Archive for April 2015

Internship at SimIS

Spring semester is drawing to a close, and that can only mean one thing for most students: it’s time to look for internships! Here are two students who just finished up an internship at SimIS, Inc. in Porstmouth, VA – Junior, Carolyn Lynch and Senior, Timothy Stelter.

Carolyn Lynch with co-workers Michael and Trey

Carolyn Lynch with co-workers Michael and Trey

Timothy Stelter with co-worker Tin

Timothy Stelter with co-worker Tin

 

1. Tell me a little bit about the work you did at your internship.

Carolyn: I worked on software for the American Heart Association which trained people in CPR. This software would monitor your movements using a X-Box Kinnect camera to make sure you were meeting the criteria to perform the procedure properly.

Tim: I worked with military/recon software to test unmanned boats. I would test the system to find breaks in the controller software. I developed test cases and simulations in order to reduce failures in the system and money loss. The main goal was to implement mission objectives and create solutions to hypothetical problems.

2. What did you enjoy most?

Carolyn: I really enjoyed the people. I worked with mostly younger people, in my generation, so the atmosphere was very relaxed. We all worked together in one big room which made collaboration really easy. I could just turn around and ask anyone for help with anything. I also enjoyed talking with the business people and getting a new perspective with the consumer side of software development, because these were the guys selling the software.

Tim: I enjoyed the fact that there were no cubicles. I could just ask anyone for help. I worked mostly with software people and I really enjoyed working with my supervisor. I had a lot of freedom as an intern to work on my project.

3. Would you go back and work with this company again?

Tim: Yes, I would probably take a job if they offered. The people were really nice, and getting the job done well was very highly stressed in the company. The job that Carolyn was working on especially stressed this because faulty medical software could lead to disaster.

Carolyn: I’m not sure. I would consider a job offer from them, but this job was mostly about getting internship experience.

4. Has your experience impacted what you want to do in the future?

Carolyn: Yes, I really liked contributing to something that served a bigger purpose. It was very different to working on assignments in a classroom. I was working with actual software and hardware and got to see how they interacted together. It made me realize I want my work to be “hands-on,” and I want that sense of camaraderie between the employees.

Tim: I received insight on the world of simulation and software engineering. It’s a constantly expanding field, and I got to direct my focus on where I can improve and narrow in on my strengths.

5. What advice do you have to your fellow students who are looking for internships?

Carolyn: Put yourself out there! We emailed a guy who was looking for a full-time employee but ended up hiring both of us as interns. Don’t just rely on job postings, be intentional with employers.

Tim: Show employers that you are genuinely interested in being there. They are looking to hire people who are enthusiastic about the work. Talking and networking are more important than you might think. Also, there is a lot of learning on the job. Even if you don’t know something, you’ll adapt while you’re there.

Dr. Cueman’s 26th Patent

Dr. Kent Cueman

Dr. Kent Cueman

You may have had Dr. Kent Cueman for a Physics class. Or, you’ve probably seen him at a Pizza My Mind event. But I bet you didn’t know that Dr. Cueman just received his 26th US patent.

Getting an invention patented is a very long process. First you write up a report about your idea, which is sent to a committee within an industry – in Dr. Cueman’s case, General Electric. The committee discusses whether or not the idea is worth spending the money, because getting a patent is very expensive. Next, you meet with a lawyer, who will help write out the idea in “legal language.” The new report is mailed the government who will spend several years analyzing, debating, and challenging the idea. Finally, at the very end, the inventor gets a letter in the mail congratulating them on their new patent.

This most recent patent has been eight years in the making. His invention deals with reverse osmosis, making sea water into drinking water. Companies that make bottled water and soda all use a version of this product. Dr. Cueman’s idea involved taking a sheet of paper-like material that will allow water molecules to go through, but trap the salt. The membrane is wrapped with layers of material that have channels in it, and stuffed into a tube. At one end of the tube, high pressured salt water is inserted and on the other end, it is separated into pure water, and more concentrated salt water. Dr. Cueman invented a new way to stuff the material inside the tube to increase the amount of purified water that is produced.

Before he came to CNU, Dr. Cueman worked in many different fields, including marine science, newspaper journalism, service as an Air Force officer, and industrial research. All of his patents involve applying physics to industrial problems – how to make things, or how to inspect them. He has worked on projects range from light switches to nuclear reactors. The project he enjoyed the most was working with locomotives, creating a cleaner diesel engine.

RedHat at Pizza My Mind

 PCSE Linux User Group Club and RedHat representative Tom Calloway

PCSE Linux User Group Club and RedHat representative Tom Calloway

Last week, Pizza My Mind featured a company called RedHat, which works with open source technology. According to RedHat representative Tom Calloway, “open source software gives control to the user.” The original source code of the software is made freely available to the user for modification and redistribution. Tom, and RedHat, believes that no group of humans can rely entirely on their own knowledge – it must be shared with others. And the point of open source is to bring resources together to solve problems faster. Tom gave three key words to apply to open source: “share, collaborate, and remix.” Anytime we come across something we don’t know, the Internet gives us the opportunity to reach out to people who are more knowledgeable in that field.

RedHat is the #1 open source leader. About 95% fortune companies use RedHat, which has now reached a multi-billion dollar status. They offer a range of mission-critical software and sources including middleware, Cloud, and operating systems. RedHat is the third biggest Cloud supplier, working with companies like Amazon.com, Cascio, Marriott, and eTrade.

Senior, Nathan Typanksi gave his thoughts on the RedHat presentation. “I think the biggest impact that Tom’s presentation had was that nobody came out of the presentation thinking developing open-source software is somehow the den of the unsuccessful, or that there isn’t real, serious cash available for students who have skills working with Linux and participating in open development communities. Tom made it very clear that Red Hat is playing for the Long Game, but considering what they’re up against, I think they’re quite apt at playing ball in the Short one as well.”