Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Howard Schmidt to Keynote at SST 2012

Big news for the SST Conference 2012, one of the keynoters for the event will be Howard A. Schmidt, the U.S. Cybersecurity Czar (official title Special Assistant to the President and the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator) for the United States.

Howard is the former Chief Security Officer for Microsoft and Vice President of Security at Ebay.

The South Sound Technology Conference is scheduled for March 9th in William Philip Hall with breakouts in different rooms.

The steering committee has met a few times and a program is being developed. Though not firm, we are looking at a more fully realized track in mobile applications this year. Last year we had a popular panel, but wondered if there was enough going on in mobile development in the South Sound to be impactful. That question has been answered over the last year with a boom in development and solutions. Therefore were bringing back a panel at a minimum and likely expanding to a second breakout session.

On May 18th, 19th and 20th we will be holding a South Sound Entrepreneurs Weekend. This is an offshoot from last years conference as well. In order to prepare for it, we will be asking several companies and organizations from the area to describe for us what type of tech company in the area would help their business grow and what solutions would they provide. Basically, we want to drop some business ideas into the hopper for a little fermentation before we break them out at the entrepreneurs weekend. (It must be close to a holiday for that metaphor to exist).

As the program solidifies more information will be forthcoming. As always, your ideas are welcome. Remember to save the date: March 9th.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Virtual Scavenger Hunting Once More

It is that time of year when the students of Living and Working are sent virtually scavenget hunting. It is a reasonably large class this year, so ten teams are competing for grades and prizes. Since I first started sending folks off on the hunt several years ago, the ability to find items has become far easier. The first hunt listed ten items that they were to find or create on the web. The list is up to three pages and nineteen items, some with several parts necessary to be complete.

Though I once had the teams send URL addresses or screen shots when they were found, the hunt has gotten large enought that it is far easier to have them gather up the items in two batches, and send them off bundled together.

Also, the seach items have gotten a bit harder. My favorite now is to find out the married name of my oldest sister. It is also a scary one. Keeping in mind that many people have their security questions for log in's as family member names (consider the often used "mothers maiden name"), you would expect that this is an impossible task without knowing me personally. Not so. Even though I have not posted this information anywhere, it is possible to discern the answer through a combination of publicly accessible sites.

Whether I am asking for directions to a home that costs below market value and fits a particular set of characteristics, or local news that is over twenty years old, it is designed to cover a multitued of search techniques, sites, search engines and indexing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kickstart your Arts Endeavor

I am a big fan of the web site Kickstarter. It is one of a new set of fundraising platforms that use the idea of crowdsour or in this case "crowdfunding" as a model to generate money for your art project. They aren't all art projects, but most are. One project that I have backed is the book and film, "The Cicada Princess" from which a picture appears above.

You have to apply to Kickstarter and are vetted by the folks who run it as to whether your project is likely to succeed, or meets their guidelines. Because this is a subjective process, you will find a LOT of detractors on the Web. Google "Kickstarter Scam" and see what I mean.

However, my experience as a "backer" on several projects has so far been a very positive one. I probably won't be backing more in the future until some of my current backed projects come to fruition. However, as an exercise in shadowing how projects get done (and face obstacles unforeseen) it is extremely valuable. For someone who is interested in getting a behind the curtain glimpse at the ups and downs of getting an artistic endeavor out the door, it is cheap. You are able to follow along with your project and if the timeline gets pushed for completion, there are generally plenty of other backers pushing for news. That may not be comfortable for the person creating the art, but they sign up for it when they use the site.
The project owners are required to fix a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If they aren't able to reach that target amount by the deadline, no funds are collected. The money that is pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments.

So are, of the projects I have backed, all have hit their targets. Some at multiple times their minimum level. With the exception of the Stageright Productions folks and their unique performance of the "Pirates of Penzance", all have seen their projects pushed out. Some by a little, due to shipping timelines from China or from production errors. Others because they chose to take more time to finish.
Because I know some of the parties involved, I am not worried about the delivery. With others, it is obvious that they have a lot of friends and family backers, which makes the need to deliver all the more important.

I am looking forward to two family Christmas presents from my backed projects: The board game "The Road to Canterbury" and the Wo card game "Borogove".

If you are looking to fund an arts project, or even a product like "B-Squares", take a look at the site. Make no mistake, you will still need to do the heavy lifting as far as contacts are concerned, but the mechanism they provide, even at a 5% fee, may be a good value to you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Platform Discussion

Over the last few days in class we have been discussing the idea of what a platform is. From the very basic definition of platform to the impact of companies or organizations that are successful in pulling off a platform play.

On Wikipedia, under platform, they list over twenty kinds, from a diving platform to a political parties platform. The one that has the greatest relevance to the Internet and the World Wide Web is provided this definition.

Platform technology is a term for technology that enables the creation of products and processes that support present or future development. It establishes the long-term capabilities of research & development institutes.

Whether a computer operating system provides a platform for applications, or TCP/IP stacks provide a platform for Internet technologies to develop, the impact and power behind a platform is tremendous.

Just ask Google engineer Steve Yegge, who in a post that was meant to be between peers ended up going public. He deleted it afterwards, but it was too late. Elvis had left the building.

PC Magazine has an article on the topic here and it is worth the read.

Here is just a taste of what he wrote in his post as reported by PC Magazine:

"Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right," he wrote. Yegge criticized the company's hiring procedures, operations, charity giving, accommodations, compensation, and what he perceived to be lack of perks. Founder Jeff Bezos, he said, was "an infamous micro-manager" on the level of Steve Jobs, who made "ordinary control freaks look like stoned hippies." (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.)

"But there's one thing they do really, really well that pretty much makes up for ALL of their political, philosophical and technical screw-ups," Yegge wrote. About a decade ago, Bezos realized that "that Amazon needs to be a platform."

"A product is useless without a platform, or more precisely and accurately, a platform-less product will always be replaced by an equivalent platform-ized product," Yegge wrote.

Where it hurts is that Yegge points the finger at Google+ as doing it all wrong, claiming that "is a prime example of our complete failure to understand platforms from the very highest levels of executive leadership."

The question is, is this a Jerry McGuire moment for Steve Yegge, where he is applauded internally but ultimately jettisoned? Or will the public/private posting error (if it really was in error) be forgiven in favor or harnessing the passion that he shows in his post toward creating a successful platform out of Google+

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs and History

After Steve Jobs passing from pancreatic cancer, there has been a huge number of articles and remembrances about the man and his impact on technology. There will be many books written in the future as well.

I just wanted to add a few of my own thoughts while they are fresh to me now. I talk about Steve Jobs in my classes. How could you teach about entrepreneurship and technology and not. Or the evolution of the Internet and the Web as well. The latter may not be the first topic that comes to mind, but his impact has been felt there beyond the personal computers and digital players that have come from the company.

I was able to meet Steve Jobs in person once in my life. He was at the University of Washington Seattle and visited the tech fair. I don't even remember the year, though because he has just launched the NeXT Computer and gave a presentation at Meany Theater I believe it was around 1989-90. I was working at Microsoft at the Time.

He has had an interesting life, and his relationship with Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple is in itself a character study. You can read "West of Eden, The End of Innocence at Apple Computer" for some background on the relationship of Steve to the company. You can even watch some of the recent biopics that have come out like "The Pirates of Silicon Valley from 2005". And that film came out before Steve brought Apple back to be the giant it once more is. Steve Jobs life may become its own course of study.

However there are two things that I like to point out when talking about his life. He has helmed two different billion dollar companies. Apple and Pixar. His company he founded after being ousted from Apple, NeXT Computers, made it easier for Pixar to create Toy Story and Finding Nemo. It was on a NeXT Computer that Tim Berners-Lee set up the very first World Wide Web server.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Full Ride, Living Stipend and a Job in Information Assurance

How does a full ride scholarship, a living stipend (because the funding organization wants you to work on research and studies) and employment once you’ve earned your degree sound? That’s what the Information Assurance Scholarship for Service program does, and is doing for two graduate students currently at the Institute of Technology. And there is more to come in the next three years.

To create a powerful incentive for students to enter the Information Assurance field, the Department of Defense is offering the program described above. As they put it:

Nearly every day, the United States faces growing threats and attacks against our critical government systems. DoD’s mission is to address the Nation’s urgent security challenges and to proactively seek solutions to protect and defend our information and information systems. One of the key security challenges DoD faces daily is assuring that the Department's information, information systems, and information infrastructure are protected and available in order to support the Department's transformation to a secure net–centric environment.

To continue to provide the growing number of trained personnel needed, DoD is working with universities across the country, known as, often referred to as CAEs, to develop and expand IA–related curricula and to offer programs of study for future IA professionals.

Universities must qualify in order to provide the scholarships and earn a National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designation. Then that university has to pass muster during an NSF (National Science Foundation) site visit to be vetted to provide that opportunity. If you would like to apply for the scholarship, you must attend a qualifying institution.

As it happens the University of Washington has qualified as one of the universities to offer it. Last June, led by Dr Barbara Endicott-Popovsky, the Director of Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity at the UW, the site visit by the NSF was conducted and included visits to the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

The visit was such a success that they asked that Barbara increase the budget in her proposal.

Three months later Barbara sent out the announcement:
The NSF has officially awarded us $2.1M to fully fund 18 graduate-level scholars over the next 4 years to fully immerse in information assurance (IA) studies! Further, we received an additional $ ½ M on top!! This truly launches us on the national scene as a significant IA presence in the Northwest and in the field at large!
There are only 30+ schools in the US who have had similar awards, our sister iSchool—Syracuse University—being one of them, along with CMU, Johns Hopkins and Purdue. There are only 200+ such scholars in the US at any one time—we’ll have 4 this year—we are in elite company!!

Once again I am reminded of the strengths we have in the South Puget Sound to help generate success in research and technology in the area of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. With our partners in academia to the North, and in particular UW Seattle’s Information School, we can be part of future solutions to the challenges described on the CISC (Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity) site:

The challenges of information assurance are not going to be solved easily, quickly, or independently. Solutions will require new research, new capabilities, new products and services, a spectrum of broadly and specially educated professionals, a much more aware public, and much innovation and broad collaboration. Washington is a convergence of international commerce, military defense, and network-based software development. As such, it is both vulnerable to disruption, and is the home of a spectrum of professional talent and organizations that can be well served by the presence of a national center of excellence.

If you are interested in applying for the program, consider applying to the graduate program at the Institute of Technology at the UW Tacoma or the Information School at the UW Seattle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tech Events Calendar for the South Sound

Earlier this year, at the 2011 South Sound Technology Conference, a small group of people met in one of the breakout rooms in order to talk about the technology event calendar for the next year. That year being more of a Summer to Summer span as opposed to calendar, but I am already digressing.

My intent was to try and publish a straw man calendar so that a more firmly established annual list of meetings could be drafted, vetted and adopted. Also, edited, enhanced and engaged. Not to mention perused, published and... ok, never mind.

So poster boards were put up and people wrote down events, organizations and ongoing meetings. However, the end result was not really easy to digest and articulate into a calendar. I will give you the raw results first. If it is too much for you just skip down:

  • EDB Annual Meeting
  • A Funding Seminar
  • ISSA Training – 1st Tuesday of every month in the Tacoma Room
  • Pacific NW Cybersecurity Challenge
  • PNW Cybersecurity Symposium
  • City Club – a technical based presentation (social networks, online privacy, cybersecurity)
  • Technology Career Fair (put on by Workforce?)
  • Group meetings – Tacoma Tech Consortium
  • - South Sound WTIA
  • - Tacoma Angel Network

  • Ruby on Rails coding meetup
  • Startup Weekend
  • Suite 133 –
  • William M Factory Incubator
  • Tacoma Angel Network

  • Gaming – Intel
  • Kinects – Microsoft
  • Have an out of town big tech event meet up. Whether going to a Washington Technology Industry Event like the Industry Achievement Awards or the Technology Alliances Annual Luncheon, coordinate a group to attend the event together.
  • Hold a digital government summit in Tacoma
  • Washington URISA

  • Shift Awards – Honoring Innovation
  • Meet ups – unstructured
  • Look at the online calendar
  • Harmon: Science CafĂ©
  • Dorkbot
  • South Sound Technology Conference 2012

  • Startup Weekend
  • Barcamp X 4
  • Alliance of Angels pitch session in Tacoma
  • Social Media Outlets
  • Tacoma Library meetings (books?)
  • FIRST Robotics – Intel Dupont SOTA Winners
  • End of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology at the UWT
  • PLU


You see. Plenty of stuff there, but where to start?

It seems to me, there are several organizations listed. Whether they put on events or might put on events that focus on the technology sector, they are part of what aggregating a calendar might look like. Now I don't know if dorkbot is an organization or an ongoing event, but they have not done anything around town for several years. I just know I enjoyed going to the meetings that they had. To the point, each of these organizations holds multiple meetings and events, and could contribute to a calendar.

  1. The Tacoma Angel Network
  2. Institute of Technology
  3. Economic Development Board
  4. Dorkbot
  5. City Club
  6. Grey Hat Group
  7. Tacoma Tech Consortium
  8. Tacoma Workforce
  9. William M Factory
  10. Suite 133
  11. Washington Technology Industry Association
  12. Technology Alliance
  13. Washington URISA
  14. Alliance of Angels
  15. Tacoma Library
  16. PLU
  17. Not to mention, but I will, Microsoft and Intel.
Several ongoing events were listed as well. These are usually bigger events and have some history to them. These alone would be almost one big tech event per month.

  1. The Pacific Northwest Cybersecurity Collegiate Challenge
  2. FIRST Robotics Competition
  3. PNW Security Symposium
  4. The South Sound Entrepreneurs Weekend (A StartUp Weekend like event)
  5. The South Sound Technology Conference
  6. The Economic Development Boards Annual Meeting (listed, though not tech focused)
  7. The SHIFT Awards (put on by SiteCrafting)
  8. A Technology Career Fair
Not finally, but about as much as I want to cover right now, are events or meetings that take place several times a year. For example, the end of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology happens four times a year. Each event, though student presentation based, brings about 70 people together during the course of the day. It should probably be more.

  1. End of the quarter colloquium at the Institute of Technology
  2. Barcamps (suggested we have one quarterly. The last was great.)
  3. City Club meetings (on occasion tech subject matter)
  4. Science Cafe at the Harmon (is this still going on?)
  5. ISSA Training (Tuesday of every month)
That's about it for now. Please feel free to comment on edits, additions or subtractions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do the Puyallup (Again)

For the last few years I have posted the lyrics to the Puyallup Fair's most well known theme song here on the blog. Yes, it is time once more to review the lyrics to the "Do The Puyallup" song of yesteryear.. I will be going to the Puyallup Fair with the family and riding rides (and getting ill), watching shows, checking out the booths for Sham-Wow or a Magic Bullet demonstrations, eating ears of corn and scones and generally having a good time.

Last year my second oldest wanted to go on the giant slingshot for her birthday. Who knows what this year will bring.


"Do the Puyallup"
musics and lyrics by Saxon Rawlings, (slogan by Denny Hinton)

Oh you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

All the people and the animals down at the fair,
They do the Puyallup like they didn’t have a care
And it looks like so much fun to do
I think I’m gonna learn how to do it too.

I saw a duck and a chicken down by the farm,
A kickn' up the hay and a raisn' such a storm,
That I asked the farmer what they were up to
and he said "Puyallup, That's what they do."

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup.

Asked the farmer if he’d show me how to do it
And he said "why son their ain’t nothin to it.
Just move to the music and jump in the air
Like everyone else who comes to the fair"

You can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

You can do it in the rain or the sun or the fog
It comes real easy like rolling off a log
Get a partner from Tacoma or Seattle or Fife
Even let you do it with your husband or wife.

It’s a natural thing there isn’t any doubt
Folks do it while they’re sittin’ or walkin’ about
While over on the midway on the merry go round
Kids are doin it in circles going up and down.

Now it don’t matter if it’s rain or shine
When you do the Puyallup you have a good time
So guys grab get gals and gals grab a fellow
If you’re worried ’bout the rain just bring an umbrella.

You can do it with a mouth full of cotton candy
Caramel apples, salt water taffy
Hot dogs, hamburgers, man oh man
Hot buttered scones with strawberry jam

I do the Puyallup cause it feels real neat
Put a smile on my face and a tickle in my feet
Ain’t no way not to do it right
You can do it all day and into the night

you can do it at a trot,
You can do it at a gallop,
You can do it real slow so your heart won't palpitate.
Just don't be late.

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

Do the Puyallup

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Colloquium at the Institute of Technology

It is the end of the quarter and time for another set of presentations from students on research, readings and internships. Taking place in two rooms in the Cherry Parkes building the discussions, discoveries and lessons learned start at 9:00am and go until around 2:00pm.

Here is the order of presentations:

Institute of Technology Student Colloquium
Summer Quarter 2011

Speaker Session One (CP 105):
09:00am Digital Forensics and Law Enforcement
Josh Phelps (Andrew Fry)

My internship with the Lakewood Police Department’s digital forensics services has a work flow and style is very dynamic and project oriented. I work with Detective Darin Sales and the Forensics services manager Brian Johnson. After the background check process I met with them to discuss a number of problems they have encountered from an IT perspective as well as possible projects to undertake as a solution to those problems. I communicate primarily through e-mail and of course in person. Currently I am working on two projects.

The first project is refining the departments “Computer Case Worksheet", a document that is the first step in the documentation process after a computer is seized and is being analyzed. Here, I am utilizing my system analysis and design experience as well as what I know and what I’m learning about digital forensics practices for law enforcement purposes.

The second project I’m working on is coming up with a sound, viable solution to an issue faced when prosecutors receive the report generated by our forensics software.

09:30am Web Development Internship with Weyerhaeuser
Travis Corbett (Andrew Fry)

Many large companies today utilize Microsoft products and technologies for the majority of their business needs. Weyerhaeuser is one of those companies. In my internship with Weyerhaeuser’s Web Content & Collaboration Services department I had the opportunity to work with some of these products and technologies, and in most instances, for the very first time. We in the Information Technology & Systems degree program have often been told of the importance of conceptual learning versus specializing in particular technologies. So while the trend in academia, it would seem, is biased against Microsoft products, I found myself in a situation where I had to use the conceptual knowledge that I have gained in college in order to adapt and become proficient in new technologies that I have had little to no experience with. In my presentation I will be discussing this experience.

09:50am Agile Development Methodologies
Sushma Konda (Dr. Larry Wear)

Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development based on requirements and a collaboration of team work. There are many such methodolgies implemented by various sectors of companies around the world. In this presentation, I'll be discussing the most popular methodolgies implemented by large companies and thereby gained profits. Scrum and distributed scrum and extreme programming are the topics on which I have been working with my advisor Dr.Larry Wear this quarter. I'll be discussing each methodologies behavior, its pros and cons.

10:10am Creation of Pedagogically Useful Algorithm Animations

Suma Gopalakrishna (Dr. Donald Chinn)
With a brief introduction to what Pedagogically Useful Algorithm Animation means, this presentation will go over the 2 algorithm animations that I created over the summer, under the guidance of Dr.Chinn. The presentation will cover details of the aspects we considered in design of the animations, the tools we used and the algorithms we animated. It will also include display of the said animations.

10:30am Avue Technology Internship: Java Development for a Web Based Application
Jeff Bleckert (Andrew Fry)

A discussion of the searching and interview process for a developer internship, as well as the experience of working as a fulltime Java developer intern, focusing the challenges of finding and beginning a new position as an intern and working with a web based, sql driven system using the Java language and libraries.

11:00am Weyerhaeuser Internship and Access Control Directed Reading
Shakil Sahim (Andrew Fry and Dr. Yan Bai)

I’ll have the presentation on my Weyerhaeuser internship split to 3 main topics. First will be Asset management. I’ll go over the routine process of handling a ticket that’s requesting change of ownership of an asset. I will include screen shots of the tools we use. Then go over some of the stuff on the side such as major updates, transitioning to new system (requirement gathering, testing, etc) and daily reports.
Next ill go over Identity management tasks that I was taught and did for a short period of time. This included practicing how to create new accounts, enabling, disabling, and terminating accounts, managing duplicate accounts, and granting/stripping roles, running scripts against Active Directory to pull data requested and the attempt to modify a Delete/Disable script that is outdated so it’s more accurate and runs efficiently.
Finally, I’ll go over some of the new tasks that I will be taking up starting in a few weeks. I’m currently reading up on ASP.NET, C#, Visual Basic and etc. My manager has also encouraged me to research on CRM systems because of its high demand. I’ll finish things off with some final thoughts.

Directed Reading

I’ll start the presentation off talking about the definition of Access Control and go into the main topics that the chapter covered. I will pick a particular topic from the chapter that has various sub topics to cover in greater detail. I’m not a 100% sure at the moment but it will most likely be the many forms of authentication such as passwords, key cards, retina scan, finger print, voice and etc.

I will wrap up the presentation with what I took away from the reading and a summary.

11:30am Internship at Regence – Agile Project, Directed Reading Computer Forensics and Mobile Devices
Brandon Son (Andrew Fry and Dr. Yan Bai)

The Proof of Concept consists of a 12 week agile project regarding Regence's PIM (Provider Information Management) system. The current system was written in VB6 10 years ago. This new project involves a PoC of Microsoft Dynamic CRM. The team involves lead developer (Garfield Lindo), three interns (Brandon Son, Jason Green, Shawn Smith), and a consulting firm: Collibrium Partners (from Atlanta, GA). Taking to account that it is a 12 week project and the system is large in scope, our sprints are focused on the main functionality of the important parts of the system.

Regence Sponsor: Garfield Lindo

12:00pm Internship at Institute of Technology – Critical Services Virtualization
Vera Brennan (Stephen Rondeau)

Turning the information technology to 180-degree view happens enough often in the industry. However breaking the connections
between hardware and applications layers has numerous advantages and disadvantages, and so brings hardware, software and networking conflicts between existing physical servers and new virtual servers. Especially if we consider the potential upgrading conflicts during the transformation of existing physical servers running Windows Server 2003 into virtual servers running Windows Server 2008 R2.

During the summer 2011 internship I was asked to learn in depth Linux and Windows administration commands, practice in setting and testing, virtualization environments, install Windows Server 2008 and 2008R2 in virtual machine, create and configure Windows domain, migrate existing INSTTECH users to INSTTEST, familiarize with Windows clustering for files,create cluster and migrate existing files to new cluster,create license management and much more. In my presentation I will present troubleshooting workaround that I gathered during the internship and a general overview of switching from physical servers to virtual.

12:30pm Micro Server Architecture Evolution and Associated New Architectural and Debug Challenges
Johnson Daniel (Dr. Jie Sheng)

In the recent years, the adaptation of micro servers is gaining momentum in the server market segment due to the compelling advantage of power efficiency, size, and total cost of ownership over traditional servers. Micro server is defined as any server with a large number of nodes, usually with a single socket or multiple low-power processors and shared infrastructure. The independent study will explore the three aspects of micro servers current state of implementations, architectural challenges, and debug challenges.

01:00pm Functional Test Automation in Web Applications
Sergiy Kulyk (Dr. Josh Tenenberg)

As technology moves toward web applications, developing functional test suites for such applications becomes of higher and higher importance. Small and large companies face the problem of maintaining the quality of their web products, while at the same time regularly updating and renovating them. I would like to share my experience as an SDET in a large online retail company. In my presentation I will introduce the problem at hand, why it is important, challenges that need to be solved, and how those challenges are approached by the QA team I have a privilege to work with.

01:30pm Temperature Control With a Thermistor and an Arduino Aakanksha Gaur (Dr. George Mobus)

It is a project to control (increase or decrease) the temperature of water using an Arduino board and a thermistor as main components. I will be giving a power point presentation along with the project demonstration.

Speaker Session Two (CP 108):

09:00am Internship at Isilon
Gavin Greene (Dr. Daniel Zimmerman)

The goal of my internship was to design and implement a web application that incorporates a variety of existing technologies in a modular way . The program is a web-based administrative panel that uses SQL alchemy to preform operations on a MySQL database containing areas that the company provides support at, and the level of support. The application takes user inputted addresses and uses Google's geocoding API to retrieve longitude and latitude information, verify that the user inputted a valid address, and normalizes data ('United States' as opposed to 'USA' or 'usa') . the front end of the application is written in JavaScript using Ext-JS 4 and the backed is written in python using pylons. This project involved learning about each of the languages, frameworks, API's and protocols (such as:SQL, Google maps api, Ajax, JSON), as well as the way each of the components interacted with one another. The project provided an excellent sampling of many different technologies and gave me an good example of how applications are designed, developed, tested, and implemented in the real world.

Isilon Systems, a division of EMC, is the global leader in scale-out storage. Our nearly 2000 customers attest to that. Our mission is to remove the barriers that exist between businesses and their data. And our goal is to help customers get to the information they need, manipulate it and act on it.

09:30am Hacking and Countermeasures
Douglas Kroll (Dr. Yan Bai)
In this project I am using new techniques for hacking and then showing how to defend against the different attacks I had researched.

1. Describe the different types of hacking techniques

2. Show the attacks on my secure network.

3. Show how I defended against the attacks

10:00am Internship With T-Mobile
Brent Sargent (Dr. Yan Bai)

T-Mobile is the #4 mobile carrier in the US. After forming through a series of mergers and acquisitions, T-Mobile itself is being acquired. My internship has been working in the product development group where new hardware / software is tested before release. In my presentation I will focus on what it's like to work for a seemingly large organization, what it's like in the product development team, and how the impending acquisition has affected the work environment and product development.

10:30am Sales Manager Form on Android Platform
Billie Jo Wood (Dr. Ankur Teredesai)

I did a project at CodeSmart Inc in Lacey, WA which Chad Stoker the president as the superviser and project lead.

The project: Establish an android application that will be used by for Sales Managers of Natural Molecular Testing Corporation utilizing Java in the IDE eclipse. The application is an order form for a client that includes the patients private data.

11:00am Text Mining Biological Research Papers to Index Drug-Drug Interactions
Aaron Munger (Dr. Ankur Teredesai)

In many scientific domains, there is a vast amount of useful information that is sparsely distributed across volumes of research papers. In order to make this information useful as a whole, text mining algorithms can be used to parse out and index the requested information using Information Exctraction (IE). I am proposing a project that will demonstrate the use of IE on the specific case of finding drug-drug interactions within Biology texts. A variety of techniques will be implemented, including the formerly developed PRISE, that searched for protein-protein interactions, as well as submissions from other contestants in a current IE contest to find drug-drug interactions.

12:30pm Internship at Boeing - Local Area Networks - Northwest Region Design & Engineering
Roger Klink (Andrew Fry)

I will go over the experiences I have had over my Summer internship with the Boeing Company. In particular I will highlight four areas of interest which include:

1. Company Overview

2. Organization

3. LAN Technologies

4. Summer Internship Activities

01:00pm Internship With the School District
Gary Armstrong (Andrew Fry)

To be provided

01:30pm Internship System Three a Real Life Website – Reading Computer Forensics

Tyler Withrow (Dr. Yan Bai)
The main objective for the internship was web development, code debugging, and research. The website is actually a collection of three different applications that work together to create the web site and its features. The main framework is ASP.NET and then there is a cart program and a PHP locator application that works together with the framework. I researched the code that I have never worked with, ASP and the cart, then developed and debugged the code I knew, PHP and basic web code. After changes were made, they were approved by the internship sponsor and owners of the company.

Internship Sponsor: Brett Cowman VP
System Three Resins

Directed Reading with Bradon Son: The main objective was to continue our study on computer forensic applications and methodologies using the book “Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations” by Nelson, Phillips, and Steuart. Our focus was on current computer forensic tools (ch.7) and forensic methodologies & tools for mobile devices (ch.13). Using a complementary lab book, we tested the tools and methodologies.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Math, Science and Leadership at the Institute of Technology

On the week of Monday, July 25th 2011, the Institute of Technology held its Math, Science and Leadership program on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

We welcomed nearly 50 students from 7th through 12th grade for a week of robotics, environmental science and architecture. Highlights included field trips to visit the Center for Urban Waters on the Thea Foss Waterway and visits to the History and Art Museums that stretch along Pacific Avenue in Tacoma.

Each summer, the program provides a different experiential learning process which focuses on leadership skills and preparation for excellence and success in mathematics, science, technology, engineering, and leadership. The students formed cohort groups averaging 16 students on each team and followed through the week focused on three different themes. The themes this year included Environmental Science, Robotics and Architecture, with morning themes of Leadership, Computer Science and Math.

It was in 2003 that the Institute of Technology implemented the Math Science Leadership (MSL) program. MSL targets populations that are underrepresented in these respective fields, by focusing on three specific disempowered groups: minorities (which can take on varying connotations), low-income students (determined based on whether or not they qualify for free or reduced lunch) and first-generation college-bound students. The program seeks to enrich the lives of youth in three areas:

· High level of secondary academic achievement in high-potential youth, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

· Leadership and social skill development for students as they transition from middle school to high school, and high school to college.

· Encourage students to develop the necessary skill-sets to become successful in pursuing postsecondary degrees in these respective fields.

The event could not have succeeded without a wonderful team of instructors, parents, volunteers and generous sponsors. In particular a big thanks to Intel Corporation who have been long time supporters of the program.

Logistically, programmatically and thematically everything went well. We some advance planning and work over the academic year we hope to continue the program next Summer and the Summers to follow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Local Projects Completed at End of the Quarter

I teach Managing Technical Teams this quarter, and it is one of my favorite courses to teach. Probably the most compelling reason for me is the guiding project of the classroom experience. After almost immediately forming in the first week of the quarter, four to six person teams need to choose a project that they will be working on over the next eight to nine weeks. The requirement of the project is that it must provide a "contribution to the community utilizing technology".

This means that outreach is done through from the Institute of Technology students to organizations and non-profits throughout the Puget Sound area.

The teams finished launching their projects via class presentations on Tuesday. Six total teams giving one hour presentations each.

Just some of the projects included:

  • Database design and development for the Breast Cancer Research Center.
  • Development work on training web forms for the Law Enforcement Support Agency.
  • Automated installation and set up programming for the Domestic Abuse Women's Network.
  • Online training programs for Goodwill of Silverdale.
  • Web development work for some very small local companies without the resources to do so otherwise.
I wish this class were taught twice a year, Fall and Spring, just to see the contributions continue to make their impact.

Additional student work in directed reading, research and internship will be on display this Friday starting at 9:30am in the Cherry Parkes building as part of the end of the quarter colloquium.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cong. Adam Smith to Open SST Conference

Congressman Adam Smith will open the 2011 South Sound Technology Conference as the morning keynote speaker, and Egils Milbergs, executive director of the Washington Economic Development Commission, will provide the lunch keynote address.

The annual South Sound Technology Conference, which is hosted by the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington Tacoma and slated for Friday, March 11, is the technology showcase for Tacoma and the South Puget Sound. Since 2000 it has brought together leaders from industry, education and government from around the state to discuss and demonstrate technological innovations and their ongoing applications.

This year the conference will highlight the Institute of Technology's 10th year of service and education. Launched in 2001 through a combination of state and non-state investment, Gov. Gary Locke proposed the institute, which was championed by industry and approved by the Legislature, to address the growing demand for educated professionals for Washington's high-tech economy.

Congressman Smith is a strong supporter of innovated technology advancement and education, especially as it relates to investments in alternative fuel sources and biofuel technology.

On his website, Smith notes, "Locally, the South Puget Sound region has attracted many new high-wage, high-tech jobs. . To this end, I've joined and initiated conferences in our area that bring together leaders in technology, education and community development to share ideas and craft strategies for educating our workforce, attracting new businesses and making the South Sound a center of technology."

Egils Milbergs, a noted thought leader in competitiveness policy, champions the vital importance of U.S. technological, manufacturing and innovation leadership to long-term prosperity. He is advancing the concept and practice of regional innovation ecosystems in Washington.

Panel and keynote presentations - including networking opportunities - provide a venue to discuss, explore, understand and deploy technology as a solution, an opportunity and an advantage. Sessions planned for the South Sound Technology Conference include discussions on mobile application development, energy and sustainability, information technology as a driver of infrastructure in the South Sound and an open breakout forum designed to create a common calendar for technology related events and activities for the year ahead.

Panelists and speakers for the all-day conference include:
  • Matthew Tolentino, researcher, Intel Corp.
  • Beth Whitzel, lead developer at LESA (Law Enforcement Support Agency)
  • Brian Forth, CEO, Sitecrafting
  • Kevin Freitas, mobile applications developer, Sitecrafting
  • Angela Gow, senior webmaster, Multicare
  • Mark Brown, CEO, IdentityMine
  • Egils Milbergs, executive director, Washington Economic Development Commission
  • Andy Wappler, vice president for corporate affairs, Puget Sound Energy
  • Graham Evans, senior vice president, EQ2
  • Erik Hanberg, executive director of City Club of Tacoma; and chair, Tacoma Reads
  • Darrel Bowman, CEO, mynetworkcompany
  • Gary Bracket, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
  • Rick Shanaman, CEO, Optic Fusion
  • Jon Owen, director of information technology, DaVita
  • Linda Gerull, director of information technology, Pierce County
  • Andrew Fry, UWT, Institute of Technology
  • Orlando Baiocchi, director, Institute of Technology, UW Tacoma
  • Bruce Kendall, CEO, Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County

Throughout the day, graduate and undergraduate students from the Institute of Technology will showcase their work through poster sessions and demonstrations in the Gallery area.

The conference concludes at 2:15 p.m., followed by a mixer with conference participants and Institute of Technology alumni and faculty.

reposted from

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Egils Milbergs - Building the World’s Largest Science and Innovation Ecosystem

SST Conference Update:

Keynote lunch speaker bio for March 11th Conference:

Egils Milbergs is the executive director of the Economic Development Commission of Washington State. ( ).

The Commission is charged with developing a long term economic development strategy and making the state the most innovative region in the world. He was appointed by Governor Chris Gregoire on January 23, 2008 after a nation-wide search. He is a noted thought leader in competitiveness policy and champions the vital importance of US technological, manufacturing and innovation leadership to long-term prosperity.

In Washington State he is advancing the concept and practice of regional innovation ecosystems. He held previous positions as president and founder of the Center for Accelerating Innovation, president of the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, president of the Institute for Illinois, Deputy Assistant Secretary for productivity, technology and innovation for the U.S. Commerce Department, and executive director the President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness.

Here is an abstract describing his presentation:

Egils Milbergs, after 25 years in Washington DC, accepted a new challenge in the “other Washington” to prepare the state’s long range economic development plan. Washington State is home to many innovative companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco and Real Networks. But what is next? The Pacific Northwest region is a case study on creating the world’s largest science and innovation ecosystem. This presentation will highlight the work of an 18 member public–private commission focused on transforming the economy to be more creative, open and collaborative.

Find out about the dynamics of government, business, academia and philanthropy in bringing about this change. A new public-private model for driving Washington’s economic future and the requirements for economic recovery and job creation will be discussed. These topics will be integrated into the foundation for the next update of the State’s long term economic development strategy and action recommendations to be presented to the Governor, legislature, congressional delegation and public later this spring.

After his presentation, Bruce Kendall, CEO of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County, will conduct a fireside chat with the speaker to cover more specific South Sound objectives.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Looking for a Technology Date? Me too

Calling all technology companies and organizations:

Wouldn't it be great if we had a collective calendar of technology events in the South Puget Sound? We have had Barcamps, Startup Weekends, Dorkbot events (awhile ago), International eCrime Conferences, the PNW Security Symposium, Tacoma Angel Network events, end of quarter colloquiums, Tech Meetups, the SHIFT awards and more.

Not to mention the South Sound Technology Conference on March 11th.

I would like to see if we could gather up all these great meeting times and events and put them in one place? I am not sure how that would work but I would like to give it some effort to try and figure out a way.

In the afternoon breakout session of the SST Conference, time has been set aside to start collecting times, days and information on upcoming technology related events and organizational meetings.

Do some advance scouting for your company, use this as an opportunity to promote your group, bring ideas for how we might share this information and share it.

Let's see if we can bring the WTIA or The TA down for a meeting or an event.

The meeting room will be next to William Philip Hall and the effort will take place after a lunchtime keynote focusing on innovation and economic development.

Gary Bracket from the Tacoma Chamber and I will help to coordinate the conversation and the collection of information.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Erik Hanberg Joins Energy Panel SST

Erik Hanberg is Executive Director of City Club of Tacoma, a Web Developer with Mary Holste Design, an author (The Saints Go Dying, Little Book of Gold) and occasional guest speaker in my class. But why is he on the Energy Panel at the South Sound Technology Conference?

Because last year Erik Hanberg was picked by Mayor Marilyn Strickland to chair Tacoma Reads Together, a community reading initiative. Additionally, last Tuesday the 22nd at the City Council meeting it was announced that “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope” would be this years selection.

Now we are all supposed to read and discuss this book together. I am going to.

As reported in the Tacoma News Tribune,
The 2009 book was written by William Kamkwamba and journalist Bryan Meale. In it, Kamkwamba tells how he went to his village library and checked out a book on energy that included pictures of windmills. Using scrap parts, he built a crude windmill to power several appliances in his family’s home in Malawi. He later created a solar-powered water pump to provide the first drinking water in his village.

Why did Mayor Strickland pick Erik?
“I selected Hanberg because he is a voracious reader, a champion of social media, and very active in the civic, arts and business arenas,” said Strickland. “As our city moves forward, I want to ensure that new voices are brought to the table to serve on boards, commissions and in other positions of leadership.”

Why is Erik on the panel? Given the panels energy focus and the conferences South Sound focus, this gives us a representative voice in the conversation.

KOMO has more on the Tacoma Reads Together initiative.

See you there on March 11th in the William Philip Hall on the UWT campus.

Register Here:

Registration It is only 15 dollars and it comes with lunch. Such a deal.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Energy Teaser for the SST Conference

As more elements of the March 11th South Sound Technology Conference fall in to place I thought I might mention the morning energy breakout session presentation by Dr. George Mobus.

His current working title is:

The Critical Energy Challenges: Time and Scale

Dr George Mobus will be presenting on how effective alternative renewable energy sources may be as opposed to fossil fuels. He will discuss peak oil and peak net energy with attention to the potential decline rates from these sources. The biggest challenge according to professor Mobus is the time frame for replacing our current level of net energy with renewable/alternative sources, and the various conservation approaches to reduce the scale problem.

His passion for the topic is obvious, as is his straight forward approach. As he has said of his presentation, “ this represents an honest assessment of the challenges ahead as a prod to why we need massive investment in those technologies that stand a chance of meeting the challenges.”

To get a feel for his ideas and passion about energy and systems science, check out his blog "Question Everything".

Following his presentation will be a panel discussion from industry and energy experts, including Graham Evans, former Executive Director at Washington Clean Technology Alliance and current Senior Vice President with EQ².

Also on the panel will be Andy Wappler,vice president, Corporate Affairs for Washington-based Puget Sound Energy, utility subsidiary of Puget Energy.

As head of Corporate Affairs, Wappler is responsible for the company’s ongoing efforts to enhance relationships with communities, government agencies and major customers, as well as the company’s communications. He also is the chairman and president of the Puget Sound Energy Foundation.

According to their website, "Puget Sound Energy is the Pacific Northwest’s largest utility producer of renewable energy and, among investor-owned utilities, is America’s second-largest generator of wind power."

I have a third panel guest on tap, though they may be given a breakout segment of their own depending on how their presentation comes together.

So join us on March 11th for the day. Registration is only 15 dollars and it comes with lunch. Such a deal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mobile Applications and the South Sound

I had a gentleman come to see me today who talked about the mobile applications he has been developing for the Android. He was doing so because he wanted to sharpen his technical skill set as well as work with technology that was growing in use. He then asked me if there was any mobile application development going on in the South Puget Sound.

The answer is yes. In fact, this years South Sound Technology Conference on March 11th is going to focus on mobile application development as one of its breakout sessions on the technical track (the second track is the business track).

Brian Forth, President of SiteCrafting, a web design and application development company located in Tacoma will be presenting on the topic. He will be discussing not only how mobile applications are creating opportunities and providing unique solutions to his companies customers, but also how the technology is changing the industry landscape.

Following his talk panelists which will include Keven Freitas, a mobile apps developer as well as two companies from the area that have deployed their mobile app solutions. Many of us know Kevin as well from his contribution of FeedTacoma to the Tacoma online community.

Brian came by the Entrepreneurship in Technology class this week to talk about his experience building the company and branching out to include Seattle and Spokane offices. The presentation engaged the students who weren't shy in the least when asking questions about building a company and leveraging technology in business. During the presentation he talked about ChambersEdge just one of the mobile solutions his company has delivered.

A mobile application that provides business and contact info about all your chamber members. It can be accessed by chamber members and visitors alike.

Just a quick search on the topic "mobile application development Tacoma" pulls up several companies in the area who are doing development or offer the service, such as IdentityMine and BigStep Consulting.

It should be a great presentation and a rewarding conversation. Be sure to register.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ring Round the Moon

Yesterday was opening night for the three act play Ring Round the Moon at the Lakewood Playhouse. After several weeks of rehearsal for me and even more for many of the cast members we had a live and lively audience last night, which brings another level of energy to all the performances.

The actors who I am performing with are all wonderful and talented. They had their lines, blocking, dancing and characterizations off book and well formed with days to spare before we opened. That gave us the opportunity to run the show through several times over in advance, which is great, but leaves you wanting somewhat. It is when the audience is introduced that the world the director, designers, stage management and costumers have created through the show comes alive completely.

The show is in three acts and with intermission runs for three hours, which can tire you out. But with the audience there, obviously engaged until the final bow, it provides plenty of energy for the task.

One of the great surprises for me from last night was one particular scene that plays out an important dramatic moment that requires several shifts of mood from the actors and is also reasonably lengthy. It is also full of very funny moments, which you can forget about after hearing it many times over, as it becomes exacted by the players. Well it soared yesterday and the laughter from the audience actually gave it greater impact.

This is the first non-musical I have done in YEARS and it has been a blast. Also new to me is doing a show in the round. A very immersive experience to say the least. I have done shows with two of the other actors but for the majority this will be my first experience. It has been a wonderful one at that.

For information you can go to

Here is how the director David Domkoski describes his sense of the show:

What excites me about Ring Round The Moon is Christopher Fry's extraordinary language, the vividness of the images he creates and his delightful word play. Towards the end of the play one characters describes another as 'scrupulous and considerate, but not considerabl...e,' or as another character describes himself, 'I am acting providence tonight. I deflect the influence of the stars. The stars, twinkling up there with9ut an inkling of what's going to happen tonight." Very Oscar Wilde-ish. The play was once described as being a 'soufflĂ© with razor blades”.It's not all fun and games as it might first appear. Beneath the laughter, Fry explores some serious social issues. The play is a cross between Cinderella and Pygmalion. Cinderella in this case is a poor but highly principled dancer hired by a cynical and manipulative young aristocrat to break up his less worldly and love smitten brother's engagement.

The Suburban Times has a nice write up of the show and gives due to the actors and their roles.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clint Nelson of Startup Weekend to Keynote

As we get closer to Friday March 11th and the 11th Annual South Sound Technology Conference I will post more on the the great speakers and panels that we have for the event.

Right now I am excited to announce that Clint Nelson of Startup Weekend is going to be our lunch time keynoter. Startup Weekend is a Seattle non-profit that runs weekend-long brainstorming sessions for entrepreneurs around the world. If you are unfamiliar with Startup Weekend, here is information about them from their site:

What is Startup Weekend?

What We Do:

54-hour events where developers, coders, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and create startups!
Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiments where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. Most events have about 75 attendees, half of which have technical backgrounds and the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, individuals and teams are encouraged to bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams code, design, research, develop, create business plans while constantly streamlining their startup vision. Come Sunday evening—which always comes around way too soon—teams come together to watch each other’s demos, listen to judges’ feedback, and even win awesome prizes.
Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs looking for feedback on an idea, are interested in finding a co-founder, would like to learn a new skill, or would like to test the entrepreneurial waters by joining a team. Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.

It is my hope that this will be the launch toward a full out Startup Weekend in Tacoma/Pierce County to be held later in the year.

Clint is a director of Startup Weekend. For more information about Clint, other than his bio from Twitter (I'm an enabler, I run @StartupWeekend, I love harnessing the power of disruptive thinking, new ideas, traveling, flying, snowboarding, and the outdoors!) or from his bio from the DC Startup Weekend, (One awesome dude) I can tell you he is a very busy guy who has been traveling all over the world and we are lucky to have him speaking. He will be coming back from the EU the day before the conference.

Register here for the conference:

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...