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Posted by raherschbach on 29 Jan 2015

By Dr. Michael T. Wood, President, Capitol Technology University

Happy New Year. As we near the end of January, Capitol Technology University is into its first calendar year as a full-fledged university. It looks to be a great first year. We expect to launch a new doctoral program to supplement the 100+ candidates in our original doctorate. Also on the near horizon are new master and baccalaureate programs. We are planning newer living facilities on our campus. Look for more and deeper partners with Capitol, from corporations, government agencies, and foreign countries.

Speaking of corporations, have you ever thought about the genesis of great technology companies? Many are the products of creative and dedicated pairs of people. How about Microsoft? Bill Gates, the technology aficionado and expert, and Paul Allen, the entrepreneur, social visionary, and re-maker of the city of Seattle. Not into Windows? Okay, let’s try Apple. It did not fall off a tree. That firm, now the wealthiest in the world, was built by Steve Wozniak, the technology genius, and a fellow named Steve Jobs, who could market and manage like crazy. Who will forget the jeans and black turtlenecks of one of history’s most famous CEOs? 

Going back a ways, remember MCI, the telecommunications company, built in the vapor stream of the Bell monopoly? MCI was nurtured by Bill McGowan, a business savant, and a major contributor to our university. Bill fought long in the courts to enact his independent firm. Mr. McGowan also had technology-minded partners. Too “historic” for you? Then I’ll finish with The Facebook, or just Facebook, as it is now known. Mark Zuckerberg started with a business-minded partner, whom he rather quickly bought out. 

Gates also bought out Allen. But Mr. Allen is still there. If you were watching last week’s NFC championship game in Seattle, you may have seen Mr. Allen raise the “12th Man” flag over the stadium. Partnerships last various periods of time. Most are crucial to getting companies off the ground and into the American mainstream, as their seeds spawn between friends in garages, basements, dorm rooms, or coffee shops. If you think more about this or research it, you’ll likely find many more dynamic duos.

Is there a lesson here? Generative businesses are not products of just a great idea and some financial backing. They are the products of multiple great ideas, or diversely expert and interested minds, focusing on making the germ of an idea into a great new plant. How do we integrate the parts into the new whole? The futurist Joel Barker, who studies paradigms (more on those things in a future blog), would suggest that very few of us experience the joy of starting a total paradigm shift. However, we can make friends with the shifters, and bring our talents to bear on the great new idea as paradigm pioneers, putting change into practice. So, one way to integrate is to find a different-thinking partner who loves your idea, or whose idea you embrace, or with whom together you will hammer out the new idea from the various pieces you each bring to the puzzle.

A second way to integrate the technological and social facets of innovation is to develop some of each set of interests and skills in yourself. That is what we are trying to do at Capitol. Multidisciplinary curricula blend technology and business. Emerging technologists/engineers know the social context and business applications for designing and building new technical systems and solutions. Prospective business leaders know how technology supports their business, and how to lead and serve technology-driven organizations. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) professionals now have STEAM, as we put some Art into their equation.

So, I’ll suggest that YOU make the next Dynamic Duo, comprised of you and CapTechU. As a student, a staff/faculty member, donor, or partner, you can link with us to create and implement the next generation of technology-based or technology-supported innovations. We may not become Batman (you) and Robin (us)…or maybe we can? …We’ll still become a lot of Dynamic Duos.

Onward and upward.

Mike

 

 


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 23 Jan 2015

A unique opportunity is available for undergraduate students in cybersecurity to design and conduct research under the guidance of expert mentors. Apply for the Science of Security Summer Internship  and you could be selected to spend eight weeks at the Information Trust Institute (ITI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, working with faculty and staff.

The resulting research will then be presented in a poster session at the 2016 HotSoS Science of Security Symposium.

The summer internship program, which is sponsored by the National Security Agency, will also include visits to companies, during which you’ll learn about the issues and practice of cybersecurity in the real world. Dates for the internship are June 1 through July 24 (subject to change).  Selected applicants will be provided with lodging, a stipend, and a meal allowance.

The application deadline is February 1, 2015. You’ll need to provide the following information: 1) five-page Research Project Proposal, 2) Resume, 3) Transcripts, 4) Names and contact information for three references. Selection of participants will be made on February 27.

Submit application materials here. Contact Andrea Whitesell at whitesel@illinois.edu if you have questions.

Science of security is an emerging area that emphasizes the methodology of research in cybersecurity as much as the results – an approach that is critical in addressing the fundamental problems of security in a principled manner. It approaches knowledge discovery in a way tha validates predications through logic or repeatable empirical experiments.

The field has broad applications, including development of mathematical models about which properties can be proven and/or predictions made, as well as empirical research that poses hypotheses that are tested by measurement and analysis.


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 21 Jan 2015

By Yonathan Goitom, Alumni Council President

“Capitol Technology University's Alumni Association engages with alumni, students, faculty, and staff to build a network of diverse individuals who thrive in the global workforce and reflect Capitol Technology University's mission to develop professionals and leaders who change the word through innovation and leadership”- Alumni Association Vision statement.

As the President of Capitol Technology University's Alumni Council, it is my responsibility, along with my fellow council members, to identify, lead and support various Alumni related activities and functions that will allow students, past, and present, the opportunity to achieve success both academically, and professionally. Recently, The Association has announced that it will begin leading efforts to raise money for Capitol's newest hub of innovation,  the Fusion Lab..

The council, along with the association, will also continue to build upon the momentum of the school's recent University status as well as the groundbreaking of our new dorms to further engage and reach out to Alum's we may have lost contact with for several years. Moreover, the Alumni council has undergone a new initiative to reach out, individually, to nearly all former Capitol students to notify them of Alumni Association events nearby, provide updates on our schools expansion and exciting projects coming out of the innovation lab.

We are constantly looking for Alums willing to participate in Alumni related activities, mentor to students currently enrolled in the university, and contribute, financially, to the Fusion Lab For those extremely passionate about participating and contributing the mission of the Association and the University, The Alumni Council is also looking to fill vacant positions on its board, if you are interested, please feel free to reach contact the Alumni Council

Please visit the Capitol blog regualrly for updates and news on everything Alumni. If you would like to be a guest Alumni blogger, please contact the Alumni Council or the Department of Communications at raherschbach@captechu.edu..

 

 


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 15 Jan 2015

By Susanna Carey, Librarian

Once a month, there are two different groups led by Library staff that meet in the Puente Library that might interest you.  Both encourage and stimulate reading interest and the sharing of everyone’s love and interest in books and libraries.

The Group, led by Director Rick Sample, meets the first Thursday of each month at noon for an hour or so to discuss pop culture; including movies, TV and of course books! Topics have ranged from Game of Thrones to a highly stimulating discuss of the attributes of Markie Mark Wahlberg. 

Director Sample proclaims that The Group is the fun group since no topic is off limits, all and any topic is discussed and the hour is filled with laughter.  Everyone is welcome to join (students, faculty and staff); all that is required is an excellent strong sense of humor and no fear of that embarrassment feeling of admitting you love this TV show or that.  So feel free to bring your lunch, your sense of humor and of course join the laughter!

There also is the newly formed Book Club led by Librarian Susanna Carey which began this fall, born out of interest for a more formal and traditional book club to coincide with the less than formal The Group.  The Book Club typically meets the last Friday of each month at noon for an hour to discuss a group selected novel. Discussions on character and plot development, story flow and highlights of what Book Club members liked or disliked about that month’s book.  Currently we are reading for December, The Book Thief; previously we have read The Fault in Our Stars, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Gone Girl. The Book Club is open to students, faculty and staff and readily welcomes and encourages reading selections!

To find out more about the Group, contact Rick Sample, Director of Library Services and Information Literacy, at rasample@captechu.edu  and to learn more about the Book Club, contact Susanna Carey, Librarian, at scarey@CapTechU.edu.


Alumni Profile: Steven Noonan

“Communication is foundational to the human experience,” says Capitol electrical engineering graduate Steven Noonan, who has spent a good part his career designing, implementing, and managing systems that help people communicate. “Whenever I feel I’m getting lost in the bits and bytes, I think about how the technology is being used: what needs to be accomplished, and what I’m really enabling people to do.”


ZeroFOX and McAfee: a “major win” for firm co-founded by Capitol alum

ZeroFOX, a company co-founded by Capitol alumnus James C. Foster, has been pioneering ways to protect against cyberattacks that come via the burgeoning world of social media. Now, in a major step forward for the Baltimore-based startup, ZeroFOX will be partnering with computer security giant McAfee.


Capitol launches degree program in Mobile Computing and Game Programming

More and more of the things we used to do on our desktops and laptops are now being done with our mobile phones. And the capabilities of these devices are expanding day by day.

Mobile is the new frontier for computer scientists and engineers, security professionals, and IT entrepreneurs. Through our newest undergraduate degree program, Capitol is offering students the education they need to make their mark in this exciting new arena.


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 9 Jan 2015

Free slots are available to Capitol students, faculty and staff members for a “must-have” cybersecurity training program being offered by the Cybersecurity Forum Initiative (CSFI) via Global Knowledge, an education services provider.

The course, “Introduction to Cyber Warfare and Operational Design,” will be held on January 22-23 at the Global Knowledge Training Center in Arlington, Virginia.

It will provide “a basic understanding of full spectrum cyberspace operations, the complexities of the cyberspace environment, as well as planning, organizing and integrating cyberspace operations,” according to the course description.

The course will consist of “presentations and exercises that will teach you how to develop a cyber-operations design and help you bring it to fruition. At the conclusion of the course, you’ll have a fundamental understanding of how to analyze, plan for and execute cyberspace operations,” it said.

The opportunity is the first of its kind to take place under a new partnership between Capitol and CSFI, announced in October. Under the accord, students and professionals in the cybersecurity industry who have completed CSFI coursework will be eligible to earn credits toward a masters or doctoral degree from Capitol.

William Butler, chair of Capitol’s cybersecurity program, says the course will cover material of critical importance to aspiring professionals in the field. “This world-class training offered by CSFI via Global Knowledge is a must for those who are serious about learning how to plan cyber operations and also how to operate in a cyber operations center,” he said.

The course fills in gap between strategy and operations, Butler said. While strategists may devise plans for action in cyberspace arena, technical knowledge is required to carry out those plans.

Effective operational design is vital to achieving strategic goals, he explained. “What you’re going to do and what you want to accomplish with what you do are important questions,” he said. “Some actions can lead to unforeseen results.”

The class does not require that students bring their laptops, according to CSFI founder and director Paul de Souza. “The facility is well equipped to provide a pleasant learning experience,” he said.

The Global Knowledge Training Center is located at 671 N. Glebe Road, 10th Floor, Arlington, VA 22203. Phone: 703-525-5505. Fax: 703-525-5509.

For more information or to secure your chance at participation in the course, contact Xavier A. Richards, director of graduate recruitment, at xarichards@captechu.edu or by phone at (301) 369-2309.

 


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 5 Jan 2015

By Dr. William "Vic" Maconachy, Vice President for Academic Affairs

As industry and government alike present the case for the need for skilled workers in the cybersecurity area, a two-fold question which arises is, “What types of skills, and how many workers do we need?”. Recently, Symantec estimated for the need and places the current vacancy rate in cybersecurity jobs in the USA at 300,000, with the promise that  “the demand will likely rise as the private sector faces unprecedented numbers of data breaches and cybersecurity threats.”[1]

So where does America turn for cybersecurity-prepared workers? One answer is our great American higher education system.  Here, at Capitol, we share the distinction, along with 165 other colleges, of being a NSA/DHS Designated National Center of Excellence In information Assurance.[2] Our program addresses the workforce shortage by providing cybersecurity-prepared personnel at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral level.[3] We are one of a handful of such full spectrum degree programs in the USA. However, the issue of producing a professional cybersecurity workforce for the USA goes way beyond cybersecurity-focused degrees.  In a recent report on critical infrastructures, Dan Verton noted that:

The demand and the shortfall may be larger than anybody ever imagined if you consider the size and scope of the nation’s critical infrastructure. There are more than 300,000 manufacturing plants in the U.S., 50,000 water utilities, thousands of electric utilities, 200 natural gas utilities controlling 2.4 million miles of distribution pipes, 28,000 food processing plants, 100 urban rail systems and 140,000 miles of freight rail tracks — and that’s just a small portion of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

All of these infrastructure sectors are powered by computers and networks known as industrial control systems, which require unique skills and knowledge to keep secure. But training and educating enough cybersecurity professionals to protect such a massive network of systems may prove impossible.[4]

Thus, at Capitol, our preparing the next generation goes far beyond just the Cybersecurity curriculum. In Astronautical Engineering (AE) we offer a joint course in AE and Cybersecurity taught by professors from both departments. We offer an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in the Management of Cyber and Information Technology.  In the Information Technology Lab, Professor Mehri is assembling and teaching the vulnerabilities and fixes to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.  In our Computer Science Department we teach secure computing as a part of many programming courses.  In taking this approach we fulfil the challenge set forth in a 2014 study by the National Research Council of the National Academies which found that, “The cybersecurity workforce encompasses a variety of contexts, roles and occupations, and is too broad and diverse to be treated as a single occupation or profession.”[5] In that context we believe we are fulfilling the industrial and government needs in the emerging cybersecurity workforce for the USA.


[1] State and Local Governments Hustle to Fill the Cybersecurity Workforce Gap. As found in Government Technology, October 3, 2014. http://www.govtech.com/security/Cybersecurity-Workforce-Gap.html

[4] Verton, Dan. New Concerns About Cybersecurity Workforce Shortage in Critical Infrastructure Sectors.  Found in FEDSCOOP.   June, 26, 2014. http://fedscoop.com/cybersecurity-workforce-shortage-impacting-critical-...

[5] Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Decision-Making.  National Research Council.  The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. 2014. www.nap.edu.

 


Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 17 Dec 2014

By Rosalie Evans, Professor, Capitol Technology  University

Many of my students are shocked when I tell them that there was no TV available until I was nearly 10 years old. And that my cousins and I sometimes watched the test pattern after school because there was nothing  else on. Worse yet, the test pattern was in black-and-white and only about nine inches square!  We were delighted when the horse racing reports from Laurel, Pimlico, and Bowie racetracks began about 4 o’clock  with the “win”, “place” and “show” dollars. We didn’t understand what the numbers meant, but it was better than the test pattern.

I was shocked to find, in my first year at Capitol in 1999, that students did not relate to events surrounding the assassination of JFK, which seemed like just yesterday to me, or to the Watergate scandal ten years later that toppled the Nixon administration. Now I am finding that the intense national reaction to 9/11 is just a vague memory for many of the this fall’s  incoming freshmen, most of whom were only four or five years old at the time.

Clearly, there is a generation gap of major proportions here. For me, communicating across that yawning chasm is one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and, of course, frustrating  aspects of teaching at Capitol Technology University. In the last 15 years, this chasm has broadened to include not only cultural differences, but technological differences between myself and the tech-savvy students of the current generation.

An early indication of this digital dichotomy came quite a few years ago when I told a student that her conference was scheduled for “quarter of three”. Seeing the confused look on her face, I realized that this way of telling time made no sense to her.  Having grown up with digital clocks, fractions of an hour were not in her frame of reference. Instead, “two forty-five” brought a smile of relief and recognition.

A few years later I began using, in English Communications II classes, an article by Mark Bauerlein (2009) called “Why Gen Y Johnny can’t read non-verbal cues” that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Bauerlein’s theory, backed by significant research, was that young people were losing the skill of reading body language because so much of their communication was taking place online rather than in person. Some students adamantly opposed his theory, but others admitted that online communication was easier, less emotionally taxing, and preferable to face-to-face conversations especially for “giving bad news.”  Like learning to play the piano, less practice makes for less skill.

Having  students practice sending different emotional messages with just non-verbal facial expressions and hand gestures was cause for hilarity, but, indeed, revealing of some weaknesses as identified by Bauerlein. Further evidence for his idea was that given a set of photographs, students were not very astute at interpreting the body language of the people in the pictures.     

The most recent generational abyss to be addressed by my students and me is the “connectivity” issue. Some years ago, the sign at the front of my classroom said “Turn off all pagers.”  No beeps, please. Then for a couple years, it said “Please turn off all iPods.”  (One student tried to convince me that his earbuds were really hearing aids, but the chuckles of his classmates gave him away.)  Now the bright pink sign says “No cell phones in class.”  It often comes as a surprise to students to find that I am not a fan of cell phones, and consider responding to cell phone calls in class distracting to the student, disruptive to the class, and disrespectful of the professor.  It takes a couple weeks before students routinely put away their cell phones when class begins, and pretend that they are isolated from friends and family for 90 minutes. 

My classes are not complete technological wastelands, though. The English Communications II class depends heavily on student connectivity via their laptop computers. Students spend about 75% of their class time using the internet to carry out individual research, to share information and resources, and to contribute to collaborative research and writing projects.  Student papers are submitted online  to Turnitin.com for peer reviews, plagiarism checking, and electronic grading. The English Communications I students recently spent 3 weeks in class working in pairs on their laptops analyzing a data set, collaboratively writing a summary of the information it revealed, and putting together a 10-minute slide show for their peers.

I’ve even become a fan of video games, though Grand Theft Auto appears to be beyond my capability.

So, our generation gap is not as insurmountable or as detrimental  is it first appears. In fact, the gap encourages entertaining dialogue, develops intergenerational  insight, and fosters rapport as a result of sharing personal experiences. Each of us learns to appreciate and respect the other’s point-of-view. This process, it seems to me, is education in its broadest and best sense.    

 



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