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COEN Online News 5/3/16

COEN Online News 5/3/16

Computer Memory Finds Ally in Biology | White House Recognizes Boise State Computer Science Efforts | Summer Coding Classes | Alumni are Great Resources for Graduating Students | Engineering in Action | COEN News | Funding Opportunities

Computer Memory Finds Ally in Biology

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of Reza Zadegan and Will Hughes

A group of Boise State researchers, led by associate professor of materials science and engineering and associate dean of the College of Innovation and Design Will Hughes, is working toward a better way to store digital information using nucleic acid memory (NAM).

It’s no secret that as a society we generate vast amounts of data each year. So much so that the 30 billion watts of electricity used annually by server farms today is roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants.

And the demand keeps growing. The global flash memory market is predicted to reach $30.2 billion this year, potentially growing to $80.3 billion by 2025. Experts estimate that by 2040, the demand for global memory will exceed the projected supply of silicon (the raw material used to store flash memory). Furthermore, electronic memory is rapidly approaching its fundamental size limits because of the difficulty in storing electrons in small dimensions.

View the full “Computer Memory Finds Ally in Biology” article

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White House Recognizes Boise State Computer Science Efforts

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of the IDoCode logoBoise State University has been recognized by the White House for its effort to improve K-12 computer science teaching. The university’s IDoCode program, in collaboration with the College of Innovation and Design, is developing a CS badge for teachers.

The White House’s April 13 fact sheet included the following on page 6:

Today, the Administration is highlighting new commitments that advance the President’s CS efforts.

Boise State University, as part of its IDoCode program and in cooperation with Idaho State Department of Education and local high schools, will develop a CS badge for teachers, to be available by fall 2017. The badge will provide CS training for 10-12 additional teachers each year. Once the program is established, IDoCode will work to replicate it to additional Idaho campuses to reach another 10-20 teachers each year. IDoCode will also support state efforts to develop K-12 CS standards for students, with a goal of achieving legislative approval in 2017.

View the full “White House Recognizes Boise State Computer Science Efforts” article

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CID, Computer Science Partnering on Summer Coding Classes

By: Brady W Moore

Want to learn how to code, build your own mobile app or just hone your technology skills? The College of Innovation and Design and the Department of Computer Science are offering a “summer of technology,” bringing together students, industry professionals and anyone who thinks the summer is a perfect time to learn something new.

Classes will be held evenings downtown at Trailhead, Boise’s premier start-up hub, and will run twice weekly for seven weeks. Course fees will include a summer membership to Trailhead and access to its events and amenities.

Classes are open to students and the community through Extended Studies and no prior coding experience is necessary. Just bring a laptop and a desire to learn. An information session will be held at Trailhead from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, with a course instructor available to answer any questions.

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Alumni Are Great Resources to Help Graduating Students

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of Carlyn Blake and Sai SinghSpring Commencement season is a time of both elation and trepidation as many students begin applying for jobs in their chosen careers. Because while they may have all the skills needed to perform the job, some may not have the professional polish required to land it.

When Boise State began talking about the skills needed to help students with their “Bridge to Career, the Department of Organization Performance and Workplace Learning paused and wondered if some of their students might benefit from additional resources to improve their professional presentation. Bridge to Career is a certificate program that students can layer onto their degrees to demonstrate organizational and managerial skills.

In one instance, OPWL reached out to Carlyn Blake, a 2005 graduate of the program previously known as Instructional and Performance Technology who currently is the executive director of Usful Glassworks. They asked her if she would take on an intern — a recent graduate — to work on instructional design projects. Sai Singh interned with Blake for a little over a month and completed three projects for Usful Glassworks. Each time, Blake provided feedback and encouragement. By the end of the month, Blake and Singh concluded that he was indeed ready to do instructional design in the workplace. But he wasn’t getting any calls.

View the full “Alumni Are Great Resources to Help Graduating Students” article

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Engineering in Action

Image of Amit Jain

Amit Jain was interviewed and quoted in an article that appears in the Idaho Business Review’s State of Downtown supplement and highlights the “8th Street Innovation Corridor,” the developing center for Boise’s vibrant downtown tech community. Jain notes that it’s a “pretty bold move, moving [the Department of Computer Science] to the center of all these companies” and that the move will be of great benefit to students and industry. Department faculty and staff plan to move into the new Boise State City Center Plaza space in early August and teach computer science courses in one of the space’s several classrooms beginning this fall.

View the full story in the electronic version of the Idaho Business Review’s State of Downtown supplement.


Image of Ann Butt using the virtual reality nursing simulation technologyAnthony Ellertson, director of the Games, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology program in the College of Innovation and Design, and Ann Butt, a clinical associate professor in the School of Nursing, were interviewed by several local media outlets regarding their new virtual reality gaming technology to help nursing students practice medical procedures, like catheter insertion, in a virtual reality environment. The full name of their project is Virtual Reality Nursing Simulation with Custom Haptic System for Patient Safety.

View the full “Anthony Ellertson and Ann Butt” article


Image of Ron GramesRon Grames, systems administrator for the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, is retiring after more than 24 years of service to the university. A reception will be held in his honor from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the second floor atrium of the Engineering Building.

Grames was hired in October 1991 as technical coordinator for the Instructional and Performance Technology program in the College of Technology. The department was still in the process of creating an online classroom at that time. Grames’ job was to repurpose newly created mail reader programs to host course discussions and assignment submissions that could easily be downloaded, installed and configured by newly admitted students.

View the full “Retirement Reception for Ron Grames is May 5” article

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COEN News

Diamonds Down: A final push to complete the campus brand update

The Boise State University brand and the “B” have come a long way — and quickly — in the past three years. But to maintain our strong and unified brand identity and project it into the future, the time has come for each of us to take a visual inventory of our public spaces and to remove outdated logos and old marks, especially those from marketing displays and signage. This includes old marks on doors, wall vinyl, posters, table drapes and pull-up banners. It’s also time to retire letterhead, business cards and marketing materials.

Any display showing either the diamond logo — or even just the old lettering from the diamond logo — now needs to be removed.

Image of two examples of predated Boise State brand change

You may recall, the original plan in 2012 was to have the new university signature mark replace all old logos within a year. In many instances, that deadline was met. We also made allowances for later replacements due to budget concerns. We now have set a firm deadline of May 31 for removing all outdated marks on campus. The only “old” marks that may remain are those which are historically in context. Some examples include the 75th-year anniversary plaques around campus, research posters that display the logo used at the time the research was completed, or donor recognition panels that predated the change.

See pdf for the full “Diamonds Down: A final push to complete the campus brand update” letter.


Donuts, apples, coffee in ENGR 101 for Finals Relief

Image of clipart coffee and donutsShare with your students. Stop by ENGR 101 Monday – Thursday this week for finals relief refreshments!!!
Good luck on your finals!
Go Broncos!


Upcoming Events

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Funding Opportunities

NSF: Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)

View for more information on the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)

Program Title:

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)

Synopsis of Program:

Cyberspace has transformed the daily lives of people for the better. The rush to adopt cyberspace, however, has exposed its fragility and vulnerabilities: corporations, agencies, national infrastructure and individuals have been victims of cyber-attacks. In December 2011, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) with the cooperation of NSF issued a broad, coordinated Federal strategic plan for cybersecuirty research and development to “change the game,” minimize the misuses of cyber technology, bolster education and training in cybersecurity, establish a science of cybersecurity, and transition promising cybersecurity research into practice. This challenge requires a dedicated approach to research, development, and education that leverages the disciplines of mathematics and statistics, the social sciences, and engineering together with the computing, communications and information sciences.

The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity from:

  • a Trustworthy Computing Systems (TWC) perspective and/or a Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) perspective;
  • the Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems (STARSS) perspective; or
  • the Transition to Practice (TTP) perspective.

In addition, we welcome proposals that integrate research addressing all of these perspectives (see the Program Description below). Proposals may be submitted in one of the following three project classes (plus Cybersecurity Education; see below):

  • Small projects: up to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years;
  • Medium projects: $500,001 to $1,200,000 in total budget, with durations of up to four years; or
  • Large projects: $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 in total budget, with durations of up to five years.

For Small hardware security proposals, the Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems (STARSS) perspective is focused specifically on hardware research innovation that addresses SaTC goals, and includes the opportunity to collaborate closely with industry. STARSS proposals may not include the TWC, SBE, or TTP perspectives. The STARSS perspective may not be used for Medium or Large proposals.

The Transition to Practice (TTP) perspective is focused exclusively on transitioning existing research to practice. TTP proposals may not include the TWC, SBE, or STARSS perspective. The TTP perspective may be used for Small and Medium proposals, but may not be used for Large proposals.

In addition, the SaTC program seeks proposals focusing entirely on Cybersecurity Education with total budgets limited to $300,000 and durations of up to two years. These cybersecurity education projects may not include any of the perspectives named above.

C. Due Dates

  • Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):
    September 10, 2015 – September 16, 2015
    September 10 – September 16, Annually Thereafter MEDIUM Projects
    September 18, 2015 – September 24, 2015
    September 18 – September 24, Annually Thereafter LARGE Projects
    November 04, 2015 – November 18, 2015
    November 4 – November 18, Annually Thereafter SMALL Projects
    December 03, 2015 – December 16, 2015
    December 3 – December 16, Annually Thereafter CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION Projects

AFRL: BAA — Functional Materials

View for more information on the BAA — Functional Materials

Agency Name: Air Force — Research Lab

Description: Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate is soliciting White Papers and potentially technical and cost proposals under this two-step Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) that is open for a period of five (5) years. Functional Materials technologies that are of interest to the Air Force range from materials and scientific discovery through technology development and transition, and support the needs of the Functional Materials and Applications mission. Descriptors of Materials and Manufacturing Directorate technology interests are presented in the context of functional materials core technical competencies and applications. Applicable NAICS codes are 541711 and 541712.

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