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Fall 2014 | College of Information Sciences and Technology

Interactive social media app heightens Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Experience

CONTENTS Fall 2014

iConnect, the magazine of the College of Information Sciences and Technology is published twice a year by the Office of Communications and Outreach.


Jack Carroll, distinguished professor of information sciences and technology (IST), is leading efforts at the Center for HumanComputer Interaction (HCI) to enable and empower communities through information and communications technologies.

Editor & Writer: Stephanie Koons Art Director: Kelly Bryan Photography: Emilee Spokus Alumni Relations: 814-863-7548 E-mail: All inquiries and comments should be sent to: 814-867-1236

Penn State’s Center for Human-Center Interaction building an innovative community, one interaction at a time


IST connects students and takes learning beyond the classroom through engaged scholarship Rather than seeking typical undergraduate experiences, IST students Jules Dupont, Justin Roth and Cassie Juzefyk are broadening their educational horizons by gaining “real-world” experiences that add context to their studies and benefit the University as a whole.

Stay connected with IST:


Ready for Cyber Combat: SRA students gain the tools needed to fight online terrorism and security attack Students enrolled in the Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) program at the College of IST are provided the tools, both inside and outside the classroom, to combat increasing privacy and security threats in the digital age.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-1150/TTY. U.Ed. IST 15-03

IN THIS ISSUE 12 Yellow fever epidemic presents 200-year-old lesson in crisis management 22 A good night’s rest leads to start-up success: IST alum Daehee Park aims to revolutionize the mattress industry

DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Dean 10 Research News 26 Faculty Publications


Final thoughts from Dr. David Hall, dean 2009 - 2014

The past year at the College of Information

Institute for Cyber Science and the Huck

Sciences and Technology (IST) has

Institute of the Life Sciences to propose

been a very successful one marked by

a new Center for Big Data Analytics and

many transitions. Due to the efforts of

Discovery Informatics led by Dr. Vasant

our faculty and staff, we have completed

Honavar, and are participating in a new

our part of the Penn State For the

General Electric Center for Collaborative

Future: The Campaign for Penn State

Research in Intelligent Natural Gas

Students raising over $32 million in gifts

Systems (CCRNGS) center (with the

for scholarships and in-kind software and

Smeal College of Business, the College of

materials (achieving over 200 percent

Engineering, and the College of Earth and

of our goal); completed the first year of

Mineral Sciences. These are all exciting

a two-year strategic planning effort and

accomplishments and new opportunities

delivered our draft College Strategic

for the College.

Plan for incorporation in the University Strategic planning process; held another

Effective August 1, I transitioned from

very successful Start-up Week involving

my role as the Dean of IST to return to

over 40 speakers from start-up companies

the faculty ranks. I would like to take this

and well-established international

opportunity to congratulate Dr. Mary Beth

corporations to discuss innovation and

Rosson on her new role as the Interim

entrepreneurship; grown our online

Dean for the College of IST. I know she

education programs to include over 700

is excited to assist the College in our

undergraduate students and 300 graduate

transitional period. The College of IST is

students; and continued to achieve

well respected at the highest levels of the

success in our placement of students for

University, and we are on a great trajectory

internships and jobs. Our faculty members

for new opportunities in research, new

have achieved recognition in their research

educational programs, and continued

and teaching. We are joining with the

growth. Exciting times are ahead.

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology




College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Penn State’s Center for HumanComputer Interaction Building an innovative community, one interaction at a time Throughout human history, “community” has been a foundational

The Center for HCI is an interdisciplinary organizational unit

yet evolving concept. Modern communities are not only defined

for human-computer interaction research, instruction, and

by spatial boundaries, as in traditional neighborhoods, but also

outreach within Penn State and beyond. The center, according

by shared interests, common affiliations, and mutual need. The

to its website, “uses existing partnerships with community

continuing expansion of the Internet and mobile technology has

organizations, foundations, and commercial organizations to help

introduced opportunities for people to not only form new networks,

facilitate change in society with respect to the potential utilization

but also foster growth and development in their communities.

of information technology.”

Jack Carroll, distinguished professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), along with his fellow

For the past 20 years, Carroll has focused his research on

researchers, is developing new technologies with the intention of

community informatics, an emerging field of investigation and

promoting an innovative, vibrant, socially engaged community in

practice that is concerned with information and communication

the State College, Pa. area.

technology (ICT) in relation to communities and their social, cultural, economic and service development, among other

“Community is still about developing identity, engagement, and

dimensions. Carroll, along with other researchers, post-doctoral

mutual support through association with other people,” said

scholars and graduate students at the Center for HCI, has

Carroll, a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction

directed several projects that

(HCI) for over 40 years. “But community can also be a place

are intended to promote

where innovation is cultivated.”

dialogue among community members, bring people who

Carroll, who has a doctorate in experimental psychology from

share common interests

Columbia University, is director of Penn State's Center for Human-

together, and set a path

Computer Interaction (HCI), and has courtesy appointments as

for State College, Pa.

professor of computer science and engineering, psychology, and

to become a pioneer in

learning, design and technology (in the College of Education). His

community informatics.


research interests include methods and theory in HCI, particularly as applied to Internet tools for collaborative learning and problem

For the past several years,

solving, and the design of interactive information systems.

Center for HCI researchers

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


have introduced a novel element into one of State College’s

In addition to accessing the

most revered traditions—the Central Pennsylvania Festival of

app, people who visited the

the Arts. The festival, which was founded in 1967 by the State

Center for HCI’s booth at the

College Chamber of Commerce and Penn State’s College of Arts

2014 Central Pennsylvania

and Architecture, brings over 100,000 people to downtown State

Festival of the Arts had

College and the University Park campus of Penn State each July

the opportunity to meet

to celebrate the arts.

like-minded festival goers. Visitors to the booth received

In 2008, as part of an effort to make the arts festival more

an identifying tag, worn as

interactive, Carroll and his associates developed the Central

a lanyard around the neck,

Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts web app. Using the app, which is

which indicated their personal

now available for both iPhone and Android smartphones, festival

interests at the festival, i.e.

goers can access the festival’s official website (which includes

food, musical acts and art exhibits. Those who participated in the

descriptions of all 300 artists who sell their works at the festival),

activity were able to connect with people who indicated that they

schedules of various music, dance and theatrical performances

have similar interests, with many of them sharing “selfies” through

and other festival activities. The app can display the locations

the app.

of artist booths and performance venues, and app users can determine the artists and performances that are in close proximity

“We want to get people to socialize and communicate with each

to their current location. Users can also create personal itineraries,

other at Arts Fest,” said Patrick Shih, a research associate at the

share photos and post comments about Festival events.

College of IST and a member of the Center for HCI.

“The idea is to intensify the experience of the Arts Festival,” Carroll

The app, Carroll said, along with the icebreaker activity, were


popular. There were about 1,400 users of the app, along with 150 game participants. In addition, about 100 people completed surveys about their experiences with the app. An additional benefit of the Arts Festival app, Shih said, is that users are able to access photos from past festivals, and thus view images of a given location throughout the festival’s history. “It’s all about promoting a sense of community through this digital curation effort,” Shih said. In addition to preserving history, one of the Center for HCI’s goals is to facilitate engagement in shaping the future of the community. The State College Borough is in the process of implementing the Downtown Master Plan, which provides a framework to guide growth and change in the community. The themes, according to the Borough’s website, “range from recommendations for


College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Jess Kropczynski, a instructor and researcher at IST Center for HCI, said that the Future State College app divides the Downtown Master Plan into four sectors with 30 locations. The app has a “walking tour” feature that allows users to explore the plan independently. Users of the location-based app can view the proposed changes at a particular spot, leave comments and agree or disagree with a design or concept. The Future State College app, Kropczynski said, is the only app of its kind that currently exists. The app is in a trial phase, but the researchers hope to make the app available to the community in fall 2014. The app can eventually be adapted to different types of plans by other organizations, she added. The main benefit of the Future State College app, Carroll and Kropczynski said, is that it provides an outlet to voice opinions to citizens who cannot or do not attend municipal meetings. “The more you speak up, the more your taxpayer money goes to something you care about,” Kropczynski said. marketing and special activities to streetscape and traffic improvements to future development models and partnerships.”

In a similar way that people may be shifting away from formal

The Center for HCI developed the Future State College app,

government meetings, social media sites such as Twitter have

which allows people to review and comment on parts of the

become increasingly popular alternatives to traditional news

Downtown Master Plan’s proposed improvements to the

outlets for expressing opinions on current events. In 2013, HCI

community while they are standing at the downtown locations of

researchers released Local News Chatter (LNC), a smartphone

those improvements.

app that integrates local news articles and socially generated tweets from local residents. Their goal in developing the app is

“While the process of preparing the downtown plan engaged

to increase community awareness and engagement by enabling

many community stakeholders, the app provides another

users to access more dynamic community news information.

opportunity for reaching a broad audience to share the vision,” said Meagan Tuttle, who works in the Borough Planning

“We found that using Local News Chatter causes people to


experience their community as stronger, and identify with it more,” Carroll said.

“While community workshops and sketches during public meetings are a great way to provide a visual representation of an

The LNC app extracts a set of distinctive terms from articles

idea, having an app that allows the community to experience the

published in news outlets in the State College area—Centre Daily

ideas in the environment in which they’re proposed can help them

Times, Daily Collegian, and Penn State

come to life in a more tangible way,” Tuttle said.

News—and utilizes them to find associated tweets from local

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


Twitter accounts. The app displays those terms in a tag cloud and

While technology may be a driving force in social change, factors

presents related formal news articles and tweets in an integrated

such as economic conditions and human psychology can also

display. The researchers are interested in understanding how

spur technological advancements. Time banking, which refers

users experience aggregated community information while using

to community-based volunteering in which participants provide

the app, and in how the app helps people be more aware of local

and receive services valued by the amount of time they require

community news and activities.

to perform, is an example of the symbiotic relationship between culture and technology. Carroll and his associates are working

One variant of the app, which currently has about 40 to 50 active

on a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)

users, now contains a sentiment analysis tool that displays a

that is intended to strengthen communities through a mobile time

“community affect meter” that indicates whether a topic is viewed

banking system.

positively or negatively. The researchers are interested in how codifying affect about community events can be appropriated as

Time banking is “quite radical and innovative,” Carroll said,

a resource for sense making and participation. Another variant of

because time is a much more personal and widely available

the app extracts crisis event terms, such as “fire,” to make such

resource than money.


College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014


events more visible to the community.

“Everyone has the same amount of time,” he said. “It’s an

“People are looking for alternative ways of doing things at a lower

equitable way for citizens to exchange value.”

price,” Shih said. “It’s a paradigm shift in our workforce.”

In 2012, Carroll received an award of $497,553 from the NSF

Carroll and Shih cited Uber (a venture-funded startup and

to support his project, “Socio-technical Issues in Mobile Time

transportation network company based in San Francisco that

Banking.” The project, in partnership with Victoria Bellotti of

makes mobile apps that connect passengers with drivers of

the Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, Calif., incorporates

vehicles for hire and ridesharing services) and Airbnb (a website

mobile computing and Web 2.0 services to carry out a design

that connects people with extra space with people seeking

research investigation of mobile time banking.

lodging), as examples of successful companies that capitalize on the notion of a peer-to-peer sharing economy.

Time banks originated in the 1980s with anti-poverty activist Edgar Cahn, as described in his book, No More Throw Away People. Cahn

Carroll and his associates are in the process of refining the time

developed “time dollars” as a new currency to provide a solution to

banking model and making it more efficient. As part of an effort to

cuts in government spending on social welfare. A typical time bank

make time banking a more immediate and less time-consuming

hosts a basic website, usually implemented on one of a few special

experience, the center has implemented IOS and Android apps for

purpose time banking or alternative currency exchange software

its time banking system. In addition, the center recently received

platforms. Websites typically display lists of service offers and

a $1.2 million award from the NSF for a joint project with Carnegie

requests from time bank members (e.g. electrical work, plumbing,

Mellon University and the Palo Alto Research Center that has

babysitting). For an hour of service such as dog-walking or house-

a goal of creating a software model of time bank user interests

painting, one time dollar is debited from the recipient and awarded

and experimenting with a “push” framework in which interaction

to the provider. The provider then uses the dollar to pay for service

opportunities would be suggested to the user based on his or her

from another, and the recipient can provide a service to anyone

preferences and current location.

else to earn back the debit. As a community informatics researcher, Carroll said, he is fortunate “People like the idea (of a time bank), but it’s something that

to live in a progressive community like State College that is open

communities have to get used to,” Shih said.

to experimenting with new technologies. Eventually, he hopes that the ideas that are generated at the Center for HCI will spread to a

While time banking may not yet be mainstream, it is catching on

wide variety of communities across the U.S. and the world.

quickly. According to Wikipedia, 26 countries currently have active time banks. In addition, there are 250 time banks active in the

“Community will always be about human development, but that

United Kingdom and over 276 time banks in the U.S. The time

includes innovation,” Carroll said. “There is a huge amount of

banking model took off around 2008, Shih said, in the middle of a

community innovation today; it’s exciting to be part of it.”

global economic recession.

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology



People with higher job status may be more willing to compromise privacy for security reasons and also be more determined to carry out those decisions, according to researchers. This preoccupation with security may shape policy and decision-making in areas ranging from terrorism to investing, and perhaps cloud other options, said Jens Grossklags, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. In two separate experiments, the researchers examined how people with high-status job assignments evaluated security and privacy and how impulsive or patient they were in making decisions. The researchers found that participants who were randomly placed in charge of a project tended to become more concerned with security issues. In a follow-up experiment, people appointed as

supervisors also showed a more patient, long-term approach to decision-making, added Grossklags, who worked with Nigel J. Barradale, assistant professor of finance, at the Copenhagen Business School. The findings may explain why people who are in leadership roles tend to be more decisive about guarding security, often at the expense of privacy, according to the researchers. In the real world, high-status decisionmakers would include politicians and leaders of companies and groups. "Social status shapes how privacy and security issues are settled in the real world," said Grossklags. "Hopefully, by calling attention to these tendencies, decision makers can rebalance their priorities on security and privacy."

Health-related mobile technologies can help consumers make smarter choices Erika Poole recalls that her dad had his first heart attack in his 30s when he was walking on the beach. The second one happened when she was 9 or 10 years old. "I basically grew up watching him go into the hospital every single year," she says. "I remember visiting him in the cardiac ward. I particularly remember all the fruit baskets," she notes with a wry chuckle. The young girl who watched her father's health crises is now a Penn State researcher who wants to do something to help others like him. "He was basically a two-pack a day smoker, and every bad thing he could possibly do, he did. It's heartbreaking to see that, and to see how preventable it all could be by making slightly smarter choices." Poole, an assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has dedicated her career to helping people make those smarter choices. Her recent work includes a large study of adolescents and "exergaming," the use of video games that promote physical participation. Another study looked at the use of text messaging in smoking cessation programs. Currently, Poole is helping to develop guidelines for humancentered design of health technologies that make use of smart phones and other mobile devices. The latter is a cross-disciplinary project pulling together technology experts with health professionals, aimed at encouraging designs for health-related apps that people will want to use.

10 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

IST lab receives software designed to mirror how humans think and act Cognitive modeling—an area of computer science that deals with simulating human problem solving and mental task processes in a computerized model—has been applied in a variety of areas such as military simulations, computer game and user interface design, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Such models, which often act as agents (selfcontained computational systems) in synthetic environments, can be used to simulate or predict human behavior or performance on tasks similar to the ones modeled. The Applied Cognitive Science Lab at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently was gifted copies of a commercial agent development software product that is designed to create more realistic models that reflect how emotion and physical factors affect human decision making and behavior. “If an opponent in a simulated environment always does the right thing and always does it immediately, it can be hard to learn how to respond to that opponent’s real-life counterpart,” said Frank Ritter, a professor at the College of IST and co-director of the Applied Cognitive Science Lab. “It’s useful in simulation to have a model that more accurately reflects how people really behave.” Agent Oriented Software (AOS) has given the Applied Cognitive Science Lab 20 copies of the commercial JACK (Java Agent Construction Kit V5.6) and CoJACK (Cognitive JACK) agent development software. AOS supplies products for building, running and integrating commercial-grade multi-agent systems, built on a logical foundation: Beliefs, Desires, Intentions (BDI). Thinkstockphotos

People in leadership positions may sacrifice privacy for security

IST professors help to d eve l o p t o o l s t o a c c e s s ‘scholarly’ big data

Doctoral student receives grant to develop technology for diagnosing dyslexia

Academic researchers and corporate managers often seek experts or collaborators in a particular field to enhance their knowledge or maximize the talents of their workforce. Harnessing that data, however, can be a challenge. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) have devised recommendation systems for expert and collaborator discovery that enable users to access “scholarly big data.”

expert recommendation system based on CiteSeerX," at Amazon's first annual Ph.D. Symposium on "Building Scalable Systems" on Nov. 20, 2013 at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. He was supervised by C. Lee Giles, David Reese Professor of IST and Graduate Professor of CSE. In addition to Chen and Giles, the paper was co-written by Pucktada Treeratpituk, computer scientist at the Ministry of Science and Technology in the Thai government; and Prasenjit Mitra, associate professor at the College of IST.

Elizabeth Eikey, a doctoral candidate at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is interested in how technology can be used to improve health outcomes. Eikey’s research goal, which is now being supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is to advance diagnostic technology that will help struggling children learn to read.

“Everyone talks about big data,” said Hung-Hsuan Chen, one of the researchers on the project. “But in academia, not many groups have this volume of data from CiteSeer. For data-driven research, we have a very good opportunity for big data research because we are one of the few groups that have such a large volume of data.”

In the paper, the researchers propose CSSeer, a free and publicly available keyphrase-based recommendation system for expert discovery based on the CiteSeerX digital library and Wikipedia as an auxiliary resource. CSSeer generates keyphrases from the title and the abstract of each document in CiteSeerX. Those keyphrases are then used to infer the authors’ expertise.


Chen, who received a doctorate degree from the Department of CSE in December 2013, was one of the two graduate students from Penn State among the 25 selected from over 250 applicants worldwide to present his research, "CSSeer: an

“The system automatically figures out who are the experts of a given area,” Chen said.

Dyslexia is “a developmental reading disorder that is characterized by difficulty with learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal or aboveaverage intelligence,” according to Wikipedia, and “has profound effects that span across a lifetime,” Eikey wrote in her graduate research proposal. “By bringing dyslexia diagnostics into mainstream education, I can improve accessibility, reduce costs of diagnostics, create a better learning environment for every student (including those without dyslexia) and increase literacy in the U.S., which will foster a better society overall,” said Eikey, who graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in fall 2010 and entered the doctoral program at the College of IST in fall 2012. As a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Eikey will now have an opportunity to explore learning disabilities technology in depth. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), according to the NSF website, “recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.”

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


Yellow fever epidemic presents 200-year-old lesson in crisis management Among natural and man-made disasters, there is perhaps nothing

type A outbreak will result in a rapid spread of infectious disease,

more baffling and terrifying than an infectious disease outbreak. In

overwhelming existing medical response infrastructures.” Each of

1793, a yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia killed about 5,000

those organizations has published planning guides that call upon

people and altered the course of history. According to Ed Glantz,

local and community organizers to begin preparing for such an

a senior lecturer at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences

event. To establish insight and provide context for the organizers,

and Technology (IST), an outbreak could wreak similar havoc in

Glantz’s paper presents a case analysis of the Philadelphia yellow

modern times, and emergency response systems may not be much

fever outbreak of 1793.

better prepared than they were over 200 years ago. In 1793, Glantz wrote, Philadelphia was at its peak, serving as “I actually believe a lot of those terrible outcomes could happen

the capital of both Pennsylvania and the recently formed U.S.

today,” said Glantz, who teaches in the Security and Risk Analysis

government. With 50,000 residents, it was the largest metropolitan

(SRA) program at the College of IST.

area in the U.S., and its port handled one-fourth of the nation’s shipping. The city’s good fortune ended in July 1793, when a

A paper that Glantz wrote on the topic, “Community Crisis

cargo ship brought the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, along with

Management Lessons from Philadelphia’s 1793 Epidemic,” won

individuals currently infected with yellow fever. Confusion and panic

the Best Insight Paper Award at the 11th International Conference

quickly set in, as there was no medical direction on what would halt

on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management

the escalating death rates, and most city, state and federal officials

(ISCRAM), which was held recently at the College of IST. The

and employees had already fled their posts. About 40 percent of

theme for ISCRAM2014 was empowering citizens and communities

residents, including most of the city’s wealthy, evacuated — even

through information systems for crisis response and management.

George Washington retired to Mount Vernon earlier than expected.

The conference focused on the local community, the individual and

The city’s government ceased to operate, resulting in crime,

the technologies that can be employed to improve crisis response

abandonment and people being left out in the streets to die.

at the local level. According to Glantz’s paper, public health organizations, including

wrote, when the temperature dropped and the frosts began. While

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World

the crisis may have subsided, the epidemic—along with the way

Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and

it was handled—had severely damaged Philadelphia’s standing in

Human Services, are “greatly concerned that a new influenza

public opinion.

12 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014


The death rate did not begin to decline until November, Glantz

“The crisis served as a basis for attack in subsequent recriminations

“The paper talks about non-traditional crises, such as infectious

and politicking,” he wrote. “In addition, Philadelphia had lost its

diseases, that include all of the horror of a natural disaster with

most favored city allure, along with any hope of remaining as

some exacerbating differences,” Glantz said.

capital of the United States.” The circumstances that typically surround an epidemic/pandemic, An epidemic occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given

he said, include fear, confusion, decimation of caregivers and lack

human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed

of support from neighboring communities. The SRA curriculum

what is expected based on recent experience. A pandemic, on the

can be tailored to counteract infectious disease outbreaks in a

other hand, is an outbreak of global proportions. It happens when

number of ways, Glantz said. Through intelligence analysis, people

a novel virus emerges among humans and causes serious illness,

could identify up-and-coming diseases as well as determine the

spreading easily from person-to-person. According to Glantz, there

appropriate community response and treatment. SRA students who

are many useful insights to assist modern crisis management from

are studying risk management learn to identify risks and develop

an analysis of Philadelphia’s 1793 epidemic.

controls to limit those risks, which could be useful when dealing with contagious outbreaks. The CDC has a rigorous two-year training

“We know we’re going to have two or three major pandemics each

program for public health officials, Glantz said. In the introductory

century,” Glantz said.

SRA class that he teaches, he introduces an intelligence analysis model that is based on a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. The skills

The College of IST is taking a proactive approach in training future

he teaches in the class, he said, are based on the CDC training

leaders in emergency management, he said, by teaching skills that


have wide applicability. The SRA major at the College of IST looks at how to design systems that are secure, how to measure risk

The Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic, Glantz said, along with

and how to ensure that proper levels of privacy are maintained

other infectious disease outbreaks throughout history, reveal the

for individual technology users, businesses, government and other

need for better community planning to handle the spike in people

organizations. The concepts that are taught in the SRA classes,

seeking medical treatment during an outbreak, and the need for

Glantz said, can also be applied to epidemiology. In his paper,

individuals who are willing to attend to the needs of the elderly,

he wrote that epidemics “merit further consideration for crisis

the poor and children. There is also an urgent need for families to

management, similar to the response and decision making of other

have information that would direct them on what steps to take in

natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.”

the event of a pandemic. In addition, he wrote in the paper, there is a need to “balance communications between informing and enflaming the public.” “You can greatly minimize the outcome (of a pandemic) if you

PBS “The Great Fever” Yellow Fever 1793 Philadelphia Hospital

apply intelligent thought to it,” Glantz said.

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


IST connects students and takes learning beyond the classroom through engaged scholarship

At the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), several students—Jules Dupont, Justin Roth and Cassie Juzefyk— have been involved in projects that are aligned with Penn State’s goal to enhance undergraduate education through its Engaged Scholarship initiative. Those projects include taking an active role in high-level faculty research, resulting in an opportunity to travel abroad, and helping fellow IST students succeed in their studies by coordinating a peer tutoring program. In the past several years, Penn State has been actively encouraging undergraduate students to think beyond the classroom through its Engaged Scholarship initiative. Examples of engaged scholarship experiences include undergraduate research, study abroad, communitybased learning, service learning, and internships. 14 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Rather than seeing an undergraduate degree as a means to an end, Dupont, a sophomore at IST, seeks to gain the maximum benefit from his Penn State education by immersing himself in high-level research. The highlight of his freshman year was traveling to Seoul, South Korea, to present research on social network deviance at a prestigious international conference. “I wanted to take full advantage of everything at Penn State,” he said. “It’s a huge research university; I wanted to be part of that kind of effort.” Dupont, who is from Paoli, Pa., has been working with Anna Squicciarini, assistant professor of information sciences and technology, on a research project that focuses on abusive behavior in social networks. The pair was accepted to present their project at the 23rd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2014), held April 7-11, 2014 in Seoul, Korea. The World Wide Web Conference is an annual international conference on the topics of the future direction of the World Wide Web.

“To our great delight, our demo was accepted,” Dupont said. “In early April, Dr. Squicciarini and I travelled to Seoul, where I presented the demo to other conference attendees.” “For the students, [undergraduate research] opens up a new perspective on what doing academic work means,” Squicciarini said. Research has been at the top of Dupont’s agenda since enrolling at the College of IST. At the beginning of his freshman year, he said, he asked his adviser, Lisa Lenze, director of undergraduate academic affairs for the college, about the possibility of doing undergraduate research. She put Dupont in touch with Squicciarini, who was working on a project that focused on abusive behavior in social networks, and Dupont signed on. “Malicious, abusive or otherwise inappropriate behavior is a huge problem in a variety of online forums,” he said. “The New York Times, for example, maintains a comment section around its online articles. However, due to problems with comment content, the newspaper must pay a human moderator to proofread each and every comment prior to online display. Human moderation is both costly and slow, neither of which are big selling points.”


While a college education is highly valued in society, it is often defined in practical and economic terms. Students typically choose a major, earn a degree, and then either enter the workforce or continue their education. In recent years, however, universities have placed an increasing emphasis on undergraduate students acquiring “real-world” experiences to add context to their studies and make them feel more connected to their academic environments.

When Dupont joined the project, he said, there was already a structure in place that he could build on. Ruyan Chen, who was then an undergraduate student who spent the summer of 2013 at the College of IST working with Squicciarini, devised a three-part algorithm for identifying abusive behavior online. After implementing her algorithm, Dupont created a set of animated visualizations that traced the growth of problematic behavior throughout an online community.

However, he added, constructive criticism from other researchers “definitely helps with weeding out bad ideas.”

“The idea of our project is to identify the comments (in an online forum) that are likely to be abusive or likely to be safe to replace the human moderator so comments can be posted in real time,” Dupont said.

“On a personal level, the trip was also fantastic,” he said. “I had never been to Asia, so staying in Seoul gave me the opportunity to see a vastly different culture.”

“Jules started writing code, and then he actually exceeded my expectations,” Squicciarini said. The visualizations that Dupont constructed, she said, illustrate the interactions between users of an online forum and deviant activity such as propaganda and incendiary comments. Through her research, she found that controversial topics such as politics and religion are most likely to trigger abusive behavior. “That’s where sometimes a network can quickly decay,” Squicciarini said. While creating the animated visualizations of online network deviance may have been challenging for Dupont, presenting his work at the WWW2014 conference turned out to be a hugely beneficial learning experience. He said he was surprised at the amount of discussion sparked by the project, although on the whole it was well received. “The feedback you get at a conference is much more intense than what you would receive in the classroom or in other settings,” he said.

The trip to Seoul for the WWW2014 conference was an “exceptional opportunity” in several ways, Dupont said. He was able to attend presentations on a variety of topics and met “several prominent individuals, including a few Penn State alumni who now work at Microsoft Labs.”

While research is a challenging and rewarding aspect of the college experience, classroom learning is the foundation of undergraduate education. Many students, however, require additional guidance beyond what is taught in the classroom to comprehend the material. Justin Roth and Cassie Juzefyk, seniors at the College of IST, have responded to that need by coordinating a tutoring program at the College of IST that not only enables them to help their peers with their studies, but has also opened doors for themselves. “I really like to help people,” said Juzefyk, who is from Reading, Pa. “It’s satisfying when you can help somebody understand something, and it just feels good.” Roth and Juzefyk are the co-coordinators of the IST Peer Tutoring Program, a centralized academic support resource for students in the College of IST. The tutoring

initiative is a student-managed program funded by the college, which provides oneon-one coaching to help students practice and reinforce concepts in IST and security and risk analysis (SRA) courses. “We offer another avenue for students to find support,” said Roth, who is from Washington, D.C. “The core support service that we offer is student-to-student tutoring.” The IST Peer Tutoring Program was founded about a year-and-a-half ago by Lenze and Mary Beth Rosson, interim dean for the College of IST, in response to a growing need among students for additional support beyond the classroom. In the past, requests for tutoring were taken care of by the IST Honors Society (Gamma Tau Phi) Volunteer Tutoring Program. “As our programming course offerings have grown and more students are requesting assistance, the Honors Society couldn’t keep up with the demand,” Lenze said. “They had done a great job for a number of years, but it was time for the college to step in and support students’ learning.” The IST Peer Tutoring Program, Lenze said, “exists to help students do the work of learning.” The program’s objective is to create a supportive environment where trained, experienced student “coaches” can prompt learners to work through problems step by step, debunk common misunderstandings and explain concepts that learners don’t understand. “We help [students] and we guide them to the answer,” Juzefyk said. “That way, when

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


they move on with other aspects of the class, they will remember what they did and will eventually be able to teach themselves.” While the IST Peer Tutoring Program was initially managed by a graduate student, Lenze said, she felt that it would be beneficial to everyone involved if undergraduates took over the role. About a year ago, she recruited Roth to coordinate the program, who in turn asked Juzefyk to assist him. “They have completely organized this new program—doing everything from defining goals, writing guidelines, triaging with faculty, and organizing tutors,” Lenze said. One of the first problems that Roth and Juzefyk had to solve, she said, was figuring out how to staff tutoring hours. The college pays four tutors, but the program has a “much greater need for tutors than four people can meet.” The solution that Roth and Juzefyk devised was for the College of IST’s teaching assistants (TAs) and learning assistants (LAs) to hold office hours during the common tutoring session hours, enabling a “full room of support for a variety of courses.” Learning assistants are undergraduate students who serve as learning coaches and mentors for students, while supporting instructors with teaching-related tasks. In addition, Roth and Juzefyk both actively tutor during tutoring hours. “All of our tutors are really awesome and passionate about this,” Roth said. In addition to helping their fellow students succeed in their courses, Roth and Juzefyk said, coordinating the IST Peer Tutoring Program has assisted in their own personal and professional development. Juzefyk, who interned over the summer at Becton Dickinson, a medical technology company in East Rutherford, N.J., said that her tutoring experience corresponds to assisting clients as an information technology (IT) professional.

16 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

“Students who attend the tutoring sessions are coached towards the solution of the problem to force them to call upon previous knowledge to solve the problem,” she said. “I use this aspect of tutoring at my internship because I am only working there for three months, so when I leave my team needs to know how to continue the work that I have completed over the summer. Therefore, a knowledge transfer needs to take place, and to do this I hold meetings with my team to coach them through the processes so they can learn how to perform the task and make it more efficient based off of their working styles.” Roth, who participated in a summer internship at Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, said that his role in the tutoring program has given him the opportunity to provide input on the IST curriculum and “interface with my fellow students in a way I wouldn’t otherwise.” In addition, he developed a personal interest in instructional theory. “Now that I know what it means to help others take responsibility for their learning, I am able to recognize and appreciate the behaviors of leaders at my company who strive to create a culture of learning among their teams,” Roth said. “This summer, my manager designed meaningful and challenging assignments for me that required me to think and learn on my own, and I want to continue helping my peers feel the same sense of accomplishment I felt when I proved to myself that I could learn and apply new skills.” Roth’s and Juzefyk’s involvement with the IST Peer Tutoring Program, Lenze said, fits the University’s definition of engaged scholarship on several different levels. In addition to developing leadership skills, Roth and Juzefyk, along with the other tutors, are “complementing their own in-classroom learning of the subject matter in IST and SRA courses.” “Regardless of which hat they are wearing for the tutoring program, they are engaging themselves and the other tutors (and the LAs) in scholarship that benefits their peers in the College of IST,” Lenze said.

For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students Closing Celebration Mt. Nittany Inn April 11, 2014

2. 3.










12. 1. Scholarship recipient Joshua Buitrago SRA ’14 2. Music performed by “Chuck and Matt” 3. IST Advisory Board Member Antonio Pensa and wife Carol 4. IST Advisory Board Member Robert Bardusch 5. IST Advisory Board Member Donald Haile and wife Mary 6. Scholarship recipient Cierra Freeman IST ’12 7. IST Advisory Board Member Jordan Rednor and wife Elizabeth 8. Weebly founders Dan Veltri ‘07, David Rusenko IST ’07, Chris Fanini IST ’12 9. Scholarship recipient Corey Lee SRA ‘12 10. Gary and Anna Cesnik 11. Nick and Melinda Berardi with daughters Besty and Abby 12. IST Advisory Board Member Bob Morgan and wife Tammy and son Andrew

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology



CYBER COMBAT SRA students gain the tools needed to fight online terrorism and security attacks In today’s rapidly changing digital world, individuals and organizations face an increasing

number of privacy and security threats. Students who enroll in the Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) program at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) are provided the tools to combat those risks.

18 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Rather than relying solely on lessons learned in the classroom,

The SRA Club gives students a place to expand their knowledge

SRA students are exposed to “real-world” experiences that

and expertise in the field of security and risk analysis. While

enhance their knowledge of complex issues such as terrorism and

housed in the College of IST, the SRA Club reaches out to

cybersecurity. In the past year, SRA students have been able to

students University-wide.

acquire firsthand knowledge in those areas through activities such as a cybersecurity competition sponsored by an influential think

The IA Club is designed to supplement and extend the information

tank, numerous extracurricular activities that enable SRA students

security concepts discussed in the IST and SRA majors. Through

to apply the concepts they learn in the classroom to competitive

talks, demonstrations, interactive seminars, competitions, and

scenarios, and a special presentation by a former high-ranking

guest speakers, the club seeks to keep members informed of

government official, the highest-level government speaker to

cutting-edge concepts and explore the challenges of the future.

present at IST thus far.

The club also invites corporations to speak about current issues facing the industry, as well as provide networking opportunities

“One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is that our SRA

and information sessions for club members.

students need to know more than just the technology and the law,” said Gerry Santoro, a senior lecturer in the SRA program.

The students who participated in the Cyber 9/12 Student

“They need to know policy.”

Challenge included John Kissell (the current SRA Club president), Trevor Fisk (formerly the SRA Club president, who graduated with

Several SRA students who are members of the SRA Club and the

an SRA degree in May 2014), Brady Ripka, and Jarred Rittle. The

Information Assurance (IA) Club had an opportunity to flex those

team had an advantage, Santoro said, since all of the members

skills when they visited the Atlantic Council, a major bipartisan

had taken classes in cybersecurity, technology, and cyber law.

think tank in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 8-9, 2014, to participate in the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge. The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs

“Our team was the most technical of any of the teams,” he said.

based on the Atlantic Community's central role in meeting global

The scenario that the SRA team tackled, Santoro said,


involved a major denial-of-service (DOS) attack launched against major U.S. institutions, “essentially halting all trading.” A week

The 2014 competition marked the third year of the Cyber 9/12

later, it is discovered that targeted malware designed to wipe

Student Challenge, said Santoro, who coached the SRA team,

out all the systems it infects caused the attack, and North Korea

and the first time that the College of IST was invited to participate.

claims responsibility. One of the judges’ criticisms of the SRA

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge is designed to offer

team, Santoro said, was that the team was “too conservative” in

students, across a wide range of academic disciplines, a better

its response to North Korea’s “confession.” However, the team

understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber

was vindicated when new information revealed that the attacks

conflict. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive

actually came from China, not North Korea, and that the malware

scenario exercise, the event gives students interested in cyber

was stolen from a U.S. Department of Defense lab.

conflict policy an opportunity to interact with expert mentors, judges, and cyber professionals while developing skills in policy

Kissell, a senior SRA major, said that his participation in the

analysis and presentation. Student teams are challenged to

Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge enabled him to develop a better

respond to an evolving scenario involving a major cyber-attack

understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber

and to analyze the threat it poses to state, military, and private-


Courtesy Gerry Santaro

sector interests. Teams are judged based on the quality of their policy responses, their decision-making processes, and their oral

“Coming from the College of IST, we are primarily focused on

presentation to a panel of judges.

the technical aspects of cyber conflict, security, and incident response,” he said. “While we have a course in policy (IST 456),

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


the policy approach in [the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge] is more in the sense of major political steps to take after a major event has happened.” “This allowed myself to see that the two worlds can be very different, the people with technical knowledge operate in one sphere and the policy experts operate in another, and if one is able to bring knowledge that creates an overlap there becomes great potential for creating information and responses that incorporate the best of both processes,” Kissell concluded. In addition to the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge, members of the IA Club have had other opportunities to practice the lessons they’ve learned in classes in a more dynamic environment. Each year, the club travels to Washington, D.C. to participate in ShmooCon, an annual East Coast hacker convention which, according to its website, is “hell-bent on offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software and hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical information security issues.” “This is also a great opportunity for students to network with some

Gerald Santoro Senior Lecturer and Security and Risk Analysis Club Advisor

of the biggest names in the information security industry,” said Chase Miller, former president of the IA Club who graduated from

points to a company’s network so that legitimate users can’t

the College of IST in May with an SRA degree.

access the system.

Miller, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in

Dealing with such formidable adversaries requires cybersecurity

Information Technology degree at Carnegie Mellon University,

professionals who are up-to-date on the latest threats,

said that the IA Club also participates in a variety of cyber

technologies, and policies. To help meet that demand, Santoro

“capture the flag” competitions. Hosted by schools including New

is currently working with Pete Forster, associate dean for online

York University Polytechnic School of Engineering; University of

and professional education and information technology at IST,

California, Santa Barbara; and Carnegie Mellon; the events are

in developing a course that deals with “cyber-crime and cyber-

a “great opportunity for students to apply the tactics, techniques,

warfare methods and policies.”

and procedures learned in the classroom and club meetings, to real-world cyber security challenges.”

“The human component is really what drives the SRA curriculum,” Santoro said. “The cybersecurity profession requires a mixture of

According to Santoro, cyber-warfare and cyber-espionage are relatively new areas for which the “rules of engagement”

people smarts and technological expertise.”

have not yet been written. There is tension between industry

One of the challenges of the SRA program is

and government over regulation of home computers that are

responding to evolving technologies that have transformed the

becoming increasingly infected by bots – software applications

way warfare is conducted. In recent years, terrorist groups have

that run automated tasks over the Internet, sometimes for

been using the Internet to spread propaganda, share information,

malicious purposes. In addition, DOS attacks flood the entry

coordinate attacks, and recruit new members. Don Shemanski,

20 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

a professor of practice at the College of IST, addresses those issues in his class, “SRA 211: Threat of Terrorism and Crime.” On Feb. 26, 2014, Shemanski and his students had the benefit of hearing firsthand the insights of Admiral Dennis Blair, a distinguished military veteran and intelligence expert. Blair, who served as Director of National Intelligence from January 2009 to May 2010, delivered a presentation, “Conducting Intelligence Operations in a Cyber Connected Democracy,” to Shemanski’s class. Blair, who currently serves as a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), talked about the history and structure of the intelligence community, the evolution of the National Security Agency (NSA), electronic Internet surveillance, the role of intelligence in homeland security and counter-terrorism, and the need to share information across agencies. “Our students are always interested in hearing real-world experiences,” Shemanski said. As Director of National Intelligence, Blair was the President’s

Jarred Rittle (standing left), John Kissell (right) Brady Ripka (seated left), Trevor Fisk (right).

principal advisor on intelligence issues and led the federal government’s 16 intelligence agencies. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2002 after 34 years of service, and has been awarded

especially since his current internship involves intelligence

four Defense Distinguished Service medals and three National

gathering, manipulation, and application.

Intelligence Distinguished Service medals. “During the presentation, Admiral Blair talked a bit about the “This is the highest-level speaker that we have managed to bring

recent debates over governmental ‘spying,’” Kohler said. “I

into one of our classes,” said Shemanski, who joined the faculty

particularly found that interesting, because based on the way

of the College of IST in 2008, after serving for 23 years as a

our media system is set up, we get a very biased view against

diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service.

anything the government does, and to hear the other side and hear the justifications was a very nice change of pace.”

Fisk, who attended the presentation, said Blair focused on a few ideas during his talk, “one of the main ones being how information

Kissell, who was also in attendance for Blair’s talk, said that his

has transformed warfare.”

“take-home message” would be that the cybersecurity field is constantly evolving and professionals who enter the field must be

With all this new data, comes a new battle space and new

able to adapt to the shifting landscape.

tactics,” Fisk said. “Blair spoke about how even with all this technology, no single machine can solve a problem by itself, and

“Additionally, there will always be a need for people who

we need to integrate past methods with future technology to solve

understand technology and the technical aspect of intelligence,

complex problems.”

as every day we progress further into our reliance and use of technology,” Kissell said. “SRA prepares us for effectively

Ryan Kohler, currently a sophomore SRA major, who also

understanding how this technology works, how to use it to our

attended Blair’s presentation, said that he enjoyed getting

advantage and to another's disadvantage.”

a firsthand account of the intelligence analysis profession, Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


A good night’s rest leads to start-up success:

IST alum Daehee Park aims to revolutionize the mattress industry For some aspiring entrepreneurs, the idea of building a business without outside funding may seem like too much of a risk. However for Daehee Park, a 2009 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), and his business partner, John-Thomas Marino, founding the online mattress company Tuft & Needle with only $6,000 of their personal savings was a risk well worth taking.

a $3,300 memory foam mattress that “didn’t meet our comfort expectations” and described the experience as “worse than shopping for a car.” “At the time, I was working together with Daehee—my good friend from college—at a company (Mulu) in Palo Alto,” Marino wrote on the website. “Shortly after this long ordeal of finding a mattress, I shared a few of my frustrations with Daehee to discover that this had happened to him, too. We realized that there needed to be a

Driven by a vision of providing customers with a quality mattress


at a reasonable price, the pair have succeeded through a combination of ingenuity, ambition, and perhaps most importantly,

“Mass-market mattresses from big brands are overpriced not

a customer-focused mentality.

only because of greed but also because they are inefficient,” Park said. “The product passes through many hands to get to the

“We figured we can fix the experience but also the pricing for

customer—the manufacturer, their salesperson, the distributor,

mattresses,” said Park, who has a bachelor of science degree in

the retail store, the salesperson on commission, then the delivery

security and risk analysis.


Park and his friend, Marino, who studied computer science and

“When we launched, we were able to keep our overhead low by

math at Penn State from 2006 to 2009, founded Tuft & Needle

launching with an online storefront and keeping our team pretty

out of the personal frustration Marino experienced when trying

lean,” Park said. “The key to our low prices while creating a

to purchase a quality mattress. On the company’s website,

quality product was cutting out the middlemen in the distribution

Marino said that when he got married, he and his wife purchased

chain and putting our customers first before our profits. We were

22 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

confident that by leading with a great customer experience, the money would follow.” Tuft & Needle’s mattresses range in price from $200 to $600, and are available in five-inch and 10-inch models made out of foam. According to the website, the company sources all the raw materials—everything from the threads to the zippers. Since the company uses high-quality materials, the website states, the mattresses should last for seven to 10 years. As Tuft & Needle mattresses are not sold in brick-and-mortar stores, one of the company’s biggest challenges is convincing potential customers to purchase a mattress without seeing it or trying it out first. To help allay any concerns, Tuft & Needle offers a customer-friendly return policy in which buyers have 30 days to return a mattress, and the company will pick up the returns at no cost. “Contrast this to the typical model of mattress manufacturers selling wholesale to retailers, which are reminiscent of car dealerships,” Park said. “We were able to become the top-rated mattress on because we constantly tweaked our product and experience until people really loved it.” According to published reports, Tuft & Needle had $1 million in sales in 2013 and followed that with $500,000 in the first two months of 2014. Their mattresses, which are sold directly to consumers from their website and on Amazon, have soared to the top ranks on Tuft & Needle’s products are not only the highest-rated mattresses sold on Amazon, but also the highest-rated products in the online retailer’s giant furniture category overall. In addition to shaking up the mattress industry, Tuft & Needle has a philanthropic mission. The company’s objective is to provide high-quality, easily transportable beds to foster children across the country without beds to call their own. Fundraising and delivery Courtesy Daehee Park

began with a pilot program in the Phoenix area in January 2013,

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


and the company has since expanded its charity efforts to the

In a few years, Park said, he would like to dedicate more

national level.

time to mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and helping others “craft and achieve their visions.” As a company that started

“The focus on our local region was a good start to testing

out with little capital and hasn’t done any advertising (relying

the model when we first launched, and as we’ve grown as

instead on referrals), Tuft & Needle has overcome numerous

a national brand we saw the opportunity to reach many

obstacles to get to where it is today. If there is one message

more people,” Park said. “We now donate new or gently

that Park would like to convey to people who are following a

used mattresses to people in need around the U.S. by

similar path, it is the importance of persistence.

collaborating with non-profits like Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.”

Park and Marino had the opportunity to talk at length about tenacity and share their insights on building successful

Park’s entrepreneurial spirit has been evident since his days

companies in a presentation entitled “Bootstrapping a

at the College of IST, where he was involved in research,

successful start-up without venture capital,” which they gave

served as a teaching assistant for a number of courses, and

during IST Start-up Week 2014, held at the College of IST

led a team of students to a winning slot in the worldwide

April 7-11. Since its inception in 2012, Start-up Week, a

Google Online Marketing Challenge. Prior to co-founding Tuft

week-long showcase of innovation and entrepreneurship,

& Needle, Park led the monetization and analytics initiatives

has drawn dozens of speakers from around the country,

at Mulu, a celebrity-supported social platform that raises

including many IST alumni, who have created well-respected

money for charities; and was a marketing strategy consultant

and valued businesses and products in today’s technology

at Acxiom, a global interactive marketing company.


While Tuft & Needle has made remarkable gains in the past

“I wanted to contribute back to the students here,” Park

couple of years, Park says that neither he nor the company

said. “IST has a great reputation for building student

as a whole has any intention of falling into complacency.

entrepreneurs. There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, including additional products that complement the mattress.”

“We’re working really hard on growing a mattress company that people love,” he said.

24 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Start-up Week April 7-11, 2014 1.








7. 8.






1. Tikhon Bernstam, Scribd, Parse 2. mHealth Challenge Participants 3. Steve Huffman, Reddit, Hipmunk 4. Daehee Park IST ‘09 Tuft & Needle 5. Pamela Sorensen ‘94, Pamela’s Punch 6. Start-up Week Reception at Pegula Ice Arena

7. Ryan Glynn, SRA ’12, mhoto, CinemaRama

8. IST Advisory Board Member Rod Murchison ‘91, Tripwire

9. David Rusenko IST ‘07, Weebly 10. Paul Cianciolo ’07, FirstMark Capital 11. Jayme Goldberg ’92, SilverLine


12. Matt Miller ‘01, CyberCoders, CareerBliss

13. Start-up Week (Cybertorium) 14. Start-up Week panel 15. Dan Mead ‘75g, Verizon Wireless 16. IST IdeaMaker Challenge winners

Athletics Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


Faculty Publications

M urder, intrigue, an historical backdrop and romance—all of those elements can be found in “His Lordship’s Legacy,” the debut novel of Don Shemanski, a professor of practice at the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). To write the book, he drew upon his experiences with the United States Foreign Service, where he served for 23 years as a diplomat, as well as his love of detective literature.

“I wanted to try my hand at a novel,” said Shemanski, who joined the faculty of the College of IST in 2008 and teaches in the Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) program. “I was a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was younger.” Shemanski’s book, “His Lordship’s Legacy,” was published at the end of June 2014 by Amazon and is available in both paperback and Kindle. Shemanski’s literary agents, Folio Literary Management of New York City, arranged the deal with Amazon, which has a special publishing program for books by agented authors. The story, which is set in 1898 in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the Spanish-American War, revolves around the murder of Lord Arthur Llewellyn-Dornay, a wealthy British Ambassador who is found stabbed through the heart after a glitzy soiree. It is up to two detectives -- Washington, D.C. Police Inspector John Decker, and Scotland Yard’s Colonel Robert Pierce MacGregor -- to unravel the mystery and uncover the truth. As far as having insider knowledge of embassy culture, Shemanski has a wealth of experience to draw from. Immediately prior to joining the College of IST, he served as Counselor for Global Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, directing the office responsible for high-priority policy issues such as counter-terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, climate change, and international judicial assistance. He has had a number of postings in

26 College of Information Sciences and Technology Fall 2014

Washington and abroad, including tours in Italy, Pakistan, Cyprus, and Germany. His assignments have included serving as coordinator for State Department refugee assistance programs for the former Yugoslavia, delegate to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting, Deputy Special Envoy to the Afghan Mujahedin, and Alternate U.S. Delegate to the foundation, “Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future,” which administered payments to former World War II-era forced and slave laborers of the Nazi regime. Rather than setting his novel in the present day, Shemanski said, he chose an historical setting to avoid problems in possibly having to obtain clearance from the government, and also because he has an interest in the late Victorian era. He made sure that the historical and technical references in the book were correct, he said, such as how fast a car could be driven in 1898, and how long it took to cross the Atlantic Ocean by steamship. Writing mystery novels isn’t the only way that Shemanski puts his creative skills to use—he also conducts multi-week simulations of a terrorist plot in several of his SRA classes. In both endeavors, he has to hit the “sweet spot” of giving the reader or student the correct amount of information so that they can solve the mystery. The obstacles in writing a novel, he said, include “remembering as you are writing it which characters know what as well as what the reader should know, and keeping all the moving parts organized.” “It was a goal that I wanted to see if I could accomplish,” he said. Shemanski, who is currently working on a second novel that deals with espionage, said that writing has been a lifelong passion. “I love the element of being able to create your own universe,” he said.

1. Media, Meaning, & the Legitimation Problem from the Eradication of the Meta Narrative to the Present Paperback by Gregory O'Toole



The late Jean-Francois Lyotard wrote that metanarratives, that is, the big stories we live by, legitimate our lives both as individuals and collectively, living within societal groups. Lyotard also explained that the metanarrative has been eradicated from Western culture and that efficiency (i.e. a fast-track to profit) is the only model left which leaves the current state of legitimation in a curious position. In order to understand the process leading to legitimation, “Media, Meaning, and the Legitimation Problem” works to establish the necessary workflow toward the metanarrative: the flow of the message from knowledge, to establishing meaning, to legitimation.

2. A Student Guide To Success At Penn State by Edward Glantz




U.S. News and World Report ranks Penn State among the top 15 public universities nationally. Penn State enrolls over 70,000 undergraduates in 20 campuses, including 15,000 first-year students that begin each year. “A Student Guide to Success at Penn State” transitions new students to success in the competitive Penn State classrooms, including note taking and time management skills, as well as student activities and support resources. Students are also provided career entrance strategies, including interview and resume preparation suggestions.

3. Innovative Practices in Teaching Information Sciences and Technology: Experience Reports and Reflections by Jack Carroll (Ed.)

Innovative Practices in Teaching Information Sciences and Technology: Experience Reports and Reflections” describes a set of innovative teaching practices from the faculty of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. Each chapter is a personal essay describing practices, implemented by one or two faculty, that challenge assumptions, and push beyond standard practice at the individual faculty and classroom level. These are innovations that instructors elsewhere may find directly accessible and adaptable.

4. “Secure Cloud Computing, Advances in Information Security Series”, pages 303-324. Springer, 2014. in Software Cruising: A New Technology for Building Concurrent Software Monitor by Dinghao Wu, Peng Liu, Qiang Zeng, and Donghai Tian. In Sushil Jajodia, Krishna Kant, Pierangela Samarati, Anoop Singhal, Vipin Swarup, and Cliff Wang (Eds.)

Cloud computing continues to experience a rapid proliferation because of its potential advantages with respect to ease of deploying required computing capacity as needed and at a much lower cost than running an owned computing infrastructure. However, the lack of ownership brings in myriad security and privacy challenges that are quite difficult to resolve. The purpose of this book is to provide a state-of-the-art coverage of the techniques to address these issues at all levels of the stack ranging from hardware mechanisms to application level techniques.

5. Foundations for designing usercentered systems: What system designers need to know about people

by Frank Ritter, Gordon D. Baxter, and Elizabeth F. Churchill

Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems” introduces the fundamental human capabilities and characteristics that influence how people use interactive technologies. Organized into four main areas—anthropometrics, behaviour, cognition and social factors—it covers basic research and considers the practical implications of that research on system design. The authors have deliberately developed “Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems” to appeal to system designers and developers, as well as to students who are taking courses in system design and human-computer interaction (HCI). The book reflects the authors’ backgrounds in computer science, cognitive science, psychology and human factors.

Fall 2014 College of Information Sciences and Technology


Produced by the College of Information Sciences and Technology Office of Communications and Outreach The Pennsylvania State University Information Sciences and Technology Building University Park, PA 16803-6822

Fall 2014 iConnect  

Alumni magazine of the College of Information Sciences and Technology

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