Computer Science 11th Advisory Board Meeting

The 11th Computer Science Advisory Board meeting at California State University Channel Islands will take place on May 5, 2023, 12:00-2:00pm, in Sierra Hall 1411, followed by the Capstone Showcase in the Sierra Hall lobby, 2:00-4:00pm.

Sierra Hall Lobby during Capstone Showcase
Senior Capstone Students


  1. Lunch while meeting
  2. Chris Meissner: Welcome by Chris Meissner
    a. Introductions of board members
  3. Michael Soltys: Departmental update 10 min
    a. Enrollment challenges
    b. Scott Feister: HPC competition
    c. Kevin Scrivnor: Krypto competition
    e. EDC/GBL/AWS Upskilling opportunity
  4. Member profile: Alan Jaeger on Fathomwerx at Port Hueneme 30 min
  5. Update on new programs
    a. Eric Kaltman: Gaming
    b. Reza Abdolee: Cybersecurity
    c. Vida Vakilian: SCADA Essential and Data Management
  6. Jason Isaacs: update on Mechatronics ABET accreditation
  7. Open discussion with board members

most Important: CaPstone Showcase

  1. Aaron Forman:
  2. Hayley Ruttenberg:
  3. Ramtin Saremi:
  4. Elias Serzhan:
  5. Ian Khoo, Escaping Inferno,
  6. Stephen Snebold, Hostile Entities,
  7. Ashley Gray
  8. Alexis Gomez
  9. Aaron Urrea
  10. BABS Team:
  11. Acoustic Gripper Team:
  12. Solar Team:
  13. GARLIC Team:
  14. Enrique Garcia and Eli Clemens:
  15. Charlie Hernandez & Zachary Drake:  
  16. Andrew Graves:
  17. Jamie Hernandez:
  19. Jacob Gelman:
  20. Mario Ayala Fuentes:
  21. Tyler Mclaughlin and Rica Ley Madayag:
  22. Sheradyn Ruef:
  23. Adam Larson:
  24. Frances Zercher: 
  25. Amanda Dawley:
  26. Taseen Hafiz:
  27. Jaskirat Singh:
  28. Jon Roeske, Evan Miller and Huey Hsu:
  29. Shani Melbourne and Denise Anciola:
  30. Rebecca Freeman:
  31. Alexandra Credico:
  32. Kadejha Jones:
  33. Eddie Lovato:
  34. Madayln Henderson:
  35. Nancy Ambriz Madelyne Lu:

More pictures

Computer Science 10th Advisory Board Meeting

The 10th Computer Science Advisory Board (AB) meeting at California State University Channel Islands will take place on December 2, 2022, 12:00-2:00pm, in the Evans room at the Broome Library (Broome 2533), followed by the Capstone Showcase in the Sierra Hall lobby, 2:00-4:00pm.


  1. Welcome by Chris Meissner, Chair of the Computer Science Advisory Board
  2. Introductions
  3. Update on the Department, by Michael Soltys, Chair of the Department of Computer Science:
    • Thank you to Susan and Bob Brown for donating for our students to go to coding competitions
    • Dr. Larry Masinter donated to the CS Department and SHFT to support student research collaboration with, a 501c(3) devoted to the preservation of the ACM award-winning Medley / Interlisp System developed at Xerox PARC
    • Also donations from Allan Gottlieb, American Endowment Foundation, Kevin Knoedler, Randall McNary and Meissner Filtration.
    • 3 of us are tenured, and 2 more have gone up for tenure this year.
    • We are struggling with enrollment
  4. Updates from faculty:
    • Reza Abdolee and Vida Vakilian: Establishment of new lab in Ojai with Industrial Control System testbeds; Reza will update on Cybersecurity efforts; also on a new partnership with Rockwell Automation
    • Scott Feister: Dept of Energy and SuperComputing competition
    • Eric Kaltman: Established online presence for the Software History Futures and Technologies (SHFT) research group: ; signed a publication contract for a short book, An Overview of Emulation as a Preservation Method, for the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) “Pocket Burgundy” Series; Established a computer game lab at CI with staffed student support for 30 hours a week; Game Development Minor Revision is nearing complete approval for 2023-2024
    • Jason Isaacs: ABET for Mechatronics; see slides below.
    • Brian Thoms: “Formation and Action of a Learning Community with Collaborative Learning Software,” accepted into the Journal of Management Information Systems
    • Bahareh Abbasi: Purchasing an industrial robotic arm for Robotics lab, Sawyer robot from Rethink Robotics
  5. Discussion
  6. 2:00pm walk over to Sierra Hall for Capstone Showcase


most Important: CaPstone Showcase

  1. Luis Chavez –
  2. Eli Flores –
  4. Norah Milne – Nonogram Me –
  5. Desireé Caldera and Evan Jacobs – Entertainment Technology Center Data Analysis –
  6. Evan Burschinger – Project Rogue Mind –
  7. Jeffrey Foyil – Academon –
  8. Christopher Chang – QCSimple –
  9. Brandon Marziole –
  10. Adam Hesse –
  15. Daniel Rojas:
  16. Tyler Sellers:
  17. PatrickMcdonough:
  18. Daren Brown:
  22. Dominique Malgeri:

Computer Science 9th Advisory Board Meeting

Chris Meissner

The 9th Computer Science Advisory Board (AB) meeting at California State University Channel Islands took place on May 13, 2022, 1:00-2:00pm, followed by the Capstone Showcase in the Sierra Hall lobby.

The chair of the AB is Chris Meissner (photo left), who introduced the meeting. As there were construction closures on campus, some AB members did not make it to the meeting, but were able to attend the Capstone showcase which followed immediately 2:00-3:00.

Michael Soltys, the chair of the department of Computer Science, gave a short update on the department including the enrollment numbers:

Computer ScienceInformation TechnologyMechatronics Engineering
Spring 20222798363
Enrollment Numbers

Professor Jason Isaacs is going to be sending an email to the AB to review the Program Educational Outcomes (PEOs), which is one or the roles of the AB for ABET accreditation. The last time the PEOs were examined was at the 3rd AB meeting in November 2018.

Eric Kaltman discussed his work on revamping the Minor in Gaming, a popular minor with students; and a great way of attracting students to the Computer Science department. The slides of the presentation are given at the end of this page.

Timur Taluy from FileYourTaxes gave a presentation on his company, its recent fast growth, and mentioned how CI students were hired over the years, both as interns and permanent employees, and about the deployment of AWS cloud technology (which we teach at CI) to meet the sudden spikes in demand (especially around tax day every year) without making permanent capital investments in hardware infrastructure.

most Important: CaPstone Showcase

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Slides on games minor

Slides of Prof Eric Kaltman on the revamped Games Minor.



In 2008, I attended a conference in Athens, the 4th Conference on Computability in Europe (CiE), where my student Craig Wilson and I presented a paper that was fun to write, as it examined the algorithmic complexity of a strategy game called Chomp.

Chomp is a two-player strategy game played on a rectangular grid made up of smaller square cells, which can be thought of as the blocks of a chocolate bar. The players take it in turns to choose one block and “eat it” (remove from the board), together with those that are below it and to its right. The top left block is “poisoned” and the player who eats this loses.

This fun paper, turned out to be one of my most cited works, and how the Wikipedia page dedicated to chomp cites it in its references: Chomp – Wikipedia

The paper itself was first published in the conference proceedings, and then in the journal Theory of Computing Systems, 48(3):680-692, 2011:

Keynote speaker at KES2022

I am excited to join a list of distinguished keynote speakers at KES2022!

My abstract: In this talk we are going to examine Data Analytics in the Cloud. In particular, we will demonstrate the data flow for Analytics and Machine Learning, starting with sourcing data (structured, semi-structured and unstructured), pipelining it in both batch mode and streaming, storing it in a Data Lake, and finally making it available to Machine Learning and Business Intelligence. We will illustrate this complex engineering process with examples from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

More information.

4 Great Podcasts

If you have some driving to do, I recommend 4 great podcasts that cover fun and important developments in computer science. The first two are interviews with creators of programming languages; the last two, with creators of communication environments:

  1. Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript
  2. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails
  3. Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress
  4. Jason Citron, the creator of Discord

Brendan Eich is the creator of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla and Brave. During the interview, Brendan Eich mentions a great short classic article: The Rise of Worse is Better, by Richard P. Gabriel, written in 1991, and very relevant today for anyone who programs.

In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts David Heinemeier Hansson, cofounder and CTO of Basecamp. In addition to his work on this popular project management application, he is also the creator of the open-source web framework Ruby on Rails, used by some of the best-known technology companies, such as Twitter, Shopify, GitHub, Airbnb, and Square, and more than a million other web applications. He is also a prolific author of multiple bestselling books on building and running a successful business, as well as a Le Mans class-winning racecar driver.
David recounts discovering Ruby in the early 2000s and using it to create Basecamp, work which spawned Ruby on Rails. He dives into the process of creating Basecamp, whose aim was to solve the problem of communication with clients, as well as building a self-sustaining community with Ruby on Rails. He also explains his personal approach to open-source software, one of his passions. David also looks back on lessons he learned in business school—including the marketing aspect of technology—and how he applied these lessons to building his own business. He also reveals his experience with remote work and what he’s most excited about for the future.

Matt Mullenweg turned his early passion for blogging into a flourishing business and an unshakeable idea: that users should be able to share and tweak the code that powers their websites, and that most of those tools should be free to use. As far back as college, Matt was collaborating with far-flung fellow-coders to make blogging less clunky and more elegant and intuitive. Around 2005, he pitched the idea for to his bosses at CNET, but they turned him down, so he launched the idea on his own, eventually tucking the service into a nascent umbrella company called Automattic. Today—after many twists and turns—the company has nearly 2000 employees and a valuation of $7 billion; and WordPress powers more than 40% of the websites on the internet. 

During his early career, Jason Citron stepped away from two stalled businesses and pivoted—twice—to something far more successful. The second time he did it, he created one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It started at age 13 when Jason had a “holy crap” moment, discovering he could make his own video games. His first video game company morphed into a social platform for gamers, and after he sold it, he couldn’t resist launching another. When that business failed to get traction, he again re-imagined it as a digital space for gamers to gather, and in 2015, Discord was born. Today, the platform has 150 million monthly users, and is a gathering place not just for gamers, but for anyone who wants to connect with friends. 

AWS Solutions Architect – Professional certification

Last week I took and passed the AWS Solutions Architect – Professional certification. As to be expected, this is a challenging exam that assumes detailed familiarity with the AWS cloud. However, it is also a very satisfying exam precisely because it goes in depth.

The difficulty is not conceptual, in that the questions reflect the knowledge a computer scientist ought to have; that is, given enough time each question can be answered with strong familiarity with the AWS cloud domains: compute, databases, storage and – especially – networking. The challenge of the exam is twofold: the questions are detail oriented; for example, that Router 53 requires a Type A record for a CloudFormation distribution, but a CNAME record for RDS. And, as there are 75 questions and 3 hours, each question can take at most 2 min and 15 sec. It takes me about 1.5 min to read the question and the answers carefully, and so 45 sec are left to make a decision where one answer is perhaps the outlier, but the other 3 answers are all correct, except that one of them is ideal give the phrasing of the question (e.g., optimize cost or performance efficiency). The point is that the exam tests in depth familiarity with a wide range of services.

How to study for this exam? I am interested, professionally, in the process of exam preparation. I looked briefly at an array of online courses related to this certification: Udemy, TutorialsDojo, O’Reilly, Cantrill and A Cloud Guru. I am impressed by the quality of the materials: videos, slides, tutorials, labs, practice exams. Unfortunately, I was able to set aside very little time to prepare for this exam, and watching long videos was not an option. I preferred to read white papers and AWS console documentation.

One of my favorite books in Computer Science is an old classic: An Introduction to Programming in Emacs Lisp, by Robert J. Chassell. This is such an enjoyable text; yet, the author admits that one of the reviewers of that book wrote the following:

I prefer to learn from reference manuals. I “dive into” each paragraph, and “come up for air” between paragraphs.

I find myself in the same place now, where I have to regularly absorb vast amounts of information, and I prefer succinct presentations without pedagogical aids; just the essential material to be ingested quickly without distractions. That is how I prepared for this exam, using the AWS white papers and other technical documentation.