School of Computing and Software Engineering

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August, 2013


As reported last month, on August 3 SPSU celebrated its 107th commencement. Commencement reminds me why we do what we do: We are here to produce well-qualified graduates who are well prepared for work and life to better serve the community.  

The 107th commencement was also the last commencement of the 2012-2013 academic year, and I am pleased to report that CSE graduated a total of 213 students or just over 22% of the students who graduated from SPSU.  Congratulations are of course due to the many graduates, but also to our faculty and staff who have worked hard with our students to help them be successful in our programs. 


On August 14, we started our fall semester.  CSE has enrolled 1,650 degree seeking students, or over 100 more than we had last fall, and just over 25% of the students enrolled at SPSU.  We also have just under 50 graduate certificate students, and we are teaching courses to around 200 engineering students.

Faculty, department chairs and staff have been working extremely hard to try to accommodate all our potential students, increasing enrollment caps and offering additional sections. I want to express my appreciation for the hard work that all in CSE have done first to help us increase enrollment and second to make sure we accommodate the increased demand from our students.


The increase in enrollment has again allowed us to attract a number of new faculty members.

The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering welcomes two new faculty members, namely Dr Chao Peng and Professor Mike Franklin.  

Dr Peng has a first degree in Architecture from the Hebei University of Engineering in Handan, China, an MFA from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and recently completed his PhD in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.  Chao will mainly teach in our gaming program.

Professor Mike Franklin is a graduate from SPSU. He earned his BS in Computer Science from SPSU in 2009, and has since been at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned an MS in Computer Science and is close to earning a PhD in Computer Science.  Mike will split his teaching duties between gaming and computer science.

The Department of Information Technology also welcomes two new faculty members, namely Dr Lei Li, and Professor Dawn Tatum.

Dr Lei Li joins us from Columbus State University.  He holds a BS in Mineral Processing from the China University of Mining and Technology, and a MS and PhD in Computer Information Systems from Georgia State.  Lei will teach a wide range of courses in our IT program.

Professor Dawn Tatum joins the Department of IT from Chattahoochee Technical College as a full-time lecturer.  Dawn earned her MS in Information Technology from SPSU, and will teach a wide range of courses in our IT undergraduate programs.  Dawn is also likely to play a key role in the revival of the student chapter of AITP at SPSU.

I am very pleased to welcome our new faculty.  I am sure they will make a tremendous contribution to our program and prove of great value to our students.


I am pleased to report that Mrs Faith Gonzales has accepted our offer to become the new Secretary to the Dean in the School of Computing and Software Engineering. Mrs Gonzales will start on September 3.  

Mrs Gonzales will join us from Georgia Highlands, Rome Campus, where she currently serves as the administrative assistant for the Dental Hygiene program.  As such, she brings considerable experience of the various USG processes and policies, and I am sure that she will make a great contribution to CSE as well.

I wanted to thank the search committee (Dr Hassan Pournaghshband, Dr Richard Halstead-Nussloch, Mr Greg Scott and Ms Jasmine Watkins) as well as Dr Becky Rutherfoord, who stood in for me when I could not attend the interviews, for conducting this search.

I also wanted to thank Ashley McClure for doing such an outstanding job as the Interim Secretary to the Dean.  I am pleased that Ms McClure will stay on for about a month to help Mrs Gonzales make the transition.


Previously I have reported on the establishment of a number of articulation agreements between CSE and two Ghanaian institutions of higher education, namely Kumasi Polytechnic and the Ghana Technology University Council (GTUC).  However, it was never our intention to limit our collaboration to joint educational programs.  We also hoped to start conducting joint research.

The efforts to do so have now borne fruit as well.  Dr Patrick Bobbie, from our Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, and Dominic Kofi Louis of the School of Informatics at GTUC have just received confirmation that their paper entitled “Integrated Web-based Application using SMS/GIS/GPS for Location-Aware Disaster Management” has been accepted for presentation at Computer Application in Industry and Engineering (CAINE’2013), which will be held in Los Angeles from September 25-27.  The paper will also appear in the conference proceedings.

Congratulations are of course due to Dr Bobbie and Mr Louis.


Following a tradition established a few years ago, CSE will again host an autumn Game Jam.  This year’s event will take place from September 20 to September 22.  As you will recall, the Game Jam brings together students from across Georgia, including SPSU, to develop a series of prototype games over a 48-hour period.  The best games will again be demo’ed at SIEGE, the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo, which will be held from October 3 to October 6.

This year's Fall Game Jam will be sponsored by the Games for Health project (a project sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio,, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, and the Georgia Game Developers Association ( The event will focus on Games for Health. Creators of the best game will be offered a 4 week fully paid internship at CDC to learn more about public health and to further develop their games. More details about the event are available at

I again want to express my appreciation to our gaming faculty, and Dr Jon Preston in particular, for organizing this event.