Apr 03 2017

Welcome to SAIC

Published by under chair and tagged: ,

As you have perhaps heard, an announcement was made regarding the opening of a site in Cookeville, TN by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a company headquartered in McLean, VA. When at steady state, their operations will number approximately 300 computing positions. When combined with the 40 to 80 positions brought to Cookeville by Digital Dream Forge in February, the growth in the IT sector in the area has grown immensely with the Lion’s share of these positions being targeted towards Computer Science and other associated degrees such as Business Information Technology. For several months, the Department of Computer Science (CSC) has been part of an effort by the State of Tennessee, City of Cookeville, and Tennessee Tech University (TTU) to bring SAIC to the region. The effort has included the development of a partnership between SAIC and CSC to create a pipeline of graduates that are ready to meet the workforce needs for SAIC in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, and Data Science.

Stock_Building_BrunerHall_12FEB16_00006

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Mar 07 2017

Persevering When It Seems Impossible

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(This post was authored by Ms. Chelsey Long.)

I have always had a love for technology. I knew how to use a computer before I even started kindergarten, but I never thought that it would become my life. Throughout high school, I had no idea what my career plan was. I had many interests, technology being one of them, but nothing stood out to me as being the one. One day, my math teacher, Ms. Herring, suggested that I apply for the Aspirations in Computing award presented by the National Center for Women and Information Technology, or NCWIT for short. I knew I hadn’t done anything remarkable enough to win an award, so I was hesitant at first. She informed me that it’s not about what you have done, but what you aspire to do. Knowing that I did have an interest in this field and wanting to explore the career possibility, I finally applied and was chosen as a runner-up for Tennessee two years in a row.

Keep Calm and Don't Give Up

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Feb 02 2017

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. – Rabindranath Tagore

Published by under faculty

(This post was authored by Dr. Ambareen Siraj)

For me, the sea to cross has been changing at various stages of my life – but my determination has not.

When I came to this great country which has been my home for 20 years, the sea was graduate school at Mississippi State. I came from a different country (Bangladesh), different language (Bengali), different undergraduate degree (Applied Physics and Electronics), and with a family (husband Sheikh Ghafoor and a 2 year old son). Why did I move to CS from Physics? Well, I worked with computers during my undergraduate thesis; I guess my “bossy” personality loved the fact that you can tell a machine exactly what to do, and it will do it! Well, as we all know now, computers of today can think ahead of men!fulltextlogo[2]

Back to my story of growing up. My first semester at graduate school, I worked for an insect researcher in Agricultural Research and analyzed insects with software after my classes. My husband would keep our toddler busy with trees and flags flying high in the park while I did my study chores. Later, I started working as a Teaching Assistant and graded C++ data structures programs to pay for grad school.  After sometime, I took the first class ever offered in Computer Security in Mississippi State (it was the same case with many schools back then) by one of the pioneers in CyberSecurity Education, Dr. Rayford Vaughn. I was hooked!  There was no looking back. I found what I loved, and I started working in the field as a Research Assistant for Dr. Vaughn. The best lesson that I learned from him was the power of a “pat on the back”.

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Jan 25 2017

Computer Science in Agriculture

Published by under class of 2020,student and tagged: ,

When most people think of farming, they envision the quaint, harmonic lifestyle of ages past, complete with verdant, rolling hills and roosters crowing in the distance. The advent of computer science, however, has revolutionized almost every facet of society – from entertainment to business to medicine – and farming is no exception. In fact, the changes made to this field are perhaps some of the most apparent in all of civilization, and this creates a rather unique juxtaposition; farming, one of the oldest disciplines in human history, has transformed into a massive, automation-driven industry, capable of achieving efficiency that, a few decades ago, could have only been dreamt of. Today, we are going to look at some of the agricultural overhauls wrought by computer science (specifically in the field of crop-based agriculture), as well as how they have impacted society as a whole.

Link to Farmbot Video

It is important to recognize that farming is a complex process, relying on many external variables that must be determined before any progress can be made. One of the first tasks that a farmer must complete is a soil survey – the gathering of soil samples from across his or her field, and the analysis of the nutrient content (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium levels) thereof. Afterward, the farmer must procure a mixture of fertilizer that best accommodates the needs of his or her field, so that the crops will grow to their full potential. Before the advent of computer science, soil samples were collected arbitrarily; the farmer would walk to one section of the field, gather a handful of soil, and then proceed to the next section. Then, he or she would concoct a single mixture of fertilizer and apply it indiscriminately to the entire section. Now, thanks to computerized spreading machines (called Variable Rate Equipment), the farmer can input the soil surveys for each part of the field into the machine itself, and the spreader will then apply different fertilizer to each section based on its own individual needs. Rather than Section A and Section B receiving the same generalized fertilizer, the computer remembers the needs of each section, applying different mixtures of nutrients based on the information provided. Furthermore, the physical act of fertilizing is now accomplished automatically by the use of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, with the operator overseeing the machine simply as a
precaution.

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Dec 07 2016

Setbacks into Setups: What It’s Like Being a Woman in Technology

Published by under alumnus

[This is a post by Tennessee Tech Computer Science Alumna Mary Prince.]

I didn’t know what being a woman in technology really meant until I entered college. I knew Computer Science was considered nontraditional for a girl to pursue and it’s part of the reason why I received a scholarship, but to be honest I didn’t think much about it. I grew up with many computers in my house and all I knew was that I liked how I could be creative with technology and I wanted to have a career that involved technology in some way.

Fast forward to my first week of college and I have to admit, I was a little shocked. Sitting in 60-person class with all guys and 5 or less girls is intimidating. I went to a small high school in a rural town and just merely sitting in a class with this many people was strange to me. As that Intro to Programming class got into gear, I started to wonder if I was cut out for this major. I felt so behind compared to everyone else in class and I struggled. Not only was I struggling with the material but I was struggling with my confidence too. I felt like I needed to prove myself and show I was capable of the same skills to this class full of guys. Somehow, I passed that Intro to Programming class but I was in for an even harder course: Dr. Boshart’s Data Structures class (this is where the setbacks truly begin).

MPrinceImageBlog

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Nov 30 2016

Reflections of a Freshman during Dead Week

Published by under class of 2020,student

So it’s already the week before finals, “Dead Week”. Now I’m sitting here wondering how the heck did I get here and where did all that time go.  I haven’t had much a problem with any of my classes. I’ve enjoyed all of them thoroughly from gen-ed courses like English 1020 to CSC 1200. I’ve enjoyed doing the various group work assignments, projects, and presentations. For example, in CSC 1200 we have had a few group projects where we were assigned to created programs in SNAP! and App Inventor. I’ve enjoyed learning how to work on team projects and collaborating with my team mates. I’ve also enjoyed CSC 1200, in general, because I like Professor Ford’s teaching style and him as a person. The way he presents and examples he uses makes the material easy and enjoyable to learn/understand.

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