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Board # 49 : The NECST Program - Networking and Engaging in Computer Science and Information Technology Program

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27867

Download Count

47

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Paper Authors

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Katherine G. Herbert Montclair State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6663-8187

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Katherine G. Herbert, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Computer Science, Montclair State University.

Dr. Katherine Herbert is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Montclair State University. Dr. Herbert currently researches database management, data warehousing and data quality issues in biological, biochemical and sustainability-related data sets. Dr. Herbert received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2004 from the New Jersey Institute of Technology for studying data quality issues in biological databases. Since completing her Ph.D., she has continued to publish Dr. Herbert’s primary research is in biological databases with a specialty in phylogenetic databases. Presently, she is examining the data integration problems with regards to integrating protein-ligand data with respect to the phylogenetics relationships within the protein data with Dr. Nina Goodey from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at MSU. This work is has been funded by the Montclair State University Sokol Institute for Pharmaceutical Life sciences where she is developing a prototype system and been publish in ACM SIGMOD, ISMB CSHALS and the Faculty of 1000 blog Naturally Selected. Dr. Herbert is also a recently looking at problems regarding sustainability data and mobile applications. This work with Dr. Emily Hill, Dr. Jerry Fails and Dr. Jennifer Bragger, has been funded by the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Sciences. This work has been published in IEEE Big Data and ACM CSCW. Dr. Herbert is also the Principle Investigator for the National Science Foundation funded S-STEM Networking and Engaging in Computer Science and Information Technology (NECST) Program here at Montclair State University (NSF award 1259758). The NECST Program funds students, regardless of background, who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in computer science. Students from computing related fields as well as other fields are welcome to apply. These students are then mentored through a network of mentors from not only MSU, but also neighboring universities who participate in NECST. Through her work with the Science Informatics Program, Dr. Herbert has also published a number of Computer Science and Interdisciplinary education papers in venues such as DIMACS, CUR and ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE).

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Thomas J Marlowe Seton Hall University

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Thomas Marlowe is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Seton Hall University, where he has taught for the past 37 years, and holds Ph.D.s in both disciplines from Rutgers University. He has broad research interests in computer science, having published on programming languages and compiler optimization, real-time systems, software engineering and collaborative development, algorithms, and computer science pedagogy. He is co-PI on the NECST grant.

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Jerry Alan Fails Boise State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6139-1162

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Dr. Jerry Alan Fails is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. His primary area of research is Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on technologies that support children’s creativity, mobility, and collaboration and promote activity and exploration of the world around them. He has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students and is deeply invested in engaging students in research experiences and providing students with the tools they need to succeed after graduating.

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Cyril S Ku William Paterson University

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Dr. Cyril S. Ku received the B. S. degree in Computer Science from Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA, in 1980, the M. S. degree in Computer Science and Applications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, in 1982, and the Ph. D. degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, in 1989.

From 1982 to 1985, he was a Software Engineer in the field of traffic and transportation engineering. He conducted application research in software engineering, databases, and data science as Member of Technical Staff and as Systems Analyst at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore, now Ericsson, 1989-1996), as Senior Technical Staff Member at AT&T (1996-2000), and as Senior Information Technology Specialist at IBM (2000-2002).

He has been a Full Professor at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, USA since 2014 (Assistant Professor: 2002-2009, Department Chair: 2007-2013, Associate Professor: 2009-2014). He received an Excellence Award for Faculty Service in 2009. His research interests include software engineering, databases, data warehouses (big data), data mining, and automated reasoning and theorem proving. He is a member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society, and UPE (Upsilon Pi Epsilon).

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Kelly M Goedert Seton Hall University

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Emily Hill Drew University

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Emily Hill is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Drew University, a small liberal arts college outside of New York City. Her research interests involve creating intuitive software engineering tools for novice developers by utilizing the natural language information present in source code. She is also passionate about undergraduate computer science education.

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Nina M Goodey Montclair State University

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Dr. Nina Goodey is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.A. She has expertise in enzymology and is interested in engineering of soil enzymatic function. She enjoys mentoring student research.

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Donal Thomas MacVeigh S.J.

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Abstract

There have been significant efforts toward addressing the current and future shortfalls and mismatches in the computing, information, and technology workforce. These efforts include attracting more students into computer science, fostering a realistic and interdisciplinary approach to computing, and increasing cooperation and collaboration between institutions. The NECST (Networking and Engaging in Computer Sciences and Information Technology) Program, funded through the NSF S-STEM program, tackles these challenges in a novel way. Most approaches to increasing STEM enrollment in general – and computer science enrollment in particular – focus on secondary or even primary school students or underclass college students. NECST, however, looks to interest undergraduates close to graduation, recent alumni, or returning students from any discipline in graduate study in computer science. These interests are motivated as a change in career direction, or equally often as a means to acquire skills, concepts, and frameworks that complement their original discipline or career plans. This can be an advantage for students of all disciplines, including undergraduate computing majors, since employers have remarked that many computer science majors, although possessing basic knowledge and dedication, lack understanding and depth, plus critical thinking and communication skills.

NECST is supported by a consortium of four institutions in northern New Jersey. The region hosts several higher education institutions, public and private, and is characterized by a high demand for computing and information technology. Through the program, students receive a two-year scholarship to pursue a practice-oriented, career-centered Master’s degree in Computer Science at Montclair State University. The other three institutions, Saint Peter’s University, Seton Hall University, and William Paterson University, have well-established undergraduate computer science programs but currently no graduate program. The scholarship is not restricted to those with undergraduate majors in computer science or related fields, or even to STEM majors; in fact, its greatest benefit is arguably to those with an interest in computing or technology but have a very different undergraduate background. Students benefit from a structured but flexible framework of mentoring and group activities, including student-organized group support. The program has had two welcomed consequences for the institutions that have been involved in the program. It has fostered increased cooperation and exploration of opportunities for collaboration among the computer science programs at the institutions involved as well as between the computer science departments and the diverse departments from which students have applied. In this poster, we will describe the NECST Program and its innovative mentorship structure for transitioning graduate students in computer science whose undergraduate experiences may be in other disciplines. NECST employs several activities that provide the additional scaffolding to support students as they make this transition. While we believe these activities may be suited for other situations, the program helps address the unique challenges northern New Jersey faces with relation to graduate studies in computing fields.

Herbert, K. G., & Marlowe, T. J., & Fails, J. A., & Ku, C. S., & Goedert, K. M., & Hill, E., & Goodey, N. M., & MacVeigh, D. T. (2017, June), Board # 49 : The NECST Program - Networking and Engaging in Computer Science and Information Technology Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27867

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015