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Lou Chitkushev named MET computer science department chairman College of Engineering alum plans to add graduate and online programs

Lou Chitkushev (ENG’96)

With a mission to build on the prestige of Metropolitan College’s nationally recognized computer science department, Lou Chitkushev was recently appointed department chairman. Chitkushev (ENG’96), an associate professor of computer science, plans to “continue the strategy and path of academic excellence and growth,” he says.

Chitkushev brings to the position outstanding academic credentials and “sophisticated industry experience, with a strong commitment to applied, relevant research,” says Jay Halfond, dean of the Division of Extended Education and of Metropolitan College. “He is the model of the mature scholar-practitioner we seek in our faculty at MET.”

MET’s computer science department, established in 1979, has evolved from a traditional computer science program offering fundamental courses to a department that has ventured in state-of-the-art areas such as information assurance, telecommunications, medical informatics, computer information systems, biometrics, and digital forensics. The department currently offers seven degrees in the areas of computer science, computer information systems, and telecommunications, as well as eight graduate certificate programs and an international graduate diploma program in information systems and security. Computer science at MET has 8 full-time faculty and more than 70 part-time instructors and offers 150 course sections each academic year, including the summer term, with a total annual student enrollment exceeding 2,500.

“There are a number of new initiatives that we plan to implement over the next several years, such as graduate programs in information assurance, medical informatics — in collaboration with the BU School of Medicine — interactive multimedia, and project management of globally distributed software development,” says Chitkushev. “We also plan to develop new online programs in computer science and telecommunications.”

Progress in each of these areas, he says, is dependent on MET professors and instructors and their development. “In order to accomplish the ambitious plan of expansion and growth in all of these academic disciplines, the department needs to recruit new outstanding faculty and to address several very important areas that are critical for its success: full-time faculty teaching load distribution, online course development compensations, and staff and research support for faculty,” he says. “In addition, faculty promotion criteria and career paths have to be clearly defined. In parallel, we need to revise and develop part-time instructors’ development strategy, as their role will continue to be very important in the future of the department. Overall, as outlined in our mission statement, I think we should be devoted to remaining the first choice for students dedicated to continuing academic development regionally and committed to be leaders in focused areas of computer and information sciences education globally.”

Chitkushev is a cofounder and the associate director of BU’s Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security (RISCS), which held its first symposium in April, and he played an active role in the initiatives that led to BU’s designation by a program administered jointly by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security as a National Center for Excellence in Information Assurance. He has also served on several conference committees of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is a review panelist for the National Science Foundation.

Regarding Chitkushev’s role in founding RISCS, Tanya Zlateva, MET associate dean for academic programs and former computer science department chairwoman, points out that he “was one of four faculty who started the information security curriculum development that led to national recognition of BU’s work in the field.”

“He has high academic standards,” says Halfond, “with a sensitivity to what our working professionals need to know to be at the forefront of their fields.”

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The Art Of Building A Successful It Department

Creating and filling mission-critical IT personnel positions is a managerial art form — one that’s key to running a successful department, according to a Meta Group analyst.

Jonathan Poe, senior vice president at the analyst firm Meta Group, says smart CIOs know that delivering value from the IT department to the overall business starts with having the right people in the right roles. And more and more IT leaders are looking at reshaping their IT structures. Poe says between 2002 and 2003, more than 80% of global 2000 companies will overhaul their IT organizations.

Bringing in the right people is only part of the job. The other part entails creating the right positions — in essence, creating lieutenants to serve the CIO, freeing his hands to focus on the bigger picture.

In this conversation with Datamation, Poe talks about creating a successful IT department, filling the positions carefully and defining a successful operation.

Q: Is this something that only new CIOs should think about doing?

Every CIO should be looking at it, but it is especially important for new CIOs. You need good managers to be successful. You need the right people to get the right results for you. It’s amazing how few CIOs have purposeful staff positions focused on getting specific results.

If a CIO has been in his or her position for a few years, why should he or she tinker around with staff?

If you’ve been there for years, you have a legacy set up and staff kludges. This manager can’t get along with this manager. And this group can’t do that work, so you start carving out niches that don’t make sense for the business.

If you’re coming in as the new CIO, do you really want to start out by letting people go or rearranging staff positions?

These organizations you come into were designed for the last guy, who probably got fired. Bring in an administrative assistant and a key lieutenant…a few key people, if not a whole team, because that is what is going to make you successful.

I think you don’t have to be the hatchet person. That shows poor negotiations. If you’re an executive interviewing with a firm, part of your terms and conditions for coming on board should be laying out that you want a personal assistant. Tell them you work pretty well with a certain team of people or a lieutenant. Part of the negotiation should be what part of your team you can bring on board. If you’re walking in as a CIO and you don’t know if you can trust your admin, that’s a bad start right there. The company can take care of the hatchet job before you arrive.

Isn’t it generally against contract to take employees from your old job with you when you leave for a new job?

There’s that argument, but most labor laws are fairly wide open in regards to taking your team with you. You see whole teams moving from one brokerage to another. Companies like to say you can’t take anybody with you, but it doesn’t mean you can’t work around that. When an employee quits his job, he might know what his next job is going to be. And if it happens that two weeks later he’s working at a different firm, then it was just an offer you couldn’t refuse. Corporations will say you can’t go work for a competitor but those things are hard to enforce and smart people figure out ways to get around it.

How do you figure out what specific positions you need to fill?

You need to set up positions around projects and specific operations. You need to have people who will execute specific functions for you. As a CIO or executive, you can’t spend a lot of time in people development or communications, for example. You need to have a trusted lieutenant to take care of that kind of leadership.

What are some of the positions a CIO should focus on creating?

You should have an IT/Human Capital Management position. You want to make sure your IT guys are being effective and productive. You know how complicated some of these systems are, so you want to have the right people working for you. You can’t end up with a single point of dependency on one person. As an executive, you won’t have time to take care of all of this. And you need to know somebody is making sure my employees are happy, my pipeline is full and my people are being used as efficiently as possible.

You need an IT/Finance position. IT budgets are a significant portion of a corporation’s budget. It’s greater than plant and equipment, greater than facilities, greater than real estate. Most executives want to know what they’re getting for that investment. On all those little projects, on all those installations, you’ve got to show the rate of return and value. On the upper end, this can be kind of tricky. What kinds of rates of return are proper for a risky project? As we bring in new projects and new initiatives, how do we know the assumptions are the same as last year? You need someone to take care of all of this for you.

Wearables Addictive And Unstoppable Says Google X’S Mary Lou Jepsen

Wearables addictive and unstoppable says Google X’s Mary Lou Jepsen

Wearable computing is an unstoppable, addictive force that could well step in to address neurodegenerative illnesses where medicine cannot, Google X’s Mary Lou Jepsen says, though the display division chief refuses to be drawn on what her team is working on inside the clandestine lab. “It’s coming. I don’t think it’s stoppable” Jepsen said of wearables like Google’s Glass which she wore round her neck while speaking at MIT’s EmTech conference on Thursday. However while it may be inescapable, Jepsen still can’t tell us about her particular role in the future; “Sergey insists” on continued secrecy around her project, she explained, referring to Google X lab overseer and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Jepsen’s background was already in game-changing hardware. As well as co-founding the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which aims to bring affordable computing equipment to both developing nations and classrooms closer to home – most recently with the XO Tablet – the display expert founded Pixel Qi, arguably the most successful transflective LCD manufacturer. Pixel Qi products not only work as regular LCDs in normal lighting, but can be used in high-contrast mode outdoors in bright sunlight or when minor power consumption is required.

She joined Google X earlier this year, as “Head of the Display Division”, working on Google’s so-called “moonshot” projects like self-driving autonomous cars which are not so directly connected to the bottom line as products like search, Gmail, and AdWords.

Jepsen is clearly convinced by wearables such as Glass. Describing them as “a way of amplifying you”, much in the same way that she for a long time felt that her laptop was an extension of her mind, the benefit from wearable tech is that it “lets you do more, fast and easily” she suggests. In fact, “you become addicted to the speed of it” Jepsen warned, not only for more everyday tasks like taking photos, but one day for helping people with memory loss and similar conditions.

In ten years for instance, Jepsen predicted, wearables like Glass will be able to quickly identify those people around you, which the exec pointed out would be a real benefit to people with Alzheimer’s among others. That’s assuming Google can get past the privacy concerns; at the moment, the company has said it will not allow face-recognition on Glass until those worries are settled.

Although wearables may end up being ubiquitous, that doesn’t mean that we’ll all be wearing Glass – or, indeed, hardware that looks like anybody else’s – Jepsen claims. As well as her opinion that a range of choice in the design of any body-worn gadget is essential if they’re to be commercially successful, given users will approach them as they do their personal taste in clothing and accessories, she suggested that physical and UI design are only part of a challenge in the segment that’s still yet to be addressed.

The current Glass Explorer Edition is offered in five colors, ranging from the more discrete black through to bright tangerine orange and “sky” blue. That, Google’s Isabelle Olssen, lead industrial designer on the wearable, said at the company’s own I/O conference, was because a single color was deemed too restrictive given Glass’ requirement to “satisfy different personalities.”

Future iterations, such as perhaps the consumer model which Google has suggested is on track for a 2014 release, could even be modular so as to be more flexible or scalable in how they integrate with whatever else the user is wearing.

That need for prior consideration of how a product will scale once launched is something Jepsen touched upon during her talk. In fact, she argued, it’s vital that it’s understood from very early on in the product-development cycle.

As for what Jepsen’s team in particular is working on, that might be rolled out into the public eye in 2014. The division is “maybe sleeping three hours a night to bring the technology forward” but, as with other Google X projects, Brin had sworn her and the others to secrecy in the meantime.

IMAGE CDernbach

Jamil Siddiqui Named Massachusetts Teacher Of The Year

BU Alum Named 2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Jamil Siddiqui inspires his students to love mathematics

Just an hour before this year’s Advanced Placement calculus exam, jittery East Bridgewater, Mass., high school students gathered in Jamil Siddiqui’s classroom for breakfast.

Siddiqui had made them homemade French toast to help quell their nerves, then gave them a last-minute pep talk, reminding them of all the effort they had put into preparing for the test: the homework, before- and after-school meetings, and marathon review sessions, all designed to unlock the intricacies of calculus.

“It’s time to go perform,” said Siddiqui (ENG’93, Wheelock’94, GRS’98). “There is no reason to be nervous or worried, because you are prepared, you have practiced for this day for months.”

The same could be said for their teacher. Siddiqui has been teaching AP calculus for 24 years at East Bridgewater Junior/Senior High School. In that time, he has prepared hundreds of students for the AP test. Typically, 7 out of 10 of those students receive a score of three or higher on the exam. One in three will score a perfect five.

Those results are well above national averages, demonstrating how he has conquered a remarkable challenge: getting high school students to like, and sometimes share his love of, pure mathematics, a subject he calls “the language of love.” He says he still gets excited—even a touch nervous—sending his students into one of the most challenging exams of their high school career.

That passion for his subject and dedication to his students has recently earned Siddiqui a singular honor. He has just been named 2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.

“He has this sort of Yoda-like presence,” says East Bridgewater principal Brian Duffey. “He’s the guy kids and other adults go to with things because of his unassuming approach. And there’s always this unstated deal with him that he’s going to be with you the whole ride through, right to the end.

“He really is a master teacher.”

The first step in teaching teenagers math has little to do with numbers. First, Siddiqui says, they need to learn to be wrong. That fear inhibits them from learning and asking the questions they need answered.

“I cannot care less about your final answer,” he tells students. “I want to know what your thought process is.”

“He’s always way ahead of the kids,” says former student William Pellegrino, who became a math teacher in South Easton, Mass., because of Siddiqui.

“He loves math so much, even if you don’t fully get into it, it starts to rub off on you a little bit—you just can’t resist,” Pellegrino says. “Obviously, I’m a math nerd, but I’ve seen it happen to others who aren’t.”

Passion for teaching began at BU

Siddiqui and his two brothers were raised by a single mother who worked as a nurse in remote Caribou, Maine, near the Canadian border. Distractions were few. Video games and cell phones were a rarity. He says the three frequently challenged one another with science and math problems.

He came to BU to study biomedical engineering, but it was a stint as a tutor in the University’s math lab that proved most formative. Siddiqui was by far the most popular tutor in the lab, says Robert L. Devaney, a College of Arts & Sciences professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics, who later hired him to work in his computer lab. After graduating with an engineering degree, Siddiqui stayed on to earn a master’s degree in math education. A few years later, he returned to BU to get a master’s in pure mathematics.

“In my own career as a student,” he says, “it was the ideas that I struggled with and repeatedly got wrong that became the topics that I understood the most.”

Devaney, past president of the Mathematical Association of America, says he still sees Siddiqui at national math conferences, which typically, few high school math teachers attend. And at a time when most states, including Massachusetts, are facing significant shortages of qualified math teachers, Siddiqui is offering his students a window into higher order mathematical thinking.

“He’s teaching students AP calculus, but he’s also showing them what’s new and interesting and exciting in math,” Devaney says. “And that’s what clearly makes him stand out. East Bridgewater is lucky to have him.”

It would be easy to fill an auditorium with all the students that Siddiqui has helped score well on the AP calculus exam. (About 700 by his count.) And that’s exactly what East Bridgewater school officials did earlier this month during a surprise ceremony to announce that Siddiqui had been named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, a first for the district.

The superintendent of schools was there, along with state and local officials and Siddiqui’s wife, Rebecca, a history teacher, who came with their 17-month-old son. Also on hand were 10 of the 14 former students Siddiqui has inspired to become math teachers, there to celebrate their mentor.

Cheers and applause erupted when Siddiqui, who did not yet know about the award, appeared. Students waved “5” signs from their seats while music blared from the sound system.

“I think he really deserves it,” says 17-year-old Calliope Tarsi. “It’s really easy if you’re having trouble to ask him questions.”

And from rising senior Hunter Dempsey: “He gets you really prepared. And he doesn’t leave anyone behind.”

Siddiqui says he didn’t enter the teaching profession to win accolades, but he is honored to be named Massachusetts’ top teacher and share his love of math. (The official ceremony took place June 21 at the Massachusetts State House.) After nearly two and a half decades as a teacher, he’s been a role model for his colleagues at East Bridgewater, who frequently stop by to observe his teaching methods. He also has a side gig working for the College Board training math teachers. Yet he has no intention of leaving the classroom for an administrative job.

“I always say, you gotta love something, either your subject or your students,” Siddiqui says. “The best teachers, I think, love both.”

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at [email protected].

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Fbi And The Justice Department Of Usa Announced Preventions Regarding Vpnfilter Malware

FBI And The Justice Department Of USA Announced Preventions Regarding VPNFilter Malware

This is because, recently, researchers discovered the new malware dubbed as ‘VPNFilter’, deployed by Russian hackers, which left thousands of routers infected.

Before knowing the whole story, let us talk about VPNFilter first.

What is VPNFilter?

VPNFilter is a new malware virus that is capable of infecting devices, which makes them unusable. It usually targets number of routers and network-attached devices (NAS).

Unlike other malware, VPNFilter stays even after a reboot. It can perform various hacks and tricks despite being found. Basically, this was deployed by actors with the motive to intercept Modbus SCADA communications and to take control of SCADA industrial systems. It is also capable of monitoring the local traffic, and can also destroy and wipe the routers, which cut users from the Internet.

The list of router devices that were infected are Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link, as well as QNAP network-attached storage (NAS) devices, which includes:

Linksys E1200

Linksys E2500

Linksys WRVS4400N

Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072

Netgear DGN2200

Netgear R6400

Netgear R7000

Netgear R8000

Netgear WNR1000

Netgear WNR2000

QNAP TS251

QNAP TS439 Pro

Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software

TP-Link R600VPN

What Actions Justice Department and FBI Is Taking?

Regarding the malware protection, The Justice Department of USA and FBI in an effort to disrupt effect of malware, announced some precautionary measures and preventions for the users. According to FBI, the group of actors known as ‘Sofacy’ is behind this malware virus, and is active since 2007, which targets government, military, security organizations, and other targets of perceived intelligence value.

What Justice Department and FBI Have To Say?

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Demers said,

“The Department of Justice is committed to disrupting, not just watching, national security cyber threats using every tool at our disposal, and today’s effort is another example of our commitment to do that”.

To which he also added, “This operation is the first step in the disruption of a botnet that provides the Sofacy actors with an array of capabilities that could be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including intelligence gathering, theft of valuable information, destructive or disruptive attacks, and the misattribution of such activities”.

Regarding the same, FBI Assistant Director, Scott Smith said,

“Today’s announcement highlights the FBI’s ability to take swift action in the fight against cybercrime and our commitment to protecting the American people and their devices. By seizing a domain used by malicious cyber actors in their botnet campaign, the FBI has taken a critical step in minimizing the impact of the malware attack. While this is an important first step, the FBI’s work is not done. The FBI, along with our domestic and international partners, will continue our efforts to identify and expose those responsible for this wave of malware.”

Looks like FBI is back in action this time!

Must Read : Top 5 Free Antivirus Apps For Your Android Smartphones

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Computer Network Vs Data Communication

Difference Between Computer Network vs Data Communication

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Computer Network

There are different types of implementation of computer networks in the current market and software industry standards. Find below different types of networks that are used in the current industry:

Local Area Network (LAN)

Wide Area Network (WAN)

Home Area Network (HAN)

Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN)

Personal Area Networks (PAN)

Enterprise Private Networks

Global Area Networks (GAN)

Internetworks

Internet

Campus Networks

Find below few important uses of computer networks:

It is used for communication among multiple devices and transforms the output into a single device and thus the output becomes more customized.

It implements file sharing features on a more convenient and easier way,

It implements communication processes through email, video chatbox, messaging, etc.

It helps the web information to traverse more easily and conveniently.

Data communication

Both analog and digital data can be transferred through mainly these two processes:

Analog Signal: These are mainly continuous waveforms in nature and transmitted across different mediums and all of these can be done through electromagnetic waves.

Digital Signal: These are mainly discrete in nature and used to represent different voltage pulses. These are mainly associated with the inter-related circuit system and play one of the important roles regarding the communication processes.

Find below a few important technologies for Data Communication:

Satellite Communication.

Telecommunications.

Computer Networking and Communication Methodologies.

Head To Head Comparison Between Computer Network and Data Communication (Infographics)

Below are the top 7 comparisons between Computer Network and Data Communication:

Key differences between Computer Network and Data Communication

A computer network is basically a set or group of a computer system and other related hardware devices which are interrelated through different communication channels to implement proper communication procedures and related networking methodologies whereas data communication is basically a transmission process that includes digital data transfers between two or more computers or similar devices and vice versa.

There are different types of computer networks that are used in the current industry to process the digital and electronic medium of data transmission and communication.

Computer Networks can be considered as a subset of Data Communication. There can be different ways of transmission procedures for data and among which computer network medium is one of them

Computer networks are mainly dealing with the singles node transmission across different geographies whereas Data communication deals with the transmission of data through multiple nodes and through different mediums.

Data Communication evolves around the different technologies and approaches with the objective of enabling any form of electronic communication whereas computer networking plays one of the most important roles for the same.

Computer networking transfers information through different sharing process and interphases whereas data communication deals with the inter-related methodologies for transferring data and information for the same.

Data Communication deals with the communicating process across different regions and through different process whereas Computer Networking transfers information, files across different localities to communicate data along with it.

Computer Network and Data Communication Comparison Table

Let’s look at the top comparisons between Computer Network and Data Communication.

 Basis of Comparison Between Computer Network and Data Communication Performance Computer Network Data Communication

 Basic Performance Computer Network is one of the known and best networking methodologies to transfer data and information across different geographies. Data Communication deals with the communication and data transfers across different nodes and which helps in networking methodologies for the same.

Architectural Performance Computer networks can be defined into different  types of architectural layers such as Client-Server, peer-to-peer or hybrid and all of them is primarily depending upon its architecture and the interconnected layers Data Communication uses mainly 3 layers of architectural designs and then deals with the multi-node transmission across different regions and communicating with the same also

Geographical Performance based on Templating Computer Network offers to template through different geographies across different cities and locations. The performance can be based on the layers of networking Data Communication uses different magnetic multimedia and three layers of structures. The twisted pair cable can be used to transfer across different layers and cables and communication performance depends on the same

Performance Testing Performance testing is more preferred in Computer Network than Data Communication Data Communication doesn’t provide any data binding process and direct interrelated testing for the communication parameter is a bit difficult than networking.

Support and Performance Upgradation Computer Network has large community support and extensive documentation libraries. Data Communication also has one of the largest community supports.

Routing Performance Computer Network implements a two-way binding process and thus it is a bit complex and less preferable than Data Communication in terms of routing perspective Data Communication doesn’t provide any data binding and has a simple and easier approach towards routing than Computer Network

Transmission Performance Computer Network has a different set of transmission methodologies across different locations and regions Data Communication has three layers of transmission approaches and different sets of wireless methodologies for the same.

Conclusion

Both Computer Network vs Data Communication is important in transmission methodologies and communication industries. Data Communication mainly consists of different transmission methodologies and computer networking is one of them. Computer networking is used to transfer both digital and electronical data to communicate that information across different geographies and mediums. Thus it can be concluded that both are very important and inter-related to each other with their own importance and plays one of the most important roles in the communication and software industries.

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