UMKC was the first school in the country to have a 24-hour IBM BlueMix Beta Hackathon as part of the IBM BlueMix Beta Program. The fast-paced student competition began May 1, 2014. The hackathon consisted of teams of UMKC SCE students competing against each other to come up with a new BlueMix application. Each team was comprised of two to three students, including both undergraduate and graduate students. Prizes included certificates and IBM promoting the winners. See the April 29, 2014 UMKC Today article for more details.
Praveen Rao, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, was recognized by IBM for his work in the development of curriculum that will prepare a skilled workforce capable of tackling challenges in Big Data management. He is one of 14 professors world-wide that were selected by IBM Big Data and Analytics Faculty Awards for this award. According to the Wall Street Journal, IBM is working toward narrowing the Big Data Skills Gap By Partnering With More Than 1,000 Global Universities. The UMKC Today article, UMKC Professors Nets IBM Faculty Award, also has additional information.
SCE students – get ready to be creative, engaged and challenged. To get an idea of what’s in store for you, take a look at how computer science students and mechanical engineering students participated in presentation/poster sessions last spring. Keep in mind that the three presentations/poster sessions described below are only a few examples of the many projects our SCE students become involved in at SCE. Our faculty know that collaboration and participation are fundamental to successful computer science and engineering professional practice!
Fourteen students and their two accompanying professors from Jazan University in Saudi Arabia left for home after a five-week summer program held here at SCE. Designed to be both intellectually and culturally enriching, the program included the students learning about software methods and tools from Professor Yongjie Zheng, mobile apps and cloud computing from Professor Yugi Lee, and about big data from Professor Praveen Rao. They then created their own app for Jazan University with the help of the Kansas City-based RareWire app creation studio. UMKC’s Applied Language Institute provided the students English instruction for two hours each day. In addition, students and faculty ventured beyond campus to visit and tour Cerner, Garmin and Sprint and enjoy local attractions such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Royals and Starlight Theatre. SCE Continuing Education Director Christina Davis, managed the program including preliminary discussions with Jazan University, curriculum, and program logistics. For more details, see the UMKC Today article “Students from Saudi Arabia Study at UMKC School of Computing and Engineering.”
Two very well-respected SCE professors will be promoted effective September 1, 2013. We congratulate Dr. Praveen Rao on his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure in the Computer Science Electrical Engineering Department of SCE and Dr. Ganesh Thiagarajan on his promotion to full Professor in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department of SCE. Their promotions represent significant career milestones and we celebrate with them on achieving this well-earned recognition and acknowledgement of their excellence in teaching, research and service.
Four SCE professors formed the UMKC E-Save through Automation and Education team which proposed and helped implement alternative-energy-focused projects envisioned by Paseo Academy high school students. According to the UMKC Today article, a partnership with KCP&L (Kansas City Power and Light) resulted in Paseo students having “access to the resources of the area’s major energy provider and the know-how of SCE professors and college students.” These were used by Paseo student teams when designing and creating the alternative energy projects which they presented at a day-long competition held on March 20.
Computer Science Professor Praveen Rao has developed and is teaching innovative coursework that utilizes IBM’s SmartCloud technology. His work and results were recently featured in IBM’s developerWorks. Don’t’ miss hearing first hand from Dr. Praveen Rao how SCE faculty are utilizing the IBM Academic Skills Cloud in their coursework.
SCE professors Cory Beard, Vijay Kumar, Yugyung Lee and Praveen Rao teamed up with KCP&L and Kansas City Public Schools to host a solar energy workshop for high school students attending the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. For more information see the UMKC Today article “Solar Energy Workshop Empowers Students.”
IBM has identified Dr. Praveen Rao, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, as a key faculty representative and will sponsor his attendance at the IBM Innovate 2012 Conference June 3rd – June 7th in Orlando, Florida. According to IBM, Dr. Rao was chosen due to “The work you have done leveraging multiple advanced technology resources in the classroom”. Dr. Rao will be a speaker at this conference.
Dr. Rao is providing his students valuable experience in developing applications by leveraging software tools available on the IBM Cloud, a platform which is used by many companies, both large and small. IBM’s support of Dr. Rao is greatly appreciated by our School and we heartily agree with IBM’s enthusiastic commendation to Dr. Rao, “Congratulations to you for setting the bar high and investing in your students by bringing advanced technology tools to them. Because of your investment in your students this is our way to continue investing in you and the University of Missouri Kansas City!”
IBM focused its spotlight on UMKC SCE Assistant Professor Praveen Rao’s for embracing the use of cloud technology and incorporating cloud technologies into his courses. An early adopter of cloud technologies, Dr. Rao has ensured his students are learning the skills industry values and obtaining hands on experience with relevant technologies. Dr. Rao was one of 50 faculty worldwide selected for a 2011 IBM Smart Planet Award to develop a new curriculum for health informatics, Towards Smarter Healthcare: New Healthcare IT Curriculum. His advocacy of cloud technologies has resulted in a growing use of cloud technologies at UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.