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January, 2014

UPDATE ON CONSOLIDATION

There are two updates to report on when it comes to the consolidation between Kennesaw State University and SPSU.

First, the Expanded Consolidation Implementation Committee or ECIC, which consists of the original consolidation committee appointed by Chancellor Huckabee and around 15 additional faculty members from KSU and SPSU, has started its work on a mission and vision statement for the consolidated university and on an academic structure.  The current proposal is to have 13 colleges in the new university, including a College of Computing and Software Engineering.  More details are at http://www.ksuspsuconsolidation.com/form-of-new-university-begins-to-take-shape/.   I am pleased that ECIC has recommended that the new university include a College of Computing and Software Engineering, as I strongly believe that this is the best way for the new university to continue to strengthen and expand its programs in computing.  However, one word of caution: The proposal is currently just a proposal, and the organizational structure will still have to be approved by Chancellor Huckabee.

Second, President Papp and Rossbacher have created around 80 Operational Working Groups (OWG), each responsible for some aspect of the consolidation.  On January 27, KSU hosted the first meeting of the OWG for Computing and Software Engineering.  Ken Hoganson, interim chair of the Department of Computer Science at KSU, and I are co-chairing the OWG.  The other members are Dick Gayler, Ying Xie, Alan Shaw and Jose Garrido, and a student to be identified from KSU, and Patrick Bobbie, Jeff Chastine, Hassan Pournagshsband, Chi Zhang and Julia Huprich, an MSIT student, from SPSU.  One of the results of the initial meeting is that we are likely to create about half a dozen sub-committees, in order to meet the deadline of May to get our work completed.


MSIT MOVES UP IN US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT RANKING

US News and World Report released its latest ranking of the online programs in Computer Information Technology, and our MSIT has moved into the top 10, and is now ranked 8. See http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/computer-information-technology/rankings?int=d8a949).

As I commented last year, many of us in academia are somewhat skeptical about these rankings, until of course we are ranked highly, and I am no exception.  Maybe more important than the ranking themselves is the underlying methodology (http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/01/07/methodology-best-online-computer-information-technology-programs-rankings-2014) as this provides at least some feedback on how the reviewers see our program.  While we rank very highly on faculty credentials and training, and we do fairly well on admissions selectivity and student engagement, we trail our peers on student services and technology.  With the latest improvements in our learning management systems, Desire2Learn, we will increase our score on this criterion, but we still need to work on making sure that our online students receive the support they are entitled to around the clock.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all involved in this program, including the IT faculty and Dr Svetlana Peltsverger, the MSIT program coordinator, and a number of people in the SPSU Center for Teaching Excellence.  We did not set out to achieve a high position in the US News and World Report ranking; we wanted to create a high quality online program in IT.  The fact that the program was ranked highly is a pleasant side-effect of the latter, and is a reflection of the enormous effort that many have made to make sure that our students get the best possible education.


BROWN AWARDED PhD

Bob Brown, senior lecturer in the Department of Information Technology, recently successfully defended his PhD dissertation at Nova Southeastern University.  The title of Professor Brown’s dissertation is “Application of Cellular Automata to Detection of Malicious Network Packets.”, and it explores the research hypothesis is that a single cellular automaton can detect more than one malicious packet pattern, operate in constant time, and detect the target packets in the presence of noise.

Writing a PhD thesis is onerous at the best of times.  Writing a PhD thesis when one has the teaching load that Professor Brown has had over the last six years is well nigh impossible.  Professor Brown therefore not only deserves our congratulations, he also deserves our admiration for being to pull all this off.

So, congratulations, Dr Brown!


IMPACT OF DR HUNG’S RESEARCH

As you know, one of the activities of faculty is to conduct research and to publish their results in peer reviewed publications.  The notion is that research is a global enterprise and that researchers from elsewhere can build on the published results.  Clearly, one way of measuring the impact of the research of the faculty member is to see how many times other researchers have read papers authored by that faculty member.

In this context, I am very pleased to report that Dr Chih-Chen Hung, Professor of Computer Science, recently received news that his paper “Multispectal Image Classification Using Rough Set Theory and Particle Swarm Optimization”, which he co-authored with SPSU students Hendri Purnaman and Scott Letkeman, and Bor-Chen Kuo from National Taichung University in Taiwan and published in the book “Advances in Geoscience and Remote Sensing”, had been accessed 6000 times.

Dr Hung and his co-authors deserve our congratulations on this significant achievement.


SECOND CSE ADVISOR APPOINTED

CSE recently appointed Ms. Ashley McClure as its second student advisor.  Ashley will be joining Ms. Beth Haynie to further improve the advising services we provide to our undergraduate students, and will primarily focus on students enrolled in our various IT programs.  Ashley has a BS in Information Technology and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Information Technology.  She previously served as interim secretary to the dean.  Ashley is therefore very familiar both with the School and with its IT programs.

I am particularly pleased that Ashley has accepted our offer to join us in this new capacity.  We know that high quality advising is crucial to student retention and progression towards their degree.  And obviously student retention and progression are crucial if CSE is to achieve its strategic goal to increase the number of CSE graduates who are well prepared for work and life to better serve the community.  I have no doubt that Ashley will make a significant contribution to us achieving this goal, and I welcome her to the school.


LARTIGUE AND BROWN JUDGES AT PIEDMOND REGIONAL TECHNOLOGY COMPETITION

On January 25th, Professor Jonathan Lartigue and Dr. Bob Brown were judges at the 2014 Piedmont Technology Fair at River Ridge High School in Woodstock.  The event was aimed at students from grades 3-12 from Cherokee and Cobb counties who competed in all manner of categories that all have something to do with computers – from programming to hardware, case modification to robotics, as well as software driven categories.  1st place winners go on to compete in the Georgia Educational Technology fair on March 8, 2014 at Middle Georgia State College in Macon.

I wanted to express my appreciation to Professor Lartigue and Dr. Brown for their willingness to increase CSE’s presence in the community.


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

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Han Reichgelt
Dean, School of Computing and Software Engineering
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