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!”

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

130 PSCE students attended yesterday’s Pizza My Mind, presented by Swisslog. For those of you who were unable to attend, Swisslog “designs, develops and delivers best-in-class automation solutions for forward-thinking hospitals, warehouses and distribution centers.” The first person who presented was Mr. Steve Thorne, Director of Software Engineering.  Mr. Thorne shared the company’s overview, and explained to the CNU audience that Swisslog’s vision was to be recognized for outstanding expertise, service and quality, to improve the way how people do their work and to add value to their customers’ processes. As a part of his presentation he showed two videos. The first one was a short clip that showed the warehouse and how things are moved around using the technology that they have created. The second video was a commercial that aired on TV, the commercial showed the efficiency and quickness of Swisslog’s services.  Another slide that really stood out was when he was presenting the kinds of companies that Swisslog has done work for. There were a lot of name brand companies such as Target and Walmart. Once the company overview was done, it was finally time to mention the internship and job opportunities that Swisslog has to offer. “Swisslog is looking for interns as well as full-time employees. We’re looking for software Engineers, students in Information Systems, Controls Engineers, Computer/Electrical and mechanical Engineers”, said Mr. Thorne.  He also mentioned that there is a paid internship program offered and that 8 CNU students have already interned for the company. 5 of those interns ended up working for Swisslog full time! Louis Gomez, a current CNU student studying computer science came up to the stand to talk about his experience working for Swisslog. He said that he has been there since this past May and that it’s been a great experience. He continued to mention that he has been able to apply what he’s learned from CNU courses to his work. He finished his small speech with: “The stuff I do matters and that’s the best part of working for Swisslog.”

What You Missed at Pizza My Mind

Marty Smith

Thursday’s Pizza My Mind was packed full of 139 PCSE students attentive to what AMSEC had to present. For those of you that weren’t there, AMSEC provides services that “encompass a full range of hull, mechanical, and electrical systems; command, control, and communication systems; information technology; and engineering and design.” They employ over 2,000 people at 35 locations all over the world! Their core values are: integrity, safety, honesty, engagement, responsibility and performance. The presenter, Marty Smith, made a comment about looking for these values in prospective employees. AMSEC is CMMI Development Level 3 and 1SO 9001-2008 certified. A major recognition is that they received the Grace Hopper government technology leadership award.

Alongside the presenter, Mr. Marty Smith, Manager of Project Management was PCSE alumn, R. Adam White. White graduated last spring with a B.S. in Information Systems and is currently enrolled in the PCSE 5 year master’s program. After Smith finished up with an overview of the company, White stepped up and talked about his personal experience with AMSEC. He talked about the benefits that came along with working for AMSEC. When he first started working with the company, he was still working towards his diploma at CNU. He mentioned that a few of the benefits were: AMSEC’s closeness to campus, he was able to work from home when needed and they were understanding whenever he needed to focus on schoolwork. Although he was working for AMSEC, they emphasized that school came first. White finished up his part of the presentation by stating that “I feel like I make an impact in this organization.”

Engineering as Told by a Football Player

Darren Gary

Darren Gary

James Stinnett

James Stinnett











Can you believe that it’s already time for Homecoming Weekend? This year is really flying by! This weekend is packed full with all different kinds of events to attend. We have the 5th annual Golf Tournament, Glow in the Darcapella, Midnight Madness, the Family Field Festival, the tailgate and many more events all leading up to the Homecoming football game Saturday night. In honor of Homecoming Weekend, today’s blog post will be about two football players within our department. I got the chance the interview Darren Gary and James Stinnett earlier this week about what it’s like being a student athlete and striving to be an Engineer.

What was it like being recruited to play college football?

Darren: “It was a fun experience. I got the opportunity to tour many colleges and got free game tickets. It all got me really excited to come to play for CNU.”

James: “The process of getting recruited to play college football is a fun experience. As a high school football player you have dreams to play on the ‘next level’ and it’s a great feeling when you know you’re going to get the opportunity to do so.”

What position do you play on the field?

Darren: I play Running Back.”

James: “I am an Inside Linebacker.”

What are your predictions for this weekend’s game?

Darren: “We’ve been looking pretty good at practice and if we execute on Saturday like we have been, then I believe that we can take the win.”

James: “Frostburg State seems to have a solid football team. We feel they have yet to play a truly challenging opponent. We’re hoping to start off strong and set the tone of the game. If we play disciplined and limit mental errors, then we believe we will beat Frostburg State.”

What is your major, and when did you know you wanted to be an engineer?

Darren: “I am majoring in Electrical engineering. I knew I wanted to be an engineer early on. I used to always take things apart and always ask why something worked the way it did.”

James: “My major is computer engineering. I decided I wanted to be a computer engineer at the beginning of my senior year in high school.”

What is the hardest part of being a student athlete in the PCSE department?

Darren: “The hardest part is the time management. I always feel like I have no time to myself between practices, games, homework, projects, etc.”

James: “The hardest part of being a student athlete in our department, to me, is time management. It is very difficult to find time for our rigorous assignments after practicing for about 25 hours a week on average.”

Is it all worth it?

Darren: “It’s usually all worth it in the end.”

James: “I believe it is all worth it. It may be difficult however I believe it can be done. You have to work a little harder than everybody else as a student athlete which can be helpful as we get into the real world after college.”

Weekly Recaps of Pizza My Mind

pizzamymindlogoCNU’s Pizza My Mind gives employers the chance to showcase their career and internship opportunities to students within the PCSE department. Not only is this an opportunity for the employers, but for the students as well. We all know that we should attend as many Pizza My Mind’s as possible. There’s free pizza and drinks! But most importantly, Pizza My Mind offers free information and networking. Although there is no denying that going to Pizza My Mind is beneficial, attending becomes tricky as the semester progresses. There’s homework to be done, tests to study for and because of this, Pizza My Mind can at times be put on the back burner. That’s why someone suggested that I blog about the Pizza My Mind programs for those who didn’t have the chance to attend. Every Friday, I will post about that week’s Pizza my Mind, I will write about who presented, what information and opportunities they offered and pictures will be included! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and keeps an eye out for next Friday’s post about PMM.

From Rosenheim to Newport News

Hey there Captains! Hope everyone enjoyed their Fall Break and is ready to get back into the swing of things. Today’s blog post is about the foreign exchange students that CNU is hosting this semester. Florian Schauer and Johannes Muehlthaler are from Rosenheim, Germany and I had the opportunity to interview both of them about what it’s like to be a foreign exchange student here at CNU!

Johannes Muehlthaler and Florian Schauer

Johannes Muehlthaler and Florian Schauer

What classes are you taking this semester?

Florian: “I’m taking five classes this semester: CPSP 270 with Dr. Siochi, CPSC 427 with Dr. Perkins, CPSC 480 taught by Dr. Lamber, MATH 335 with Dr. Wrayno, and PHYS 341 taught by Dr. Brash.”

Johannes: “I’m taking four classes: PHYS 341 Design of Experiments, MATH 335 Applied Probability 1, CPSC 471 Applied Artificial Intelligence, CPSC 480 Software Design and Development.”

Which classes do you enjoy the most?

Florian: “It’s hard to say. Each class is different in its topics and the way it’s presented. However, if I had to choose I would pick PHYS 341 which is taught by Dr. Brash. I like his Canadian style.”

Johannes: “I have to agree with Florian on this one, PHYS 341 is my most enjoyable class this semester.”

Are the classes different here at CNU than what you’re used to back home?

Florian: “Definitely! First off, the sizes of the classes are smaller than at home. Another big difference is how everything is graded. In Rosenheim, we only have one shot on the final exam. The first two or three weeks at CNU, the system made me struggle a little bit, but now I’m used to it and I enjoy it more than at home. It keeps you working on the material and you have more than one chance to earn points for the final grade.”

Johannes: Yes, in Germany we got no homework or tests during the year. There is only one big final at the end of the semester, which is much different than here.”

How do you like the professors here?

Florian: “I like all of them. Within the first few weeks every professor knew the names of all the students. This makes my classes personal and it encourages me to go to office hours and ask questions.”

Johannes: Most of them are really good and know a lot about their classes. Some are confusing, but that’s the case here or in Germany.”

Do you have any plans after graduation?

Florian: “I’ll first write my bachelor thesis in fall/winter 2016. After doing such I wish to earn my master’s degree.”

Johannes: “Not as of right now.”

What will you tell your friends and family about your trip when you go home?

Florian: “Everything I accomplished and experienced, the differences between America – Germany as well pros and cons.”

Johannes: “I’ll tell them that it was really interesting, and that I learned a lot. Also, that I really enjoyed being part of the football team here at CNU.”

Have you had the chance to travel outside of campus yet?

Florian: “Not yet. Except necessary trips to Walmart. Without a car it is very hard to travel around. Maybe I‘ll make a trip over Thanksgiving. But I‘m staying at CNU for the spring term as well, so I have enough time to discover the landscape around me.”

Johannes: “Not really, I’ve only had the chance to go to some nearby restaurants.”

There you have it Captains, until next time!

Meet the Freshmen

Jon Hill, De'Shawn Maynard & Drake Cole

Jon Hill, De’Shawn Maynard & Drake Cole

A little over a week ago, I received an e-mail “From the desk of the President” and as I read about the class of 2019, an idea sparked. The e-mail read: “With an average high school GPA of 3.8, this is the strongest class to ever enter CNU. The SAT middle percent range is 1080-1230. The GPA middle 50 percent range is 3.5-4.0. That means 25 percent of the class has a high school GPA above 4.0 and an SAT above 1230.” Basically, these new freshmen bring some of brightest minds that CNU has ever seen. So I figured that it’s in our best interest to get to know them.

Starting off with the basics, what is your major and when did you know you wanted to be an engineer?

Jon: “I’m majoring in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. I knew I wanted to be an engineer while taking my STEM classes and programming classes in high school. I realized that creating applications and computer components was something I really enjoyed.”

De’Shawn: “As of right now I am majoring in Computer Engineering. I knew I wanted to be a Computer Engineer since I first started learning about computer hardware and building a computer. Since I was young, I always liked building things and tinkering around with whatever I was given in order to see what new things I could create. That is literally what an engineer does so I figured, why not?”

Drake: “My intended major is Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. I decided to become an engineer my junior year of high school when I was repairing some toy helicopters and their wiring when I found that I really enjoyed putting it back together.”

How does the content and workload of the classes compare with your high school classes?

Jon: “It has increased significantly but is manageable with a lot of late nights in the library and in my dorm room.”

De’Shawn: “The workload and difficulty of the classes are very similar to the AP courses I took in high school. However the responsibility and time management of college courses is substantially different from high school work.”

Drake: “It’s much higher and twice as difficult. However, I do enjoy the work more because it’s not just busy work like it was back in high school.”

What types of activities are you getting involved with outside of your classes and what are your expectations for your Freshman year?

Jon: “I am planning on joining the USA team and the Swimming club in the following semester. Expectations? I hope to keep solid grades within my classes and to try and explore new things to do around campus.”

De’Shawn: “I am trying to play Rugby, emphasis on the trying. Currently, I am struggling with managing my time between classes so I’ve decided to focus on them as of right now. The year has already been loads of fun and can only get better. I expect there to be lots and lots of stress this year, bug I also expect it to be a big learning curve and a great experience to look back on in the following years.”

Drake: “Currently, I have not joined any clubs or programs on campus. I honestly have no idea what to expect, I just hope to succeed and do well in all my classes and make great new friends along the way.”

Well there you have it Captains, a small peak into the talented minds of CNU’s class of 2019. That’s all for now, until next time!