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Conducting information ops with the experts

Military personnel are often required to make life-and-death decisions based on information derived from various sources, including the inhabitants of the region in which they are serving. During the spring 2015 semester at Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), students had the opportunity to practice those skills with the aid of individuals who have first-hand knowledge of high-level military operations. In Stan Aungst’s “IST 402: Human Terrain Analysis and Decision Making” course, students got an introduction to the Human Terrain System (HTS). HTS is a United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) support program employing personnel from the social science disciplines – such as anthropology, sociology, political science, regional studies and linguistics – to provide military commanders and staff with an understanding of the local population (i.e. human terrain) in the regions in which they are deployed.

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John Yen awarded 2015 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award

John Yen, professor of information sciences and technology (IST) and senior faculty member in the IST graduate program, has been awarded the 2015 Graduate Faculty Teaching Award. Yen is also an affiliate professor of computer science and engineering, is on the Graduate Faculty of Biomedical Engineering and a member of Penn State Cancer Institute Population Health and Cancer Control Research Program, and serves as director of strategic research initiatives in the College of IST.

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Petrick awarded 2015 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching

Irene Petrick, senior lecturer and graduate programs coordinator in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), is one of six Penn State faculty members to have received the 2015 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award, named for the seventh president of the University (1882-1906), is presented each year to faculty members “who have devoted substantial effort to undergraduate teaching.”

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IST Startup Week 2015 in review

Since its inception four years ago, IST Startup Week has been a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in the Penn State community. Hosted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology, the event invites entrepreneurs and innovators from around the country to the University Park campus to share their success stories and network with students. A common thread running through this year’s Startup Week, held April 13-17, was passion— from the volunteers who organized the events, to the entrepreneurs who shared their success stories, to the students who pitched their ideas in competitions.

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Matt Brezina and Chris Fanini featured on WPSU with President Barron

Penn State President Eric J. Barron will discuss the University’s student entrepreneurial success during the next episode of WPSU Penn State’s “Higher Education in Focus” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 23 on WPSU-TV and WPSU-FM. Barron and WPSU-TV’s Patty Satalia will welcome a pair of Penn State alumni and entrepreneurs -- Matt Brezina and Chris Fanini -- during the 30-minute program. The group will discuss Penn State’s recent IST startup week, which took place April 13-17, the alumni’s success stories and the Penn State Summer Founders Program, which will provide student teams $10,000 each to work on startup projects. Brezina and Fanini also will share their advice for budding entrepreneurs.

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Dr. Andrew Sears: Vigilance is the price of secure computing

After hearing the insights of government and industry experts at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, in February, I am more convinced than ever that to keep our nation safe we must make a serious and sustained investment in cybersecurity education. Our goal should be to prepare a work force with the knowledge and skills to deal with the countless and increasingly sophisticated digital attacks that invade our privacy, cost us money, and threaten our economy and national security.

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Squicciarini honored with NSF CAREER award

Anna Squicciarini, an assistant professor at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), has been honored with a 2015 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is the most prestigious award given by the NSF in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent teaching, and the integration of education and research. The CAREER award provides five years of funding and is given to assistant professors by the NSF directorates at different times during the year.

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Homeland Security degree prepares Lieutenant Miller for private sector career

This month, Lieutenant Chris Miller -- an active Naval ROTC officer currently pursuing a master of professional studies (MPS) degree in homeland security through the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State’s World Campus -- will transition out of active duty and move to Texas with his family to begin a consulting career at an engineering firm. He may not be certain where he’ll be in 10 years, but thanks to excellent planning and dedication, Miller is well prepared for the future.

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Online system allows State College citizens to share opinions with local government

Many citizens have a desire to help shape the future of their communities, but lack the ability or interest to voice their opinions at government meetings. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), in conjunction with the State College Borough, are pioneering a system that is intended to allow citizens to engage more directly in decision-making processes, partly through online communication.

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Tech entrepreneur Fanini honored with Alumni Achievement Award

Chris Fanini, co-founder and CTO of the San Francisco startup Weebly and a 2012 graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), has played a leading role in helping millions of people create websites easily and at minimal cost. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was recently honored with the Alumni Achievement Award by the Penn State Alumni Association.

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Summer Founders Program to offer new opportunity for student entrepreneurs

The Penn State Summer Founders Program is a new initiative to support student teams for the summer as they develop their entrepreneurial ideas. Engineering alumnus Matt Brezina, a 2003 graduate, Smeal College of Business student Eli Kariv and Schreyer Honors College Director of Development and Alumni Relations Sean Miller were instrumental in making it happen. The Summer Founders Program, funded by a number of Penn State alumni and entrepreneurs — including Brezina, will offer six student teams $10,000 each so they can spend the summer focused on developing their ideas.

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On the cutting edge: Students experiment with technology during Hackathon

Hundreds of college hackers descended upon the Penn State campus this weekend, but they weren’t involved in any illegal activities. Instead, these hackers looked to network, experiment with technology and learn. The event, held in the IST Building, drew students from as far away as MIT, Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania.

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RIT's Andrew Sears named new dean of IST

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State announced today (March 17) that Andrew L. Sears will become the new dean in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), pending approval by the University Board of Trustees at its March 20 meeting.

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IST student entreprenuer pursues passions despite brain injury

“I’m still human -- my dreams didn’t die with my injury,” said Krista Krebs, entrepreneur, marketing director for Innoblue, and a senior in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State.

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Innovation Fund moving good ideas forward

In April 2014 the Penn State Research Foundation created The Fund for Innovation to promote commercialization of promising new ideas and discoveries generated by Penn State's $800 million research enterprise. The primary goal is to create new companies and new jobs, and by doing so to increase the already sizable positive impact that Penn State has on the economy of Pennsylvania. Last month, a second round of awards went to ideas emerging from the Colleges of Medicine, Information Sciences and Technology, and Engineering. Total investment in the program has now topped $1 million.

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IST Alumni Spotlight: Costello bridges gap between technology, policy

Bridging the gap between the languages of technology and policy with TechnoLAWgical, her Pennsylvania-based solo law practice, attorney Megan Costello (IST, Class of 2008) has been named to the Information Sciences and Technology Alumni Spotlight for February 2015.

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IST IdeaMaker Challenge offers students a chance to grow entrepeneurial ideas

Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) will once again host its IdeaMaker Challenge to showcase innovation and entrepreneurship and offer students the opportunity to work collaboratively on a problem that leverages information technology as a key component of the solution.

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IST alumnus Steve Garguilo takes Penn State on Mongol Rally for a good cause

“I had a ‘Penn State Lives Here’ sticker on the car every step of the way,” said alumnus Steve Garguilo, of his adventure participating in the Mongol Rally, a charitable car rally beginning in England, passing through Mongolia, and ending in the city of Ulan Ude, Russia. Taking on a monumental challenge for a good cause is nothing new to Garguilo, a 2009 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, who helped to found TEDxPSU, an independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) event, and the founding curator of TEDxJNJ, Johnson & Johnson’s internal TEDx program.

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TEDxPSU celebrates five years of delivering ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Last year, TEDxPSU speakers told attendees to “Go Further.” Now in its fifth year, TEDxPSU is doing just that -- progressing with the most high-profile speaker lineup yet, a revamped format and a new stage setup. The theme of the March 1 event is “Push to Start” and 16 speakers, including Penn State football coach James Franklin, Penn State biologist David Hughes and ESPN analyst Jemele Hill, will deliver calls to action, in keeping with the TED mission of promoting “Ideas Worth Spreading.” (A complete list of speakers is available at https://www.facebook.com/TEDxPSU.)

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Weebly CEO and co-founder to deliver IST commencement address

David Rusenko, co-founder and CEO of Weebly and class of 2007 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State will deliver the keynote address at the 2015 IST commencement ceremony this May.

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