How You Can Be Part of the Future of Computing

With 50 years of history behind IBM’s mainframe computers, these powerful machines are here to stay. IBM has been making a continuous push to encourage industry and educational institutions to adopt this technology, and provide more educational tools and resources to teach mainframe computing.

In celebration of IBM’s Mainframe 50th Anniversary, this year’s Master the Mainframe competition was one of a kind.  This was not only the first World Championship, but a record number of students participated—about 20,000 students from all over the world competed over a three-month period. Those who qualified completed all three stages of the competition; but only the top 43 contestants with the highest scores were invited to the World Championship. Continue reading

Yong-Siang Dominates at the 2014 IBM Competition

…and we have a new IBM Mainframe World Champion!

On Tuesday April 8th, all six student finalists were officially introduced during the IBM Mainframe50 event; and the final results were delivered to a NYC audience that could not wait to meet the winners. Yes, it was a tight competition and all 40 contestants are already winners. Here we leave you with the top three. Continue reading

2014 IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship

4/7/14, 10:30am: Mainframe 50th Anniversary

Only the highest scored students have the opportunity to participate in the IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship. In this competition, 43 student contestants from five continents, will compete for the grand prize of mainframe computing, which has 50 years of history behind it. This two-day event will be taking place in New York City, April 7-8, and XRDS will be there covering every detail live for you.  Continue reading

Querying Hacking Incidents with Style (Python)

Some months ago I attended a presentation where one of my colleagues, Panos, showed how he used Python to process data in a meaningful way. In particular, he showed how he extracted some interesting findings from a .csv file coming from the Boston Mayor’s 24 Hour Constituent Service web site. Such findings involved incidents that were still open by then, how many incidents were closed in a justifiable amount of time and others. Continue reading

Personal Recommendation Engines

In the last decade the Internet has come to dominate how we consume information. News, entertainment, and even education, are often a click away. If you know what you want, a few typed words can lead you to the webpage you seek. But what if your search is less concrete? What if you are looking to find inspiring, new, undiscovered content to consume? You could certainly ask a friend, or you could ask a personal recommendation engine. Continue reading

Introducing Agentless Cloud Monitoring

In my thesis work I’m developing a framework built on top of KVM and QEMU which adds the capability of cloud-wide agentless monitoring.  If you’re interested in this line of thinking read on for a high-level introduction and please comment in!

Three properties of the Virtual Machine (VM) abstraction enable and distinguish modern cloud computing: strong isolation, virtualized hardware, and soft-state provisioning. Strong isolation provides isolation between a VM and its host, and between a VM and other VMs executing on the same host. Because of strong isolation, separate entities may share the same host without knowledge of each other in a multi-tenant environment. Virtualized hardware frees a VM from its underlying hardware architecture and devices. This freedom consolidates workloads, now untethered from their hosts, by migrating them as the work intensity varies, and assigning resources only when needed. Soft-state provisioning reduces the time to deploy a running service. Requested resources can tightly match current workloads, and as the demands of the workload change over time, resources are elastically scaled. Continue reading

Using Search Engines to Uncover Sensitive Data on the Web

Search engines are powerful tools that can really help you with your work. Apart from finding useful resources and interesting articles, a search engine can be used for other practical purposes. Specifically, if you don’t know which word to use exactly in the phrase you are writing down, or if you do not remember how to spell it, you can use a search engine to find an answer. You can also search for specific terms within a web page and make sure if they exist or not. Continue reading

The Thesis

All PhD candidates around the world know about the thesis. You always knew about the thesis. It marks the beginning of the end for your career as a PhD and if you actually do it, you can have that  cool “Dr.” title that you always wanted in your business card. What is the problem then? Why it seems so frustrating when you are sitting down to do it? The following is based on a true story, actually my story. How I managed to write it down and track my progress. Continue reading

The Curious Case of a Sick Google Glass

During recent experiments for a research paper, my research group observed very strange symptoms from our Google Glass. Most of our experiments were done to study the impact of latency on cognitive assistance applications such as programs designed to remind you who is in front of you, or notify you that it is safe to cross the street. We observed a large variation in latency which was unexplainable by the usual culprits such as poorly performing WiFi networks. We had isolated all the possible sources outside of the Google Glass, but the unknown source of latency jitter was still ruining our experimental results. At this point, we knew we had to figure out what was going on inside the Google Glass itself.

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Addressing Disparities in STEM Achievement

It is colloquially referred to as the “achievement gap”, the disparity in success among certain groups of students in education. For STEM education, that achievement gap is extremely evident, yet it goes unchecked. Whether comparing genders or races, there is a huge disparity in performance in computing areas. This disparity is unhealthy, especially in a society where computing continues to grow more and more prevalent. And, for society to keep progressing, it must not leave behind entire segments of its population.
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