actual Flash programming required. They anticipate a couple of hours for someone with the necessary skills. This is a paid project.

If interested, please contact Paul Bent via e-mail, he's President of the company.

Web designers/developers needed

Cameryn Harvey, CSULB student and partial owner of a new college social-networking website is looking for a team of web designers/developers to redesign the website. The owners already have a design and applications in mind, the development team will work on developing these ideas.

To quote Cameryn, “We are looking for students who are visionaries and have an eye for the future. Seeing as we are college students ourselves, until our company takes off we can only offer college course credit, experience for their resumes and in some cases some equity in our company.”

If interested, please contact Cameryn Harvey directly via e-mail.

End of semester quotes

From Professor quotes, a collection of quotes gathered by a student.

  • That just goes to show that you guys are good. I can make mistakes, but you're not allowed to.
  • Did you ever read Hercule Poiroit? He talks about using the “little grey cells.” Use them. They come in handy for this course.

May you put all your “little grey cells” to good use during Final Exams week!!! And Happy Holidays!

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