Computer Science 6th Advisory Board Meeting

The Computer Science 6th Advisory Board meeting on Zoom on May 18, 2020.

most Important: CaPstone Showcase

Please help us make our students’ Virtual Capstone Showcase a special occasion by visiting the sites of their projects, and leaving a comment. Our students have worked hard to meet the demands of a senior capstone project, in difficult circumstances, and they are facing a challenging job market (although Computer Science is doing relatively well even in the COVID19 economy). It will encourage them to have your feedback, as industry leaders.

Here is the list of all the Capstone projects:


Summary of the Meeting

A welcome from the chair of the board, Chris Meissner (Meissner Filtration), who asked that everyone write their names on the Zoom chat, as the meeting was brief (half an hour). We are all meeting online due to the COVID19 circumstances.

Virtual Instruction – in mid March the campus did an emergency move to finish the term through virtual instruction; some classes fit very well on line, but many, especially those that require hands on labs are more difficult to deliver virtually. Most students are coping very well, some – surprisingly few – have disengaged as a result.

This summer we need to redo the fall 2020 course planning, in a more deliberate way, to be virtual, now that we have more time to plan. It is important work but unfortunate because we need to spend summers doing research and projects – faculty are on a 9 month contract so summer is critical to stay current in our field. We are lobbying for stipends for all our instructors to be able to work in the summer on virtual delivery.

Silver lining: virtual instruction has been creeping up on everyone, and some students, especially those working (they are becoming a bigger segment of the student population) who come back to school to acquire new skills, prefer online. As instructors we prefer face-to-face in most cases. But the current emergency gave us an opportunity to prepare an online curriculum, which we might deploy in other emergencies, and more positively in a degree completion program that we are exploring. 

ABET Update: Our application for ABET Accreditation is on schedule. Prof Brian Thoms is on sabbatical (he has just been selected our new graduate director), and Reza Abdolee has been kind enough to continually remind everyone of the need to submit teaching assessments.

Further Items:

  • Eric Kaltman: building an intranet for departmental communication, and revamping our Games offering; it is great to finally have a faculty expert in game development, a topic that brings many students into Computer Science.
  • Bahareh Abbasi taught Machine Learning, and worked on Human Robot Interaction, focusing on assistive robots, and is publishing in IEEE.
  • Vida Vakilian submitted NSF grant for Machine Learning for Wireless Networking Systems, developed new labs for Mechatronics.
  • Jason Isaacs, Vida Vakilian, Bahareh Abbasi are working hard to build Mechatronics Engineering, and they are preparing for the first junior cohort in 2020/21.
  • Jason Isaacs with EMEC sophomore students participated in the DARPA subterranean challenge, and finished #6 overall and 2nd among unfunded teams. 
  • Jason Isaacs and Michael Soltys, working with Health Sciences (Sonsoles de Lacalle and Kristen Linton) and Eric Slack from Ventura Health, are helping Ventura Health with COVID19 Data Analytics (e.g., or our pandemic simulation:
  • Reza Abdolee established a “Cybersecurity and Wireless Lab”, and developed an ethical hacking course, as well as submitted NSF grants.
  • Scarlet Relle: is delivering our materials engineering class, and deploying our new furnace, tensile tester, hardness tester, microscope, grinder; all purchased with a gift from Bob and Susan Brown. Scarlet has used data from past labs to give students virtual lab assignments.
  • Scott Feister:  was awarded time on supercomputers to design numerical simulations of scientific problems. He is applying for grants to do “big data” acquisition with custom-designed scientific hardware at scientific laboratories. Scott also incorporated AWS cloud computing, machine learning, and GPU computing into COMP 262: Computer Organization & Architecture.
  • Prof AJ Bieszczad has retired, we are grateful for his contribution over last 15 years to Computer Science at CI, and for staying on for another 5 years as a FERPing faculty and helping to deliver our undergraduate curriculum.
  • Houman Dallali has not come back from his 2019-20 leave of absence.
  • Michael Soltys: teaching AWS – Cloud Architecting class with scholarships: Michael just passed the Software Developing certification, and is negotiating the 4th edition of my algorithms book. Michael has recently been selected to the AWS council, and has written 5 papers this term, two of which in cybersecurity and accepted at a conference that he is helping to put together, and 3 on cloudifying the curriculum.

2 thoughts on “Computer Science 6th Advisory Board Meeting”

  1. Michael,
    I have been looking at many of the Capstone projects.
    Several are in the “gaming world”.
    I might be qualified to comment on them but my son, Kris, works at Blizzard and he is more qualified to do so. I have already him three of these. Would you like his comments>

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