College Activities

Service and Committee Work

In July 2014, I became the Chair of the Department. Fortunately, I am assisted by some great faculty members who make it possible for me to do this job including my predecessor, Prof. Peter Shenkin, who directed the Department for over nine years. I also currently serve as interim director of the Digital Forensics and Cyber Security graduate program.

During my twenty-eight year career at John Jay I have served on more departmental, college-wide and CUNY-wide committees than I can recall. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time running the Center for Cybercrime Studies. Recently, I served on the CUNY Pathway's Math Quantitative Resource Committee, which worked to established common core mathematics requirements for CUNY colleges. As a faculty member of the Digital Forensics and Security graduate program, I routinely serve on committees to support that program. I have been on committees to select associate provosts several times. I once chaired the Professional Staff Congress Committee on Faculty Research Awards in Computer Science, a committee that oversees the distribution of funds to support faculty research throughout CUNY. I have served on a number of CUNY- and college-wide committees that deal with technology including the College's Technology Committee. I was a member of the Math & CS Department Personnel and Budget Committee for much of my career at Johh Jay. In addition, I routinely served on the Department Curriculum Committee and did served stints on the College Curriculum Committee. I have even served on the College's retrenchment committees in times of financial distress. The following are some activities that I believe have been particularly important to the College and CUNY.

Director of the Center for Cybercrime Studies

The Center promotes research and education needed to understand and thwart criminal activitity that employs or targets computers, networks and other digital devices. Center activities give students a great opportunity to see what goes on in the world of cyber security and investigations. Moreover, Center events bring both students and academic researchers into contact with security and law enforcement officials working in this area. Please see the Center's web site for information on current work and events.

Undergraduate and Graduate Computer Programs

I served as the coordinator of the undergradute Computer Information Systems (CIS) major from 1993 to 2005. During this time I had the great pleasure of seeing many students develop and mature into IT professionals and go on to pusue exciting careers.

Here are some of the activities during that period.
  • We revised curricula in most of the CIS core and capstone courses. We also updated the catalog descriptions.
  • We developed five new courses: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Networking, Discrete Structures, Graphics and Graphical User Interfaces, and Systems Analysis. In addition, these courses were integrated into the CIS program.
  • We have revised the CIS mathematics requirements so they conformed to the ACM/IEEE Curricula 2001 Guidelines. Under the revised requirements, all students take calculus, discrete mathematics and two advanced operations research courses.
  • The NASA Cluster Computing Grant (2001-2004) allowed us to improve the CIS curriculum in the areas of networking, distributed computing and computer security. We put in place lab facilities for research and course work in computer networking and parallel computing. We revised undergraduate courses and created new courses to prepare students for the challenges of distributed computing. More information is available at the NASA Cluster Computing Project web site.
  • Seven new faculty members were hired with expertise in computer hardware, computer security, cryptography, database systems and networking.
  • Working with the Computer Science Department at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, we developed an articulation agreement that ensures that BMCC graduates who transfer to the John Jay CIS program receive credit toward the CIS degree for couses taken at BMCC.
  • In another effort with BMCC, working with Professors Mete Kok and Ana Salvati under the auspices of their NSF ATE Cybersecurity and Information Assurance project, we developed an introductory digital forensics course that would be offered both at John Jay and BMCC.

Just when I thought I was out they pulled me back. I again become the coordinator for the 2013/2014 academic year. Fortunately, we now had the benefit of a new generation of computer science faculty in the Department. Last year we established the Computer Science and Information Security major which commences fall 2014. Building on new skills available in the Department, we were able to develop an enhanced major that features more specialized work in security and forensics but retains the solid core in computing and essential mathematics. Given the rising need for personnel in forensics and computer security, this revised major will offer students a great career path to various types of jobs in computer security and cyber investigations. I am pleased that all new majors will be required to take the course Ethics and Information Technology which will be offered by the Philosophy Department.

Since its inception, I have been involved in the forensic computing graduate program, now the Digital Forencsics and Cyber Security Program. I was part of the team that developed seven graduate courses for the proposed program in 2004. Some of the basic ideas for those courses grew out of an NSF proporsal I submitted in 2001 entitled "Integrating Distributed Computing Securty into the CS Curriculum." Shorly after adoption of the program, we were able to bring on new faculty members with expertise in networking and security. These faculty have left a signicant mark on the courses and program. Currently, I am developing a computer security course for the program that recognizes that a key goal of security is to protect business and organizaional processes, not just hardware and software.

Faculty Advisor, Computer Science Association For much of my career at John Jay, I have been the faculty advisor to the Computer Science Association, the student computer club. The club has sponsored many activities that enhance the classroom experience. The club brought in speakers in the areas of cluster computing, database systems and computer security. The club sponsored workshops in which computer majors shared their computing expertise with the rest of the college community. For example, the club offered workshops in website design, computer networking and Microsoft Office. The club also sponsored visits for students to local area information technology firms. Companies visted included IBM, CISCO Systems, Computer Associates, and MagicSoft. In 2001, the club, under the direction of a fabulous student president, Donald Warner, won the ACM Award for Studnet Service. The award provided funding for additional trips and speakers.

Grant Work Much of my time here at John Jay has been spent on either getting grants or administering them. External fuding has allowed us to undertake projects that have given students great opportunities to gain practical skills and prepare themselves for graduate school and entry into the workforce. Many now have exciting, lucartive IT careers because of experience gained working to build networks, optimize a computer cluster or develop the NIBRS database. The NASA CIPA project described above is just one example. In the early 90s I procured NSF funding to build the first departmental computer networks here at the College. That grant also provided various lab facilities that were needed for our CIS program. I also obtained several research grants at that time. One, an NSF Research at Undergraduate Institutions, allowed students to learn about mathematical software and become involved in research. I have worked with colleagues at John Jay and other institutions to obtained funding to obtain funding for research in privacy and to build a prototype of a distributed forensics system. More recently, as part of a joint effort with NYU Polytechnic University, sponsored by an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant, the College received funding to establish three Fellowships to support graduate students in the Digital Forensics and Security program. The program is in its final year. The fourth fellow finished the program in June 2016. The (program flyer provides details of the fellowhip.).