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CABECT Presentation at Dow Jones in Princeton

cabect-150x78On June 12, Professor Monisha Pulimood (Computer Science) and Professor Kim Pearson (Journalism) presented at a workshop on promoting collaborations between journalism and computer science students to foster computational thinking in the classroom and, later, the newsroom. The workshop, hosted by the Dow Jones News Fund at the Dow Jones Kilgore Campus in Princeton, NJ, was attended by twenty media and computer science college professors from across the mid-Atlantic region.

Professor Pulimood and Professor Pearson, along with Professor Diane Bates (project evaluator), shared the findings of their NSF grant-funded project in a presentation entitled “Collaborating Across Boundaries: Preparing Students for the New Newsroom”. Prof. Pulimood and Prof. Pearson led participants through hands-on activities designed to share tools and pedagogy for bringing computational thinking to the classroom.

For more information on the Dow Jones workshop, see News Fund’s article:

For information on Dr. Pulimood and Dr. Pearson’s CABECT project, see:

Computer Science Department Awards: May 6, 2015


Congratulations to the winners of the 2014-2015 Computer Science Department Awards, Computer Science Service Awards, and the Charles Goldberg-Norman Neff Scholarship Prize in Computer Science!

The Computer Science Department awardees are selected by the faculty based not only on their exemplary performance in CS courses, but also on their significant contributions to the department.

Freshman Award – Elisa Idrobo and Brittany Reedman

Sophomore Award –  Angela Huang and Matthew Rasa

Junior Award –  Kylie Gorman and Brandon Gottlob

Senior Award –  Leah Lewy and Robert Preuss

Computer Science Service Awards are given to students who have taken part in the organization of department events and whose leadership efforts have enriched the TCNJ CS community. This year, Kevin Bohinski, Hank Harvey, Andrew Miller, and Nadya Peña received CS Service Awards.

The Charles Goldberg-Norman Neff Scholarship Prize in Computer Science goes to a graduating senior who has been accepted into a Ph.D. program and completes an application for the award.  Conor Kelton was this year’s winner.

Spring 2015 Celebration of Student Achievement

On Wednesday, May 6, the Computer Science Department will host the Celebration of Student Achievement in Forcina Hall (4th floor).  All TCNJ students and guests are invited to attend the luncheon and poster presentations.

The schedule of events is as follows:

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM:   Department Luncheon

12:30 PM:    Computer Science Awards (FH 408)

12:45 PM:   Presentation of Goldberg Neff Award (FH 408)

1:00 – 3:00 PM:    Presentation of Posters & Project Demonstrations

3:15 – 3:45 PM:    UPE Induction Ceremony  (FH 407)

Please view the list of presentations and student evaluators for this event by clicking the links below.

Student Presentations Schedule

List of Evaluators

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!

CSC 470 Students Visit Net Access Data Center


A select group of students recently accompanied Dr. Peter DePasquale to the Net Access Parsippany I data center. There they viewed first hand the security, power, cooling, fail safe and logistics operations that entail running a large scale data center. This 30,000 square feet facility provides 20kW high density fully closed computing cabinets for leading companies to co-locate their computing assets on site. The tour was offered as part of the Spring 2015 Cloud Computing Special Topics class and allows the students to engage with computing professionals outside of the campus bounds.

Founded in 1995, Net Access is an industry leading provider of data center services delivering secure, reliable and flexible colocation, cloud, network and managed solutions to IT intensive businesses.

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.

(CLOSED) Fall 2015 Registration Wait-list

UPDATE (4/25/2015):  The Fall 2015 registration wait-list is now closed.  If you would are still interested in taking CS courses, please monitor PAWS over the summer for any that may become available.

The registration period for Fall 2015 courses is April 7 – 17, 2015.  Some seats have been reserved for CS majors in all of the upper level courses. Please check the registration newsletter for additional information on options courses offered in Fall 2015.  After your registration windows open, if the class you need is closed, put yourself on the waiting list using the form here:

 Be sure read all directions and 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.

Please be sure that your intended course does not conflict with a course in your schedule and that you are willing to drop conflicting courses to make the change.  We will not automatically drop a course unless you include the course number in the “Drop” field of the wait list.

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

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.

Computer Science Colloquium: March 27

The first Computer Science Colloquium of the semester will be held on Friday, March 27.  Dr. André Bondi, Senior Staff Engineer at Siemens Corporation, Corporate Technology in Princeton will give a talk entitled “Methods and Processes for Ensuring the Performance of Software Systems”.  An abstract of his talk can be found below.

Please join CS faculty and students in Forcina Hall 408 from 12:30 – 1:30 PM for this talk.  Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Performance is an essential and desirable attribute of any software system. Poor performance is a frequent cause of project failure, and can render a system difficult and undesirable to use. Despite this, it is often treated as an afterthought at many stages of the software lifecycle. The painful rollout of a well-known public web-based system in October 2013 underscores the resulting perils. In this talk, we discuss the role of various performance engineering techniques in ensuring the suitable performance of a software system. The choice of performance metrics is crucial to the development of testable performance requirements. The performance requirements influence architectural and technology choices for implementation. Performance models can aid in the planning of performance tests to verify that performance requirements have been met, while informing design and architectural choices that affect system performance and scalability. In this talk, we describe a performance engineering process and its role in the software lifecycle. We illustrate the talk with examples of the interpretation of performance test data in the context of performance models.

André Bondi is a Senior Staff Engineer working in performance software and systems engineering at Siemens Corp., Corporate Technologies in Princeton. His book on performance engineering, Foundations of Software and Systems Performance Engineering: Process, Performance Modeling, Requirements, Testing, Scalability, and Practice was published by Addison-Wesley in August 2014. Dr. Bondi has worked on performance issues in several domains of application, including telecommunications, conveyor systems, financial systems, medical systems, railway control, building surveillance and management, and network management. He has developed and taught corporate training courses on performance requirements and performance engineering. Just prior to joining Siemens, he held senior performance positions at two startup companies. Before that, he spent more than ten years working on a variety of performance, standards, and operational issues at AT&T Labs and its predecessor, Bell Labs. He taught courses in performance, simulation, operating systems principles, and computer architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara for three years. Dr. Bondi holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in computer science from Purdue University, an M.Sc. in statistics from University College London, and a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Exeter. Dr. Bondi holds nine US patents.