Annual Report 2010-2011

Annual Report 2011


In addition to the major events hosted by Seidenberg each year including the Leadership and Service in Technology Award Reception, the FIRST Tech Challenge regional robotics competition and the Michael L. Gargano Student/Faculty Research Day, the school hosted a Mobile Safety Summit attended by more than 200 students, parents and educators in collaboration with the Wired Safety organization to raise awareness regarding sexting, cyberbullying and distracted driving.

Grant activity over the past year was impressive with sizeable grants coming in from the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.  A prestigious IBM Smarter Planet Faculty Innovation Award was also won by a faculty member and a third round of Thinkfinity Grants funded by the Verizon Foundation was distributed to faculty making the Seidenberg School the recipient of more awards than any other school within the University.

An interdisciplinary BS in Information Technology program that allows students to combine solid preparation in technology with any number of majors was introduced this year.  Several master’s level programs were revised and updated and will be made available as of fall 2011.  A new Advanced Certification in Secure Software and Information Engineering was also developed.

Increased media coverage – on the air, on the Web and in print - resulted in raising the school’s visibility and in highlighting faculty expertise and student accomplishments.

New among our facilities is the Seidenberg Mac Lab located at 163 William Street. Also new is a student chapter of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) for students majoring in disciplines relevant to the study of criminal investigations involving advanced technologies and security.

And finally, in the hope of fostering greater collaboration and the sharing of courseware, curricula and expertise among faculty teaching in the computing disciplines at institutions throughout the Greater NY Area, Professors Lixin Tao and Li-Chiou Chen established the Seidenberg Institute for Computing Innovation (SICI).


  • Once again, the school hosted a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Tournament for high school students on the Pleasantville campus.  Thirty-five teams from the lower Hudson Valley and beyond participated in “Get Over IT!,” an exciting and inspiring event.
  • Ernie von Simson, a noted technology expert and venture capitalist who frequently conducts entrepreneurship seminars on campus, returned for a book signing for his recently published Limits of Strategy.
  • “Sexting, Cyberbullying and Distracted Driving” were among the primary topics discussed at the Mobile Safety Summit sponsored in collaboration with Wired Safety, an established Internet safety and support organization.
  • Gary Butler, CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), was honored at this year’s Leadership and Service in Technology Award Reception, the school’s primary fund-raiser.  The event, held at PricewaterhouseCoopers headquarters in midtown, also featured a panel discussion “Rethinking Business Strategy Amidst Cloud and Mobile Computing” and a special demonstration of IBM’s Watson of Jeopardy! fame.
  • Professor Christelle Scharff sponsored a Mobile Solutions for Smarter Cities competition that required students to build applications to improve public services provided by cities.  Palak Shah (MS/CS ’12) placed first for her “Smarter City Ranking” app.
  • Under the leadership of Jonathan Hill, assistant dean and director of special programs and projects, faculty from both the Seidenberg School and the School of Education organized and presented a content rich professional development day for math instructors teaching in NYC technology-focused Special High Schools, including Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, and Stuyvesant.
  • Fifty outstanding students and one faculty member were inducted into the New York Delta Chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the first and only International honor society for the computing and information disciplines, at a ceremony held at the Graduate Center.
  • The school hosted an informal lecture series, “Tech Talks,” for its alumni at Pace’s Midtown Center.  In the fall, Professor Christelle Scharff spoke about the potential of mobile technologies; in the spring, Professor Darren Hayes spoke on the threat posed by “digital warfare” to our national security.
  • Annual and periodic events that appear regularly on the Seidenberg calendar occurred throughout the year.  They included an “Internet is People” panel discussion on online education, an “Are You Serious?” pitch contest sponsored by The Hatchery, the ever popular annual GoRuCo – Gotham Ruby Conference, the AHRC art show and client presentations, and the annual Community College Programming Contest.
  • The first gathering of the Seidenberg Institute for Computing Innovation (SICI), founded by Professors Lixin Tao andLi-Chiou Chen, held in mid-May was attended by Seidenberg faculty as well as faculty from area institutions.  SICI’s mission is to foster the sharing of information and materials relating to the latest technologies in order to improve teaching in the computing disciplines.

Faculty and Students

  • Three outstanding undergraduates – Matt Kendris (Seidenberg ’12) , Marcus Hernandez (Seidenberg ’12), and Michael D’Angelo (Dyson ’12) – were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) scholarships to prepare for careers in the evolving field of cyber security.  The scholarships were made available for the first time this year as the result of Professor Li-Chiou Chen obtaining funding through the NSF’s Scholarship-for-Service program.
  • Interim Dean Constance Knapp accompanied two undergraduates – Julie Gill and Allyson Miller – and one graduate student, Serene Su, to the 2010 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference held in Atlanta, GA.
  • John “Vinnie” Monaco(BS/CS and BS/Mathematics ’12) was awarded a scholarship in information assurance with support from the Department of Defense under the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) which will extend through his senior year and allow him to continue on for a master’s degree at Pace.
  • Professor Constantine “Dino” Coutras was named Chair of the Computer Science Department on the New York City campus.  He succeeds Professor Sotirios Skevoulis who served for six years and is now Program Chair for Software Engineering and Corporate Education.
  • Interim Dean Constance Knapp gave the keynote address “Here, There, and Everywhere:  Blended Learning” at Kaplan University’s Village 2010 Online Education Conference – Connect, Communicate and Collaborate.
  • Jeremy Pease(BS/CS ’13) and Stiliyan Lazarov (BS/CS ’10, MS/SDE ’12), both from the Seidenberg School, and Robert Caucci (BBA/BS ’11) from the Lubin School of Business, placed first in the New Business Concepts category at this year’s Pace Pitch Contest for their Web-based solutions called Reslutions, that digitize and streamline the administration of educational housing units.
  • A team of eight students – Christopher Carvalho,  Michael D’Angelo, Marcus Hernandez, Marc Kowtko, Vinnie Monaco, Philip Ricciardi, Christian Sanabria and Max Wagner – travelled to Boston to participate in the 2011 Northeast Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition sponsored by EMC.
  • For the second consecutive year, Jay Thomas, an online student in Seidenberg’s NACTEL program for telecommunications workers, competed in IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest, placing second in a field of over 3,500 competitors.
  • Marc Kowtko(BS/IT ’15) presented “Securing Our Nation and Protecting Privacy” at the IEEE – Long Island Systems Application and Technology Conference, an unusual feat for a first year student!  He also received a Library Excellence in Research Award from the University Library for the paper and was inducted into the Dyson Society of Fellows, another rare accomplishment for a freshman.
  • Through the efforts of Professor Darren Hayes, Pace has officially been named a High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) Charter School.  To-date, the organization has 13 student members committed to “fostering, promoting and encouraging the study of criminal investigations involving technologies and security.”
  • Five students who participated in the Seidenberg-sponsored Microsoft Imagine Cup competition workshop and boot camp – Andrew Cimino (BS/CS ’14), Allon Hadaya (BS/CS ’14), Daniel Miede (BS/CS ’11), Jeremy Pease (BS/CS ’13) and Jacob Swimmer (BS/CS ’11) – were invited to meet Robert Youngjohns, President of Microsoft North America, to informally present their ideas for innovative software and creative video games.

In the News

Thanks to stepped up efforts on the part of the Public Information Office, Seidenberg faculty enjoyed greater exposure in the media – on the air, on the Web, and in print – than ever before.

  • Leading the faculty was Professor Darren Hayes, computer forensics and security expert, with more than 15 citations on a wide variety of subjects ranging from cyberbullying to the capture of Osama bin Laden.  In addition, he has been on Federal News Radio and has had articles published in Compliance Insights and by the Westchester County Association.
  • Professor Jean Coppola, along with a number of her students, appeared on WCBS TV and Retirement Living cable television (RLTV), in connection with her research and course offering in gerontechnology, the study of the impact of technology on the daily functioning of the elderly.
  • Also cited was Professor Christelle Scharff for her and her students’ work in global software development and for receipt of an IBM Smarter Planet Faculty Innovation Award.  In addition, she appeared in an IBM video relating to this grant.
  • Professor Charles Tappert’s expertise in biometrics was sought after by numerous publications and the Pace Keystroke Biometric System was also the subject of articles appearing in and in “Wired Campus,” a blog-post from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Jonathan Hill, assistant dean and director of special programs and projects, was quoted in the “Éducation Life” section of the NY Times about the most promising career paths in computing.
  • Professor Pauline Mosley was interviewed for Bloomberg Education on Bloomberg News 1130 NY on the robotics project she forged between Pace students and students at the NY School for the Deaf.
  • The naming of the Dr. Susan Merritt Verizon Woman in Technology Award was written up in The Journal Newsand other publications.

To see a sampling of recent citations and videos, go to the Seidenberg e-newsletters published this year:

eCommunique (Winter 2011)
Refresh (Spring 2011)
Refresh (Summer 2011)

Awards, Grants and Points of Distinction

  • Professor Christelle Scharff was named a Wilson Fellow for AY 2010-2011.  As a fellow, she received an award in support of her work in mobile technology and social innovation.
  • She is also one of only 50 faculty throughout the world to receive an IBM Smarter Planet Faculty Innovation Award.  The grant will be used to further collaboration among students at Pace with students from universities in Cambodia, India and Senegal to develop mobile and Web solutions to pressing global problems in transportation, health care and education.
  • Dr. Susan Merritt, former dean and current professor emerita-in-residence, had the Verizon Woman in Technology Award given annually to a graduating high school student committed to studying technology at the college level named in her honor.
  • Pace University was one of only a few academic institutions in the country to receive a mentoring scholarship from the AHRC Foundation in appreciation of the service provided by students in Professor James Lawler’s CIS 102W community service course with AHRC.  The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2011.
  • In addition, Professor Lawler received a grant from AHRC NYC in the spring to support the “Catch a Dream” program in which Pace students mentor high school students with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are the organization’s clients.  The program met with great success and additional funding was granted in order to extend the program through the summer.
  • Finding Fred,” a film written, directed and produced by Geoffrey Kappenberg (Dyson ’14), a student in Professor Lawler’s community service course, based on his interaction with a client from AHRC New York City, was selected for screening at the 2011 Sprout Film Festival held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Seidenberg faculty received significant Thinkfinity grant funding this year for a wide range of mostly interdisciplinary projects from mobile safety to energy use monitoring to the alignment of the performing arts and computing.  Since the program’s inception in 2009, the school has been awarded more grants than any of the other schools within the University.
  • Professor Paul Benjamin received a grant from the Department of Defense’s Army Research Office in support of “A Multi-scale Cognitive Approach to Intrusion Detection and Response.”
  • Professor Li-Chiou Chen was awarded the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program (IASP) that provides tuition, support and internship opportunities to upper level and graduate students committed to pursuing study and careers in cyber security.
  • Professors Anthony Joseph and James Lawler received an NSF Technology Entrepreneurship in Computer Science grant to develop course work in the field of Technology Entrepreneurship.

Programs, Courses and Partnerships

  • In September, the school launched the new BS in Information Technology program that allows students to combine a strong foundation in IT with any number of concentrations in preparation for exciting careers.
  • The school also reviewed and updated several of its graduate programs in order to better prepare students for the demands of today’s IT workplace.  Changes to the following programs will go into effect in fall 2011:
    • MS in Computer Science:  this program, reduced from 36 to 30 credits, builds on a rigorous and concentrated core of classical computer science and allows students to pursue a concentration in a high demand field like artificial intelligence or mobile computing.
    • MS in Telecommunications Systems and Networks:  this program underwent a name change to better reflect its comprehensive content which covers all significant aspects of telecommunications including management and policy as well as technology.  Course content was updated and several new courses were added.
    • MS in Software Development and Engineering:  the curriculum has been revised to prepare students to sit for the exam leading to the highly coveted Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential developed by the Computing Society of the IEEE.  Several new courses were also added.
  • An Advanced Certificate in Secure Software and Information Engineering was created and will be made available as of fall 2011.
  • The school also developed a new computer forensics concentration for its BS in Professional Technology Systems program as part of the University’s iPace Degree Completion Program offering that enables adult learners to complete degrees online.
  • Pace’s Gerontech Research Team, led by Professor Jean Coppola, forged a partnership with Telikin, a Pennsylvania-based company that has developed touch-screen computers for use by senior citizens, to research and test their products.
  • A grant from the Verizon Foundation provided support for a “Mobile Safety Summit” hosted by the Seidenberg School in collaboration with Wired Safety, an established Internet safety and support group.
  • The school continues to partner with other outside organizations including The Bank of NY Mellon for online graduate education in software development and security, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) in support of online telecommunications programs administered through NACTEL, and the Westchester County Department of Social Services in support of the CLOUT program.
  • The Pace Computer Learning Center (PCLC) became part of a consortium of universities in the region that is partnering with Learning Tree International to offer high-end technical courses.  PCLC, an Adobe Authorized Training Center, also continues to grow and expand its Adobe technology offerings.


  • The school continues to publish the Pace/SkillPROOF IT Index (PSII) Report, a quarterly online report that provides information regarding the status of the IT Job market in Manhattan and Westchester County.  The publication is recognized as a respected source of area job market information and analysis by Crain’s NY Business, the Westchester Business Journal and The Journal News.
  • eCommunique, the Seidenberg e-newsletter first published in 2003, underwent a makeover in spring 2011.  The result was Seidenberg Refresh which is now sporting a new name, a new look, and a new format. This updated publication was well received by its readers.
  • Students and faculty continue to publish jointly in professional journals, conference proceedings, and in-house Technical Reports on a wide range of subjects from robotics to mobile computing.


  • Seidenberg faculty continue to pursue research in areas as diverse as network security and pattern recognition.  In addition, Thinkfinity Grants from the Verizon Foundation have served as catalysts for increased interdisciplinary research between our faculty and faculty from the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, the Lubin School of Business and the School of Education in previously unexplored areas.

    For example, Professor Dan Farkas is collaborating with Professor Melissa Grigione from Dyson to develop a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) model to capture and analyze data on wildlife in nearby Rockefeller State Park Preserve while Professor Catherine Dwyer is working with Lubin Accounting Professor Susanne O’Callaghan to explore the alignment between data mining and accounting.
  • Professor Jean Coppola and her Gerontech Research Team are partnering with Telikin of Pennsylvania to research and test their touch-screen computers for use by senior citizens in a number of the senior facilities that participate in our intergenerational computing program.
  • Under the direction of Professor Charles Tappert, master’s and doctoral students have been pursuing research in the field of biometrics resulting in the creation of the Pace Keystroke Biometric System (PKBS) that can be used to identify and authenticate individuals by analyzing their typing rhythms and styles.  A practical application of the PKBS is to identify and authenticate online test-takers.

    Other students tested the accuracy of two licensed biometric products and found that they came up short.  Their findings appeared in an article titled “New Pace University Study Shows Vulnerabilities in Face, Fingerprint Biometric Products . . .” on
  • This year’s Michael L. Gargano Research Day was dedicated to Dr. Frank Rosenblatt, the inventor of the perceptron, the first computing machine that could simulate human thought processes and learn new skills by trial and error.

    Over 50 students and several faculty, working mostly in teams, contributed to the 13 research papers presented that day.  The papers fell into the general categories of information technology, biometrics, and (mostly) pattern recognition and were published in conference proceedings.

Seidenberg Scholars

  • Fall 2010 brought the arrival of four new Seidenberg Scholars, bringing the overall total to 15 and, over four years since the program began, a cohort at each undergraduate academic level.  They include Valerie Cayo from Freeport, New York, Allan Hadaya, a native Israeli by way of Danbury, Connecticut, Joel LeBron of the Bronx, and Daniel Rings, from Midland, Michigan.
  • The Seidenberg Scholars have many opportunities to develop their expertise and hone their leadership skills.  This year, the Pace Web Media Lab, staffed by Seidenberg students and led by Julie Gill (BS/CS ’12) and Jeremy Pease (BS/CS ’13), both scholars, developed an attractive Web site with full functionality for the Rockland Alliance for Health.
  • In November, seven enthusiastic students from the June 2010 Seidenberg Summer Scholar Experience returned to the downtown campus for a reunion.  They had the opportunity to attend a class, tinker in the robotics lab and sleep in the dorm once again, and experience another taste of the ‘Big Apple.”
  • This May, the inaugural class of Seidenberg Scholars graduated and went out into the world.  Jose Diaz Gonzalez joined, a purveyor of online tickets for concerts and sporting events; Alex Quick is working for Seidenberg alumnus Oz Michaeli (BS/CS ’09) at, an interactive media company; Igor Pokrychevsky headed West to San Francisco to work for RTI International, an economics research firm as an analyst; and Jeff Marvin is working as a programmer/consultant while evaluating graduate school offers.