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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

from MISA club prez - your invitation to tomorrow's 1st meeting!

Want to know what it's really like to actually do MIS for a living? Want to hear it from someone who actually is? Want to go see it happening at major local powerhouses like Cisco, PwC, Lockheed Martin, etc? The MIS club, aka MISA, aka MIS Association, is how you do all that AND have fun meeting fellow students that will be your professional colleagues in Silicon Valley next year!

Everybody's welcome. Even if you haven't taken a single MIS course yet. You don't even have to be an MIS student, for Pete's sake. Just interested in how we leverage technology to do business better/faster/smarter. And who's wouldn't be, really? I'm serious!

Tomorrow (Thursday, Aug 27) is the first meeting (free) from 6-7:30pm in BBC 322, and everyone (that means you) is welcome as noted by the new club president, Nate, in his message below. Please take a look at the great lineup he and his team have put together for the coming month & semester and be there tomorrow to get started. Highly recommended!

From Nate:

Fellow MIS Students,

Allow me to welcome you to the Fall 2015 semester. I want to extend an invitation to all of the Management Information Systems Association’s (MISA) technical talks, career introductions, social events, and member meetings this semester. In the next month or so, we’ll be clearing up some confusion around the careers available to MIS graduates, helping members work on their resumes, and touring Cisco, PwC, and Lockheed Martin campuses. We meet on Thursday evenings from 6-7:30pm in BBC 322. If you want to stay up to date with what MISA has planned, subscribe to our mailing list and you’ll receive monthly updates on upcoming events, and periodic emails about internships and other job opportunities. You can also find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Upcoming MISA Events:

8/27 – Intros/Icebreaker
9/3 – Grab a bite with the club, alumni, and faculty at San Pedro Square
9/10 – Hear speakers answer the question “What is MIS”, with a chance to speak with them afterwards
9/17 – Introduction to the field of Systems and Application Analysis by professionals
9/24 – Revamp your resume with help from the Career Center and MISA alumni
9/25 – Tour Cisco’s campus with MISA
9/26 – Volunteer with MISA and other LCOB clubs at Veggielution

Most of our events will be open to any interested student, but if you are interested in invitations to off-campus corporate tours and access to free Microsoft software through DreamSpark, you will need to become a dues-paying member. If you’d like to learn more about the club, you’ll find us tabling in the BBC courtyard from 9:00am-2:30pm Monday through Thursday until September 3rd. Hope to see you out there, and have a good semester.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

SJSU MIS Grad Scores with SF Giants!

Kevin Kent: MIS Grad/Giants Admin
Maybe the best thing about my job is hearing about, and telling people about, the awesome things our grads are doing out there in the real world. The latest example is Kevin Kent who just graduated from our MIS program last May. Ready for this?

He just got hired by the SF Giants.

No, I'm serious! Kevin's now on the organization's "starting lineup" as an IT Administrator. Not only is it way cool but it's super impressive because the IT staff there is a really elite outfit of top-notch people who love the team but who have to really know their stuff, first and foremost. Everybody counts on them to keep the info flowing and the systems going to support the team, the fans, the organization. Not many get to tryout, let alone make it onto the team. But Kevin did it and we're super-proud. He's in the big league!

I've been lucky enough to hear the Giants CIO, Bill Slough, speak–he's a terrific guy and occasionally comes to SJSU to talk to the students, etc. He's super nice. Super smart. Telling us all the leading edge technology innovations they use, etc. Kevin's so lucky to be working in Bill's outfit and we wish him, and Bill, and the team, the very best.

I asked Kevin to share a bit of the backstory which I've embedded below. Check out how he got to MIS@SJSU, via Industrial Design (!), and made it to the Giants for the next chapter in his life. Also note his kind & gracious words about the program and the MIS faculty. Thanks, Kevin. You're a star.

Go Kevin. Go Giants!

Kevin's Backstory -

I was born in SF, and lived/grew up in San Bruno where I now live...a bay area native. Sports, especially baseball and basketball were always a consistent activity in my life from the age of 4 to present day. I really loved playing baseball with my friends and I always had my dad as my coach, which was very cool to experience. I played on all-star, all-city and tournament baseball teams throughout my childhood and into my teens, and to say the least, baseball has always been a big part of my life.

I went to Junipero Serra high school in San Mateo where I excelled as a student, being a member of the National Honors Society during my junior and senior years. I was also able to play baseball there as well, which I am still very proud of that achievement to this day. 

When looking at colleges, I had a few academic scholarship offers, but I eventually chose SJSU because of the great industrial design program..yes, initially I wanted to draw and draft cars and other things like that for a career and I was fairly decent at it, but midway through my sophomore year I realized that design was not for me.

Knowing my personality and the way my mind works (analytical and detailed) combined with my passion for technology, I did some further research within the college of business and landed on MIS. I knew there was a bright future within the MIS concentration, and wanted to bridge my education with something else I truly loved, maybe music or sports...and well, luckily now one of those has come true!

I've made many friends through both baseball and school, especially at SJSU, and I would like to thank all of them..also all my past professors/instructors that helped me become the person I am today. From Larry Gee's project management class to Richard Sessions' capstone course, and all courses/professors in between, I've learned so much and would again like to thank them all for such a great experience at SJSU.

Now, onto the next chapter of my life, and I'm lucky enough to say that that chapter begins with the San Francisco Giants as an IT Administrator.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tonight! Free IBM Entrepreneurial Networking Event

Sorry for the short notice. The dust is still settling from the spring semester, graduation, etc. but am catching up now so stay tuned for a flurry of postings starting with this one about tonight's IBM event in San Francisco (short walk from BART). See their invite & sign-up link below–the slate is full of cutting edge tech industry stuff you should know about (and good food you should eat), so definitely worth the trip up. (Note - This is one of those enriching experiences you want to be able to talk about at a job interview.) Highly recommended. Check it out:


The local IBM Cloud 'City Team' is pleased to invite you to an exciting entrepreneurial ecosystem networking event in San Francisco on June 2, 6pm-8pm. No charge. 

Step away from the computer ... and join our special guest, IBM's Ecosystem Development GM, Sandy Carter, for a fun, casual evening of networking with developers, startups, academics & students. Technical demos: learn more about IoT, Watson, Cloud, Bluemix, DevOps. Complimentary food & drink! 

Hope to see you there! 

Hosts: Sandy Carter, GM, IBM Ecosystem Development & the IBM San Francisco/Silicon Valley 'City Team' 
Date: June 2 
Time: 6pm - 8pm 
Location: Bluemix Garage at Galvanize, 44 Tehama Street, San Francisco 
Registration Link: