Monthly Archives: September 2012

SCE Staff Are Making A Difference

SCE held its annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon at Californos in Westport on September 17. Hosted and organized by the SCE Leadership Team, the luncheon provides the SCE LT the opportunity to pay special tribute to all SCE associates who devote their time and attention to serving the needs of SCE students and faculty. Without a doubt, SCE’s fantastic staff provides the help, support, advice, guidance and assistance required for SCE to achieve excellence and success. Everyone at SCE appreciates all they do to truly make a difference every day.

SCE Students Go On-site To Learn More

The CE 5568 Advanced Planning and Scheduling class visited the new Parks and Public Works Maintenance Facility of the City of Grandview, MO with their professor, Dr. Ceki Halmen. The visit was arranged by the public works director Dennis Randolph. Students attended a presentation by Kelly Edinger Stindt, a UMKC graduate, from SFS architecture on the planning and construction process for the new facility, before they toured the three building complex. Students of the Advanced Planning and Scheduling class are going to work on a detailed cost estimate and construction schedule for this facility this semester.

What do geese and surveyors have in common?

Our local UMKC geese encouraged 15 SCE civil engineering students to enjoy the rainy weather on Saturday, September 8, while participating in their surveying skills class, CE401SV. The class, offered every fall, covers field and lab components. The students worked on laying out a fictional building on the Quad and learned that surveyors do indeed work in the rain. Dr. John Kevern, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, created and instructs this popular class.

ECE Student Kelsey Knoche Awarded Competitive SWE Scholarship

Electrical Computer Engineering (ECE) senior Kelsey Knoche earned a high honor this year when she was selected by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to receive the Lockheed Martin Corporation scholarship for the 2012-2013 Academic Year. The SWE Scholarship Selection Committee reviewed over 1,500 applications when making its choices. The committee found that Kelsey demonstrated outstanding academic achievement as well as strong engineering potential. Kelsey is well known at SCE for both her academics and her leadership. She currently serves as the President of the Tau Beta Pi – MO Delta Chapter and the Vice President of UMKC’s Society for Women Engineers student chapter. Kelsey and other SWE scholarship recipients from across the country will be recognized for their achievements at the “Celebrate SWE!” Dinner & Awards Ceremony held during the SWE Annual Conference this November in Houston, TX.

Pictured below are SWE members at SCE’s 2012 February E-week party and Kelsey interviewing a Mr. Engineer contestant.

SCE Welcomes Our New Students

SCE student organization leaders, faculty and staff welcomed our new students this Sunday, August 19. New SCE undergraduates and transfer students were provided with recommendations for creating a vibrant campus experience for themselves and encouraged to be active, rather than passive, learners, and given suggestions for a successful transition to UMKC. They obtained information about our many SCE student organizations and scoped out Flarsheim Hall via activities which led students to SCE laboratories, departmental offices, computer labs, the student lounge and other locations. Whitney Molloy, Director of SCE Student Affairs, coordinates this annual SCE event which follows Convocation. At the conclusion of Convocation, students walk to their respective academic homes to learn more about their School’s student organization and the importance of connecting with faculty and being involved within their discipline and School. Our Best Wishes for a Great Academic Year to all our new SCE undergraduate students.


Computer Science and Engineering Majors earn top dollars

According to the CNNMoney article, The 15 college majors with the biggest payoffs, engineering and computer science majors can expect great starting salaries upon graduation. Our SCE students will be glad to know that “to get the best financial return on an investment in four years of college… it helps to have a head for numbers”. Here’s how the majors stacked up:

Median pay for a recent college graduate with a full-time job in 2010, the researchers found, stood at $53,976. But these 15 majors commanded substantially more:

1. Pre-med $100,000
2. Computer systems engineering $85,000
3. Pharmacy $84,000
4. Chemical engineering $80,000
5. Electrical and electronics engineering $75,000
6. Mechanical engineering $75,000
7. Aerospace and aeronautical engineering $74,000
8. Computer science $73,000
9. Industrial engineering $73,000
10. Physics and astronomy $72,200
11. Civil engineering $70,000
12. Electrical and electronics engineering technology $65,000
13. Economics $63,300
14. Financial management $63,000
15. Mechanical engineering technology $63,000

Ph.D. Student Xinjie Guan selected for GHC Research Scholarship

Selected from a competitive pool of over 1000 applicants, SCE Computer Science Ph.D. student Xinjie Guan has been awarded an ISOC (the Internet Society) scholarship to present her research at the 2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) being held October 3-6, 2012 in Baltimore, MD. Xinjie Guan’s poster session, “Push or Pull?: Toward Optimal Content Delivery using Cloud Storage”, will showcase the novel distributed algorithm, named Bandwidth-Latency-Minimization (BLM), which she developed under the direction of her faculty advisor, Dr. Baek-Young Choi. Real experiments as well as simulations have shown that the BLM significantly optimizes content delivery using cloud storage for video-over-IP applications. Academic achievement, potential in the field, need and thoughtful, creative, well-written essays were part of the selection criteria used by GHC to determine this year’s poster session participants. Congratulations Xinjie!


Abstract: Cloud computing and ‘Storage As A Service’ (SaaS) are experiencing a momentous popularity increase due to its flexible, and scalable access to resources. Especially, cloud storage is becoming an economical alternative to traditional content delivery networks (CDNs) such as Akamai and Limelight Networks for moderate-size content providers. Previous research on content distribution mainly focuses on reducing latency experienced by content customers. A few recent studies address the issue of bandwidth usage in CDNs, as the bandwidth consumption is an important issue due to its relevance to the cost of content providers. However, few works consider both bandwidth consumption and delay performance for the content providers that use cloud storage with limited budgets, which is the focus of this paper. We develop an efficient light-weight approximation algorithm toward the joint optimization problem of content placement. We also conduct the analysis of its theoretical complexities. The performance bound of the proposed approximation algorithm exhibits a much better worst case than those in previous studies. We further extend the approximate algorithm into a distributed version that allows it to promptly react to dynamic changes in users’ interests. The extensive results from both simulations and Planetlab experiments exhibit that the performance is near optimal for most of the practical conditions.

Significance: Video-over-IP applications are experiencing a momentous popularity increase via crowd-acceleration. Content delivery using distributed caching on cloud storage, such as Amazon Simple Storage Services, can alleviate high bandwidth demands of such applications and can significantly cut down the costs in building and maintaining servers comparing with traditional Content delivery networks. However, the latency experienced by content users and the cost of provisioning VoIP services including bandwidth and storage space are heavily depended on content placement and delivery strategies. Few prior researchers have considered saving bandwidth consumption together with latency performance in neither traditional CDNs nor cloud storage. Our work aims to optimize the content delivery using cloud storage.

Publications: A preliminary version of this work was published in International Conference on Communication (ICC) 2011. It has now been extended with a novel distributed algorithm for cloud storage; and the scheme has been extensively evaluated using Planetlab testbed.

UMKC IEEE Robotics Team Promote Robotics at State Fair

Our IEEE Robot and its creators, the IEEE Robotics team, traveled to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO to participate in Show ME Robots. This annual two day event uses robot demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on activities to interest and promote STEM studies and careers, including robotics, to Missourians. The IEEE team talked with several children and their parents/grandparents, some from as far away as Michigan. This is the third year the UMKC IEEE team has participated along with other robot teams invited by the organizer Bill Pabst, 4-H Youth Development Specialist, with the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development. The teams enjoy visiting with each other when time permits. Teams from FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Lego League, 4-H and BEST (those with the bigger robots) have a friendly competition on the second day of the event. UMKC IEEE Robotics team was the only University Robot team at the event. Due to the time it takes to travel to the event our UMKC IEEE Robotics team was only able to stay one day, Sunday August 12. The Kansas City and St. Louis Robotics Society also had displays and Mizzou students demonstrated a robot they use in their agricultural program demonstrating planting.

Pictured in photo below from left to right are: Debby Dilks, UMKC IEEE Staff Advisor, and UMKC IEEE Robotics team members ‘Mel Carter, Herber Hernandez, Ariel Muthyala, Matt Mohler, Sarah Withee, and Victoria Wu