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Call for Goldberg-Neff Scholarship Prize Applications

Charles H. Goldberg – Norman Neff Scholarship Prize in Computer Science

(Application due Friday, April 17, 2015 by 3:00 PM)

The Charles H. Goldberg – Norman Neff Scholarship Prize is awarded annually by the Computer Science Department to a student(s) who has/have demonstrated academic excellence in Computer Science and who will be continuing into graduate study in Computer Science.

Eligible students are graduating Computer Science majors who have applied for admission for graduate study in Computer Science. The number of awards and the award amount are at the discretion of the Computer Science Department. The award check will be conveyed to the awardee(s) upon matriculation in a graduate program in Computer Science within one year of the announcement of the award.

How to Apply

Please complete the following form and submit your printed application to Ms. Zsilavetz, Department Program Assistant, in Forcina 413 before the deadline.

1. Name: _____________________________________

2. How can we contact you after graduation?

Phone: _______________________________

E-mail: _______________________________

Postal address _________________________

3. List some of the graduate programs to which you are applying:

4. Please attach a short essay discussing your plans for graduate study.

Two CS Students Receive NIST SURF Awards

Advanced Technology Research
Undergraduate Fellowship Awards

NIST purple

Two Computer Science students have been awarded research fellowships for an 11-week summer program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Daniel Lessoff (Class of 2015) and Kyle Davis (Class of 2016) were selected from a large number of applicants from across the nation to participate in the NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. The SURF program is sponsored by NIST and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NIST PhotoDaniel Lessoff will be working in the area of computer security under the guidance of Mr. Oliver Borchert on a project entitled “Development of network diagnostic tools for Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Security extensions.” Mr. Borchert’s research lab focuses on techniques to characterize the effectiveness and limitations of BGP robustness mechanisms. The BGP protocol, which is part of the backbone of the Internet, does not provide security verification of traffic. Daniel’s project will enhance the usefulness of the Wireshark network analyzer by integrating new functionalities to validate the security of network traffic. This is the second NIST-SURF fellowship that Daniel has received.

NIST PictureDuring the 2015 SURF program at NIST, Kyle Davis will conduct research in computer graphics and motion detection.  She will explore using a head mounted virtual reality display into a system employing graphics and 360 degree video scenes in the project “Integrating the Oculus VR headset with Web-based 3D Graphics and the Leap Motion tracker.”  Her mentor for the summer program will be Mr. Sandy Ressler, whose research lab focuses on information visualization and 3D web technologies for a variety of scientific applications.

Both students will be working in the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at NIST. The fellowship program is designed to provide hands-on research experience in a number of areas, including computer security, information access, software testing, networking, and communications technologies.  The Information Technology Laboratory’s mission is to accelerate the adoption and deployment of advanced technology solutions.  Certainly, the projects that Kyle and Daniel will be working on will help forward that goal! Congratulations to Kyle and Daniel for being awarded these prestigious NIST SURF fellowships.

Article prepared by Dr. Deborah Knox.

ACM National Student Research Competition: March 5 – 8, 2015

Sharing Advancements in Computer Science: 
ACM National Student Research Competition
March 5-8, 2015

Two TCNJ Computer Science students were invited participants in the ACM Undergraduate Student Research Competition (SRC) held during the SIGCSE 2015 Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Derek Duchesne (Class of 2014, with graduation in May 2015) and Brandon Gottlob (Class of 2016) submitted abstracts of their individual research projects and were selected for the national competition by outside reviewers.  TCNJ was the only college or university represented at this ACM SRC to have more than one undergraduate project selected!  There were a total of seventeen undergraduate projects chosen for participation in the SRC.  Each student participant received a travel award, sponsored by Microsoft Research and the Association for Computing Machinery.  In addition, the students and their faculty mentors received support from the Department of Computer Science and the School of Science to attend the SIGCSE Conference.

ACM Student Research Competition Banner

The project Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in Computational Thinking (CABECT), is partially funded by the National Science Foundation DUE Award #1141170.  Derek, mentored by Dr. Monisha Pulimood, focused his research project on “Using CABECTPortal as a Case Study to Extend the Capabilities of Penetration Testing Tools.”  An abstract of Derek’s research is below.

This project presents an approach to web application security that modifies general penetration testing tools to test for advanced vulnerabilities. As a proof of concept, the ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy) security tool was extended with functionality to test vulnerabilities such as server-side security misconfiguration, to test CABECTPortal (a website housing collaborations between multiple disciplines). By combining the general vulnerability checks built into tools like ZAP and the server-side maintenance checks that are normally conducted manually by system administrators and programmers, this project provides a more tailored approach to security testing that can be applied to any web application, making testing easier and more precise.

Brandon designed an original experiment, “Real Time Occupancy Notification: A Comparison Between Passive Infrared and iBeacon Implementations”, guided by Dr. Deborah Knox. Brandon’s project is partially funded through a Student-Faculty Research Award from the TCNJ Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.  The abstract of Brandon’s research project follows:

BrandoniBeacon technology has the potential to evolve occupancy detection over the traditional passive infrared motion sensor approach due to portability, relatively low cost, and capabilities beyond motion detection alone. This project implements study room occupancy detection in the TCNJ Library using a Raspberry Pi with a PIR sensor and an Estimote Beacon. The scalability of each approach is directly compared by cost, ease of setup and maintenance, and accuracy. Prototype occupancy detection systems are set up in study room environments to provide end-users with a listing of available rooms in real-time through new functionality in the TCNJ Library iOS app. Using iBeacon sensors can bring extra functionality to existing systems and new environments where portability is essential.

Both student projects were conducted as part of the Computer Science mentored research capstone experience.  Congratulations to Derek and Brandon for representing TCNJ and for sharing their results at the ACM Student Research Competition at SIGCSE 2015! Their research posters may be viewed in the Computer Science Department in Forcina Hall, 4th floor.
Article prepared by Dr. Knox, March 16, 2015

HackTCNJ 2015 Article

On February 28 and March 1, TCNJ’s ACM chapter hosted the third annual hackathon in the Education Building.

For more information, including some pictures from the event, read the Times of Trenton article here.

Sad News for the CS Department

The Computer Science Department is deeply saddened to announce that Dr. Miroslav (Mike) Martinovic passed away on Tuesday, February 24 after a battle with cancer.  Dr. Martinovic has been a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at TCNJ since 2000, and was chair of the department from Fall 2005 till Spring 2014. He is remembered fondly by faculty, students and staff as a valued colleague, teacher, mentor, advisor, and friend.

The viewing will be on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 12:30 p.m.
Location: Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home, 800 Newtown-Richboro Rd., Richboro, PA, 18954.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dr. Martinovic’s memory may be made to the American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 550, Chicago, IL, 60631.

The obituary has been posted on the website of Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home (

You can see an article about him on the School of Science website at

Feel free to contact Dr. Pulimood ( or Ms. Zsilavetz ( with questions.  Additionally, you may call the office at 609.771.2268.

Call for Computer Science Representatives

Interested in volunteering as a Computer Science Department Representative?  There’s an app—lication for that!

The Computer Science Department is always looking for students who can assist with recruiting and departmental events throughout the academic year.

As a CS Volunteer, you can…

  • Serve as a peer-mentor for new or transfer students
  • Assist faculty with presentations and Q&A during Spring semester open houses and Accepted Students Day
  • Meet with prospective students to answer their questions about the CS Department and/or allow the student to shadow you for the day
  • Help with set-up for departmental events like colloquium and Commencement

When you fill out an application, make sure that you include your name, TCNJ email address, and the dates you’re available to assist.

If you’d like to help out with in-house set-up (for seminars or capstone presentations) as needed or can only be available for set-ups, please send your contact information to Ms. Zsilavetz at

Completed forms can be sent to or dropped off in the Computer Science Office in Forcina 413.  You’ll receive email or phone-call confirmation of the events you’ve been arranged to volunteer at as the semester progresses.

Spring 2015 Registration Redux

Spring 2015 course rosters have been stabilized and currently there are no seats open in most Computer Science courses.

You can use this form to let us know of Computer Science courses that you still would like to take in Spring 2015, should seats become available:

Please note that YOU are responsible for ensuring that

  • you have the necessary pre-requisites for each course that you select,
  • you will have no time conflicts in the revised schedule,
  • you are able to drop a conflicting course before selecting a new CS course.

After January 20, 2015, we will enroll students from the wait list, if there are available seats

Email cs [at] tcnj [dot] edu if you have further questions.

Spring 2015 Registration Wait List Closed

The registration period for Spring 2015 is over and the CS wait list is now closed. We have completed the process of going through the wait list and have allocated seats to students based on requests and availability.

If you did not get into a course you wanted, you can take it when it’s next offered. All core / required courses will be offered in the fall and / or spring of the next academic year. You are also welcome to monitor the course on PAWS and sign yourself in if someone drops it and frees up a seat.

Spring 2015 Registration

Registration is here and upper level CS courses are filling up quickly! There are some seats reserved for CS majors in all the upper level courses. After your registration windows opens, if the class you need is closed, put yourself on the waiting list using the form here:

 Be sure to enter all the information requested.

As seats open up during the registration window, we will enroll students in order based on their registration times and time they registered on the wait list.

Email cs [at] tcnj [dot] edu if you have further questions.

Spring 2015 Registration Newsletter



Summer Undergraduate Research Project Leads to a Peer-reviewed Publication

(The following article and faculty profile were written by Danielle Leng and published on the School of Science’s webpage)

During TCNJ’s Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) 2014, Dr. Dimitris Papamichail worked together with computer science student Nathan Gould (’17) and biology student Oliver Hendy (’15) to study different computer programs that answer biological questions through the use of synthetic genes. Their summer-long efforts have culminated into a peer-reviewed paper that was published in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary science, promoting the utilization of algorithms to create novel biological systems. By using computer biological models, scientists are able to further gene and protein research in terms of their structure and function and create novel drugs and vaccines. Specifically, Papamichail and his research students are looking into tools that aid the design of synthetic genes. Each tool utilizes different algorithms and provides varying lists of pros and cons.

Hendy and Gould were able to obtain experience researching the various computer programs, but also have their efforts showcased in a published paper. Their publication stems from Papamichail’s current research on improving algorithms for synthetic gene design.

– Danielle Leng