News and announcements from M.S. in Computing Director Dr. Kaczmarek
IT leaders in health care, manufacturing and other industry attended a pair of workshops in May and July to discuss the labor shortage of skilled employees needed to analyze big data in southeastern Wisconsin.
About 40 people attended the workshops sponsored by the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science department and held at the Alumni Memorial Union. They discussed the issues surrounding the lack of skilled employees to fill these analyst positions in southeastern Wisconsin and possible ways to solve the problem.
In his opening remarks in the May session, President Lovell emphasized communications he had recently with several CEOs about the importance of data skills.
Thomas Kaczmarek suggested to the attendees that they look internally for prospective analysts and help fund the training. He suggested the companies then establish internal apprenticeships and buddy systems in efforts to improve their core strength.
Actionable ideas to create a pipeline of talent were developed by the participants in table discussions at the inaugural session. A follow on meeting in July discussed the importance of various initiatives, progress on them and other needs.
At the follow on meeting, there was an informal assessment exercise. A worksheet asked attendees about the importance of various initiatives and progress towards achieving them. In terms of importance, a need for formal education (degree and non-degree programs) was ranked highest by the attendees. Two ideas, micro-certifications to track specific competencies and knowledge sharing with experienced practitioners, were tied for second place in the ranking. In terms of progress on the implementation of ideas, the attendees reported that they had established mentoring and internship programs. This was ranked highest in implementation progress. It was followed closely by an similar concept, that of using experienced practitioners to foster knowledge growth.
Beginning in Fall 2015, the MS in Computing program will be available through a Five-Year Advanced Degree Program. This option leverages the availability of the cross-listed graduate and undergraduate courses, which were designed to enable career transition in the MS degree. The five-year option will provide students additional technical prowess and broader knowledge of computing as they begin professional careers.
Responding to critical workforce shortages in areas of security and intensive data analysis, the MS in Computing program has defined two new specializations. Information Assurance and Cyber Defense builds on recent additions to the curriculum and leverages an emphasis on security concerns in some foundation courses on databases, networks, and systems. The Big Data and Data Analytics specializations leverages the combination of math, statistics and computer science that is fundamental to the department. Courses on managing data, BI, analysis, and modelling combine to form the required courses for this specialization.
U.S. News & World Report recently released the 2015 rankings for Online Graduate Degree Programs in Information Technology. In our first year in their study, the MS in Computing program came in at number #28 .
Some interesting facts about the program came out of the study. Our faculty was ranked at #20 in a list that contains some of the most well recognized graduate Computer Science programs. Also, more than 25% of the students in our program are international students and more than 25% of the students are women. We had only one new student in the 2010-2013 period not returning, giving us a very high retention score. Our full-time students graduate within 2 years and when you mix full-time and part-time students together, 67% of our students complete in under 3 years.
The ranking process has already proven useful - we have already discovered some areas for program improvement. For example, we are formulating plans to increase distance learning technical support for students and faculty.
Are you anxious to learn why Big Data and Analytics are trending and how to use them? January 2015 brings a new year and opportunities to study the new technology that is changing the way data is being collected, stored, analyzed and converted into actionable intelligence.
We are offering the following courses in our spring semester:
These courses provide more than an opportunity to learn about current technology developments. By including treatment of foundational knowledge, we provide the insights to track future developments in the still emerging areas of Big Data and Analytics. You can be out front with knowledge as these technologies mature to support rising interest in business performance management.
I am excited to announce that starting in Fall of 2014 we will be selecting highly-qualified applicants to participate in the Integrated Practicum. We have combined the ideas of graduate assistantships, internships, and co-ops to develop this unique opportunity.
The Integrated Practicum is intended for students who want to continue their studies of computer science, computing, or software engineering on a full-time basis but wish to simultaneously start a career and receive financial support for graduate school study.
Students who are awarded this opportunity will be introduced to employers seeking qualified workers. The employers have the opportunity to hire students who are learning about the latest in technology.
The students have the benefit of enhanced learning through the practice of applying what they are learning to the workplace and completing their MS degree in less than two years. They will gain valuable work experience and receive wages to offset graduate school expenses. A more detailed explanation can be found in the Marquette Graduate School Bulletin.
On May 20th, 2014, the MS in Computing Program hosted an Open House for students interested in admission to the program. Since the MS in Computing program is now available online, a portion of this Open House was made available online for those who wished to experience distance learning or who could not travel to campus that evening. This was our first "Open House in the Cloud."
MS in Computing OPEN HOUSE
Open House in the Cloud
May 20, 2014
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (CDT)
Cudahy Hall Room 412
We used Cudahy 412 for the online portion of the Open House. This room is also used to host the Classroom in the Cloud, which serves as the basis for our distance learning classes.
On March 11, 2014, the MS in Computing program hosted a Cyber Security Summit on the Marquette Campus. The meeting was presented by the Society of Information Management (SIM) and InfraGard. SIM sponsors numerous activities to deliver business value through IT leadership. InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector that is dedicated to sharing information and intelligence. Other organizations promoting this event include the Information Systems Security Association.
With security on everybody's mind it was no surprise that over two hundred working professionals from the Milwaukee area attended this important event. The speakers include a special agent from the FBI, the director of information risk from Northwestern Mutual, a penetration testing expert from 403 Labs, and a manager of IT audit from Fiserv. The goal of this meeting was to share perspectives on the threats and prevention activities associated with cyber security.
One of the presenters with a wealth of experience and currently a manager of IT audit at Fiserv, David Kliemann, will be joining our adjunct faculty to pass along his expertise on cyber security. This summer he will present an introduction to Cyber Security as a 3 credit topics class (MSCS 6931). As with most all of out classes, this course will be offered through our "classroom in the clouds" as well as face to face in the classroom.
Introduction to Cyber Security
MSCS 6931 Topics in MSCS
(Section 705 in-class or 706 distance learning)
5/12/2014 - 8/9/2014
Tuesdays 5:00 PM to 8:10 PM
The Computing program is a sponsor of the Milwaukee Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN). On November 21, 2013, Milwaukee SPIN will hold its 8th Annual Evening with Executives on the Marquette Campus. The meeting will be in the Beaumier Suite of the Raynor Library. This meeting begins with a networking opportunity from 5:30 PM until 6:15 PM. That will be followed by a panel discussion with three leading executives, Mollie Bell from Filene Research Institute, Sean McCormick, from Harley Davidson, and Terry Rowinski from BUYSEASONS.
To find out more about Milwaukee SPIN please visit their website.
The cost of graduate education continues to rise and more students are burdened by student loans after they receive their undergraduate degrees. Not everyone is eligible for a traditional graduate assistantships. The MS in Computing program is tackling this issue and developing new concepts for making graduate school affordable. Because of high demand for qualified workers our first effort is in the area of Healthcare IT. We will provide students interested in HIT with training to achieve certifications prior to admission or very early in the MS program. We will seek to place certified students in professional positions in local HIT organizations. These professional placements will provide financial assistance to the students.
We recently took one option for such an endeavor to the business plan competition hosted on campus and won first prize in our category. The concept we presented would establish an HIT consulting practice that served independent healthcare providers. To test this concept we will be acting as a consultant group to a small clinic implementing electronic health records later this year.
We have successfully built relationships with local HIT organization to place full-time graduate students in part-time paid internships during the academic year. Such relationships provide additional options for paying the cost of graduate school tuition.
A second area with high demand for workers that we are pursuing is BI and Analytics. The growth of Big Data and Analytics has created a shortage of qualified workers. There is also synergy with HIT as clinicians seek to improve health outcomes through the analysis of medical records. Preparation in this area is a more daunting task but there are promising signs that we can establish informal partnerships with local businesses to define an initiative for this concentration.
The MS in Computing program is continuing its efforts to promote Healthcare IT careers in the Milwaukee area. Working with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), the Healthcare Training Institute (HTI), and two provider organizations, Aurora Healthcare and Froedtert Health, we have defined a unique opportunity to help the long-term unemployed and returning veterans--START IT.
The program is called START IT because of its focus is to move people into healthcare IT careers from other disciplines. The MS in Computing program will provide academic training that allows career change into a Healthcare IT career.
About the agencies supporting this effort: MAWIB is a government agency supplying employment and training services to Milwaukee county. It is a strategic demand-driven workforce development system that is connected to bolstering the economic strength of key industry sectors such as healthcare. HTI is a one-stop training and education center for people seeking work in the healthcare field. It is an alliance between MAWIB and the Milwaukee Area Healthcare Alliance.
Financing the education: Marquette is offering a free Boot Camp experience to the long-term unemployed in financial need to get them started. The Boot Camp will cover the prerequisites for the computing program and include a series of seminars. Industry leaders from healthcare and other sectors will speak at the seminars to help prepare the selected students for a career transition into IT. Economic development training funds will allow students to receive limited tuition vouchers through MAWIB and HTI. Aurora Healthcare and Froedtert Health will be participating through offering internships and part-time work during study to qualified students.
On December 22, 2012, the faculty, alumni, students and their guests met for a networking event at a Marquette Basketball game. As usual the pregame gathering
was at Buck Bradley's.
December 22, 2012
Pre-game networking and ticket pick-up
11:15 AM – 12:45 PM
At Buck Bradley’s
1019 Old World 3rd Street, Second Floor
MARQUETTE plays LSU
At The BMO Harris Bradley Center
The MS in Computing program became a platinum sponsor of Milwaukee SPIN this year to encourage networking within the community. We hosted a panel discussion about entrepreneurship at the November SPIN meeting. The panel discussed the characteristics of entrepreneurs ("Heart, Smart, Guts, and Luck") as well as MKE organizations designed to help software entrepreneurs. Thanks to all those who participated to make this an informative and exciting event.
We are offering more classes this semester via our "classroom in the cloud."
We have added two-way audio and video capabilities to Cudahy Hall 412. Using web-based conferencing software designed for education, we enable students to virtually attend classes via high-speed Internet connections.
Besides providing more flexibility for current students who live in the Milwaukee area, this facility allows students to study for their MS in Computing degree at any remote site.
There were six MS in Computing students who were among the more than five hundred students of Arts and Sciences who celebrated receiving their diplomas on Sunday May 20th.
On May 20th, the faculty, alumni, students and their guests got together for a networking event at a Milwaukee Brewer's baseball game. The pregame gathering
was held at Miss Katie's Diner.
The MS in Computing program has always focused on helping IT professionals and local employers. This fall, the program assisted the Dairyland Chapter of HIMMS in sponsoring a CPHIMS certification study group. Our contribution reflects the program's commitment to providing help to the professional community, IT professionals, and local employers. Innovative cooperation such as this can deliver benefits to all parties.
Daryl J. Duenkel, from the Dairyland Chapter, sent us the following message:
"On behalf of the Dairyland HIMSS Board of Directors Membership Advancement Committee I wish to express our gratitude to you and Marquette for hosting the fall 2011 CPHIMS Study Group. It’s very important to the committee to have organizations like yours step up and host. This was the first time we had an educational institution host the event."
In 2010, the program launched a professional seminar series as a 1-credit course. We strongly encourage all students to take this seminar each semester. We address current topics, encourage independent analysis of technology, foster synthesizing relationships between isolated chunks of knowledge, and promote communication skills. We have added a standard assignment at the conclusion of the semester to write a blog about the topic we have studied. You can read student opinions developed in past seminars at www.mumscomputing.wordpress.com.
Alumni, guests, students, and faculty of the MS Computing program came together for a networking event on December 10th. There was a chance to meet and connect at a pre-game reception followed by attending a Marquette basketball game as a group.
The conversations at the pre-game reception ranged from reconnecting with classmates and faculty to the discussion of technical issues faced in the working environment. It was a good time to catch up on people's career development and personal accomplishments
The Golden Eagles took care of things on court giving the attendees a chance to cheer and celebrate.
The next opportunity for a gathering will be during spring of 2012 when we will sponsor a visit to Miller Park to see the Brewers play.
Business Intelligence (BI) refers to using computing to identify, extract, and analyze business data for purposes of making intelligent business decisions. It requires knowledge of computing, analysis, and business. Our approach to supporting BI is to rely heavily on foundational courses and present opportunities to witness and participate in the integration of computer science, math, and business. Information-Management.com, recently applauded our approach. They named Marquette as one of eight institutions bringing value to Business Intelligence education. Click on the image below to see the full story.
Healthcare is big business here in southeast Wisconsin and everywhere these days. The industry is looking for vast changes and improvements through purposeful uses of information technology (IT).
Marquette's MS in Computing program cosponsored a focus group with southeast Wisconsin healthcare IT leadership that examined the needs of the healthcare industry. One of the identified needs was qualified professionals to create and manage information systems.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) provides certification though the CPHIMS testing process. The Dairyland Chapter of HIMSS (http://www.wisconsinhimss.org/) assists professionals seeking certification via study groups. We are hosting a local study group for the next exam cycle to support the process.
Information-Management.com, is an online publication of the influential SourceMedia Inc. They recently highlighted our program in an article Ahead of the BI Class. The sub-title to the article said it best. "Marquette University bucks academic silo trends, keeps topics fresh for information management education."
Read the article here.
Thanks for joining us at the Open House
There was a good turnout at our open house on August 3rd.
One observation to pass along is that I was pleased to see corporate recruiters attend. Most of them came from companies that have either hired graduates or supported employees who participated in the MS Computing program through tuition assistance. Their presence confirms the value of the program and the increase in demand for technically skilled workers. Many of us have read about the growth in the industry, but it is good to see evidence of it in the Milwaukee area.
The Computing Program along with the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship sponsored a panel discussion during Entrepreneurship Week (November 14-20). This annual event celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week. The panel discussion featured speakers who have used analytics and computing to launch successful businesses.
The M.S. Computing faculty, students, and alumni were invited to a basketball game and reception in the fall. This spring we added a trip to a Brewer's game with a pre-game reception at Miss Katie's. Networking events for alumni, current students, and perspective students provide a time to meet and chat about technology, or careers, or whatever is on your mind.
Also, to promote networking, I have established a LinkedIn group, Marquette University MS in Computing. I encourage students, faculty, and alumni to join. I post interesting articles and comments there. I also use it to advertise events. Feel free to sign up for the group and start a discussion or just join and monitor what is going on.
I am also using twitter to pass along articles and news. The Twitter account is MUMSComp.
I thought I would pass along a story about one of our graduates. If someone asks what is a Marquette degree in computing good for, the answer is just about anything in the hands of the right person.
How did a Polish religious brother with no college degree end up turning heads in Marquette's master's program in computer science and then use that knowledge to transform the lives of hundreds in Tanzania? (Read the full feature story.)
Marquette alumni Eric and Karine Boos first met Brother Albin Laga, S.D.S., at the Salvatorian Institute in Tanzania, where Brother Albin was the technical plant supervisor. He is like the Mozart of electronics, Eric says. He can do anything with any machine. It was Brother Albin who created the entire infrastructure for the college's $25 million campus, installing the phone, computer, water filtration and solar energy systems.
But as a young boy growing up in communist Poland, he scored poorly on an aptitude test because of an eye problem. Deprived of education, he turned to the Catholic Church, joined the Salvatorian order as a religious brother and was able to receive vocational training. He moved to Morogoro, Tanzania, in 1989 and began teaching himself computers a few years later. He fell in love with designing and developing database systems.
It came time when learning everything by myself became quite hard, Brother Albin says. It was then that I expressed my desire to Eric and Karine to increase my computer knowledge in a professional way. At that time Eric and Karine proposed Marquette to me.
And so Eric and Karine persuaded Brother Albin's religious superiors to give him a sabbatical in 2004. With the help of scholarships and benefactors, they got him into Marquette, where he started auditing classes in computer science. Marquette quickly bumped him up to regular master's student status, despite the fact that he didn't have a bachelor's degree.
At the beginning I was very afraid. That is why I joined MU not for a degree program, but for a professional improvement program, Brother Albin explains. When I began to attend the classes, I learned that it was exactly what I was looking for.
He graduated with his master's in 2006 and returned to Tanzania to put what he learned into practice. His latest project is developing a nationwide network for the Catholic radio stations of Tanzania.
Some people find joy and happiness when they can do something for others, simply be useful, Brother Albin says. In Tanzania, there are many such opportunities on many different fields. Most of the poor people can pay you back joy and peace, which actually is more than enough of what we need when doing charitable work with Christ. I think that I belong to that group of people.