Activities that Promote the Common Good
Regis University College of Computer and Information Sciences faculty are actively involved in programs and activities that connect with and influence the community. These initiatives promote and facilitate technical education, improved organizational performance, IT employment opportunities and a better quality of life. Current activities include:
Collegiate Educational Programs
Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition – Affording college students the opportunity to test their cybersecurity skills, knowledge and abilities against industry experts; thus, providing these students with real-world experience in a control environment. This two-day event simulates business scenario cyber attack, and drew eight university teams. (Read more.)
The National Center for Women and Information Technology - Regis University's College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS) received a $10,000 gift from the National Center for Women and Information Technology to support the recruitment and retention of women in computer science and other related degrees via the Learning Circles Project. (Read more.)
TechNation Careers - In partnership with Regis University, TechNation works toward bringing social change for refugees and immigrants living in the US through technical training and job placement. Their unique program is in partnership with major corporations and refugee resettlement agencies to address the income disparity for this international population.
K-12 Educational Programs
Enterprise Systems Engineering Summer Internship– Giving selected students from Denver Public Schools an opportunity to work with CCIS faculty for a six-week paid engagement. (Read more.)
Colorado FIRST Tech Challenge – Donations to the Dean’s Excellence Fund help promote STEM programs through the Colorado FIRST Tech Challenge. (Read more.)
Middle School Girls' Science and Technology Summer Camp - Regis faculty assist in this camp being held July 7-12, 2019.
CABPES Annual Banquet - The Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists held its annual banquet on May 11th, with Regis CCIS as a sponsor. Several CCIS faculty including Ishmael Thomas and Guy Mitchell have been involved in leading this organization's activities in the metro Denver area.
Connecting With Industry
Regis University hosted the 8th Annual Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (RMCCDC) on March 8th and 9th 2019 at its Denver Tech Center.
The competition allows teams to test their cybersecurity skills, knowledge and abilities in a highly technical business focused environment. The top-performing team will represent the Rocky Mountain region at the national competition in Orlando, Florida. A preliminary qualifying round held in January narrowed the competition to the top eight teams: Regis University, Colorado State University, the University of New Mexico, LDS Business College, University of Colorado Boulder, Pikes Peak Community College, Red Rocks Community College and Utah Valley University. This year was unique in that two local community colleges earned entry into the competition.
The goal of this event is to choose the team with the best skills to move forward to the national event, said Steve Fulton, a Regis associate professor of Cyber Security and the director of Regis’ Center for Information Assurance Studies, who helped organize the event.
“A unique aspect of RMCCDC is that it focused on how well the individual teams work together,” Fulton said. The competition is supposed to be fun, but Fulton acknowledges students are pushed to their limits.
Teams were briefed about a business scenario, given computers, printers and other electronic equipment as well as the applications and internet services needed to run a simulated business. Each team attempted to secure its business from cyberattacks waged by a team of 30 crafty volunteers attempting to break into the systems throughout the two-day event.
While fending off cyberattacks from some of the areas most talented penetration testers, the teams had to simulate a normal workday, such as responding to a CEO’s sudden, deadline-driven request.
“While we try to emphasize that our goal is to give them the opportunity to succeed at securing and managing a business environment in a fun and safe environment, the students get very wrapped up in it and want to do their best,” he said.
The competition requires the support of about 100 volunteers, including nearly a dozen who designed and configured the environment as well as those who will role play during the event, score the teams and more. “We had a team of experts working for almost six months prior to the event in order to pull something this large and complex off,” Fulton shared.
Fulton added, “Most of the volunteers are Regis students and affiliate faculty past and present. They’re very dedicated. We couldn’t do this without their help. They truly deserve my thanks and appreciation. I’m constantly amazed at how many volunteer hours they dedicate to this event.”
The winning team representing the Rocky Mountain region at the national competition in Orlando, Florida is Utah Valley University. In fact, this is the second year in a row that Utah Valley University has represented the Rocky Mountain region at the national competition.
Regis University's College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS) received a $10,000 gift from the National Center for Women and Information Technology to support the recruitment and retention of women in computer science and other related degrees via the Learning Circles Project.
CCIS faculty, Trisha Litz and Pam Smallwood put together the Mini-Gift Application which included defining projects in the areas of Recruiting Females and Retaining Females in CCIS undergraduate
The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Extension Services (ES) partners with undergraduate departments of computing to tackle a national crisis. In 2017-18, only 19 percent (or 12,561) of the 65,382 Computer and Information Sciences undergraduate degree recipients were women. NCWIT ES addresses this severe gender imbalance in undergraduate computing by equipping computing departments with evidence-based strategies and resources to attract women to their majors and retain them through graduation. ES and departmental change-leader teams advance sustained organizational change by revising socio-educational systems, not by changing women to fit into existing systems. (Learn more about NCWIT)
On 6-11-19 through 6-14-19 Ms. Mai Vu CCIS instructor, teamed up with Mr. Steve Guydo PBLA teacher, to offer Cybertech classes as part of the PBLA curriculum.
The classes were offered to 42 PBLA students grades 9, 10 and 11. This was the second year that CCIS participated in PBLA. Micro:bit controllers were purchased for the classes through the CCIS K-12 Educational Programs Fund. The micro:bit controller is a pocket-sized computer that allows students to get creative with digital technology.
One lesson involved the kids playing traditional rock paper scissors, first with their hands, then using the micro:bit controllers, students learned to code while gaining a deeper understanding of probabilities.
Once the programming was completed, the students were able to play rock paper scissors through their portable micro:bit controllers.
Feedback from the students indicating they felt the classes were fun, not too fast like other STEM classes, and they enjoyed the hands on activities. 64% of the students showed an interest in continuing their micro:bit studies over the summer and were given micro:bit sets. Discussions are underway to determine the best approach for next year’s classes.
Under the tutelage of CCIS Professor Ishmael Thomas, the Enterprise Systems Engineering program faculty partnered with the Denver Public Schools (DPS) CareerConnect Program (CCP) to help DPS achieve its goal of “turning the city of Denver into a classroom.” The CCP’s CareerLaunch Internship Program allows students to apply their STEM coursework to real-world projects, make significant contributions to employers and explore careers.
This summer, rising Thomas Jefferson High School senior Michela Puni-Nimako successfully tackled a real-world business problem for CCIS. An aspiring software engineer, Puni-Nimako worked for six weeks to migrate the Blacktop Java application to Amazon Web Services using DevOps (development and operations) principles, methodologies and tools. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:
What did you learn?
I've learned the basics of software engineering, how to create virtual machines, the configurations of applications and their servers and how to utilize cloud computing through services such as Amazon Web Services.
What was your favorite part of the internship?
My favorite part of the internship was receiving insight from Professor Ashley Pickens and Professor Ishmael Thomas. It was delightful to learn from two people who are where I want to be one day and to know the journey they had to take to get to their positions.
What surprised you about your internship experience?
The most pleasantly surprising part of my internship had to be the amount of freedom I had. Prior to starting my internship, I had the misconception that I'd be told what to do and then follow a set of instructions. Instead, Professors Thomas and Pickens gave me a long-term goal, and then I was set free to approach the problem in any way I saw fit.
What are your career goals?
Since my sophomore year of high school, my career goal has been to become a software engineer. Ever since being introduced to coding in 8th grade, I have had a fascination for it. The ability to control and create computer programs through the act of coding amazes me. When I researched and found the very career that revolved around coding and developing computer programs/software, I knew that a software engineer was what I needed to be.
How will the internship help you?
This six-week internship has helped me in more ways than one and will continue to help me now that it is done. Before the internship, I was the type of person who liked to follow instructions and had a hard time making decisions. Now, after having to take control of the project given to me, I feel more confident and know my potential as a leader. Another way the internship has helped me is teaching me how to persevere. My internship was challenging, and I will be forever grateful for that. It seemed as though every time I would find a solution to one problem, another issue would instantaneously arise. Despite this, I continued to try different ways to solve a problem until I found the solution. The difficulty of my project has taught me to keep trying because no matter how hard something may seem, there is always a solution.
Donations to the Dean’s Excellence Fund help promote STEM programs through the Colorado FIRST Tech Challenge. Because of donation to the Dean’s Excellence Fund, the College of Computer and Information Sciences (CCIS) was able to host the Colorado FIRST Tech Challenge for the second year in a row. This year’s state championship drew more than 300 Colorado students in grades 7-12 to the Regis Field House.
Students design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. These students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles while learning what it takes to work hard, problem solve, and be an innovative team member. Regis faculty Kellen Sorauf and Fred Gray served as technical judges while Regis College physics student Adam Heim demonstrated his work on an automated car.
This Colorado Championship showcases the top teams advancing from their respective regions of our state. In order to win, teams must form alliances with other teams to register points. “The idea is not to sabotage opponents but learn to work together,” said Kathy Collier, who helps oversee Colorado’s FIRST Tech Challenge with her husband, Matthew.
FIRST Tech Challenge’s motto is “With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions,” Collier said. “Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.”
In Data Sciences and Computing, bias, conscious or subconscious, can be introduced in a variety of ways. The need for ethics is essential as bias can be found in the data collection phase of big data, analysis phase, and insight phase. Bias can also be found in the outcome phase, assessment phase and improvement phase. Analysts must be aware of possible bias to prevent it in their analysis. With the introduction of social computing, bias, today considered “fake news”, must also be considered. Bias can be a big issue with sites like Facebook, Twitter and even the news media. It has been found that our young, particularly college students, can easily be swayed by social media information, including information that is ultimately proven incorrect. This can be dangerous to society. We have seen countries, for example, China, Saudi Arabia among others blocking social media sites. About the Speaker: Dr. Ed Lindoo is an Associate Professor and program coordinator for the BS in Computer Information Systems program, in the College of Computer Information Sciences at Regis University, Denver. Dr. Lindoo earned a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University, as well as a Masters of Computer Science and an MBA. Previously, he worked in a fortune 500 company as Sr. Director of Enterprise Networks and Telecommunications. He has taught at Regis since 2003, becoming full-time in 2016. His current research focus is in two areas, Ethics and Social media as well as Supply Chain Management/ERP.
Dr. Richard Blumenthal, Professor and Chair of the Computer Science department, was recently named to the Association for Computing Machinery’s Committee on Professional Ethics.
The Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) is the world’s largest computing society and is “dedicated to advancing the art, science, engineering, and application of information technology, serving both professional and public interests by fostering the open interchange of information and by promoting the highest professional and ethical standards."
“The Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) is responsible for promoting ethical conduct among computing professionals by publicizing the Code of Ethics and by offering interpretations of the Code; planning and reviewing activities to educate membership in ethical decision making on issues of professional conduct; and reviewing and recommending updates to the Code of Ethics and its guidelines” (https://ethics.acm.org/about ).
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