News about Information Technology

Club’s Initiative Connects Students to Game Developers

Fittingly clad in Sherwood Forest green, developer Andrew Schneider pays a virtual visit this month to a gaming lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Game Development Club recently hosted a virtual visit from Andrew Schneider, creator of “Nocked! True Tales of Robin Hood,” who was among the game designers that members met while attending last month’s Music and Gaming Festival in National Harbor, Maryland.

The award-winning guest speaker was the first of many, with one planned every other Friday as part of the club’s industry-connections initiative.

Read more

Penn College Faculty Member Presenting at National Conference

Lisa Bock

A Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member will share insights and practical tips with recruiters and talent acquisition professionals at a national conference devoted to sourcing.

Lisa Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology, will present “Finding Diamonds: How to Hack the Perfect Recruit” at SourceCon, Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas. The biannual gathering promotes best practices in sourcing, proactively identifying and recruiting strong candidates for current or future job openings.

Read more

Penn College to Again Make Impression on Farm Show Attendees

Students in Penn College’s hospitality majors join their instructor, Chef Michael J. Ditchfield, on the Culinary Connection stage at the Pennsylvania Farm Show last January.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will soon flock to the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center to celebrate the commonwealth’s leading industry, and Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees will be on hand for an interactive peek into the real-world applications of “degrees that work.”

“A beloved tradition of Penn College, the Pennsylvania Farm Show continues to be the highlight of the new year. During the weeklong festivities, members of Admissions, Alumni Relations and Academic Affairs bring Penn College to Harrisburg and showcase all of the amazing opportunities that await students on campus,” said Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services. “Through our interactive and hands-on activities, we hope that friends of the college will come to learn what makes applied technology education so special.”

Read more

College Joins Global ‘Hour of Code’ to Inspire Future Programmers

Alicia McNett, instructor of computer information technology at Penn College, guides a high school student in programming an Ozobot. The workshop was part of an “Hour of Code” event hosted by Penn College and attended by several high schools. It is part of an international initiative to encourage interest and confidence in the skills needed to join the computer science workforce.

Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted about 130 high school students on Dec. 4 as part of the international “Hour of Code” initiative.

Hour of Code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org, reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.

At Penn College, students from Commonwealth Charter Academy, Montgomery Area High School, Muncy Junior/Senior High School, North Penn-Liberty High School, Warren County Career Center and Wyalusing Valley High School attended an event that introduced not only coding, but problem solving, creativity and logic.

Read more

‘Augmented Reality Sandbox’ Serves as Multidisciplinary Tool

A sandbox recently installed at Pennsylvania College of Technology is for anything but play. Thanks to the ingenuity of faculty and staff from the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, the 250 pounds of sand will serve as an educational tool for hundreds of students in several majors.

The unit incorporates a 3-D camera, sensor, projector and computer to reveal virtual topographical contour lines, an elevation color map and simulated water on sand. When the sand is molded by hand, the virtual features change accordingly. The project is modeled after the AR Sandbox, developed by National Science Foundation-funded research at the University of California, Davis.

“It’s an application of augmented reality,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies. “It lays computer-generated images over a real-world environment. In this case, the environment is sand. The concept is similar to the Pokémon Go game that was popular a few years ago.”

Read more

Unified Gamers Raise Hundreds of Dollars for Children’s Charity

Co-host Bradley M. Kozuch gives a "two-thumbs-up" review to Saturday's proceedings ...

... in which three distinct groups of gamers indulged their singular passion in the service of medical care for children.

The Game Development Club hosted a 24-hour, live-stream broadcast from the Bush Campus Center TV Lounge on Saturday to raise money for charity through the Extra Life organization. According to the group’s website, “Extra Life unites thousands of gamers around the world to play … in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick and injured kids.” Throughout the stream, numerous Penn College students played video and tabletop games for charity. Information technology science-gaming and simulation majors Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg, and Bradley M. Kozuch, of Lansford, planned, managed and hosted the stream with helpful contributions from other members of the Game Development Club, as well as students from the Gamers’ Guild and League of Legends Club. Joining forces for a singular cause, the campus gamers raised a total of $437 for the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Online donations are still being accepted toward the $1,000 goal.
Photos provided

Award-Winning Documentary Series Explores Why Math Matters

Filming “Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” led Christopher J. Leigh, video production coordinator at Penn College, to scale a mountain in the Shawangunk Ridge, an internationally famous rock climbing area within the Mohonk Preserve in New York state. Leigh interacts with members of the Shawanpunk climbing team featured in the documentary.

Mountain climbers, a superhero and the legendary video game pioneer who founded Atari join with faculty to explain the importance of mathematics when Pennsylvania College of Technology’s award-winning public television series returns this fall.

“Working Class: Game On! Why Math Matters” explores the link between math, computers and technology and helps connect the study of math with real-world experiences that engage student interests.

Read more

IT Students Featured on Panel at Industry Festival

Penn College information technology students (from left) Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg; Matthew J. Danner, of Old Forge; James C. Temoshenko, of Kane; and John J. Aumiller, of Beavertown; conduct a panel discussion at MAGLabs, a festival devoted to video-game fandom, in Alexandria, Va.

Four Pennsylvania College of Technology information technology students shared their expertise during a panel discussion at a recent festival devoted to video- game fandom.

Timothy M. Kainzbauer, of Mifflinburg; Matthew J. Danner, of Old Forge; James C. Temoshenko, of Kane; and John J. Aumiller, of Beavertown, discussed resources and software available to independent game developers during MAGLabs in Alexandria, Virginia. The three-day event brought together video-game celebrities, developers, students and fans to celebrate the industry and showcase ways to impact game culture.

Read more

Eight Penn College Students Medal in National Competition

SkillsUSA

Eight students from the widest variety of academic majors ever to represent Pennsylvania College of Technology at the National Leadership and Skills Conference returned home with medals – including first-time successes in three competitive areas.

The contingent took one of three top places in five categories, and this year marked the first time that Penn College entrants medaled in Computer Programming, TeamWorks and Welding Sculpture.

“This really goes to show how well-prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college. This is, by far, the most diverse group of students I’ve had go to the national competition,” said SkillsUSA adviser James N. Colton II, an assistant professor of welding. “The national skills competition gives us a chance to showcase our technical skills and show everyone why we’re a leader in applied technology.”

Read more

Penn College Students Bat a Thousand in SkillsUSA Competition

SkillsUSA-Pennsylvania

All 25 members of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s SkillsUSA team, including more than half moving on to national competition June 19-23 in Louisville, Kentucky, were medalists during the Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference held late last month in Hershey.

Fifteen team members advanced to nationals with first-place finishes, seven placed second, and three placed third in their respective categories.

“I feel great about the students’ performance at the state competition. It goes to show how well prepared the students are from their respective fields and how great our instructors are here at the college,” said James N. Colton II, assistant professor of welding and the college’s SkillsUSA adviser. “I’m excited for the students going to the national competition in Louisville. I have every confidence they will put their best performance forward.”

Read more

Radio Appearances by Students, Faculty Member to Promote Cybersecurity Event

Lisa Bock

Lisa Bock, assistant professor of computer information technology, and two students from her Support Center Procedures and Practices class will appear on Backyard Broadcasting radio stations Tuesday morning to promote “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe,” a free public event hosted by the class. Bock and the students – Mitchell T. Hoffman, an applied management major from Northumberland, and Alex J. Hackenberg, an information technology: network specialist concentration major from Middleburg – will appear from 8:10 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. for brief interviews on WILQ (105.1 FM), WZXR (99.3FM) and Oldiez93 (93.3 FM).  “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe” will offer identity protection tips and address individual cybersecurity concerns. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor presentation room of Penn College’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

Networking, Professional Development Merge at ‘ShmooCon’

Some of the Penn College participants in ShmooCon 2017 fit a group photo into their busy three days.

More than 40 Penn College students and alumni attended this year’s “ShmooCon” national conference in Washington, D.C.: three days of cybersecurity keynoters, as well as discussions of relevant and innovative topics with professionals and students from across the country. The campus contingent – largely representing the Information Security Association student organization – was accompanied by faculty members Jacob R. Miller and Sandra Gorka, associate professors of computer science, and Daniel W. Yoas, associate professor of computer information technology.

Read more

Speaker Recommends ‘Cyberhygiene’ to Foil Hackers’ Dirty Work

The crime scene at our fingertips, whether the instrument or the victim of attack

A mix of students, community members and past Colloquia speakers are on hand for Ebersole's instructive talk.

The speaker shows a "ransomware" pop-up, which extorts money from an Internet user facing encryption of computer files. Although the message purports to be from the FBI, Ebersole promised that authorities wouldn't deal so cavalierly with those accessing child pornography. They "won't be emailing you and asking you to pay the paltry sum of $200."

An Internet crimefighter and part-time accounting instructor at Penn College, speaking Tuesday in Klump Academic Center Auditorium, advocated “cyberhygiene” to protect our billions of connected devices – and our personal information – from being compromised. William E. Ebersole delivered the final lecture in the 2016-17 Technology & Society Colloquia Series, “Cyberattacks: The Weapon of Choice of Criminals, Terrorists and Spies.” Recalling the mid-1980s movie, “War Games,” in which a teenager nearly brings about nuclear catastrophe by accidentally accessing a military supercomputer, he said real-life hackers are much more focused, persistent, deliberate and sophisticated. And after several examples of their nefarious handiwork, including a widespread credit-card breach at Target stores and a three-day interruption of electrical and telephone service in Ukraine, Ebersole provided valuable counteractive tips. That advice included using strong passwords and changing them often, limiting what information is posted online, watching for unauthorized devices connected to home networks, being vigilant about children’s web activity, and keeping current on upgrading software and installing security patches. Ebersole had high praise for the college’s information assurance and cyber security curriculum, which he said is helping to feed the growing need for competent technicians. Whatever their major, though, he emphasized that all students can practice safe computing, and he especially urged them to consider the ramifications on viable job-seekers from the Internet’s long-term memory. “Don’t put something crazy on social media to knock you out of the picture,” he said.

Penn College IT Class to Help Public Fight Cybercrime

Students in the Support Center Procedures and Practices class at Penn College prepare for a public cybersecurity presentation, “Tech Savvy, Tech Smart.” The free event is scheduled for April 19 at 7 p.m. in the presentation room of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center. The students will offer identity-protection tips and answer cybersecurity questions.

Last year, an all-time high 4.2 billion records were exposed from reported data breaches worldwide, according to Risk Based Security. With cybercrime becoming an increasing threat to both businesses and individuals, information technology students at Pennsylvania College of Technology are determined to act.

Granted, students in the college’s Support Center Procedures and Practices class don’t boast IT superpowers, but they do possess considerable knowledge. They will share that expertise during a free public event, “Tech Savvy, Tech Safe,” scheduled for 7 p.m. April 19 in the presentation room of the college’s Student & Administrative Services Center.

The students will deliver a series of identity protection tips before hosting small breakout sessions for participants to ask their individual cybersecurity questions. Attendees are encouraged to bring their mobile devices to facilitate problem-solving. Light refreshments will be served.

Read more

IT Faculty Member Adds Perspective to Cybersecurity Blog

Lisa Bock

An interview with Lisa Bock, an assistant professor of computer information technology at Penn College, has been published in the blog of a New York-based digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm. LIFARS conducted the Q&A with Bock for its “What’s on Your Network?” feature. She has taught a variety of courses that include networking, security, biometrics, protocol vulnerabilities, Cisco Certified Network Associate Security, and requirements analysis. She is also an author for Lynda.com, a repository of video tutorials taught by industry experts.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University