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Dean's Update - September 2011

School of Computing and Software Engineering
Southern Polytechnic State University
Dean's Update September 2011

VISITING SCHOLARS

CSE is pleased to welcome two visiting scholars for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Both come to us from China.  Dr Shuhua Liu is visiting from North East Normal University in Changchun.  She will be doing research in the areas of computer vision, artificial intelligence and robots and she will be working with Dr C. Hung in the Biometrics Recognition Research Center.  Dr Yanmin Chen is visiting from China Jiliang University in Hangzhou.  She will be working with Dr Venu Dasigi and Dr Orlando Karam in Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing.  


WELCOME (BACK) PARTY

On September 13, CSE held a cook-out to welcome our new students and to welcome back our returning students.  The event was also used as an opportunity to connect our students with the relevant student organizations on and off campus.  Events such as these help students engage both with CSE and SPSU and research from elsewhere strongly suggests that the more engaged students are with their institution, the higher the chances that they will complete their program of study.  They are therefore important factors in the success of our first strategic goal, namely to Increase the number of CSE graduates who are well prepared for work and life to better serve the community.  

Events such as these do not just happen; they require a dedicated effort on the part of many, and I wanted to particularly mention Jeff Chastine, Pat Pierce-Roth and Paula Stadnicki.  We also received help from many students.  Finally, thanks go to Susan Bentzen-Gordet of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, we were able to secure sponsorship for the event from the Southern Engineering Book store, and I am of course most grateful to our sponsor and to Susan for securing the sponsorship.


GAME JAM

Continuing on the theme of engaging students, CSE hosted its annual Georgia Game Jam form September 23 to September 25.  Some 120 students showed up to spend 48 hours designing and creating games.  While most of the participants were from SPSU, we also hosted students from other Georgia schools.  One of the innovations we tried very successfully for the first time was a remote link with students at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Using Skype, participants at SPSU collaborated with students at Berklee to add music scores and sound effects to their games.  There are further details about the event at /games/gamejam/index.htm.

Again, events such as these require a lot of effort and I would like to thank Jon Preston and Jeff Chastine, as well as Paula Stadnicki and a small army of student volunteers to make this happen. Thanks are also due to the sponsors for the event, including Kaneva, Georgia Entertainment Media and Chick-Fil-A.


SOFTWARE DONATION

Jeff Chastine has been able to secure a donation of Perforce to CSE.  Perforce is a software configuration management system.  While it is used in other industries, it is widely used in the gaming industry, and examples of companies using Perforce include Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, Nintendo, Valve, CCP Games, Sega and Ubisoft.  Thanks to Jeff for getting this software donated and giving our students, and in particular our gaming students, the chance to work with industry best tools.


NSF GRANT FOR PRESTON

Jon Preston recently received a small NSF grant to help integrate coverage of parallel and distributed computing into various courses in CSE at SPSU.  The project will ensure that all students in CSE stay on the cutting edge of computing.


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

Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering
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