Saturday, January 30, 2016

IoT opp again–this one by Cisco & on campus

Seriously this has got to be the most insanely great job title ever created by mankind–

Vice President, Emerging Technologies & Chief Demonstration Officer

Geek heaven.

And the lucky guy who gets to be this at Cisco (Jim Grubb - check out his blog) is coming to campus in a couple of weeks to do a presentation on the IoT (Internet of Things) which, as you know, I was just posting about last week as maybe now ready for primetime as the hot new thing.

This presentation is part of the IT Open Forum series of technology talks put on by the Information Technology Services (ITS) group at SJSU–the ones that actually manage the campus' technology. It's free and it's right here on campus in the Engineering building, a short walk from the BBC, so there is no excuse for flaking.

In fact, it's on Webex too, so even if you can't be there in person you can tune in, though I always think it's best to be there in person if you can and to sit up front to really engage, AND stick around after to introduce yourself to the speaker, thank them, etc. These are people we all should be aspiring to emulate and I just think it helps you do that when you shake their hand & look them in the eye. (The time I met "the Woz" was indelible in my memory. So glad I didn't miss that chance.)

Here are the vitals for this one:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
ENG (Engineering Building) 285

but check here for the page with all the details.

And keep an eye out for future meetings in this series that might be worth catching. (I will too but can't always keep up with posting here so don't just count on me.)

See you at this one...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ThingEvent follow up w/360 vids for Google VR, etc.

So the PTC's ThingEvent turned out to be pretty cool. They showed some amazing Augmented Reality (AR) applications that companies are using today - mainly for facilitating service to equipment.

For example, they showed how a German motorcycle company uses it to help with repairs - a technician with not much training can be helped to do a sophisticated engine diagnosis & repair by holding up an iPad (or wearing goggles) that superimposes labels, color-coded part animations, etc. on actual the motorcycle, showing her/him what part to remove next, what pieces to replace & how they go in, etc.

There was another similar example, an iPad app superimposing repair instructions directly on a piece of medical equipment. With their app, the customers (labs) can actually do the repairs themselves! The manufacturer doesn't have to send out a technician at all. Pretty amazing.

They posted a bunch of 360-degree videos on YouTube, about the making of today's event. Pretty cook but you have to watch them through a Chrome Browser or use the Google VR cardboard app to get the full effect. It's amazing stuff but maybe poised to be the next big thing–PTC is saying so. We'll see...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

free "ThingEvent" webinar on Augmented Reality for the Enterprise

I see a lot of these free webinar things go by but this one caught my eye so I just signed up myself-it's billed as a "ThingEvent" from a company, PTC, that is into IoT (Internet of Things) among other stuff.

IoT is super hot & at an inflection point for going orbital–here's a couple of articles from the Harvard Business Review about how it's going to revolutionize business. These are both co-authored by the PTC CEO, Jim Heppleman, and the famous Harvard Professor Michael Porter whose classic "Porter Model" of the 5 competitive forces you have or will learn like the back of your hand  in 189, 119b and others. PTC is into IoT with their ThingWorx platform. (I went to a ThingWorx workshop  at Salesforce's DreamForce conference last fall &my workstation actually...well, didn't work, but that's another story and the demo was cool.)

This PTC webinar event is focused on Augmented Reality (AR) for the Enterprise which is hard to get one's head around but they claim it is for real (and they appear to be pretty on top of stuff), hence my interest and encouragement for you to check it out, too.

I was delving into VR way back in 1990 when the extraordinarily eccentric & brilliant Jarod Lanier was the boy genius at the pioneer VR company VPL. (I saw him at an insane rave party in SoMA back then.) But VR was too early then. The gear was crude, hard to integrate & too expensive to get decent performance.

So I hadn't paid too much attention after that until some of the AR apps started coming out on the iPhone–like I remember this Dutch company Layar came out awhile back with one of the first I spotted–if you were touring in Amsterdam you could look through your phone & see labels & historical info, etc. superimposed on the buildings around you. I never got the chance to try it out, sadly, but I loved the idea of it.

Now PTC is saying it's time for AR in the Enterprise? Not sure what that would be but guess we'll find out what they're thinking on Thursday, at 12pm. It's free. Sign up.

BTW, any thinking person, especially here in Silicon Valley, should check out Jarod Lanier's critical & insightful ideas about "the poisonous concentration of money and power in our digital network." Here's a brief summary video of his important book "Who owns the future?"

Friday, November 13, 2015

get inside the mind of a machine (IBM Cognitive Computing here next week!)

Yeah, that's Jeopardy! The guy on the right? The 2nd best champion ever. The guy on the left? The uber-champion brainiac that no one could ever beat, no matter what. The "guy" in the middle? IBM's cognitive computer, Watson. He smoked them both. It was kind of sad, actually–the ultimate triumph of machine over human, at least in the knowledge recall game, but it was amazing, indeed, and now you can learn how Watson thinks & what new amazing stuff it does–from the experts. (Free! On campus!!)

Here's a chance to just walk across campus and learn about AI (the real thing) and IBM's Bluemix, their cloud platform that brings together all their cutting edge technologies (Watson, included). On top of that, our IBM liaison, Nanci Knight will be there handing out Promo Codes for 6-months free access to Bluemix (including the Watson APIs) to any student who attends.

But, you have to RSVP by sending an email to (and don't be a no-show. That's so rude!)

Details below. Check it out and post comments back here next week!

IBM Cognitive Computing Workshop 
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday November 18, 2015
MLK Library Room 255 

You are cordially invited to a 2-hour seminar on Cognitive Computing, Watson & Bluemix, presented by IBM experts. Be part of the growing conversation as we explore the powerful cognitive technologies that are emerging to augment human capacity and understanding. 

"Navigating the Cognitive Era" Richard Rodts - Program Director, IBM Watson Academic Programs Abstract: IBM point of view on the growth of data and the role of cognitive computing to assist in making sense of that data. 

"A Cognitive Journey through the Lens of IBM Watson" Armen Pischdotchian - Watson Academic Partners: Technical Mentor for Universities - IBM Watson Group Abstract: A world of sensors and devices that communicate with one another often analyzing data and predicting futures, are about to meet cognition; where systems understand, reason and learn. Come for a journey beginning from the Jeopardy! days to API services that employ neural network deep learning technologies as we usher in the cognitive era. 

"Working with IBM Bluemix: Building Apps Augmented with Cognitive Services" - hands-on demo Armen Pischdotchian Abstract: In this demo, we build an app and bind it to three services: Personality Insights (PI), Question-Answer and AlchemyAPI service. This workshop tells the story of a frustrated author who is under stress. Using character traits revealed by the PI service, the analyst poses health related questions to the Watson health corpus and, at the same time, extracts keywords (AlchemyAPI) from the returned answers that may prompt the analyst to query further using the DeepQA pipeline (QA service).

Monday, October 19, 2015

National CyberSec Awareness Month is...NOW! (so...?)

Turns out SJSU has a serious commitment to Cyber Security. Has had for awhile:
  • For years, we've been a key partner in a National Science Foundation grant to help fund CyberSec research and education. 
  • Recently, our own MIS professor, Leslie Albert, helped SJSU gain certification as a National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education. 
  • In 2013, the campus CyberSec and Big Data Initiative created a "cluster" of SJSU faculty, including some hired specifically for their expertise in these field, who work together, across colleges and departments, on multi-disciplinary research and teaching.
  • And last month, SJSU was recognized as an Academic Alliance partner during the September Stop.Think.Connect. campaign call with partners from industry, government and academia.
Part of that last one was promoting the (then upcoming) National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and this posting is slightly belated but there's still two week's worth of stuff going on:
  • Week4: October19-23 – Your Evolving Digital Life
  • Week5: October26-30 – Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
Check out the NCSAM website for all the details. And note the #CyberAward tag you can use to keep updated.

Finally, do check out this excellent brochure from Sam Houston University called "Would You Hire You?" that make some great points about what employers are finding out about you from social media.

Remember, friends don't let friends compute vulnerably!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

star MIS alum starts Lean In Circle for SJSU students tomorrow (9/15)

Here's a great opportunity to be part of a new initiative by one of our star MIS alums, Nanditha Gandi, now working at Juniper but coming back to SJSU to connect the students and faculty outside class, and create opportunities for all to meet industry professionals and network better. Nanditha's another great example of our alumni wanting to give back to the school and the next generation of students coming up. She's put together a Lean In Circle (based on the book by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook) and she's running it here once a month starting tomorrow night, 9/15, at 6pm in BBC 032. It's free, open to all students and promises to be really enriching.

Tomorrow's kickoff meeting will be about branding yourself, including professional dress genres, first impressions, elevator pitches, etc. These are all key to launching your career and will set the stage for a great series of meetings this fall.

Mark your to-do list for tomorrow but if you can't make it then, try for next time. Keep an eye out here for info about the upcoming meetings.

Monday, August 31, 2015

scholarship for MIS, CS & CompEngr - deadline in 6 days!

Here's a terrific opportunity created by a philanthropic group of local CIOs, intended to help develop the next generation of tech leaders by getting you the resources you need to focus on your studies. But note–the app is due by 12pm on 9/10!


The Management Information Systems department at San Jose State University is pleased to announce a scholarship opportunity sponsored by the CIO Scholarship Foundation. The foundation represents a local non profit organization of IS executives that strives to enhance future leadership in the information systems and technology fields by supporting students studying in related fields throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

This year we will award two one-time scholarships of $2000 each to deserving San Jose State undergraduate students majoring in Management Information Systems, Computer Science and/or Computer/Software Engineering. In addition to being declared as one of these majors, eligible candidates must be in "Good Standing," academically, with a 2.5 GPA or better. Also, candidates must be available to attend the CIO Scholarship Fundraiser event in Livermore, 12pm-8pm, October 16, as a guest of honor.

Applications are due no later than 12:00pm on Thursday, September 10, 2015.

To apply, first log in to your Gmail account and complete the form at the following link, including an essay (500 words max) to make a succinct and compelling case for how this award would help you toward the scholarship's goal of developing the next generation of information technology leaders in the Bay Area.
Applications ALSO REQURE an email to the selection committee chair, Dr. Timothy Hill ( with the subject line "CIO Fund Scholarship Application". An up to date resume must be attached, along with all transcripts of your college-level coursework at SJSU and elsewhere.