Student Uses Wearable Tech to Track Stress

Photo: Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism

Photo: Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism

Exactly how much stress do you feel on the job?

Kelli Sum, ’16 Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Assistant Professor Dan Nathan-Roberts are tackling this question as part of their work in the SJSU Undergraduate Research Grants Program.

The program, which gives student-faculty teams the opportunity to collaborate, provided the pair a $1,000 grant toward their project regarding quantifying workload with wearable technology.

“I was always interested in fitness trackers and how it let me understand how much I moved that day,” Sum said. “I brought up that idea to Dr. Nathan-Roberts and was talking about my research interests and we were able to find a way to use this human factors application as research.”

Sum’s initial idea was founded on how fitness trackers can be used as motivation to improve a person’s health, but she realized upon consulting her professor how the same technology could lend itself to tracking and managing the workload of nurses, athletes and even soldiers.

“My goal is to hopefully solidify that foundation and use these [trackers] for many different people to quantify how hard they’re working,” Sum said.

Sum is conducting preliminary research with the help of her colleagues in the USERlab (User Systems Engineering Research Laboratory), a group of undergraduate and graduate students collaborating on research projects under the guidance of Professor Nathan-Roberts.

Photo: Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism

Photo: Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism

Armed with Basis Peak fitness trackers for a week at a time, Sum’s colleagues have tracked their heart rate, skin temperature, Galvanic skin response (the skin’s electric activity), number of calories burned and number of steps taken.

After a week of tracking, Sum downloads the device’s collected data, drops it into an Excel worksheet and analyzes the information.

“What it will have is minute-by-minute reporting,” Sum said. “I basically have a line graph looking at the heart rate and other factors over time and we try putting all this information into a graph so we can understand the trends.”

The peaks in the graph indicate when a person is working hardest, and perhaps experiencing the most stress. That knowledge may one day help nurses, soldiers and others moderate their activities so they are more effective over the long run.

For now, Sum is testing the concept on fellow students.

Michael Cataldo, ’17 Industrial and Systems Engineering, said his one-week pilot with the tracker was telling of the technology’s benefits.

“I’m getting more and more into fitness, so it can tell me if I need to push myself further or ‘hey your heart beat is too high, you need to slow down,’” Cataldo said.

Cataldo said his involvement in Sum’s research and collaboration with Professor Nathan-Roberts has cultivated a culture of sharing ideas.

“I think that I’m lucky to get to work with a number of students that have a lot of passion in the same area that I do, which is improving health and health care,” Nathan-Roberts said. “It’s aligning our research interests together and finding places where my expertise could help identify what is missing in the research or if there are opportunities for us to further study.”

As Sum nears the end of the preliminary data collection period, she hopes to collaborate with the SJSU Valley Foundation School of Nursing to pair nursing students with trackers in an attempt to understand how the body works in various environments.

 

SJSU, LinkedIn Launch Mobile App

CSU Chancellor Tim White visits the LinkedIn Photo Studio at SJSU Nov. 4.

CSU Chancellor Tim White visits the LinkedIn Photo Studio at SJSU Nov. 4 (photo by Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’16 MS Mass Communications).

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Daniel Newell, 408-924-6028, daniel.newell@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Jose State University and LinkedIn have formed a unique partnership that aims to assist college students in exploring career interests and career pathways. The SJSU Career Center and LinkedIn have launched a new pilot program, an exciting mobile app that assist students in developing a professional social network that targets potential industries and occupations of interest based on alumni who have graduated from SJSU and are now working in the field.

Pilot of a New Mobile App

Recently, Business Insider announced SJSU as the #1 supplier of talent to Silicon Valley; it’s no surprise that SJSU was selected to be the first university in the nation to pilot this new and engaging mobile app. Through this education-industry partnership, future hopes are that students will engage in their professional development and network early to prepare to enter the workforce. The app tailors its content to each student’s profile, providing a high level of customization in the role, company, content, and alumni recommendations it surfaces.

Closing the Skills-gap

The app highlights top skills that are self-reported by alumni, introducing current students to areas they should look to develop if they choose to enter the same field. Students can reach out to an alumnus to connect for an informational interview or mentoring, providing the next generation workforce with the access necessary to learn from those who came before them. Closing the skills and achievement gaps is a process. From the SJSU LinkedIn pilot program – providing career exploration tools, resources, and access to potential mentors – we believe we are taking an important step in the right direction.

Celebrating a New Partnership

To celebrate its new partnership, on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015, the SJSU Career Center, SJSU Student Alumni Association, and LinkedIn launched a “LinkedIn to Your Career” event that involved a LinkedIn Photo Studio known as the “Headshot Truck,” a cutting-edge mobile head shot photography studio. The celebration also included an evening workshop and mixer. At the event, students were able to create LinkedIn profiles, take head shots for their profile picture, and learn how to maximize their job search through networking.

The event attracted more than 600 students and even caught the attention of Chancellor Tim White, who stopped by to take a head shot for his LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn invited SJSU students to network with LinkedIn employees who graduated from SJSU. Alumni guests represented majors from health science, international business, computer science, graphic design/digital media art, management information systems, accounting, and engineering.

About San Jose State

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 140 areas of study and 100 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Faculty Member Re-Creates Antiquities Destroyed by ISIS

Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications

Morehshin Allahyari (Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications).

SJSU lecturer and artist Morehshin Allahyari is using technology to save art from the past for the future.

She started her latest project, “Material Speculation: ISIS,” after seeing images of ISIS fighters destroying ancient artifacts at the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Not only does the Iranian-born artist have a personal interest in re-creating the 3,000-year-old art work, but her research lies at the nexus of 3-D technology, art and activism.

“I think there’s a lot of interest around ways you can use new technology to resist something political, but also how, as artists, you can respond to social, cultural and political events of our contemporary way of life,” Allahyari said.

3-D printers

One of the four miniature artifacts destroyed by ISIS. (Photo: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’15 MS Mass Communications)

Using 3-D printers, Allahyari produced miniature versions of four of the artifacts destroyed by ISIS. The reproductions are miniature, plastic replicas of the original pieces.

“Getting accurate information about the artifacts was one of the most challenging aspects of the project,” she said. “So I included a flash memory card inside these artifacts, where I think about this idea of a time capsule. So in 20 to 30 years, people can take out these artifacts and have access to the information.”

The 3-D pieces are on display in Florence, Dallas, Istanbul, and soon, New York. Allahyari is traveling to each city to speak about her work. She’s also planning on re-creating five or six more artifacts that were destroyed by ISIS.

Art and history

As a new media artist, Allahyari believes we are entering an era of having access to certain kinds of artifacts, and having more affordable high-tech tools as a way to document and archive history.

“I think it’s really, really interesting to see in 10 years how that will change the whole landscape of museums, digital and physical archiving, and our role in general, as humans, to save, reflect back, or think about concepts related to history,” Allahyari said.

 

Top Technologists Speak at SJSU

Michael Schroepfer (photo courtesy of Facebook)

Facebook Chief Technology Officer Michael Schroepfer will visit campus for the Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium (courtesy of Facebook).

SJSU Media Relations contacts:
Pat Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Ten of the world’s leading tech experts are coming to San Jose State this fall for the 13th annual Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium, beginning Sept. 10.

Google Director of Research Peter Norvig

Google Director of Research Peter Norvig

The speakers include Facebook Chief Technology Officer Michael Schroepfer and Google Director of Research Peter Norvig, who are “exploring completely new things that will change the way we live,” according to The New York Times.

Schroepfer is connected to many Facebook innovations including, most recently, solar powered drones beaming Internet access. Norvig literally wrote the book on artificial intelligence.

The Silicon Valley Leaders Symposium takes place every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. in ENG 189. Also on the agenda are executives from LinkedIn, Intel, Qool Therapeutics, Splunk, NetApp, Greentech, and Twitter.

The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering has been hosting the series since 2002. The symposium brings industry and government leaders to campus to discuss business, technology, the competitive global economy and hiring trends.

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Ahmed Hambaba conceived the series and has been its champion since its inception.

“It’s more than just a lecture series—it’s a networking and relationship-building partnership with organizations that will hopefully hire our graduates down the road,” he said.

About San Jose State

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 134 areas of study with 110 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 33,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Student Journalists to Stream Taco Eating Contest

Chacho’s World Taco Eating Championship

SJSU students are seeking to capture the excitement, with world-class competitors like last year’s event (photos by Adrian Trujillo and Sergio Estrada).

SJSU students are seeking to capture the excitement, with world-class competitors like last year’s event (photos by Adrian Trujillo and Sergio Estrada).

San Jose State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications will stream the second Chacho’s World Taco Eating Championship on Aug. 15 at St. James Park in downtown San Jose. The stream will be available on South Bay Pulse, an app built by students.

Co-anchors Jonathan Wold and Brenda Norrie will go live at 4:15 p.m. Expect behind-the-scenes videos and interviews with top-ranked competitive eaters Matthew Stonie and Miki Sudo. As contestants gobble up the tacos, commentator Abraham Rodriguez will follow the action.

All three students are journalism majors or recent graduates. More than a dozen Spartans are involved, in front of the camera, behind the camera, and online. They’re collaborating with the goal of producing a high-caliber program on a shoe-string budget thanks to the power of the Internet and their own ingenuity.

The project is an excellent example of the cutting edge efforts underway at SJSU’s journalism school. Students built the South Bay Pulse app (Apple iPad, Android, Kindle Fire) using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Adobe provided mentors, straight from corporate headquarters just a few blocks from campus in the heart of Silicon Valley.

In fact, the entire project grew from a synergy that could only happen here. The students and the taco contest’s producer met at a business event. David Ocampo, ’89 BS Advertising, ’92 MA Mexican American Studies, is creative director at Milagro Marketing. The event was sponsored by Content magazine, which covers the innovative and creative culture of Silicon Valley.

Chevron STEM ZONE

SJSU, A’s, Chevron Share the Science of Sports

Gurdeep Soi, ’15 Electrical Engineering, helps a Richmond Little League baseball player with a hands-on exercise illuminating the science of sports (image courtesy of Chevron).

Gurdeep Soi, ’15 Electrical Engineering, helps a Richmond Little League baseball player with a hands-on exercise illuminating the science of sports (image courtesy of Chevron).

SJSU, the Oakland A’s and Chevron collaborated on a summer clinic June 30 designed to inspire Little League baseball players to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The SJSU students served as volunteer mentors, through the Jay Pinson STEM Education Program. The clinic featured Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, pitching great Vida Blue, and more than 100 Richmond Little League players at the O.co Coliseum.

Spartans helped youngsters with hands-on activities and instruction in the Chevron STEM ZONE. The project is part of Chevron’s commitment to equipping youth with the critical skills they will need to succeed in jobs of the future.

SJSU with Tony La Russa 530

SJSU student volunteers, from left to right: Puyun Yen, ’17 Mechanical Engineering; Kennis Ko, ’16 Chemical Engineering; Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa; Alex Zavala, ’17 Computer Engineering; AmeriCorps volunteer Philip Ye; and Gurdeep Soi, ’15 Electrical Engineering. Photo courtesy of the Jay Pinson STEM Education Program.

From Undergrads to Business Leaders

SJSU's I2P team members in a group photo.

SJSU’s I2P team included Jared Oliva, Tu Nguyen, Maleeha Naqvi, Kyle Tang and their adviser, Professor Guna Selvaduray (CSU Public Affairs photo).

Hurt your elbow? Can’t lift your backpack?

SJSU students have created a forearm support device perfect for this situation and they are well on their way toward realizing their dream of transforming their idea into a business opportunity.

This month, they were finalists in the CSUPERB-I2P® Early-Stage Biotechnology Commercialization Challenge, part of the 21st Annual CSU Biotechnology Forum right here in Silicon Valley.

SJSU student shows visitor a poster for his project.

Duc Pham, ’15 Biochemistry, presents his poster to San Francisco State Professor George Gassner (Daryl Eggers photo).

The forum is a networking and professional development opportunity for students, faculty members and industry professionals. Everyone gathers for workshops, meetings, award presentations and poster sessions.

For example, Professor of Chemistry Daryl Eggers moderated a bioengineering reception to bring more engineers to the forum, which is quite interdisciplinary, including fields like kinesiology and physics.

The Exo-Arm

This includes SJSU’s I2P (Idea to Product) team. Three members are biomedical engineering majors, a fourth is studying business administration and a fifth is majoring in history.

Together, they presented the “Exo-Arm,” a simple, light but effective device designed to help people with limited mobility at the elbow carry objects weighing up to 30 pounds.

This product addresses the gap in the market between robotic exoskeletons and traditional slings,” said Jared Oliva, ’14 History.

spider

An exoskeleton is an external skeleton that supports and protects an animal, like this spider. The Exo-Arm would also strengthen the human arm.

The engineering students built the prototype, while the business and history majors developed the branding and business plan. Their adviser was Professor of Material and Chemical Engineering Guna Selvaduray. Tech Futures Group also provided guidance.

Entrepreneurship Education

The main goal of the I2P competition was entrepreneurship education, which means helping students learn what is needed to transform a life sciences idea into a commercial product.

“Out of the 20 teams in the preliminaries, San Jose State made it to the final round. Juggling final exams, part-time jobs and, for one team member, a newborn baby, we worked hard on our final presentation in front of the I2P judges,” Oliva said.

Although we ultimately did not win, the I2P Competition proved to be an invaluable experience for everyone.”

So valuable that the team is keeping design details under wraps.

“We are working on getting everything set,” Oliva said, “so that we can start putting it out there again.”

Developing a New Kind of Video Game

Developing a New Kind of Video Game

Developing a New Kind of Video Game

Cong Lu, Yuanlei Huang, Glenn Pham and John Pham work on Changuya’s Moon Festival, which won for Best Art Game at the SJSU x NeuroSky Hackathon (photo courtesy of G. Craig Hobbs).

You use your brain to play video games. But did you know you could be using your brain waves?

At the recent SJSU x NeuroSky Hackathon, art, computer science, engineering and animation majors designed the very best video games they could in 24 hours, with a NeuroSky headset being the primary controller.

Developing a New Kind of Video Game

A NeuroSky publicity photo shows the headset with sensor touching the model’s forehead.

“The hackathon provides access and opportunities for students to experiment with emerging technologies, while encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary interaction in a fun, creative, and challenging environment,” said G. Craig Hobbs, assistant professor of digital media art.

Silicon Valley connections

A developer from San Jose-based NeuroSky helped run a boot camp for hackathon participants. The headset digitizes electrical brainwaves (more commonly known as EEGs) to control games.

What this boils down to is “writing programs that translate user brain activity into commands, pictures and sounds,” said Jon Pearce, chair of the Department of Computer Science.

The player manipulates the game by concentrating, relaxing or balancing the two to reach a “zen” state. Applications include games for children who need help learning to focus their thinking.

Developing a New Kind of Video Game

A screen shot from the overall winning project, Immunity (image courtesy of Tamara Chang).

The winning game

The overall winning project was Immunity by the team “Pew Pew Studios,” comprised of Arthur Baney, Will Pham, Rocky Oliver and Tamara Chang.

“In our game, you are the immune system of a sickly body,” Chang said. “When the player is relaxing and concentrating, the white blood cells in the body begin to take over the red viruses.

“However, if the player becomes worried or distracted, the red viruses multiply and kill the white blood cells.

We used the NeuroSky headset to simulate how with real illnesses, a person can improve their immune system by remaining calm and keeping a positive attitude.”

Hobbs is director of the Learning and Games Consortium, an interdisciplinary group promoting educational games. Check out student work on the Game Development Club website.

Spartans Advance to Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Finals

Three SJSU Teams Advance in Silicon Valley StartUp Cup

The BioReady team is comprised of five biotech grads: Kira Dionis-Petersen, Dien Vo, Gavin McCann, Scott Marzano and Sheri-Michele Bachelor (photo courtesy of Scott Marzano).

“Many laboratories currently perform ordering by paper, pen and phone calls,” said Scott Marzano, ’13 Biotechnology.

This overlooked fact is at the core of a business idea Marzano and friends are poised to turn into a viable venture.

The brainchild of five alumni of the master’s in biotechnology program, BioReady would automate the procurement and inventory management process for labs.

The team placed first at the 2013 Silicon Valley Business Plan Competition organized by the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

And now, the BioReady team is one of three from San Jose State heading for the final round of the Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Business Model Competition.

“My classmate Gavin McCann and I came up with this idea for a project in a marketing management course at SJSU,” Marzano recalled. We were required to develop a marketing plan for a service company and wanted to try and solve an important problem in biotechnology research.”

StartUp Cup is an international initiative sponsored locally by Focus Business Bank, Meriwest Credit Union and West Valley College.

The SJSU teams — BioReady, AFK Gamer Lounge (video game LAN center and gamer bar) and Cranium Shield (x-ray protection for the head) — will make their pitches to judges Oct. 30.

From a pool of seven finalists, judges will name first, second and third place winners Nov. 21.  The contest offers no cash prizes, but that’s beside the point for BioReady.

StartUp Cup and the SJSU business plan competition provide intense feedback and mentoring, resources more valuable than cash alone.

What does the BioReady team do when they are not trying to build their own business?

All five grads are gainfully employed at Agilent Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Life Technologies and Stanford University.

CS Classroom

Hackers Beware!

CS Classroom

Students in class with Assistant Professor Tom Austin, one of nine recently hired faculty members focusing on cybersecurity and big data (Christina Olivas photo).

The cybersecurity workforce of the future is taking shape at SJSU.

In the Student Union this summer, more than 75 students spent a week building skills, networking with tech leaders, and battling to win a capture-the-flag competition at the 2013 Western Regional Cyber Security Boot Camp.

And in classrooms across campus this fall, nine new faculty members are joining 20 veteran instructors to teach more than 40 courses in cybersecurity and the related field of big data.

The camp and cluster hires are major components of SJSU’s initiative to strengthen the nation’s defense against hackers, like those who made headlines last week by taking down The New York Times.

“As the largest public university serving Silicon Valley, San Jose State must take the lead in providing students with opportunities to become immersed in cybersecurity,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said.

Multidisciplinary Approach

CS Classroom

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tom Austin, an SJSU graduate, returned to join a campuswide cybersecurity initiative (Christina Olivas photo).

The entire academic team — with expertise in a wide range of fields from computer science to psychology — is working together on research and new certificate and degree programs.

Professors are also connecting with industry, federal agencies and national laboratories on internships, research and a road map for addressing emerging issues in security and data science.

All of this work is positioning SJSU for future certification as a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance.

For now, the nine new hires, like the vets they join, are focusing on training SJSU students to attack the problem from every conceivable angle.

Here’s a quick introduction.

Cybersecurity

Tonia San Nicolas-Rocca of the School of Library and Information Science is teaching a new cybersecurity course offered to SLIS graduate students enrolled in the school’s fully online master’s program.

David Schuster, of the Department of Psychology has conducted research focusing on the cognitive aspects of cybersecurity, situation awareness in human-automation teams, and perceptual training for real-world pattern recognition.

Jeremiah Still of the Department of Psychology has conducted research revealing implicit cognitive processes that can be used to help designers develop intuitive interfaces.

Younghee Park of the Department of Computer Engineering conducts research focusing on network, software and system security, with an emphases on malicious code detection, botnet analysis, insider threat, and traceback to determine attack origin.

Meikang Qiu of the Department of Computer Engineering focuses on embedded systems, cybersecurity and trust computing, and high performance and cloud computing.

Tom Austin of the Department of Computer Science is an SJSU graduate whose interests include security and programming languages, web security and malware analysis.

Big Data

Michelle Chen of the School of Library and Information Science is teaching information visualization and developing curriculum on big data analysis for SLIS students.

Thanh Tran of the Department of Computer Science holds a master’s in entrepreneurship and management, a master’s in business information systems and a doctorate’s in computer science.

Scott Jensen of the Department of Management Information Systems focuses on the management, integration, discovery and strategic use of data within enterprises and across organizational boundaries.

Read more about SJSU’s cybersecurity initiative.

University Police Department Goes Green

University Police Department Goes Green

The University Police Department has made a couple cool additions to its fleet of patrol vehicles. Keep an eye out for these new electric motorcycles.

“We purchased these motorcycles for our patrol division because we believe the company and product blends well the university’s strategic vision and it’s a great way to support the local economy,” said UPD Captain Alan Cavallo.

Scotts Valley-based Zero Motorcycles equipped the bikes with police lights and sirens, as well as saddlebags carrying gear and emergency medical equipment.

The bikes look a lot like gas-powered motorcycles, but they’re super quiet and environmentally friendly, reflecting SJSU’s “agility through technology” goal.

The bikes also allow officers to reach every corner of campus quickly, arriving well before officers on foot and squeezing through spaces far too small for a car.

With top speeds of 80 MPH and a range of approximately 112 miles on a single charge, the motorcycles can be used for a full, 12-hour shift.

The bikes are housed and charged in the South Garage, and are out on campus now for routine patrols, special events and emergency calls.

The Future of the College Degree

The Future of the College Degree

The Future of the College Degree

At the invitation of the National Journal, five leading experts including President Mohammad Qayoumi met in Washington, D.C., July 10 to discuss “The New Knowledge Economy.”

What is the future of the college degree, and higher education in general, in the United States?

At the invitation of the National Journal, five leading experts including President Mohammad Qayoumi met in Washington, D.C., July 10 to discuss “The New Knowledge Economy.”

Qayoumi described his vision for higher education, which includes standardizing 25 to 30 lower-level introductory courses and then customizing upper-level coursework with a range of hybrid and hands-on learning experiences.

The president’s proposal “has a lot of promise,” said fellow panelist Kevin Carey, director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation. “I think this is a near-term thing … that will be the standard for the first couple years of the undergraduate experience.”

But some things would remain the same. “Nothing can really replace the campus experience,” Qayoumi said, adding that  “I firmly believe faculty will still be a central part of the learning process.”

The president went on to discuss how offering standardized lower-level classes online will mean “some students who are very motivated could possibly do a year or more of their college work while they’re still in high school.”

Online learning also offers international experiences, Qayoumi said, explaining how a project could include “a group of students … one from Shanghai, one from Boston, one from San Francisco, and the fourth from Egypt. This kind of an environment is going to prepare students for tomorrow.”

Read the president’s white paper, “Are We Innovation-Ready: A Bold New Model for Higher Education.” 

View the National Journal panel discussion.

Man holds a prosthetic limb. Photo by Randy Leu

Prosthetic Limbs for Less Than $30?

Man holds a prosthetic limb. Photo by Randy Leu

Students showcase Simple Limb Initiative prosthetic limbs that they created and interact with guests at an open house event (Randy Leu photo).

What can you do with $30? How about creating a life-altering device for a child who lost a limb in a landmine explosion? This was both the mission and the challenge for a group of industrial design students, who introduced their completed projects at a May 13 open house.

Poster boards lined the walls of an Art Building room with different prosthetic limbs for above and below the elbow amputations and above and below the knee amputations. Three countries, among the most affected by landmines, were represented: Afghanistan, Cambodia and Colombia.

Corey Higham, a junior industrial design major, showed a prosthetic leg that he designed and built out of materials including PVC pipes, bike tires and rubber washers.

“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done,” he said. “It was a lot of work. I think we’ve come up with a lot of creative solutions that can be useful.”

Introducing Simple Limb Initiative

Computer monitors throughout the room displayed a website created by senior graphic design students, recognizing the launch of Simple Limb Initiative. This is a collaboration between SJSU Associate Professor Leslie Speer and Professor Gerhard Reichert of HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd, a university in Germany. Reichert had applied to be a visiting scholar to SJSU from December 2012 to February 2013. One of his proposed workshops focused on affordable prosthetic limbs, catching Speer’s eye.

“The area of research that I focus on is ‘design for the majority,’ problems of the world that affect great numbers of people,” she said.

According to a project brief that the two professors presented on the first day of class, children are among the most affected victims of landmines worldwide. The loss of a limb can be devastating for people in developing countries. A typical prosthetic limb costs thousands of dollars, whereas Speer said, “A lot of people in impoverished parts of the world earn less than a dollar a day.”

For this semester-long project, industrial design students kept in mind using raw materials that were cost effective and readily available or attainable in their assigned countries. The prostheses had to be functional in the countries’ natural terrains and for the cultural lifestyles, whether it’s working in the fields or praying five times per day. The countries’ residents have to be able to make simple fixes and adjustments to the prosthetic limbs when necessary, and the aesthetically and ergonomically sound prostheses have to be adaptable to a child’s growing body.

“It was a really big learning curve, but it was a really beneficial learning curve,” said Irene Rose, a senior industrial design major. “You step outside of your comfort zone and walk in other people’s shoes.”

Making Connections

The entire process involved several stages of research, evaluating and testing. Industrial design students reached out to relevant organizations and groups in their assigned countries. They also received support closer to home, including testing out their work on people who have undergone amputations. Occupational therapy students, led by Professor Heidi Pendleton, provided insights into the technical and medical aspects of these patients.

This cross-disciplinary interaction is what Speer would like to continue encouraging in the future. The Simple Limb Initiative could eventually become a continuous university-based research initiative involving departments all across campus, such as occupational therapy, engineering, business and graphic design, as well as Reichert’s classes in Germany.

A spirit of generosity presents itself on the initiative’s website, which features manuals and diagrams for each of the prosthetic limbs. The intention is to make the information open source to encourage others to build and build upon these ideas.

One Spartan alumnus whose work already focuses on prosthetic limbs invited the students to visit his workplace. Scott Summit, ’94, Industrial Design is co-founder of Bespoke Innovations, which uses 3D printing to create customized coverings for prosthetic limbs. Summit and his colleague Chad Crittendon attended the open house.

Complex Balance

I was impressed by the range and thoughtfulness that went into the projects,” Summit said. “Many of them managed to achieve a complex balance of cost, human need and design. I appreciate the devotion that went into their work, and I especially applaud Leslie for taking on such a challenging topic and handling it so superbly.”

 

Edx Classroom

SJSU/EdX Adds More Campuses, Courses

SJSU/EdX Expansion

During SJSU’s fall 2012 EE98 Introduction to Circuits Analysis course, SJSU Lecturer Khosrow Ghadiri used the MITx 6.002x Circuits and Electronics materials on the edX platform. (Christina Olivas photo)

SJSU will open a Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning. The expanded collaboration follows a successful pilot that increased pass rates.

Contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU media relations, 408-656-6999
Dan O’Connell, edX media relations, 617-480-6585

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Thousands more California State University students will benefit from a major expansion to the collaboration between San Jose State University and edX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SJSU and edX detailed this announcement at a news conference April 10. View the video.

An online engineering course in circuits and electronics — created by MIT as an MITx course for the edX platform and offered to San Jose State students for the first time last fall — will be made available to as many as 11 other CSU campuses. The expansion will benefit thousands of students from nearly half of Cal State’s 23 campuses.

San Jose State will concurrently establish a Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning to train faculty members from other campuses interested in offering the engineering course and other blended online courses in the future.

“San Jose State University is thrilled to have the opportunity to grow its groundbreaking collaboration with edX,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “As the public university serving Silicon Valley, San Jose State is the perfect place for a center for excellence in online education. We look forward to helping other California State University campuses make available to thousands of students the innovative, blended approach to learning developed by SJSU and edX.”

Once trained at San Jose State, faculty members from other CSU campuses will be equipped to incorporate the MITx 6.002x Circuits and Electronics course offered on the edX platform into their own blended classroom settings. This means students from participating CSU campuses will have access to the rigorous curricular materials — readings, video and interactive exercises — wherever they study, and then meet in class for in-depth discussions and group work facilitated by local professors.

The agreement also sets the stage for the SJSU-edX collaboration to expand well beyond engineering to the sciences, humanities, business and social sciences. SJSU will pilot additional courses from several edX universities including Harvard, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.

Building on Success

During SJSU’s fall 2012 EE98 Introduction to Circuits Analysis course, SJSU Lecturer Khosrow Ghadiri used the MITx 6.002x Circuits and Electronics materials on the edX platform. His class, comprised of 87 students, viewed the MITx video lectures and completed MITx problem sets outside of class. During class, Ghadiri facilitated 15 minutes of questions and answers, and then devoted the remainder of the class to peer and team instruction and problem solving using materials developed by SJSU faculty members. Early indicators have been remarkably positive. Although the numbers of students were small and classes differed on many factors, the pass rate in the blended class was 91 percent, and the pass rates in the conventional classes were as low as 55 percent.

This spring, SJSU is repeating the experiment with a second section of the same size, refining an approach that could one day be applied not just to engineering, but to students in all STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

“One of the founding principles of edX is to use the power of technology and online learning to improve on-campus education and to innovate in higher education,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “Our collaboration with San Jose State University is a strong example of how well-designed blended learning can engage students and substantially improve learning outcomes. We’re excited to expand our model throughout the California State University system and continue to broaden access to a world-class education.”

New Center for Excellence

At the core of these innovations are faculty members trying new ways to infuse technology into teaching and learning. To support faculty members as they embark on this trailblazing work, SJSU will establish a Center for Excellence in Adaptive and Blended Learning.

The center will open this summer with a focus on the MITx circuits and electronics course. Initially, the center will serve faculty members at the 11 participating CSU campuses. Over time, the center could grow to serve all of the nearly 22,000 faculty members and more than 426,000 students of the CSU system.

Under the leadership of SJSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn, the center could also expand to serve other public and private colleges and universities worldwide.

Unbounded Teaching and Learning

The expansion of SJSU’s collaboration with edX is part of a campaign led by President Qayoumi, who argues that educational institutions urgently need new approaches to teaching and assessing learning that are personalized, collaborative, engaging and relate to real-world, 21st-century problems. Join the conversation at Unbounded: Teaching and learning without limits.

“San Jose State’s online initiatives are about far more than a single subject, technique or campus,” Qayoumi said. “Our work is about trying many new approaches, identifying what works and pushing forward a national conversation on effective ways to infuse the opportunities offered by technology into the way we teach and learn.”

About San Jose State University

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,500 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

About edX

EdX is a not-for-profit enterprise of its founding partners Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research. EdX provides inspirational and transformative knowledge to students of all ages, social status, and income who form worldwide communities of learners. EdX uses its open source technology to transcend physical and social borders. We’re focused on people, not profit. EdX is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the USA.

SJSU Hosts 2013 Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp

SJSU Hosts Cyber Quests Day Camp

SJSU Hosts 2013 Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp

Participants of the day camp will learn key skills required to score well in the April 2013 Cyber Quests Qualification Competition (Robert Bain photo).

Contacts for reporters:
Rudy Pamintuan, USCC Media Relations, 312-961-4710
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-656-6999

The U.S. Cyber Challenge has announced the date and details of the 2013 Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp. The day camp will take place on Saturday, April 6 at San Jose State University beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. To learn more information and register for the 2013 Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp, visit www.sjsu.edu/cybersecurity.

“As the largest public university serving Silicon Valley, San Jose State must take the lead in providing students with opportunities to become immersed in cyber security, a top international issue,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “San Jose State is pleased to collaborate with the U.S. Cyber Challenge to develop programs attracting the brightest minds to one of the most critical emerging fields of our time.”

Participants of the day camp will learn key skills required to score well in the April 2013 Cyber Quests Qualification Competition. Presentations may include introductions to Wireshark and web application and database security, securing network services, network discovery methods and a host of other topics. Sponsors of the 2013 Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp include Visa and the Bay Area Council.

“We are very proud to host our first Cyber Quests Preparatory Day Camp,” stated Karen S. Evans, National Director of U.S. Cyber Challenge. “We believe that equipping students with the knowledge and skills to do well in the Cyber Quests online competition will lead to more students being invited to our Summer Cyber Camps and ultimately exponential growth in the capacity of our professional workforce in cyber security.”

Participants are required to be 18 years or older. There are no specific credentials or skills required to attend the day camp, although camp content will be quite technical and will require some background in computer science. Admission is free, but spots are limited. Therefore, it is suggested to register as soon as possible before the camp is filled to capacity.

Cyber Quests is an online cybersecurity competition operated by Cyber Aces. Top scorers earn an invitation to the U.S. Cyber Challenge Western Regional Summer Cyber Camp to be held at SJSU in August 2013. The Cyber Quests competition will open on April 16 and end on April 30. Registration begins on March 29. To register, visit USCC.CyberQuests.org.

About San Jose State University

San Jose State – Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,500 students and 3,850 employees – is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

About U.S. Cyber Challenge

The mission of the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

About the National Board of Information Security Examiners

The mission of the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE) is to increase the security of information networks, computing systems, and industrial and military technology by improving the potential and performance of the cyber security workforce.

About CyberAces

The mission of CyberAces is to identify, enable and encourage young Americans with high aptitude for technical achievement in information security to discover their talents, develop their passion, and determine where their talent can be nurtured so they can make a major contribution to the physical and economic security of the US and its enterprises.The CyberAces foundation achieves its mission by offering challenging and realistic cybersecurity competitions, training camps and educational initiatives through which high school, college students and young professionals develop the practical skills needed to excel as cybersecurity practitioners and to become highly valued citizen-technologists.

SJSU Launches Battery U.

SJSU and CalCharge Launch Battery U.


SJSU Launches Battery U.

There are roughly 40 battery-related companies in California, all working to solve energy storage challenges that are critical to the electric vehicle sector, the solar sector, the wind sector, consumer electronics and more.

New Battery University Program to Train Workforce to Lead Fast-Growing Industry

San Jose State University, CalCharge Launch New Continuing Education Program

Contact for Prospective Students:
Professor Ahmed Hambaba, SJSU, 408-924-3959

Contacts for Members of the Media:
BreAnda Northcutt, CalCharge, 916-446-1955
Sarah Golden, CalCharge, 415-453-0430
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU, 408-656-6999

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Feb. 12, 2013 – CalCharge, an energy storage innovation accelerator, and San Jose State University, the number one supplier of college graduates to Silicon Valley, are teaming up to launch a “battery university” in the high-tech capital of the world.

“As an institution of higher education, we know the challenges in meeting the workplace demand for trained personnel in this rapidly growing and changing field,” said SJSU Vice President for University Advancement Rebecca Dukes. “For this reason, we are very pleased to be partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to meet this critical need of California’s clean energy ecosystem.”

Professional Education

Battery university courses—to be offered through SJSU’s professional education program—will educate a specialty workforce needed now for the rapidly growing battery industry. Classes are expected to start this summer in partnership with SJSU’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which sends more engineering professionals to Silicon Valley than any other university.

Leading scientists, entrepreneurs, industry and policy experts are meeting tonight to provide feedback on the vision and proposed curriculum.

“The fast-emerging energy storage industry is key to the continuing success of the multi-billion dollar global clean energy economy,” said Jeffrey Anderson, interim executive director of CalCharge. “Ceding this important sector to another country would be a tragic and short sighted mistake.”

Currently, most battery manufacturing takes place in China. However, there are roughly 40 battery-related companies in California—working to solve energy storage challenges that are critical to the electric vehicle sector, the solar sector, the wind sector, consumer electronics and more.

Venture Capital Leader

“California is both a patent and a venture capital leader in the battery sector in the United States, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” said Venkat Srinivasan, head of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources groups at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Our sector is developing at such a rapid clip that if we want to maintain our leadership position, we must constantly innovate—and we need the top minds to do so.”

Today’s battery university launch event and briefing on the state of the California energy storage industry starts 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the SJSU Network Meeting Center, 5201 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a special State of the Union watch party before the official event begins.

Highlighting the importance of tonight’s event, former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the longtime chair of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a major champion of clean energy, will be on hand in one of his first appearances since leaving office a few weeks ago.

The event is open to the press and public and free of change.

About CalCharge

CalCharge is a partnership of CalCEF and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. CalCharge will bring together emerging and established California companies, academic and research institutions, government bodies, and financing sources to jumpstart a new era of energy storage technologies for the electric/hybrid vehicle, grid, and consumer electronics markets.

About San Jose State University

San Jose State University is the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world’s high tech capital. SJSU is ranked in the top 15 master’s-level public universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report. San Jose State’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering also received top marks, ranking third in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, excluding service academies.

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

About CalCEF

CalCEF works to promote the transition to a clean energy economy by creating institutions and investment vehicles that grow markets for clean energy technologies. CalCEF is a non-profit umbrella organization that pursues statewide and national agendas via 1) CalCEF Innovations, a 501(c)(3) that leads CalCEF’s analysis and product development efforts; 2) CalCEF Ventures, a 501(c)(4) that executes and scales the CalCEF investment strategy via a fund-of-funds model, partnering with leading investment managers; and 3) CalCEF Catalyst, a 501(c)(6) a platform for the creation of replicable models for “demand driven innovation” requiring the sustained collective action of stakeholders from across the clean energy sector.

Art Students Introduce PechaKucha

Graduate Art Students Try "PechaKucha"

Originating in Tokyo, where this photo was taken, PechaKucha Night is a global network of informal gatherings where creative people share their ideas and works in a simple presentation format: 20 images discussed for 20 seconds each (photo courtesy of PechaKucha.org).

Contact: Sieglinde Van Damme, SJSU PechaKucha Night publicist

SAN JOSE, CA – Eighteen San Jose State University students, graduating this spring with a master of fine arts degree, will host a PechaKucha Night to introduce themselves and their artwork to the public at a new downtown San Jose venue, Cafe Stritch, on Feb. 27. SJSU’s PechaKucha Night will provide a glimpse into the technical and visual research and creative production that each artist has pursued while at SJSU.

PechaKucha Night is a global network of informal gatherings where creative people share their ideas and works in a simple presentation format: 20 images, discussed for 20 seconds each. Christian L. Frock, an independent writer and curator who is designing the Lift Off 2013 MFA Art Exhibit for SJSU, to be held in May at the Art Ark Gallery in San Jose, suggested the PKN format as a fun and informative way for the students to give her an introductory overview of their art.

“I am not aware of any art colleges conducting a PechaKucha Night for the general community to meet their graduates. This is a special opportunity for the public to get a cross section of fresh talent out of the South Bay,” said Frock. “It will offer a composite image of San Jose State University’s singular art program and its influences. We anticipate a great evening of contemporary art and ideas,” she added.

The participating students represent the Pictorial Art, Spatial Art, Photography and Digital Media Art programs in the Department of Art and Art History. Founded in 1911, the department is one of the largest schools at SJSU with academic instruction and fabrication facilities that attract students worldwide. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report rated the art school as one of the top 100 MFA visual arts programs in the country.

The participants are Ara Ahadi, Armine Sargsyan, Avery Palmer, Barbara Boissevain, David Kempken, Esteban Salazar, Gloria Huet, Jacqueline Donecho, Jeffrey Opp, Jennifer Groft, Jonathan Huang, Kat McKinnon, Lan Liu, Marianne Lettieri, Meiru Huang, Sieglinde Van Damme, Wesley Wright and Yvonne Escalante.

Christian L. Frock is the director of Invisible Venue, an independent curatorial enterprise she founded in 2005 that collaborates with artists to present art in the public realm. She is a regular contributor to KQED Arts, Art Practical, San Francisco Arts Monthly and Art ltd. Frock has a master’s degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

This event will be the first collaboration of PKN San Jose with Steven Borkenhagen and his new restaurant and performance space, Cafe Stritch (formerly Eulipa Restaurant).

The SJSU PechaKucha Night will be held 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27, 2013 at Cafe Stritch, 374 S. First St., San Jose. Admission is free.

 

Young Entrepreneurs Showcase Ideas

Students Showcase Biz Ideas

Young Entrepreneurs Showcase Ideas

Business majors Vanissa Hernandez, Sandhya Kodippily and Danny Vongkhamchah won third place in the Elevator Pitch competition (Robert Bain photo).

The Student Union was buzzing with confidence Dec. 6 as students rivaled for top prizes at the 2012 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge.

Only the cream of the crop made it to the poster and elevator pitch competitions this year because all entrants were pre-screened online.

“Through the use of social media, we were able to build a community of 1,200 members from all over the world,” Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship Director Anu Basu said.

Judges selected forty-seven finalists from more than 250 submissions from all seven SJSU colleges and, for the very first time, West Valley College and Mission College.

Cash Prizes

Cash prizes ranged from $1,500 for Best Innovative Idea to $500 for the top elevator pitch. Partners and sponsors include Bridge Bank, Cisco, TechShop and Signature Building Maintenance.

Many entrants focused on highly technical topics, such as Brandon Schlinker, Stephanie Fung and Phil Cyrthe, who took the top prize with “Smart Bulb,” a lighting system that adapts to your needs.

But among the ideas wowing the poster session’s 400 attendees and judges was third place elevator pitch winner “Froyotini.” You got that right — it’s a combination of frozen yogurt and your favorite mixed drink, plus toppings.

Business majors Vanissa Hernandez, Sandhya Kodippily and Danny Vongkhamchah pitched the idea, which was of course an instant hit with the student crowd.

“We brought a lot of color and glitz and glam and we do appeal to Generation Y through the Las Vegas beauty and glamor,” Hernandez said.

Practical Thinking

To help students outsmart bike thieves, economics major Roy Vera came up with MyCycle, which uses NFC (Near Field Communications).

The bike only works when the owner’s in the saddle, carrying a special device embedded in many cell phones that communicates with a receiver in the bike itself, unlocking the chain and wheels.

So a thief can take the bike, but can’t peddle away without the phone that goes with it. Vera received a “special mention” from judges for his idea.

View a complete list of this year’s Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge winners.

 

Governor Helps Launch SJSU Plus

Top elected and higher education officials joined Silicon Valley’s leading entrepreneurs at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Jan. 15 for the advent of a groundbreaking partnership aimed at bridging public higher education with a promising Silicon Valley startup.

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. spoke at the event about the long-term potential for San Jose State Plus before SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi and Udacity Inc. CEO and Co-Founder Sebastian Thrun signed the official agreement.

In his first public appearance at SJSU, recently appointed California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White provided a systemwide perspective on the announcement and online education. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreessen attended to lend his support.

SJSU community members joined the media and officials to participate in a rigorous question and answer session including Brown, Qayoumi, Thrun, White and SJSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Junn.

Read the full news release about today’s announcement. View a recording of the news conference and join the conversation about #SJSUPlus on Twitter.

 

 

 

"(In)security" Art Assesses 9/11's Impact

“(In)security” Art Assesses 9/11’s Impact

 

"(In)security" Art Assesses 9/11's Impact

Michele Pred with her piece, Fear Culture 2 (photo courtesy of Art Animal).

Jo Farb Hernandez, Director of the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery and a Professor of Department of Art and Art History who specializes in outsider art, has brought to campus an artist with a unique perspective on the World Trade Center attacks.

“If anthropologists were to assess items representing the aftermath of September 11, 2001, they might include the piles of random materials left behind at airport security checkpoints across the country,” writes blogger Elizabeth Coleman.

“For over 12 years, conceptual installation artist Michele Pred has been an anthropologist of sorts, gathering items like lighters, matchbooks, sewing scissors and pocket knives that were confiscated at the security checkpoints at San Francisco International Airport.”

In her newest exhibit, “(In)security,” on display at the Thompson Gallery through Dec. 14, “Pred uses these items to visually represent how our lives have been impacted in unexpected ways since 9/11 … By placing the confiscated items together in recognizable shapes such as a heart or the red, white and blue of the American flag, Pred brings new meaning to the material.” Read more from the Art Animal blog.