What You Missed At Pizza My Mind


RISE AND SHINE CAPTAINS! I hope everyone had an incredible weekend and is ready to take today by storm. Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind was hosted by iDTech which is a summer technology camp for kids. Their mission is to “provide students with high-energy, hands-on technology education in a summer camp setting.” And that is exactly what they do! iDTech is the world’s #1 tech camp with over 150 prestigious campus locations nationwide. And to top it all off, not only do the campers love iDTech, but the employees do as well! iDTech has been voted a Top Workplace 6 years running by the Bay Area News Group.

Mark and Kim dove into their presentation and hit all the major points right off the bat. They started off by telling the audience what iDTech has to offer. Things such as competitive pay, networking opportunities, leadership development, room & board, and internship credits/hours. One of the interesting things about these camps is that they are located on college campuses in over 29 states. Meaning that perspective camp counselors have the opportunity to choose where they spend their summer!

iDTech is looking to hire programmers, proven leaders and on site managers, unity mobile developers, Robotics Engineers, Java & C++ programmers. Essentially, they are looking for people that have a wide skill set. There are five divisions that make up the company, iD Tech Camps, iD Tech Mini, Alexa Cafe, iD Programming Academy, and iD Game Design & Dev Academy. Another thing that distinguishes iDTech from other summer camps is their One Camper One Tree program. They have partnered up with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant one tree for every camper who attends their programs. Their ultimate goal is to plant 1 million trees and they are certainly on their way there! So far, they’ve helped plant 155,000 trees and expect to plant another 60,000 this year.

So what can you expect as an iD instructor? Long weeks, instructors usually work about 50-60 hours. You can expect to become an effective teacher and to build connections! The presenters showed a video about halfway through that showed a bunch of instructors talking about their experiences with iDTech and a bunch of them mentioned the amazing networking that came with the job. As an instructor, you can expect to gain a lot of real like skills that will help with resume building. Although the main focus of these camps is learning, it’s also a summer camp, meaning that these campers also want to have a lot of fun! Going off of that, instructors can expect to see gaming tournaments, be a part of outdoor activities and theme days!

Last but not least, they are looking to hire 1,600 people this summer with 24 spots currently waiting to be filled in VA!

Sophomore Signing Day

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope that all of you manage to find some sunshine on this rather gloomy day. Two days ago, I was too mesmerized by the button I was promised to read the fine print and signed my life away to our department. If you haven’t already guessed, this blog post will be about all things Signing Day.

What is Signing Day?

Signing Day is an event for all second-year students to officially declare their majors. The ceremony is held in the DSU where the Sophomores sign their Departmental registry to denote their field of study. The best part is, every student gets a button that they get to pin on their backpacks to show off their declared major to the world. This year, 91% of PCSE Sophomores attended the event, and that is where I had the opportunity to speak with Adam Fendley and Sadie Rynestad.


What is your major and why?
Adam: “Computer Science! I used to be interested in studying video production until I took a Computer Science class in High School. I’m not a very artistic person, so I realized by writing code I could create things that did exactly what I envisioned in my head, something I always struggled with in video. I used that high school class as a starting point and started contributing to a lot of open source projects on GitHub, and that’s when I started to see just how awesome code is. Our society has been fundamentally changed from the automation and information availability that programming (and the Internet) affords, and I want to contribute to that.”
Sadie: “I am a Computer Engineering major! I have known since the 7th grade that I wanted to be an engineer but wasn’t sure what type. Once I got to CNU, I took a few computer classes and realized that Computer Engineering was the path that I wanted to take. I haven’t looked back since and I absolutely love it!”
A lot of schools don’t have a Signing Day, what do you think about CNU’s choice to have a specific day for students to “officially” declare their major?
Adam: “I enjoyed Signing Day. It’s awesome to be able to officially put your name down, shake the hands of the professors and department staff, and feel like you’re apart of the family. I’ve received so much support from the PCSE department, so that’s a great feeling.”
Sadie: “I think Signing Day is an amazing way for CNU students to verify that they are now stepping into a huge new chapter of their lives. It really puts the future in perspective because it’s right in our reach. I think other schools should have a Signing Day too, because although its a quick ceremony, it means a lot to the students.”

What was going through your mind and what was it like to sign your name?

Adam: “I have a really awful signature.”
Sadie: “It was a feeling of relief once I signed my name because it reminded me that I am on the right track to reach my goal.”
What was your favorite part about signing day?
Adam: “There was a live band and that was pretty rad. Also, props to whoever designed the PCSE button. That thing is legit. It was nice to see a bunch of familiar faces and be able to celebrate together!”
Sadie: “My favorite part about Signing Day was seeing everyone dressed up, being in such a beautiful place such as the ballroom and of course, the cookies.”
All I know is that the PCSE department designed the coolest button of them all. Hope to see everyone at Pizza My Mind today, which will be hosted by iDTech!

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind

coverosssHappy Friday Captains!! After what felt like the longest week ever, we finally made it to Friday. Yesterday, Coveros founder and CEO, Jeffery Payne, came to CNU to talk about his experience in starting numerous successful software companies and the agile software development, DevOps, and cybersecurity opportunities that exist at Coveros for both graduating students and interns.

Coveros is a software company that builds security-critical software applications using agile methods. Payne’s personal background is that he has been in the business of starting up companies for the past 25 years. However, he is most proud of Coveros because of its uniqueness. He received both his BS and MS in Computer Science at the College of William and Mary. After graduating, he had a job lined up with a big company, but realized that he wasn’t happy there. Not too long into this job, he quit and started up his first company in 1992 and hasn’t look backed since.

Coveros was started up about 8 years ago to build software applications, specifically for people who are needing security in their codes. This company builds and delivers secure software applications using agile methods, and they are “located” in Northern VA, outside of DC. The term located is used loosely here because Coveros technically doesn’t have an office. It’s something that distinguished Coveros from other companies, they are a virtual organization. The logic behind this is that: “We’re technologists, why do we need a physical space?” Every new Coveros employee gets a brand new laptop, cellphone (with a plan included) and free home wifi. Coveros provides these three things in place of a physical office space, how neat is that?

A few of the services that Coveros offers include: agile development and testing DevOps implementations, agile transformations, agile coaching and mentoring. Coveros prides themselves in being a 50/50 company, meaning that they work both commercial and federal government jobs.

Payne likes to think of Coveros as a 2.0, meaning that it’s the new and improved version of what he started all those years ago. It’s an entrepreneurial company, they expect that everyone in the company have ideas and act upon them. Payne stressed the fact that Coveros doesn’t hire based on skills, they do not care what you know from a technology perspective, because the syntax is the easy part, its the problem solving that’s difficult. For that reason, he mentioned that Coveros heavily looks for critical thinkers and hardcore software people who want to build software applications.

One of the benefits of working at Coveros is the opportunity for professional growth. Payne stressed the importance of growing the company from within. He said that at Coveros “[they] groom [their] people internally and quickly through a very focused a career growth plan.” He went on to mention how successful Coveros is in keeping their employees by simply treating them right. At their first company, they went a full 7 years without someone leaving the company and he believes that a strong employee/boss relationship is vital to a company’s success.

If any of this sparks an interest in you, here is what Coveros is looking for in future employees. They are searching for full time hired as well as summer interns. They want people who have a desire to learn from industry recognized software experts. Those who value a flexible and entrepreneurial environment. Coveros is searching for those who are constantly wanting to learn new skills both in technology and business. And most importantly, someone who is willing to get in on the ground floor of an innovative company.

The intern program provided by Coveros is real work. Interns will be put on a team with other employees and Payne mentioned that in just one summer interns will be able to develop a software program from start to finish. He guarantees that interns will be able to come back to CNU and feel like they “can kick butt.” He mentioned that on various occations, interns have said that they learned more in one summer at Coveros than they learned in the first 3 years of school. This is due to the fact that in the program, they take all that critical thinking and theory that is learned in school and apply it to real problems. This is a paid internship for roughly about 2 months out of the summer vacation with the possibility of a full time hire after the internship is complete.

Society of Women Engineers

Good afternoon CNU! We’re starting right into our third week of the Spring semester and many new and exciting things are coming up! Today’s blog post is all about the Society of Women Engineers, SWE for short. Last week, I had the privileged of talking to Professor Lynn Lambert, who is the faculty adviser for the new organization.

About SWE

SWE is an international organization that was established in 1950. Their mission is to: “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, while demonstrating the value of diversity.” Professor Lambert mentioned that nationally, fewer than 20% of undergraduates in engineering are women and the disciplines in our department are especially affected. SWE was set up to give women a place to talk to other women engineers and form a community.

How SWE Came to CNU

CNU had the beginnings of a SWE years ago but it never really took off. This year, a few students came to Dr. Lambert and asked if they could get an organization started up. Department chair, Dr. Riedl supported the idea and at the first Pizza My Mind of the school year mentioned that if anyone was interested in such an organization to let him know! The department talked about several kinds of organizations since there are many out there that are similar but decided on SWE. “The incredible thing about SWE is that when we [Dr. Lambert on behalf of PCSE] wrote to them [SWE Hampton Roads], they mentioned that they would allow all six of our department’s majors to count for membership! This was the organization that allowed the most amount of CNU’s women to join and that was the main reason why it was chosen over the others.”

Hopes for the Future

“I really want the students to decide the direction that they want it to take. They have talked about several interesting ideas. We’re considering starting a mentorship program and already have a considerable number of professional mentors from industry and from federal labs who have volunteered to mentor our students. Some other members want to do an outreach program with girls scouts! There are many great ideas floating around, a few members want to do tours of labs and engineering/science companies and labs. I truly cannot wait to see how far SWE goes at CNU.”


Last Friday, SWE hosted a kickoff meeting in the DSU. The young women within the department who expressed interest in the organization were there along with some professors. SWE also invited women who are a part of a SWE organization that have graduated with a degree in engineering. There were two guest speakers (pictured above on both sides of Dr. Lambert) who spoke about their experiences with SWE and all the wonderful things that it has brought into their lives. It was at this kickoff event that I had the opportunity to talk to Haley Currence (pictured below on the right), president of the new SWE chapter at CNU. Currence is a part of the class of 2019 and working towards her degree in computer engineering!


The Process

“In April, the SWE chapter at CNU will officially be chartered! When we were trying to get enough members to make SWE an official club at CNU, both CNU and SWE asked for a minimum of 10 women to get the club started. It was an incredible feeling when we got the notification that 22 women in the department showed interested in being a part of this and signed up. I was really overwhelmed in the beginning because it was just an idea that we had, we never truly thought that we would be starting a major club at CNU. This organization could be on campus for years to come and it’s surreal thinking that I was a major part of getting it started. I am beyond honored to have been a part of this.”

The Importance

“Being women in this department, it’s tough. It’s like being a minority on top of being another minority. I would like to see a support system built through this organization. I really want to emphasize the importance of unconditional support to the women and sticking together in a male dominate department. I would like this organization to encourage female students to not sit quietly and let male classmates next to her answer the question. I would like to see this organization build a community that empowers women to be courageous and be proud of being smart. We’re engineering majors, and that’s pretty awesome.”

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Happy Monday Captains!! I hope that everyone’s ready to get back into the swing of things after a cold weekend in. Last Thursday’s Pizza My Mind seminar was presented by the MITRE Corporation. MITRE is a non- profit company that provides defense and intelligence, aviation, cyber security, homeland security solutions and much more!

MITRE’s Andreas Tolk, who is a liaison for the company came to give the presentation. He started off by talking about the company’s background. MITRE was established in 1958 to serve the public interest, meaning that they are a non profit organization Tolk mentioned the company’s spirit of innovation and their deep understanding of systems engineering.

After finishing up with what the company does and its background, he moved on to talk about the job openings. They currently employ 7,300 people. He continued to mention the types of characteristics that MITRE looks for in prospective employees. Some of the characteristics include: critical problem solving skills, a strong background in science, mathematics, social sciences and systems engineering.

Currently there are two programs within MITRE that have openings, the Internship Program and the Apprentice program. Those interested in the Internship Program will be happy to hear that the position is paid. The program offers interns to be members of a team within the company. The types of things that interns are involved with are sponsored or MITRE research programs. In addition, these intern teams eventually become part of project teams. The ultimate goal for these intern teams is to be evaluated for positions as MTS. He finished off this part of the presentation by mentioning that the summer Internship in Hampton has 8 or so positions currently available and that MITRE is soliciting for resumes now through April!

Well that’s it for now! Make sure to tune in for the following post about CNU’s newest organization, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). One last thing, if you’re interested in learning more about MITRE, they will be at the job fair on Wednesday, January 27th!

What You Missed At Pizza My Mind

Presenters Nicholas Casetta and Ian Marcelo

Presenters Nicholas Casetta and Ian Marcelo

Happy Friday and welcome back Captains! This year’s very first PMM was presented by Liebherr, the world’s leading manufacturer of construction machinery.

Nicholas Casetta, Senior Manager of the IT department kicked things off by telling the 128 CNU students that Liebherr is a family owned business that was founded in 1949 by Hans Liebherr. Currently, there is a 3rd generation Liebherr in charge of over 130 companies worldwide and over 40,000 employees! Casetta went on to mention how diverse the company is, it does everything from mobile cranes, mining equipment, domestic appliances and even hotels.

Casetta then focused on the mining division within the company because of the Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News co. (LME)was established in 1970. Its proximity to CNU is roughly about 10-15 minutes. Currently, the company produces over 50 trucks a year but the plan is to have that number double in 2016. The product range consists of hydraulic excavators, off highway trucks, dozers, wheel loaders, and mobile cranes. He mentioned the product range to show the audience that the business is evolving within itself and changing based off of customer demands.

The LME IT department currently employs nine people. These nine are split up into two groups, Infrastructure and Helpdesk, and Business Processes and ERP Support. Liebherr is looking to do a lot within the next few years, there are already significant projects defined. Casetta went on to talk about the current and future opportunities that are available within Liebherr. Some include the BI Migration Project, where there is a current opening and the PML Project, where there will be a future opening. He finished off his part of the presentation with mentioning that there are many other projects in line.

Ian Marcelo, who is a Senior System Analyst at LME came up to the microphone to specify what the BI Migration Project was. BI stands for Business Intelligence, their goal is to migrate the current BI environment from SL server 2008 to SQL server 2012. He strongly spoke about the hands on experience one would gain with the Microsoft BI stack of development tools and operational analysis. Marcelo finished up with mentioning that the internship being offered would be for 6 months. One would be provided training and would work alongside himself and Casetta.

To finish off the presentation, the floor was open to questions where someone asked about opportunities overseas. Although they are currently not looking for overseas assistance, they assured the audience that the project offered will have global impact!

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Happy Friday Captains, I hope that everyone had a great week! Can you believe that we’re only 4 days away from Thanksgiving break? This semester is quickly coming to an end and that means that the Pizza My Mind events are also dwindling down. We’ve only got one more left, so make sure to come out next Thursday!

Yesterday’s PMM was presented by Newport News Shipbuilding which designs, builds, and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. 115 CNU students came out to hear what Parnetha Callahan, Strategic Recruiter for NNS, had to say about the company. She started off the presentation by mentioning the full time jobs, level 1 jobs, and the internship program opportunities available.

She spoke about the full time and co-op opportunities, but the section of the presentation that received the most notice was the internship program! She mentioned that the company mostly takes Sophomores and Juniors but that they also take Seniors if they are going to Grad School. Students that enter the program should be prepared to commit at least 10 weeks of their summer vacation. It’s important to remember that when submitting your application, a minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required, along with attaching your transcript and resume.


Another great highlight of the presentation was when she asked Professor Steven Ward to speak about his experience with NNS. Professor Ward has been an Adjunct Professor at CNU for a little over two years now! The first thing that he mentioned was that he has been with the company for 18 years and counting. He started off as a sailor in the United States Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate. After 8 years in this position, he began working for NNS. He started out as a Senior Engineering Analyst, and then moved onto being a Senior Operations Coordinator. After that he went from Test Engineering to Engineering, and now he is currently a Manager in the Secure Engineering Systems department. The reason for all that was to show how one person can grow within the company and that there is a job for everyone! He mentioned that part of what makes working there so great is that the shipyard is a city in itself. It has it’s own Fire Station, Police Station, Hospital, and Emergency Control Center. He mentioned that there are 1,100 CNU graduates currently working at the shipyard and that a number of those students are in management positions! He explained that if a person were to name a specific degree program here at CNU, that he could name its corresponding position at the shipyard. A tip that he mentioned for students that are interested in applying for positions is to check the site for potential jobs twice a week. The reason for this is that because the shipyard is constantly looking for people to fulfill all sorts of positions, jobs are only posted for five days. So, in order not to miss any positions, make sure to check twice a week!

Well that’s all for now Captains, hope everyone has an amazing weekend!!!

Meet Your Computer Science and Computer Engineering Tutors!

Steven Rosenahl Major: Computer Science and Math Year: Junior Why This Field?: "Computer Science because I really enjoy programming and Math because it constantly works my mind!"

Steven Rosendahl
Major: Computer Science and Math
Year: Junior
Why This Field?: “Computer Science because I really enjoy programming and Math because it constantly works my mind!”

Tim (last name?) Major: Computer Science Year: Senior Why This Field?: "I've been working with computers and technology since I was young. It made sense for me to go into this field, the job security doesn't hurt either!"

Timothy Giles
Major: Computer Science
Year: Senior
Why This Field?: “I’ve been working with computers and technology since I was young. It made sense for me to go into this field, the job security doesn’t hurt either!”

Dustin Smith Major: Computer Science and Computer Engineering Year: Senior Why This Field?: "I've liked computers for as long as I can remember, it's practically all I know!"

Dustin Smith
Major: Computer Science and Computer Engineering
Year: Senior
Why This Field?: “I’ve liked computers for as long as I can remember, it’s practically all I know!”

ACM Programming Competition

acmHappy Friday everyone! Today’s blog post will be all about last Saturday’s ACM ICPC. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then make sure to keep reading! I had the opportunity to talk to Professor Roberto Flores, who is the Site Director, Nigel Armstrong, member of Team Gamma, and Isaac Sutor, a volunteer. Check out what they had to say!

What is ACM?

The Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) is recognized worldwide as the first membership organization for computing professionals. If you weren’t already aware, CNU has it’s own ACM student chapter!

What is the ICPC?

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world. It’s a network of universities all over the globe that host regional competitions that advance teams to the World Finals. All participating universities within a region compete the exact same day. CNU is part of the mid Atlantic region and within this region, there were 185 teams of three from 68 universities this year. There are only nine sites that host the regional competition and CNU happens to be one of those sites! This year’s regional competition was held last Saturday at CNU’s very own Hunter Creech lab. Our department hosted 16 teams from the College of William and Mary, Richmond University, the University of Mary Washington and Virginia Wesleyan College.

What does the competition consist of?

All nine sites are very well coordinated since all the teams in the region must start and end at the exact same time. That means that on November 7th, 185 teams were attempting to solve the seven programming problems presented by the ACM from noon to five pm. There was one computer provided to each team and the teams could only use printed material as reference to help them solve these problems. Once a team solves a problem, the solution is sent to an online judge. This judge immediately sends a response if the solution submitted was right or wrong. Once a team successfully answers a problem, a balloon is posted at their station. There is a different colored balloon for every problem, which allows other teams to see how far their competitors are.


Who’s responsible for CNU’s site?


Site Director: Roberto A. Flores (pictured in the blue shirt)
Alternative Judge: Keith Perkins (pictured in the red shirt)
System Administrator: Raymond Koehl (pictured in the green shirt)

Also pictured: Department Chair, Anton Riedl, coaches from other universities and the coach for CNU’s teams, Aaron Koehl.

CNU’s Team Gamma:

There were three CNU teams: team Alpha, team Beta and team Gamma. Out of the 16 teams that competed at Hunter Creech, team Gamma placed 4th! David Baker, Dan Ackerman and Nigel Armstrong were the three CNU students in team Gamma, pictured below:


I had the opportunity to talk to Nigel Armstrong about his experience with the ACM ICPC.

“I am a senior, but it’s only my third year at CNU. I’m majoring in Computer Engineering because I enjoy programming and building electronics, and this major falls right in the middle. This is my second year competing in the ACM ICPC for CNU. This year’s experience was amazing. It was a great way to apply the abstract concepts learned in class to challenging problems. Team Gamma had some basic strategies going in, some things we learned from past competitions. One important strategy we planned going in was to divide and conquer. One person immediately began coding the easiest problem, while someone else went off to devise a solution to a more difficult problem. This certainly allowed us to make the best use of the limited time given in the competition. Also, as a team, we planned who was best with what topics, and planned on assigning problems based on expertise in the competition. This year, the best time I had was in the last few minutes of the competition. We had correctly gotten two problems already and we were tantalizingly close on our third solution. With less than two minutes left in the competition we submitted four different solutions to the problem, hoping one would be correct. We never got an answer back from the judging server, but someone came and told us we had three points on the scoreboard. One of those last four submissions was the correct answer.”
CNU’s Volunteers:
There were 10 volunteers at this year’s competition. They were all CNU students who helped out with the logistics of the competition. They helped with getting everyone’s registration, handing out prizes, set up and clean up. I also had the chance to interview a volunteer. Isaac Sutor is a freshman majoring in Computer Science, pictured on the right.
“After hearing about the ACM ICPC, I first considered trying to join one of teams. However, I felt that I wouldn’t have enough time to fully commit to the competition. I was still really intrigued by it and still wanted to be a part of it somehow, so I decided to volunteer! After seeing how everything works, it’s definitely something that I would be interested in for next year. I found it awesome how all across the nation different teams were taking part in the competition. It was sort of a test of how the school stands against other universities in the nation. My favorite part of the day was seeing the balloons go up. It was interesting to see how quickly some teams got balloons compared to those that didn’t have any and how all of a sudden, those teams would get several at once. In addition, I also really enjoyed being able to meet new people from other departments in different universities. I got to talking to a few of the guys about how their department works and how it differs from ours.”

Meet Your Physics Tutors!

Mathew Major: Physics Year: Junior Why Physics?: ""Physics because all my teachers in high school said it would be waste of potential if I wasn't a physics or math major, and because I love it!"

Mathew Jackson
Major: Physics
Year: Junior
Why This Field?: “Physics because all my teachers in high school said it would be waste of potential if I wasn’t a physics or math major, and because I love it!”

Katie Krohmaly Major: Physics Year: Junior Why Physics?: "Physics because I really like math and physics is just applied mathematics. Also, because physics is phun!"

Katie Krohmaly
Major: Physics
Year: Junior
Why This Field?: “Physics because I really like math and physics is just applied mathematics. Also, because physics is phun!”

Maximilian Castelli Major: Computational Applied Math with a concentration in Physics Dynamics and Engineering Year: Junior Why?: "I love the concepts that come along with Physics and the certainty in Mathematics. Computer Science has always interested me and I enjoy all the courses I get to take with the concentration. Engineering allows me to work with more tangible things, with this major I get it all!"

Maximilian Castelli
Major: Computational Applied Math with a concentration in Physics Dynamics and Engineering
Year: Junior
Why?: “I love the concepts that come along with Physics and the certainty in Mathematics. Computer Science has always interested me and I enjoy all the courses I get to take with the concentration. Engineering allows me to work with more tangible things, with this major I get it all!”