News Archive - pre-2014.

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News and Events

News Archives, Academic Year 2012-2013

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Commencement 2012:  Alumnae Soofia Mujeeb (BS '11) and Valentine Polii (BS '11) return to celebrate with former classmates.

New Academic Resource: ACM Digital Library

Library Director Jan Samet reports that the Hood community now has access to ALL ACM journal publications (as well as many proceedings and a handful of journals published by other computing organizations) through the Library's web pages in the form of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)'s Digital Library. If you go to you can either

The ACM Digital Library (DL) is the most comprehensive collection of full-text articles and bibliographic records in existence today covering the fields of computing and information technology. The full-text database includes the complete collection of ACM's publications, including journals, conference proceedings, magazines, newsletters, and multimedia titles and currently consists of:  

In addition to the full-text database, the ACM Digital Library is heavily integrated with and includes unrestricted access to the Guide to Computing Literature bibliography.

The ACM Digital Library includes reference linking though CrossRef, integration with the ACM Computing Reviews database, index terms using ACM's 2012 Computing Classification Scheme (CCS), alerting and TOC services, and all export formats including BibTex, Endnote, and ACM Ref, as well as OpenURL compliance, and COUNTER III and SUSHI Compliant usage statistics.

Happy reading and researching, and do let the library know if you have any problems using this database OR if you find it a valuable resource!

Commencement 2013

Shawn Lupoli receives Graduate Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award

Shawn Lupoli is an adjunct professor in the department who teaches the introductory graduate courses IT 510 Computing Hardware and Software Systems and IT 512 Elements of Computer Programming. Although this is his first year teaching at Hood, he has already had a great impact on his students. Shawn was recognized "For giving that extra effort, for encouraging his students to succeed, and for paving the way for students to learn and master their subject matter" and presented with the 2013 Graduate Teaching Excellence Award for Adjunct faculty.

Read the Citation for Shawn's award. (show) (hide)

Interestingly, Professor Lupoli's teaching philosophy was informed in his early collegiate years when he failed his first computer science programming course as an undergraduate student. Shawn learned the hard way that he needed to master his computer science material. But he also knew that the professor in that course had not really cared whether or not he would succeed. Lupoli then took a course from another professor who changed his life— who drew pictures of the class material, who recognized the various learning styles of his students, and in doing so, told his students that they mattered.

Professor Lupoli took this teaching approach to heart. Recognizing that, in his words, "computer science is tough," he has sought to provide the extra effort that matters to the students in his classroom. He designs his courses to reach all the different kinds of learners while being as organized as possible. He had the additional challenge this past year of teaching courses with many international students who were not only new to some of the material, but who were culturally new to the American-style classroom. Lupoli, who grew up with a German mother, used the classroom to acclimate these students to the American teaching style where conversation and participation are expected. As one computer science colleague noted, "Whenever I walked by his classroom, students were often up working problems on the board, not sitting passively listening."

Of course, his students recognized this commitment in nominating Professor Lupoli for this award. As one of the graduate student nominators noted, through Blackboard and email, Professor Lupoli "engaged our class with lectures and 'thought experiments' before the course even began. He continued to use interesting, innovative teaching methods to keep us engaged throughout the semester and was excellent at replying to student questions even well after the semester had ended ...and grades were assigned." Notes the student, "Professor Lupoli was a very challenging instructor and gave us multiple, comprehensive exercises and assignments to complete throughout the course. He emphasized real-world applications in Computer Science that were expected to be supported through extensive field research. One quality that really stood out in Dr. Lupoli was the fact that he wanted us to succeed and made every attempt to make that happen...from giving us feedback on draft work to continual input throughout the assignment. It was clear that he rewarded his students for their hard work, and not always just the 'right answer.'"

Outstanding 2013 Graduate Students receive recognition

Outstanding students in each graduate degree program were recognized at the 2012 Graduate School reception a few days before Commencement in May.

Ken Hofgesang received the Bryce Blackwood Beauchamp Award for Outstanding Student student in the graduate Computer Science program. The award was established in memory of alumna Bryce Blackwood Beauchamp (BA '84, MS '87) who was both an undergraduate and graduate student in computer and information sciences and who served as the technical coordinator for the department in the 1980s.

Read the Citation for Ken's award. (show) (hide)

In receiving this year's outstanding Computer Science student award, Kenneth George Hogfesang is recognized not only for his academic achievement, but also for taking the lessons learned from the classroom to build better computer systems.

Kenneth demonstrated a strong interest in large scale server virtualization and "big data" early on. In his last major project in the Computer Science program, Kenneth developed a method to cut the time in half for finding possible gene pathways within a cell by applying parallel computing techniques. His work improved upon a widely used algorithm in industry. As a Senior Project Manager for SAIC, he currently manages an IT Services contract at the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville, MD. Over the past 6 years, Ken has transformed the data center from 30 standalone servers to 120+ virtual servers running on 6 virtual hosts and has shrunk the footprint to 16 physical machines to support the entire environment.

Krishna Nandanavanan received the Gary Corsar Award for Outstanding Student in the graduate program in Information Technology. The award was sponsored by Gary Corsar (MS '09). When establishing the award, Gary told us that it's important to keep up with technology. A softwawre developer, Gary said he pursued a graduate degree because he wanted to improve all aspects of his career, not just get a certification in one software language or management field, and by sponsoring this prize he encourages others to do the same.

Read the Citation for Krishna's award. (show) (hide)

Krishna Nandanavanam is recognized as the outstanding graduate student in the Master of Science in Information Technology program. Having started his IT career as a junior C/C++ programmer, he currently works as a database administrator for an e-commerce company. In the Information Technology program at Hood College, Krishna conducted research on real time database performance issues involving binary large objects. He presented a survey of this problem at a highly competitive academic conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii, that is normally reserved for professors and post-doctoral students. His survey included the study of most recent and similar research in relational databases involving large objects. He also conducted an experiment and generated enough data to provide a proof of concept about performance issues in database transactions involving binary large objects. His project received excellent feedback from conference organizers on the quality of his work.

Tim Taylor received the Stephen R. White Award for Outstanding Student in the graduate program in Management of Information Technology. The award was established by Douglas White (BA '87, MS '94) in honor of his father, Stephen R. White.

Read the Citation for Tim's award. (show) (hide)

Tim has the distinction of beginning his career as a transfer student at Hood College who earned his BA in Economics and Human Resources Management. Tim will receive his Master's degree in the Management of Information Technology almost 30 years to the day that he received his undergraduate degree. During that time, he has worked in many capacities and in a variety of companies. After spending three decades in applications development, he is now working as a Systems Administrator.

This willingness to pursue challenges, to continually learn, and to pursue one's academic passions sets Tim apart. When Tim earned near perfect scores on a series of tests and projects in one course, he approached his professor to pursue a very difficult project in another course. Tim's academic work was also notable in that he excelled in both his management and information technology coursework.

Undergraduate Students recognized at the 2013 Awards Convocation

Computer Science students Stephanie Chouinard, Ryan Kane, Dorothy Kirlew, Nathan Goedeke, and Bobby Staples received prizes at the 2013 Awards Convocation in April.

Stephanie Chouinard received the Raymond L. and Louise K. Gillard Prize. The prize was established by professor Gary Gillard in memory of his parents. It is awarded to an outstanding student in computer science. In addition to her studies, for the past two years Stephanie has been an intern at Lockheed Martin. After graduation, she will be working there full time. Stephanie also plans on attending Johns Hopkins University part-time starting in the fall, working towards an M.S. in Computer Science.

Ryan Kane received the Computer Science Undergraduate Achievement Award, awarded to a Senior who has demonstrated continued achievement in the field of computer science. Ryan finished his undergraduate studies in DeEcember, 2012, and is now a graduate student in the MSCS program.

Dorothy Kirlew received the Computer Science Faculty Prize, awarded to a student selected by the department faculty to recognize excellence. She is double-degreeing in computer science and mathematics. Dorothy currently has an internship at Intelligrated, which manufactures and installs complete material handling automation solutions, and she hopes to work there after graduation.

Nathan Goedeke received the Computer Science Chair's Fund Prize, awarded to a student in the introductory course sequence. Nathan graduated from the Liberty Home Instruction Fellowship in May of 2012. Nathan is another double-degree student, working towards a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Middle East Studies.

Bobby Staples is a double-degree student majoring in CS and Music. Bobby cleaned up the prizes in the Music department, receiving The Marie A. Markow Excellence in Music Prize, awarded to a Hood student who has excelled both academically and musically; The Ardine and Phyllis Gorden Music Prize, awarded to the declared music major with the highest GPA; and The William Sprigg Prize, awarded to a student who shown outstanding achievement in organ and/or piano performance.

Hood Weather Station 2.0 goes live on the Internet

Check out up-to-the-minute Hood weather right on the spot. And check the parking situation in Whitaker lot too!

The Hood College Weather Station was established in 2009. Aymeric Randanne de Vazeille (MS '10) developed software to extract and store raw data from the sensor suite and create a basic data workflow prototype. Sam Stansfield (BS '10) created the initial database and user interface scripts. This year seniors Tom Delaney (BS '13) and Jason Scaroni (BS '13) deveoped version 2.0 of the station, with time-lapse movies from the web cam, a more robust software interface, and online data analytics. Learn more at the Web site for the station—

Changes to undergraduate course numbers

We have changed the numbers on several of the undergraduate CS courses. The changes will take effect with the spring semester, 2014, schedule. The courses themselves have not changed, only the numbers. This change will not affect the courses that you take or that are required for your program. The Courses page has a complete list of the changes.

2013 Senior Project Presentations - May 10

Click for poster

Ten Class of 2013 CS majors presented their Senior Projects on Friday, May 10, at 4:30 PM in Hodson Tech 131. These presentations were the culmination of a year of work. The five team projects covered a variety of topics and techniques. Fellow Students, faculty, friends, families, and some recent alums attended.

In addition, Senior Dorothy Kirlew presented her Departmental Honors research project "Using a Genetic Algorithm to Optimize the Shortest Path for Double Degree Students in Four-Year Colleges" at the Hood Research Colloquium in April.

There is more information about the specific projects on the Senior Project Showcase page.

Programmer Next-Gen Preview

Next generation programmer Samantha stopped by the CS offices to discuss senior projects and provide a short presentation on the Pythagorean Theorem. Samantha also demonstrated the blankie absorption technique she's been using to learn geometry. She and daddy Andy look forward to commencement in May.

Mark White Places in Peeps Show

Mark White, CS grad student, claimed second place in the spring Peeps Diorama competition. In early April, the Office of the Dean of the Chapel at Hood held their 5th annual "Peeps Show" Contest. The competition challenged individuals or groups to create a diorama to represent the greatest movies of all time by using marshmallow peeps candy. Mark's entry "Alien: In space no one can hear you peep" prevailed over numerous other entries (including the Math Department!) to capture a prize.

CS Students present at 2013 Hood Research Colloquium

This year, the computer science department was well represented at the 2013 Hood Research Colloquium, with three poster presentations and a talk. Stephanie Chouinard (BS, '13) presented a poster on the mobile sudoku application she is developing with Travis Bellew (BS, '13): "mSudoku: A Combinatorial , Number-placement Puzzle Mobile Application". Sean Kinn (BS, '13) and Andy Hohorst (BS, '13) presented their web-based three-dimensional graphics rendering project: "JS-Ray: Web-Based 3D Scene Building". Carl McIntosh (MS in CS '13), presented a poster on his reserach project: "QC Checker and SNP Genotype Editor: Two Application Tools for GWAS" and graduate student John Sell gave a talk on a class-based, semester-long team research project on "Detecting Fractures from X Ray Images".

Aijuan Dong & Joshua Shelley receive Summer Research Institute Grant for CS research

Professor Aijuan Dong and CS student Joshua Shelley received a Summer Research Institute Grant for a study "Automatic Solar Cavity Detection Using Haar-like Cascade Classifier and Template Matching".

Krishna Nandanavanam presents at ICEA 2013 in Honolulu

Krishna Nandanavanam, MS '13, presented his research in a paper "A Survey of Relational Database Performance Issues Involving Large Objects" at the 28th International Conference on Computers and their Applications. The conference was held in March in Honolulu, Hawaii. The survery was a first phase of Krishna's research. Its purpose was to provide a proof of concept that there exist significant performance issues in relational database transactions involving binary large objects such as graphics, animation, video files, etc. As part of the presentation of this survey, Krishna discussed an experiment he conducted using large objects in database transactions and its results to justify the performance issue. His coauthors were Ahmed Salem, Aijuan Dong, James Devilbiss (Hood College) and Michael Brown (University of Maryland University College).

Randy Ford to present at Mobile Voice Conference 2013 in San Francisco.

On April 15, Professor Randy Ford will attend the Mobile Voice Conference 2013 in San Francisco. He will present the paper "Talking with Intelligent systems is just like talking to a person. Or is it?" by W. Randolph Ford, George Dimitoglou, and Ingrid Farreras in the session "Technology and best practices: Speech and Language Technology Options"

Alex Paxton and Robert Staples accepted into SURF program at NIST.

Computer Science students Alex Paxton and Robert Staples have been accepted into the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for summer 2013. More than 600 applicants from across the country competed for one hundred internship positions in the national SURF program. Alex and Robert will join research groups and work alongside top scientists at NIST in an 11 week intensive summer research program. Our majors have been very successful in being selected for this very competitive program over the past several years.

Faculty and students present symposium at EPA conference.

Professor Randy Ford, Jennifer Hill (BS '12), and graduate students Andrew Broadhurst and Steven Stolarski, in collaboration with psychology Professor Ingrid Farreras, presented their research in a symposium session "Communicating with Computers" at the Eastern Psychological Association's 2013 conference.

The session was

Applied Symposium: Communicating With Computers
Chair: W. Randolph Ford (Hood College

Today communicating with computers not only refers to human beings using human language to interact with electronic devices, but it also encompasses using computers to facilitate interaction with other humans. Over the last 20 years, and especially over the last 10 years, we have seen an exponential growth in the population of users of computer-basedcommunication. This symposium covers some of the recent work in the analysis of this area of research.

Adjunct Faculty Positions

The Department of Computer Science at Hood College regularly seeks adjunct faculty in selected areas of computer science and information technology. These are part-time, temporary appointments to teach single courses. The specific courses are dependent on the class offerings each term. Areas of interest include computer security, IT management, information systems and engineering, and computer networks.

We have a specific need for faculty to teach the following courses:

Applicants should hold a masters degree in computer science or a doctorate in computer science or related field. Send a letter of inquiry and curriculum vitae, indicating your potential teaching areas and professional experience, to Elizabeth B. Chang, Chairperson, Department of Computer Science, Hood College, 401 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD 21701 (or email We especially welcome applications from women and members of minority groups.