Archive for October, 2016

Oct 26 2016

Studying: An International Student Perspective

Published by under faculty,student

It was 3 AM when I woke up on August 7, 2012, to catch my 30-hour flight to the United States. It was not a big deal to wake up that early. Rather, I was a little worried about my next 5 years. Alright, let’s be real – I was terrified to leave home for a country with a completely different culture, mentality, and language. But the decision was made and I was flying to Cookeville, TN to pursue my Master’s degree in Computer Science. Cookeville… A little town – in the middle of nowhere – it really soon became my second home.

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Oct 23 2016

Understanding the Act: My Path Towards Digital Forensics

Published by under class of 2020,student

First, I shall start off by saying that I grew up on watching crime dramas. I’ve always been a “mind over matter” kind of guy. I like the problem solving, the logic, understanding the human nature side of things, etc. I think deep down I enjoyed most the fact that the good guy stopped the bad guy because the good guys followed a moral code, an ethical set of rules, a lawful doctrine. It was their job, they were the heroes, not because they wanted to be, but because they had this fire to protect those who could not fight for themselves. So, therefore, I watched a LOT of crime dramas. Law and Order, SVU, CSI, CSI: Miami (my father’s favorite), NCIS, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, Psych, House, Leverage, Scorpion (my personal favorite is inspired by a true story of Walter O’Brien’s real life team; it is a high-octane drama about an eccentric genius and his team of brilliant misfits who comprise the last line of defense against high-tech, complex threats of the modern age), and CSI: Cyber; you name it, I’ve probably watched it. It makes sense then that I would grow up wanting to be a detective right? Well, sort of.

√¢¬?¬?Pilot√¢¬?¬ù -- SCORPION, inspired by a true story, is a high-octane drama about eccentric genius Walter O√¢¬?¬?Brien (Elyes Gabel) and his team of brilliant misfits who comprise the last line of defense against high-tech, complex threats of the modern age. At last, these nerdy masterminds have found the perfect job: a place where they can apply their exceptional brainpower to solve the nation√¢¬?¬?s crises, while also helping each other learn how to fit in. Pictured left to right: Eddie Kaye Thomas as Toby Curtis, Elyes Gabel as Walter O√¢¬?¬?Brien, Ari Stidham as Sylvester Dodd, Robert Patrick as Federal Agent Cabe Gallo, and Jadyn Wong as Happy Quinn. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS√?¬© 2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Fig 1. Scene from SCORPION]

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Oct 19 2016

Expectation vs. Reality

Published by under class of 2020,student

This is the first blog that I have ever written that actually matters, that people might actually read. So if my first blog entry is not the best, try not to judge too harshly. I am a freshman, and when I first started classes at Tech as a computer science major, I was skeptical. As a woman in computer science, you hear all the horror stories about the lack of women in our field. Well, they aren’t exactly horror stories, but you hear “encouraging stories” about women in computer science. Things about how there are not many women in computer science, but it is very important for more women to graduate in computer science, which I agree with. But it can be very intimidating to be completely surrounded by men in a field which you practically know nothing about(which was the case for me).
Some things that I was not expecting to find when I nervously chose computer science as my major: extraordinarily friendly professors and grad students, a bunch of dorks just like me, and a really fun time. The professors and staff in this department are amazing. I first talked to Dr. Siraj at the computer science orientation, and she was extremely helpful to me and just a completely comfortable person to be around. Dr. Gannod was also super helpful, and he is the one got me this great blogging opportunity in the first place! Mr. Ford, my teacher for Principles of Computing, has been super great with helping me learn how to use snap and learn all the basic things that most of the people I share class with already know. So thank you to all the staff members who have helped me so far.

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Oct 12 2016

Star Trek and the Green Screen

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I was 14 at the time.  It was a Saturday, and my father had to go into work that day.  He asked me if I would like to go with him.  I didn’t really feel like spending a Saturday in an office, but my father said I could play on one of the computers there.  Needless to say, in the 1970’s, outside of the movies or television, most kids my age had never seen, let alone touch, a computer. I remember him allowing me to sit in this room, in front of a green-tinted screen, while he was going to work in the other room.  There were no icons. No internet browsers. Not even a mouse.  All that was between me and what was initially a blank screen was this big keyboard – not unlike the typewriter that I had learned typing on in school last year. He asked me if I wanted to play “Star Trek”.  Play a game?!  Sure!  We had no electronic games at home – other than a hand-held game called “pong”, which consisted of a mechanical device that bounced a lit-up dot (the ball) off a “wall” and my paddle, which I moved with knobs.  Sort of like an etch-a-sketch (if you know what that is).  No “screen”. No sounds.  Just a single dot behind a semi-clear piece of plastic that when I missed it bouncing off the wall with my paddle, I would lose a point – as opposed to every time I didn’t miss, I would get a point. But, what was in front of me now, was something completely different!

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Oct 06 2016

Five Myths about Professors

Published by under chair,faculty

I have often questioned whether the general public or even university students really know what it is like to be a professor. I think that our profession is viewed as a collection of “egg heads” that work in (if I may use the platitude) an “Ivory Tower”, completely oblivious to the world outside the brick and mortar of our university campuses. The fact is that popular media, movies, and other outlets misrepresent the role of the university professor, often relying on a number of stereotypes that have been propagated for several years. So, then, you may ask, “What is a professor?” I will attempt to shed some light on this question in an effort to give you an opportunity to perhaps gain some level of empathy, if not sympathy, over the plight of the academic by addressing a number of myths.

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