News

Ather Sharif (Azavea, Philadelphia, PA)

As part of the Fall 2015 semester, I did an internship at Azavea, which is a local tech firm in Philadelphia focusing on Geographic Information Systems (GIS. During the course of my internship, I worked on testing Azavea’s products for accessibility, namely OpenTreeMap and Stormwater Tools. I was responsible for formally expressing my findings in a report and then implement the changes in the actual application using the GIT repository. I also learned mapping skills and developed a campus map for accessibility for SJU. Towards the end of my internship, I started my research on making maps accessible for screen reader users.

All in all, it was a great learning experience for me. I got to do things that I’m passionate about as well as learn new skills and explore new fields.

Lixia Zhao (SAP, Newtown Square, PA)

This was my first working experience in a corporate environment. During my three-month internship, I worked on a variety of projects. Almost all the projects were relevant to the SAP star product, SAP HANA platform, which is a memory data management platform. It is the fastest growing database in the relational database management systems (RDBMS) market.

The majority of my assignments involved creating documentation to present the packaged HANA solutions as well as implementing related SQL Scripts. The purpose of the documentations was to perform time and cost estimation, to outline the features and tools of the solutions, as well as to illustrate the graphic landscape of these solutions. These documentations will be shown to SAP potential customers. By the end of my internship, I completed 11 packaged solutions and customized four among the 11 solutions based on the requested from potential customers. These solutions cover wide range of aspects of HANA platform, such as HANA architecture, HANA data provisions, backup and security solution, solutions of fixing bugs in HANA, HANASQL Script, integration HANA with other SAP products, for instance ERP, its front-end tools, such as SAPUI5 or Fiori, SAP data analytical tools, or other outside products, such as oracle database. Other projects included monitoring North America HANA Enterprise Cloud(HEC) dashboard and creating weekly report, providing file synchronization solution for an internal wiki webpage, etc.

Jimson Mathew (Harmelin Media, Bala Cynwyd, PA)

During the summer of 2015, I interned at Harmelin Media, a media planning and buying company. I worked in the field of Data Science and helped analyze the relationship between weather and media attributes. In order to do the same, I applied statistical concepts such as t-test, covariance, and regression squared. These operations were carried out in R and Python. I was working with data that was considerable in magnitude. Due to this, I was cognizant of efficiency with every operation I executed on the dataset.

Having an internship allowed me to gain first-hand experience of the field of Big Data. Prior to the internship, my knowledge of the same was acquired primarily through newspaper articles and blog posts. It also allowed me to reflect about what field of Computer Science I would like to work in in the future. I would strongly recommend students to engage in summer internships.

Fatmah Alafari (Drexel Library, SJU, Philadelphia, PA)

In the summer of 2015, I interned as a web development in Francis A. Drexel Library at Saint Josephs’s University specifically, My main responsibility was to develop and maintain some of the library webpages. Thus, I worked on various projects and learned how to use different techniques and tools to approach web-based projects.

The first project I worked on involved designing two responsive SVG web banners for the Library Catalog and iLL webpages. We used Adobe Illustrator software to generate the SVG image, which is the perfect image format to avoid resolution and pixilation problems. In addition, I learned a bout Bootstrap tool, and designed two responsive webpages in which I used the bootstrap’s Scroll Spy plugin for the technical webpages and Bootstrap’s responsive Tab forcomputer classroom webpages. In addition, I used some of CSS3 properties to customize the style of the two designs. Also, I worked on AngularJS for the first time in which I created an Instant Search for the journals webpage. In this project, I had a chance to learn about AngularJS filters, directives and many other main concepts. Thus, I was able to write my customized search filter. Moreover, I used JSON for data exchange in that webpage in which I needed to convert old data from HTML to JSON. Another project that I worked on involved developing the library Staff webpage, in which I used jQuery UI library, JavaScript and CSS3 to design an interactive accordion menu contains the staff images and information. In this project, I wrote my own accordion function since my script file will has less size than the built in accordion script file. Also, I experienced working on backend development application in which I uploaded the new design of Staff webpage on university server using Cascade CMS. Lastly, I learned how to use WordPress which is probably the easiest and most powerful website CMS tool today.

Alumni Reflections: Angela M. Pawlowski

What an exciting time in your life this is: a time to reflect on your accomplishments to date, and a time to plan for your professional career. I remember well this period of planning for me twenty years ago, when I received my acceptance from Saint Joseph’s – and the rest is the history of my career.

Now, as I manage research and development in one of the country’s largest artificial intelligence laboratories, I can look back and recognize the major impact Saint Joseph’s and the professors in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department had on my future. Through my Saint Joseph’s experience I learned not only how to solve technical problems, but also how to define the problems themselves. I learned how to innovate ‘outside the box’, and how to couple my math and computer science capabilities with solid writing skills that have become a hallmark of my current responsibilities at Lockheed Martin.

As an undergrad, Saint Joseph’s gave me the opportunity to test my developing skills as a student consultant in their computer labs, and as a member of their ACM programming team. Complementing those opportunities with Saint Joseph’s well-respected liberal arts education made me a technically savvy and well-rounded job candidate in 1986, when I began at Lockheed Martin (then RCA) as a software engineer upon graduation. Through a series of successive promotions leading to greater responsibility, I arrived at my current position – but that’s my history.

Now is the time for you to begin to create your career history. I’m confident that Saint Joseph’s will serve you well, too, and I encourage you to respond positively and become a Saint Joseph’s Hawk. Twenty years has been a long time for me to reflect on the value of my Saint Joseph’s education. Twenty years of progressive success tells me that you won’t be disappointed, either!

Go Hawks!

Angela M. Pawlowski, B.S. ’86, M.S. ‘89
Manager, Artificial Intelligence Programs
Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories

Alumni Reflections: Glenn Brunette

There are many factors to consider when choosing a college and area of study. The options are many and the choice is never an easy one to make. Your task is complicated by the fact that there are many great schools and programs, each having their own strengths and benefits. It is essential therefore that you take the time to discover what each school has to offer and how each can help you realize your dreams.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Glenn Brunette, and I am an alumnus of Saint Joseph’s University (B.S. Computer Science, 1993 and M.S. Computer Science, 1999). Nearly seventeen years ago, I was facing the same questions and challenges that stand in front of you today. I wanted to attend a good school, study an interesting and challenging subject, meet new friends, and enjoy my college experience. Certainly, I wanted to be able to apply what I had learned, upon graduation, to secure a well-paying position at a good company. Looking back, I can without hesitation say that Saint Joseph’s University exceeded all of my expectations by enabling me to realize my dreams.

Today, I am a Distinguished Engineer working for Sun Microsystems, Inc. as its Chief Information Security Architect and Director of its Security Office. I have had the pleasure of working with Sun’s customers from around the globe on their information security challenges helping to protect sensitive information, critical infrastructure and intellectual capital. I have published papers and tools that have become Sun and industry best practices and have spoken with universities, corporations and even governments from around the world on how best to protect their information assets.

Reflecting on my life and career, I can safely say that the kernels of this success were planted and cultivated during my years at St. Joe’s. Please allow me to take just a few moments to share with you some of my college experiences and thoughts in the hopes that you may better understand the impact that St. Joseph’s University has had on me.

One of the first things that struck me about St. Joe’s was their classroom environment. Being a liberal arts college, one expected the core curriculum to expose you to a well-rounded set of ideas from a variety of disciplines. Certainly, St. Joe’s did not disappoint. These courses consistently provided a friendly and open environment for the thoughtful debate and exchange of all kinds of ideas. Back then, I never could have guessed how many of these ideas I would apply later in life both professionally and personally.

What is great about St. Joe’s is that this kind of academic culture is encouraged through the appointment of knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated faculty, who provide instruction and facilitate discussion across small classes of students where every student can receive the attention that he or she deserves. The small class sizes also afford faculty members the opportunity to better understand their students, including their particular strengths and needs. Similarly, students are more easily able to participate with and learn from one another in a friendly environment.

Throughout my academic and professional career, my focus has solely been in the area of information technology. While in pursuit of my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at St. Joe’s, I studied Computer Science where I learned concepts, theories and methods that I use even to this day. It never ceases to amaze me how much of what I learned during my tenure at St. Joe’s I have applied since graduation. Throughout my professional career, I have worked in a variety of areas such as research and development, software engineering, systems and network administration, and even IT sales and consulting. Regardless of the role I was in at the time, I always have found that St. Joseph’s University had given be the educational foundation and tools that I needed to succeed. To give you just two quick examples:

  1. Courses in algorithms and data structures were applied immediately upon graduation when I worked as a software engineer in an Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for a major defense contractor. There, I applied lessons I had learned at St. Joseph’s University to defense related command and control and combat identification problems.
  2. Courses in operating systems and systems programming have enabled me to better understand how operating are designed and operate. It is with this understanding that, since joining Sun, I have been able to contribute code to our products, help set software engineering direction and policy, and even participate as a community leader in Sun’s OpenSolaris community.

It does not matter whether you want to be an educator, a researcher, a software or hardware engineer, an IT consultant or something else entirely, a degree in computer science can give you the foundation and tools you will need to accomplish your own dreams. Computer science is helping to shape the ways in which people communicate, collaborate, do business and interact with their governments. It is at the forefront of medicine, space exploration, national defense, banking, and much more. Whether you want to work on the smallest forms of nanotechnology or the largest supercomputing grids, computer scientists are there. Not only that, the IT industry continues to rapidly mature and evolve. In doing so, each and every year, new opportunities for computer scientists are born.

One of the great aspects of St. Joseph’s Universities is that the opportunities did not end in the classroom. Whether you wanted to participate in independent study or apply your knowledge to jobs around campus, there possibilities were many. While at St. Joe’s, I worked in the Academic Computing organization initially doing basic hardware and software installation and later systems and network administrator for large parts of the campus. During this time, I was able to solidify my coding and IT management skills that would become so very useful later in my career. In fact, many of my classmates participated around campus in similar ways both as a means to make some additional spending money while at the same time working to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations.

Looking back, I have only the fondest memories of my time at St. Joe’s. The lessons that I had learned there prepared me for my future and gave me the tools that I needed to succeed in the marketplace. More than just the academics, the life lessons I learned while at St. Joe’s, have and continue to shape my future. Without reservation, I would strongly encourage you to consider St. Joseph’s University and its Computer Science program.

Glenn Brunette B.S. ’93, M.S. ’99
Senior Director, Cybersecurity, Oracle Public Sector at Oracle Corporation

2015 UPE Induction Ceremony

2015 (President: Suzan Koknar-Tezel)

Mary Krueger (faculty)
Abrar Alrumayh (graduate)
Mohmmad Alsubaie(graduate)
Ather Sharif (graduate)
Christine Anderson (undergraduate)
Jimson Mathew (undergraduate)
Patricia McGann (undergraduate)
Sarah Cooney (undergraduate)
Luigi Nunez (undergraduate)

Krzysztof Kurzyna (Arris Group Inc., Philadelphia, PA)

My Internship was at Arris Group Inc. ARRIS Group Inc., which is a telecommunications equipment manufacturing company that provides cable operators with high-speed data, video and telephony systems for homes and businesses. My involvement was in the data and video service integration part of the business. The Main part of my internship revolved around performing integration between multiple software systems.

Integration is the function of two pieces of software communicating with one another either using third party translation software or a direct driver integrated in the software. The software we integrated with was the ARRIS Converged Edge Router (E6000) and the skyline Dataminer. The E6000 is a converged Edge Router. It is physical hardware which enables the conversion between RF (Radio Frequency) and IP. This main hardware allows home/business users to connect to the internet through an ISP such as Comcast or Verizon. The main task of my internship was to interact with the two groups and our customer to create the specific requirements which needed to be integrated between E6000 and DataMiner. I communicated with both groups to create rules, SNMP OID monitors, trap lists, GUI layouts for the DataMiner Agent (DMA). This was the main part I helped to contribute in the entire phase of the project.

Elaine Zhang (Drexel Library, Saint Joseph’s University, PA)

Elaine worked as a web developer using Adobe Illustrator to create maps of the library and converting them to the SVG format. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation.

Elaine also used other web technologies such as JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, and HTML5 to create interactive maps for the library. The web app designed by Elaine helps library users find information about library resources such as availability and location of study rooms, book call numbers, installed software packages on various computers across the library, etc.