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Dean's Update - October 2012


On October 25, SPSU held its annual scholarship banquet at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center.  The banquet allows donors and recipients of scholarships to get to know each other.  Overall, we recognized around 40 scholarships, which benefitted around 150 students.  Although a few CSE students received scholarships, we have, as yet, no scholarships that are targeted specifically to CSE students.  Clearly, we need to rectify this.


Thanks to the efforts of Dr Jonathan Lartigue, the Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) international honor society for computing sciences has approved SPSU’s application for a new chapter, to be known as the Lambda chapter of Georgia.  UPE was first organized at Texas A&M in 1967 and now has around 250 chapters in the US, as well as three international chapters.  Its mission is to recognize academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the computing and information disciplines.

Thanks are due to Dr Lartigue for his efforts to establish the chapter and to the Advancement office for financial support.  We expect to hold a formal induction ceremony in the spring of 2013.


Our Computer Game Design and Development (CGDD) games-for-learning project was recently highlighted at the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA), a STEM focused magnet school for 3-5 graders, and the first school to be recognized by the Georgia Department of Education as a STEM-Certified School.  Faculty member Jon Preston and CGDD students Ryan Silvera and Courtney Bortle along with TechMatters and SPSU UTeach faculty Marka Ormsby and Robin Daniel showcased the SPSU games-for-learning project (now in its 4th year) at MCAA on October 29th.

The event was part of the annual bus trip across Georgia by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE).  The GPEE is a non-partisan, non-profit organization of business, education, community and government leaders who are focused on efforts to shape policy and improve education in the state.  The theme of the tour is Using Technology, Creating Pathways for Student Success, and the CGDD games-for-learning project is a perfect example of how collaboration between local community and SPSU's CSE students and faculty can benefit the SPSU students thought authentic projects on which to work as well as the local school students who receive mentoring and a view of life within a computing career.  This event showcased the excellent work of the CSE students as well as increased the visibility of SPSU throughout the state of Georgia.

In preparation for the visit, MCAA, invited us to decorate one of their classrooms with the SPSU logos and paint it in the SPSU colors.  So, between October 23 and October 25, Dr Jon Preston and his students Noel Lines, Courtney Bortle, Will Owens, and William Craven donned their best old clothes and trekked to MCAA to paint the room.  I wanted to thank all for their effort to cement the relationship between MCAA and SPSU and to help raise the profile of SPSU in the community.


On October 17, 2012, current Computer Game Design and Development senior Ryan Silvera and former SPSU student William Moore traveled with their educational game “Arithmetects” to Michigan State University to compete at the Meaningful Play 2012 Conference. Meaningful Play is a conference about theory, research, and game design innovations, principles and practices. It brings scholars and industry professionals together to understand and improve upon games to entertain, inform, educate and persuade in meaningful ways.  Arithmetects began as a student project in the “Educational and Serious Game Design” (CGDD4303) course. It was designed in collaboration with TechMatters and with the assistance of students and faculty from Marietta Center for Advanced Academics and Brumby Elementary.  The purpose of the game is to reinforce the learning standards for 3rd through 5th grade addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Arithmetects took 2nd place under the “Student Project” category beating out approximately 50 other student projects.  After creating a positive buzz at the conference, Ryan and William have returned to continue with their development with the goal of completing the game and having it used in schools around Georgia to assist children learn math.

Congratulations to all involved.


On November 2 and 3, SPSU will be hosting the Southeast Conference for the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges. The conference will bring together some 150 faculty members from around the south east to discuss current trends in computing and computing education.  In keeping with tradition, there will also be a student programming competition and a poster session for students to present their research.

Dr Becky Rutherfoord is the local organizer and I want to express my appreciation to her and our administrative assistants Paula Stadnicki and Marilee McClure for making this conference possible.