The past semester at the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) has been exciting. In August, when I stepped in as interim dean, I zeroed in on several initiatives that had been seeded during the previous year as we worked on a new strategic plan. One that is already seeing broad impact is IST’s emphasis on data sciences and its applications, in collaboration with a diverse set of partners across Penn State.
From the Heartbleed bug that infected many popular websites and services, to the Target security breach that compromised 40 million credit cards, malicious hackers have proved to be detrimental to companies’ financial assets and reputations. To combat these malevolent attackers, or “black hats,” a community of benign hackers, i.e., “white hats,” has been making significant contributions to cybersecurity by detecting vulnerabilities in companies’ software systems and websites, and communicating their findings. Researchers at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) are studying white hat behaviors and how the talents of the white hat community can be most effectively used.
IST student José Ponte blends photography and technology. Ponte’s early forays into photography have led to a budding but successful photography business, JM Ponte Photography, and a job at Valley Magazine, Penn State’s student-run life and style magazine, where he’s been photographing stories since 2013 after one of his mentors encouraged him to contact the magazine’s director of photography. To say Ponte is busy is an understatement, but he juggles his studies and his work with great enthusiasm.
World Campus student from Hawaii travels cross-country to attend the IST Future Forum
IST student entrepreneur pursues passions despite brain injury. “I’m still human—my dreams didn’t die with my injury,” says Krista Krebs, entrepreneur, marketing director for Innoblue, and a senior at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).
The big data explosion is transforming the way that governments, organizations and academic institutions conduct business and make discoveries, and is also making an impact on people’s daily lives. However, the massive amounts of data that are being generated require the proper tools and techniques to make that information useful. In addition, skilled data analysts are needed to make the most of big data. The College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is at the forefront of a movement to maximize the potential of big data through innovative research and educational initiatives.
Data analytics may be the hot new trend in fashion. By analyzing relevant words and phrases from fashion reviews, researchers were able to identify a network of influence among major designers and track how those style trends moved through the industry, said Heng Xu, associate professor of information sciences and technology, Penn State
As I write this, State College seems in the midst of yet another never-ending winter, and yet things are heating up in the College of IST and across our University community. Your IST Alumni Society board of directors met last month, and I’m thrilled to report that many new and improved initiatives are on the horizon to help connect and engage alumni, students, faculty and friends of IST across the years and around the world.
Meet Erin Pursel, the newest addition to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). Pursel, director of alumni relations for IST and a 2003 Penn State alum, recently returned to University Park via Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to spend more time with her family, including husband Bart and daughter Harper, named after the author of Pursel’s favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird
For Adam Tampanello, a 2005 graduate of the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), working as a project manager for HBO has unique perks, such as the occasional celebrity sighting. Still, many aspects of his job require the same skills as other careers in the information technology field—business savvy, technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.
During three years spent working in Mexico, IST alum David Strausser got the sense that something was lacking in the technology realm, so he decided to do something about it.