Coleman Alumnus Cornelius Simon is Chosen as the Keynote Speaker for Graduation 2018

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Cornelius Simon, a Coleman University alumnus, will be the keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony on May 19th.

Coleman University is pleased to announce that it will hold its 55th Anniversary Commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 9:00am at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. In honor of Armed Forces Day, our Keynote Speaker and Faculty Speaker are US Navy veterans who will be sharing their experiences with graduates as they address their accomplishment. The Color Guard presenting at the ceremony will be from Wounded Warrior Battalion-West at Camp Pendleton.

“We invited Cornelius Simon to be our Keynote Speaker this year in keeping with our tradition of inviting notable alumni to speak to our graduates,” said Coleman University President & CEO Norbert Kubilus.  “Cornelius is a great example of our alumni turning their dreams into reality. After separating from the US Navy, Cornelius came to then Coleman, received his degree, and turned his understanding of business and technology into a successful career as a software engineer and eventually into management roles. Cornelius is now a corporate trainer and speaker, specializing in professional skills development, mentoring emerging leaders within organizations and helping professionals transition into entrepreneurship.”

Capt. Tem E. Bugarin, DBA USN (Ret.) has been selected by the Faculty to be the Faculty Speaker at graduation.  Dr. Bugarin holds the distinction of being the first person born in the Philippines to command a Navy warship, USS Saginaw (LST 1188), in August 1989. In addition to teaching at Coleman University, he is a scientist with SPAWAR Systems Command in San Diego.

Coleman University is also honored to have the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West from Camp Pendleton, CA provide the Color Guard for this year’s commencement.  The Wounded Warrior Battalion focuses on the whole Marine – mind, body, spirit, family – in addressing recovery and transition needs of wounded Marines. “We are grateful to our friends at the Wounded Warrior Foundation and Freedom Village for helping arrange this Color Guard for us,” observes President Kubilus.

The San Diego Civic Organist will provide music for the ceremony on the historic Spreckels Organ.  This is a public event. All family and friends are welcome.

 

About Coleman University: Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its technology-focused undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for careers and leadership in their chosen fields. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals. www.coleman.edu.

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What You Need to Know for World Password Day

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World Password Day steps to security

For a strong password follow these steps to be more secure online..

Every year, the first Thursday of May is acknowledged as World Password Day, which is a day to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining high security standards online. This year the first Thursday is May 3rd. With all of the various social media platforms, mailing lists, and online shopping available, many online users have become accustomed to using the same set of passwords for their accounts. That practice is dangerous, and can lead to even more security issues in the future. For World Password Day we have compiled a list of the top 5 best practices for creating a strong digital password.

This list was compiled by Thom Byrne, who is the Faculty Chair for the Cybersecurity program at Coleman. If you want to learn more about Mr. Byrne and his program, read his Faculty Spotlight Interview.

 

The Top 5 Ways to Create a Secure Password

1. Secure passwords are NOT short passwords. Be sure to use a sequence that is more complex than a street name, or the name of your pets. We recommend a length of at least 15 characters, if possible.

2. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts. Though it is easier to remember a select few passwords, they will also make you an easier target for cybercriminals. In addition, it’s better not to use whole words or phrases that are easily recognizable.

3. Download a password manager (such as LastPass), which will help you keep track of your information, while also generating complex passwords for you to use.

4. Use a site authenticator (Microsoft Authenticator, Google, YubiKey, Authy, etc.) that can be used on sites that support Two Factor Authentication (2FA), which will generate a time based six digit 30 second code to provide 2FA.

5. If you don’t want to use a password manager you can use the following techniques instead:

  • Make it long, but memorable. You can use a series of punctuation marks instead of random numbers or letters. For example, use “Dog………….37” which will only require you to remember the number of periods instead of a complex sequence.
  • Create a visual que that you can use to remember the password sequence. This technique takes at least four unrelated words and a separator character of your choosing to create a secure sequence. For example, the password “Mars;Frog;Valley;42” is 19 characters long. So you can visualize a frog on Mars in a valley with 42 on its side, or any other visual using that specific signifier. The separating character in this example is a semi-colon, but you can choose any that you prefer.

It is important to be as proactive as possible online when it comes to protecting your information. For World Password Day take a moment to think about all of the passwords that you are currently using, or need to remember, and determine if they meet the necessary requirements for proper security. If not, use these tips to help you create a more secure password and use them to create better passwords in the future. If you would like to know more about staying safe online, you can read our blog about email phishing here.

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What Can I Do With a Degree in Software Development?

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A degree in Software Development is a great choice for individuals who love the high tech lifestyle. Several job opportunities exist within this field. The IT world is always evolving and several business fields are saying that there are not enough programmers to fill the software development positions.

What type of jobs can you get with a software development degree? Software development is not limited to just one type of opening. It depends on your interest or your education. Some of the major branches and career paths in software development include: Game Developer, Mobile App Developer, Webmaster, Database Administrator, Software Architect, Software or Systems Developer, Software or Systems Engineer, Cloud Integration Specialist, to name a few. Companies are ready to hire these types of individuals with academic training. Don’t worry about the job title in particular because they all involve the same general process which is to gather feature requirements for the software.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of software developers is projected to grow 24% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average occupations. These statistics are driven by increased consumer and corporate demand for programmers and/or downloadable applications for mobile devices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows that software developers with a focus of systems software earned an average of $107,600 in 2017. The bottom 10% of these developers earned an average of $65,670, while the top 10% earned in excess of $164,150. In addition, software developers in the applications focus earned an average of $101,790 in 2017. The bottom 10% earned $59,870 while the top 10% earned in excess of $160,100.

Coleman University prepares you for this exciting and rewarding technical-focused career, by taking students through an accelerated program lead by instructors who have real-world experience. Our mission is to deliver relevant education while providing an environment where you may develop to your full potential. Our graduates have complete access to career services, regardless of the year they graduated from Coleman, and we offer resources for course refreshers. If you are interested in a career in Software Development, take the first step with Coleman University!

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This article was written by Leticia Rabor, the Faculty Chair for the Coleman University Software Development program. You can read other blogs she has written for the Coleman Chronicle here, and her Faculty Spotlight interview here

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What is Software Development?

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So you’ve been thinking about software development? You’ve imagined yourself in front of a computer screen writing the next great mobile application or piece of software, and working as an important member of a powerful team. Well, that scenario is actually pretty accurate, but there is more to being a software developer, or engineer than you might think. Read on to find out more about what it means to be a software developer and how you can put yourself on the path to a rewarding technical career.

A Software Development career requires a broad range of skills. The process can be challenging and those who succeed are willing to do the hard work. In addition to working with clients and other professionals, developers create a set of design patterns or algorithms that form the foundation for usable software. They also recommend upgrades or changes to existing software. They maintain detailed records supporting all work products. Some practitioners work in vibrant groups with other designers and some are freelance developers who work independently to create software for single users or smaller companies.

Software developers are detail-oriented. They are eternal optimists who trust that with effort they can succeed. They are meticulous in crafting, testing and improving the software. This field, according to the Department of Labor’s Professions Outlook is wide open with opportunities to make a good income and opportunities for advancement. This is expected to remain true for years to come.

If this sounds like the type of career that you have been looking for, perhaps it is time to get back into the classroom and make software development your future career. Coleman University’s software development faculty has prepared a focused set of courses that supports gaining the necessary skills for success. A new class starts every 10 weeks and, with five enrollment times per year, and tutoring is offered to students for free. Coleman has a dedicated career services department to help you find that first job and will provide support throughout your career. A career in Software Development provides the basis for pride in craftsmanship and the comfort of working in professional teams.

 

Thank you to our Software Development Faculty Chair, Leticia Rabor for writing this great article! If you would like to learn more about Leticia check out her interview from last year when she visited the Android Developers Conference in San Francisco. Or check out her Faculty Spotlight interview here!

 

Coleman University has been a technology-focused institution of higher learning since 1963. Our accelerated Software Development program give students the opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in as little as three years (depending on course load). If this blog has inspired you to think about your future in Software Development give us a call at (858) 499-0202.

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Coleman Game Development Capstone is a Huge Success!

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Finals can be a hard time for any student, but for our Capstone class, this week was harder than most. For the past ten weeks, two student teams have been working overtime to complete a game of their own design, but their last big challenge was to show off their hard work to an audience, for a grade! We attended their presentations and we were blown away at what we saw. Both teams put together great concepts that translated into exciting games that we hope to see produced as full games in the future. All members of the audience were given the opportunity to offer their opinions on the presentation anonymously through a worksheet that their instructor, Joe Shoopack, designed to gauge audience perception on playability and overall concept.

Both Team Jekyll and Team Hyde had to present and discuss where their game idea came from, which roles the team members took on, and the challenges that they faced while working together and working on their own. Team Hyde presented their game, Path of the Warded, which is based on a book, which takes place in a fantasy world overrun with demons that are set on destroying everything in sight. The main character has to wait until nightfall in order to protect his farm and the animals that live there. Team Jekyll showed us Malice, a game that was a three-year dream of project manager Marisa Hatcher, which took the main character on a quest to save her sister from kidnappers. The audience followed their presentations as the teams broke down their work flow and the various pieces of the game that each member was responsible for, and how their designs changed over time. Though this class was a great learning experience, it came with its fair share of difficult challenges that, in the end, taught the students what it’s like to work in a real-world game developer environment. This class is also a great example of why it is important, as a Game Developer, to be able to work in various job titles or departments. If you can better understand what it is that your teammates do, and how to help when it is needed, the more versatility you will bring to your job.

Once the presentations were over, the audience was given the chance to ask questions about the game and then was brought to the development lab and took their turns playing the games and seeing first-hand how the games worked. All of the attendees were really excited to see the results of these projects and had a great time hearing directly from the students about their experiences. You can check out the photo album below for more photos of the presentations and behind-the-scenes images of the production process. Congratulations to the Capstone class! We see a very bright and successful future in Game Development for all of you!

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Women’s History Month: Developing the Foundations for Modern Technology

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Last month we talked about the African American women who changed the face of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, despite adversity and oppression. Since March 1st marks the start of Women’s History Month, we are going to continue our acknowledgement of the women behind the modern technological age. We discussed the pioneers Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper in a previous blog post (which you can read here) but there is a long list of women who have come after them who have created their own legacy in STEM. If there is someone missing from this list, feel free to add them in the comments!

Susan Kare
When you think of Apple, most likely you’ll picture Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak. Or maybe the first image that comes to mind will be the computer itself, a large and heavy object with a screen the size of a notepad. However, one of the names that you might not recognize is Susan Kare. Behind the scenes, she was in charge of developing the typography and iconic graphics for the launch of the original Apple Macintosh computer. Many of the interface elements that have become common in their products were designed by Kare, like the command symbol on their keyboard. Remember the “Happy Mac” that greeted you when you booted up your system? That was Susan Kare’s design!

Hedy Lamarr
You might not know Hedy Lamarr’s acting career, but you have definitely used her invention in your daily life now. She conceptualized the first ideas for frequency hopping (sending radio signals from different frequency channels). The basis for the idea was to help the Navy launch torpedos through remote control, and block communications from being interfered with. Despite the fact that this technology would have been way ahead of its time, the Navy was not interested and passed on the invention. However, Lamarr’s design would find its use in the 1950’s when the concept was used for secure military communications. This new use paved the way for Hedy Lamarr’s concept to become the foundation for modern Bluetooth and Wifi technology.

Roberta Williams
When videogames became popular in the 1980’s, the at-home console was a huge seller and brands like Atari took the market by storm. However there was a revolution coming and Roberta Williams was one of its leaders. It was her creation “King’s Quest” that would create the market for PC gaming. Her company Sierra On-Line would help to shape the future of video games with their more complex puzzle designs and storylines. Games that take the main character on a quest before they can compete against a final “boss” are inspired by her original design.

Radia Perlman
A member of the Internet Hall of Fame, Radia Perlman designed the spanning tree algorithm that transformed Ethernet from single-wire CSMA/CD into a protocol that can handle large information clouds. She also designed Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), which allows Ethernet to make optimal use of bandwidth. Perlman holds over 100 patents and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Unisex and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication. She holds BS and MS degrees in Mathematics from MIT, and completed her PhD in Computer Science through MIT as well.

Kimberly Bryant (Black Girls Code)
After earning her degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a successful career in the bay area near San Francisco, Bryant decided to dedicate her life to helping more African American women achieve their dreams in STEM. She founded Black Girls Code in 2011 to bring classes and workshops to her community that focused on helping underrepresented girls learn computer programming, coding, website development, and robotics. Her foundation now had chapters in seven states, and across the globe in Johannesburg, South Africa, and even offers programs in Spanish! To learn more about her organization and all of their community work visit: www.blackgirlscode.com

Sister Mary Kenneth Keller
Though she was a devout nun her whole life, Sister Mary Kenneth Keller was the first woman in the United States to earn a PhD in Computer Science. She entered into the convent in 1932, and earned her BS in Mathematics and her MS in Physics from DePaul University. However, it was during her time studying at Dartmouth College in the 1960s that she developed the BASIC computer language which made it possible for anyone to write custom code. Suddenly developers didn’t need to have a mathematics or science degree to be able to code their own programs. Keller’s dissertation, written in CDC FORTRAN 63, was titled “Inductive Inference on Computer Generated Patterns.” In 1965, she became the first American woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science. She envisioned a future of computers that would help teach and stimulate cognitive development for all.

Carol Shaw
Considered the first female professional video game designer, Carol Shaw worked for the Atari company programming games for the VCS console before leaving to work for Activision. The now famous River Raid game for the Atari 2600 was her design and is considered to be one of the best examples of game design in history. However, even though she was an equal member of the team, she still faced discrimination, even from the President of Atari. During a walk through, he remarked “Oh, at last! We have a female game designer. She can do cosmetics color matching and interior decorating cartridges!” You can read more about her life in game development on the Vintage Computing Website.

Adele Goldberg
A prominent software developer, Adele Goldberg is one of the designers of the SmallTalk-80 programming language. While working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) she would become the manager of the System Concepts Laboratory where her team would finish the SmallTalk-80 program. She served as president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from 1984 to 1986, and, together with Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls, received the ACM Software Systems Award in 1987. Many of the concepts she and her team developed at PARC became the basis for graphically based user interfaces, replacing the earlier command line based systems.

There are thousands more women who have made great strides in technology development who also deserve recognition on this list. This month, take the opportunity to learn more about the extraordinary women who have made history in STEM. You can tell us about them here in the comments!

 

 

The first degree conferred by Coleman University (then the Automation Institute) was to a woman, for Data Processing in 1964. It has been our mission since we were first established to ensure that all of our students have equal access to education, and resources to pursue their passion to turn their ‘Dreams Into Reality’. What could you do with a degree in Software Development, Cybersecurity, or Game Development from Coleman University?

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Are You Team Jekyll or Team Hyde?

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For some, the thrill of playing a new videogame is like nothing else. Meeting a character for the first time, watching a new story unfold, wielding a super-cool new weapon, and  playing with others online are what make gaming so much fun. What you don’t see is all of the coding, programming, structuring, planning, designing, and all around WORK that went into creating this experience. What may have taken 12-15 hours to finish, in reality took months to create and perfect. In fact, you might be surprised to know that there are thousands of jobs related to Game Development and Design and some don’t require coding experience at all! For the Game Development Capstone students at Coleman University, this truth is one that they are learning first hand, and soon they will have their own game for other gamers to play.

For ten weeks Coleman Game Development Capstone students will be working closely in teams to create, from start to finish, an original videogame of their own design. Beginning with the concept art and overall design, these students will build a game that is the culmination of all that they have learned and a test of their skills in teamwork. As scary as that may sound, the Capstone is an opportunity to take what they’ve learned so far in their program and work as part of a team to experience the iterative process of Game Development that celebrates their creativity and talent. The Capstone class will mimic the pressures and expectations that game development companies put on their employees in the real world. This term we have two teams working on Capstone projects and an exciting rivalry is developing. What do Team Jekyll and Team Hyde have in store for their final project? Keep reading to find out!

 

TEAM JEKYLL: MALICE

Taking inspiration from the classic game MARIO, players in the world of Malice will have to race against the clock solving puzzles and battling creatures along the way to save someone they love in a 3D world. The story begins with a young boy who is looking for his younger sister who was taken from their home, followed by his trusty dog that has some cool tricks of his own. In a brilliant twist, Team Jekyll has designed the game to allow players to switch between the young boy and his dog to solve puzzles or leap over traps.  Various monsters and creatures will try to attack you and stop you from finding your sister, and you’ll have to defeat the boss at the end, so this game is definitely going to be exciting! Though this game is fun to play, it won’t be a walk in the park; there are some scary challenges and surprises hidden in this game.

Project Manager: Marisa Hatcher

Level Design/Puzzle Design: Jake Bommer

Programmer/Puzzle Design: Gary Lawrence

3D Modeler: Curt Ljungquist

 

TEAM HYDE: PATH OF THE WARDED

Based on the book The Warded Man, this PC game is a post-apocalyptic challenge that tests the ingenuity of the player at every turn. During the day, players must take care of their farm by reinforcing fences, finding defensive weapons, and preparing for sunset. Once the moon comes up, demons and menacing creatures come out of the woods to try to tear your farm to the ground! Attacks come in three waves and players can set traps in order to destroy as many attackers as possible. Each creature or monster that attacks will have a specific elemental characteristic related to water, fire, wind, or earth. The final version of the game will allow players to customize their character and upgrade their farm to further defend against attacks. After a detailed cut scene, players will have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and engage with their farm. Unfortunately the animals at the farm are not part of the game play and can’t help you defeat any of the demons or monsters, but they provide good company.

Project Manager/Level Designer/Branding: Mari Erdman

Level Design: John Becker

3D Modeler: Eduardo Aviles

3D Modeler: Curt Ljungquist

 

So why are they named Team Jekyll and Team Hyde? When the class began, the 7 students enrolled were expecting to be working on one game, but instead developed into two teams that are working on two different games. As a way to foster healthy competition, and teamwork, the two teams each became Team Jekyll and Team Hyde; two sides of the same… In week ten of their course (March 12-16th) both teams will present a finished product to faculty, staff, and classmates, including offering the opportunity for attendees to play the game as well! If you want to see what these teams are developing, keep your eye on the blog calendar for the announcement of the Capstone presentation. Congratulations to Team Jekyll and Team Hyde! We look forward to seeing the hard work that you are putting into this project and we can’t wait to play it!

 

 

If you are interested in where your own passion for Game Development can take you, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 and schedule a tour! There’s plenty of opportunity in San Diego to start your career, so take the first step and meet the Coleman Game Development community!

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African American Women in Technology: Persevering Through Adversity

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In an age when we are launching new rocket designs into space, and sending information instantly over wireless channels, there is still a gender gap in the #STEM fields. The first computer programmer in the world was a woman named Ada Lovelace, and modern binary code was developed by a Navy engineer named Grace Hopper. Yet, there is still a whole community, spanning generations, of African American women who have moved us forward in STEM development and have received little recognition for their contributions. In this blog post we are going to celebrate the African American women who have used their intelligence and ingenuity to pursue their passion for science, technology, engineering, and math, despite adversity.

Katherine Johnson:
As recently portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson was a genius mathematician whose calculations helped to get the first astronauts to the moon. When John Glenn learned that the calculations for his orbital flight in 1962 were being done by a computer, he refused to go into space until Katherine herself confirmed that they were correct. After 33 years working for NASA, Katherine retired in 1986, and 20 years later she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Henrietta Lacks:
Though she was not a scientist or doctor, Henrietta Lacks is still one of the most influential people in medicine to this day. On January 29, 1951, Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital to diagnose abnormal pain and bleeding in her abdomen. Physician Howard Jones quickly diagnosed her with cervical cancer. During her subsequent radiation treatments, doctors removed two cervical samples from Lacks without her knowledge. She died at Johns Hopkins on October 4, 1951, at the age of 31. Ms. Lacks’ blood cells were able to multiply at rates that had never been seen before, or since and her blood cells were kept without her knowledge for research and are still being used in labs across the country today. The line of cells that there made from her sample were named the HeLa line, ironically to honor Henrietta. Jonas Salk used the HeLa strain to develop the polio vaccine, and since then her cells have contributed to over 10,000 patents. Unfortunately she never knew about her contribution to science and her family was never compensated by the labs that used her blood without permission for their research. For more information about her life and the importance of her contribution to science, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Lilia Ann Abron:
The first African American woman to earn a PhD in Chemical Engineering in the United States at the University of Iowa, Lilia Ann Abron has made incredible achievements in her field since she began her career in 1972. Abron founded PEER Consultants in 1978, an environmental engineering consulting firm that provides solutions to the problems of contamination of the environment. In 1995, Abron founded Peer Africa with the mission of building energy-efficient homes in post-apartheid South Africa. Peer Africa’s Witsand iEEECO (Integrated Energy Environment Empowerment-cost Optimization) Sustainable Human Settlement won the American Academy of Engineers 2012 Superior Achievement Award. To learn more about Abron’s achievements and community projects visit: thehistorymakers.org.
Dr. Donna Auguste:
A businesswoman and entrepreneur who specialized in software development, Donna Auguste is the genius behind Freshwater Software. Her company, founded in 1996, was created to offer companies the ability to monitor and track their presence on the internet. After she sold the company in 2000 she went on to found the Leave a Little Room Foundation, LLC, a philanthropic organization that helps to provide housing, electricity, and vaccinations to poor communities around the world. Despite adversity from her male peers and instructors, Auguste received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from UC Berkeley and went on to become the first African American woman in the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University. For more information on Dr. Auguste visit her profile on the NCWIT website.
Dr. Alexa Canady:
Born in 1950, she was the first African American Woman in the United States to become a neurosurgeon. After almost dropping out of her undergraduate program, she gained the confidence to continue her work and went from being a zoology major to medicine. Though initially she was not taken seriously as a doctor, she quickly proved herself to her peers and was voted one of the top residents in her program. Dr. Canady was chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1987 until her retirement in June 2001. She also holds two honorary degrees, and received the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Teacher of the Year award in 1984, and was inducted into the Michigan Woman’s Hall of Fame in 1989.
Dr. Jeanette Epps:
Dr. Epps is an astronaut that was selected by NASA in 2009 after serving in the CIA for seven years. She has two doctorates, one for Philosophy (1994) and the other in Aerospace Engineering (2000) from the University of Maryland. The New York native was a NASA Fellow during graduate school and authored several journal and conference articles describing her research.
Evelyn Boyd Granville:
The second African American woman to receive a PhD in mathematics from an American university when she graduated from Yale in 1949, Dr. Granville was a pioneer in the field of computing. In 1952, Granville temporarily abandoned teaching to become a mathematician for the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., her work centering on the analyzation and application of mathematics toward the development of missile fuses. After joining IBM in 1956, she created computer software for NASA’s Project Vanguard and Project Mercury space programs. After leaving her position at NASA, she went back to teaching for 30 years until she retired in 1997.

There are thousands more women who could be added to this list, and we hope that this post inspires you to continue to learn more about the women who brought us into the modern technology age. Despite adversity, aggression, and subversion, these women refused to abandon their dreams of an education and a career in STEM. Their passion led to advancements in the field that are still making a difference today. Feel free to add to this list in the comments and tell us more about the women in the field who have inspired you!

 

The first degree conferred by Coleman University (when it was first named the Automation Institute) was to a young woman for Data Processing in 1964, and we have continued our mission for equality in STEM fields ever since. If you have been thinking about starting your career in Software Development, Cybersecurity, or Game Development we have classes that start every ten weeks, so you can pick when you want to start on your degree path! Give us a call at (858) 499-0202 to learn more about our degree programs and career services opportunities.

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Cybersecurity in History: The Elk Cloner Virus

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In 2017, Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that by 2019 a business will become the target of a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. The average budget for cybersecurity measures is expected to exceed $1 Trillion by 2021, and the number of open jobs for cybersecurity experts is fast outgrowing the number of available applicants (CSO Online). It seems that “cybersecurity” is a hot button topic today, but where did this trend start? Where did the first computer virus come from? In late January of 1982, a 15 year-old programmer named Richard Skrenta inadvertently created the first computer virus (outside of a lab) that spread through infected floppy discs “in the wild”. Ironically it was written as a joke!

The first computers, such as the ENIAC, were built at the beginning of the 20th century and were used mostly for computing large sums and for breaking codes during war time. These behemoth machines took up entire floors of buildings and required constant monitoring and maintenance. Over time these computers become smaller, faster, and more efficient, but they were still individual machines that worked towards a specific computing purpose. With the birth of the modern age of computing and the home computer system, programmers could begin experimenting with their own code and testing the limits of these inventions. Using his personal Apple II computer, Richard Skrenta began creating a boot sector virus to infect floppy discs and spread itself to any Apple II computer that booted up using the infected floppy disc by putting the virus into the computer’s memory. His virus would become the first in history to spread “in the wild” and exist outside of a computer laboratory; meaning that any floppy discs that were inserted into an infected computer, were immediately infected and could then pass the virus on to another system. The virus was essentially harmless and was intended to annoy its victims more than attack them. Elk Cloner was designed so that once the Apple II computer had been booted up 50 times after being infected, a poem would display on the screen:

Elk Cloner:

The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks

It will infiltrate your chips

Yes it’s Cloner!

It will stick to you like glue

It will modify ram too

Send in the Cloner!

Once computer developers began installing hard drives into computers instead of relying on floppy discs for memory, this type of virus was no longer effective. Today the threat of digital security is greater than an infected floppy disc that only affects the device you have in your home, and it can be much more detrimental to your system than an unwanted poem on your screen. In a report by ISACA it was projected that over the next 2-4 years there will be an estimated skills gap of almost 2 million in the field of Cybersecurity. The Cybersecurity industry is seeing a sharp spike in hacking attempts and recent scandals, such as the Equifax data breach in 2017, have shown that the cybersecurity needs of major corporations are not being met. Imagine what opportunities are waiting for you with a degree in Cybersecurity!  On average, a Cybersecurity professional will have a yearly salary of $116,000, almost double the national median income reported for 2016! If you have a passion for online safety and love a challenge, think of a degree in Cybersecurity as a part of your future and call us at (858) 499-0202!

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Faculty Spotlight with Joe Shoopack (Game Development)

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We are less than two weeks from Global Game Jam 2018 and this year is gearing up to be one for the record books! For this month’s Faculty Spotlight we interviewed one of our Game Development instructors, Joe Shoopack, in honor of the upcoming Global Game Jam. Joe has a lot of passion for gaming and enjoys teaching the next generation of great game developers! Thank you to Joe Shoopack for giving us an awesome interview!!

If you’re interested in the Global Game Jam there’s still time to register!
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the only Game Jam in San Diego for 2018!

  1. Joe, what was the first video game that you bought; why did you choose that one?

The first game bought for me was PONG for the home television system in 1975. The first console game I bought for myself was the Sega Genesis Mickey’s Castle of Illusion in 1990. It was a really creative platform featuring a level that flipped upside down and had some very cool looks to the levels.

  1. Name some of your top five favorite game releases in the past ten years. What makes a game noteworthy for you?

I would have to say, The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinity, and Cuphead are three standouts I’ve really enjoyed playing since they were released. I like to feel completely immersed in a world, and all three of those games accomplish that in different ways.

  1. Are there any upcoming game releases that you are looking forward to?

I’m waiting for the release of The Last of Us II.

  1. What retro game would you like to see brought back for a modern console?

Rather than seeing an old game brought back, I’m more excited to see the emergence of interest in creating 2D sprite and tile mapped games. It’s been referred to as the Hi-Bit Era: 16-bit style games utilizing the wide screen and higher resolution, like Owlboy from D-Pad Studio.

  1. What drew you to making Game Development and Design your career?

I loved art and arcade games, and when I graduated from Brigham Young University in 1985 with a degree in Illustration, game careers for artists were just starting to become a viable possibility, so I naturally gravitated to doing art for games.

  1. Can you share some of your experience in becoming a game developer and what you are currently doing in the field?

I first started working on Atari 7800 and Sega Genesis Games at Blue Sky Software in San Diego. These were small development teams, so you had the opportunity to do both art and level design as an artist.  I worked there for about 5 years and contributed to Jurassic Park, World Series Baseball, a Ren and Stimpy game, The Little Mermaid and a bunch of others. After that I started working at Sony and worked on Gameday ’99 (a football game for the PC). I then moved over to a spin off company of Sony, called Sony Online Entertainment.  At Sony Online I worked on some very fun Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games like Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest 2.  I then became a Development Director for Art and started working in a broader capacity with all the games and artists at the company on games like DC Universe Online, Planetside 2, H1Z1, etc. I left in 2016 to work on an independent project and to start an adjunct teaching career.

Joe Shoopack Game Development Faculty Quote Coleman University

  1. What brought you to Coleman University to teach?

I started a professional mentor program when I worked at Sony Online that partnered with a local college where I visited classes and advised on student projects and portfolio development.  I really enjoy interacting with students and helping them get started in the game industry, so I started teaching as an adjunct professor.

  1. Any advice for potential and current students looking to make Game Development a lifelong career?

My biggest piece of advice is: be willing to work on anything and be one of the people that volunteer to do whatever it takes to get a game done, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

  1. What’s the gaming industry in San Diego like? Is it a growing industry?

It’s pretty stable; although some larger companies have come and gone over the last 20 years. Amazon just opened a San Diego Studio this past year and I’m sure they’ll be growing. Also there are a lot more small independent developers now, which means there will be more pathways to enter the field of Game Development.

  1. Are you involved in the Global Game Jam? Or planning to attend or create a team?

I will be attending Global Game Jam, most likely as a resource visiting and helping out different teams.

  1. Why are events like Global Game Jam important for Game Development students?

It gives you an opportunity to meet some really creative peers and mentors and it’s an excellent opportunity to test your creative and development skills against a tight deadline while having lots of fun!

  1. What are some hobbies, outside of gaming, that you enjoy in your spare time?

Whenever I go on a road trip I take photos of old “roadside America” attractions that have been abandoned or are off the beaten path.  I especially like finding dinosaur and prehistoric animal sculptures. (See attached.)

 

If you are interested in learning more about our Game Development program and the opportunities available for you here in San Diego, give us a call today at (858) 499-0202 and schedule a free tour! 

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