Note from the Dean

The devastation that super storm Sandy delivered shows both the power of nature and how far civilization has progressed. Certainly nature can deliver even more powerful events such as a large asteriod strike or a near star going super nova; and hopefully science, engineering, and civilization can progress much further than we presently have. It is our goal in the School of Sciences to advance that civilization as much as we can.

As important as advancing civilization is, the real goal is to make it possible for people to be happy. Here I don't mean that being happy is simply being giddy. When are you most happy? For me, it is when I am doing my work and when I am interacting with my family, both immediate and extended (including those at CBU). Science is hard work, but science is also fun. I am often surprised at how much I enjoy teaching (and preparing for) my classes. I am also continually surprised at how tired I am after class. It is one of the things I try to include in my teaching: the learning of science is hard work and valuable, but it is also fun!

Our featured major in this issue is Computer Science. It can be a challenging major, but it can also be a very interesting major with great job prospects even in this market.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you in February, after the holidays and after the start of the spring semester. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may send an email now to .

News of the Moment
Br. Edward in Haiti

Br. Edward in Haiti.

Br. Edward Salgado, Biology Professor Emeritus, went to Haiti last month, to help with the Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis.

Two students, Eva Chen and Elton Banks, joined Br. Edward in Haiti over fall break. The two pictures were taken in a school for children living in a refugee camp for victims of the earthquake. The school is run by the Scalabrinin Fathers and the Dominican Sisters, who also work at the Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis' clinic in Croix des Bouquet. In the second picture you see Elton Banks and Eva Chen along with Br. Edward and a Columbian volunteer.

Eva Chen (left) and Elton Banks (right) in Haiti.

Eva and Elton in Haiti

Julia Hanebrink, MHIRT Program Coordinator, passed her doctoral examinations with high praise from her committee, who indicated that "they were perhaps the finest we had ever seen. The level of sophistication, analytical rigor, command of the literature and debates, and the sheer quality of exposition and argumentation evident in Julia's responses puts her in a league of her own. Especially critical is her ability to synthesize theoretical material and secondary literature with the vast body of data she has collected in Uganda as the program coordinator and co-investigator" of the NIH MHIRT grant administered through CBU.

Duy Nguyen with AEGIS recruiter

The College Recruiter for AEGIS is shown talking
with Duy Nguyen, Chemistry 2014, after the presentation.

On October 19, the CBU Department of Chemistry and the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) hosted a special Forensic Sciences presentation by Kara M. Allen of the AEGIS Sciences Corporation. Kara Allen is a College Recruiter for AEGIS, a Nashville-based full service forensic toxicology and consulting corporation. Her presentation included descriptions of summer internships and potential job opportunities at AEGIS Sciences Corporation which currently has over 700 employees. Kara Allen is also a former Memphian and Industry advisor for the CBU SMACS chapter.

SMACS officers

The 2011-2012 SMACS officers were Corey Haughey, Chris Brack,
and Brent Holmes (front row); and David Kim,
Alvin Siow, Justin Edwards (President), Justin Gallagher,
and Yusef Akbik (Vice-President) (back row).

The CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) have been notified by the national office of the American Chemical Society that they won 2 national awards based on their activities during the 2011-2012 school year. The CBU SMACS chapter received an Honorable Mention award for chapter events and service activities. The chapter also won its second Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award. The awards will be presented at the 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans in April 2013.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event that celebrates the important role of chemistry in our society through a combination of outreach and fun activities. In honor of the 25th anniversary of this event, the CBU Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) presented a number of demonstration events during the week of October 22-26.

The week began on Monday October 22 with a demonstration of Elephant Toothpaste in the lobby of Assisi Hall. On Tuesday, the fun continued with Diet Coke and Mentos in front of the Cooper-Wilson Center. On Wednesday, an unsuspecting Gummi Bear met its fate in molten potassium chlorate in a fiery redox reaction in AH 201. On Thursday, Dr. Harmon Dunathan gave an exciting presentation that included a number of chemistry demonstrations. On Friday, CBU SMACS presented Foaming Pumpkins in the Cooper-Wilson lobby at noon. The week concluded on Friday afternoon with a special demonstration event for visiting high school students. An important part of National Chemistry Week is Mole Day which is celebrated on October 23 (10/23) each year. The day commemorates Amedeo Avogadro's important contribution to science of the number that bears his name: 6.02 x 10^23 . This year, the CBU SMACS chapter hosted a special Mole day dinner at 6:02 pm at the Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Memphis.

some of the CBU participants at the SNF meeting

Dr. Fitzgerald at the SNF meeting
surrounded by CBU alums and students.

Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, attended the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans, LA, over fall break week. The meeting had over 30,000 attendees. Dr. Fitzgerald was a co-author on one paper: Decrease of neuroinflammation markers in the beneficial effects of exercise in hemi-parkinsonian rats, by Ellen. Ford, Caroline C.Real, Priscilla C.Garcia, Malinda E.C. Fitzgerald and Luiz R.R. Britto. This research was funded by an NIH MHIRT grant to Dr. Fitzgerald and research was conducted at USP, Sao Paulo Brazil.

Kyle and Melody with Dr. Fitzgerald

Dr. Fitzgerald with Kyle Summers and Melody Allensworth
at the Neuroscience meeting.

Three CBU undergraduate students presented posters in a special undergraduate poster session at the Neuroscience meeting. The first paper is entitled: Neuroprotective treatment for blast-induced vision loss by Lauren D'Surney, Biomedical Science 2013, Brendan Luon, Courtney Bricker-Anthony, Jessica Hines-Beard, Biology 2011, and Tonia Rex. This research was funded by Research to Prevent Blindness, NIH and DOD to L. D'Surney and T. Rex. The research was conducted at UTHSC, HEI. Dr. Rex is currently at Vanderbilt. The second paper is entitled: Conditioned olfactory aversion increase olfactory sensitivity in mice by Lydia Hyatt, Biology 2013, Mounir Bendahmane and Max Fletcher. This research was funded by a Neuroscience Merit Fellowship to L Hyatt and NIH to M. Fletcher. The research was conducted at UTHSC, Memphis, TN. The third paper is entitled: Behavior tolerance to zolpidem and associated changed in forebrain GABA A receptor subunits by Britney T. Wright, Catherine F. Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, and Scott A. Heldt. In addition, Jessica Schneider Biology 2014, and Eric Joe, Biology 2014, attended the meeting. CBU alums attending were Kyle Summers, Biology 2008, a Ph.D. candidate at UTHSC, Melody Allensworth, Biology 2009, Ph.D. candidate at UAMS Little Rock, and her husband, David James, Engineering 2009.

Gulf Coast field trip group

Group that went on the Gulf Coast field trip.
Click on image for an action shot!

On the last weekend of October, Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology, Dr. James Moore, Assistant Professor of Biology, Ms. Lynda Miller, Science Lab Coordinator, and Br. Tom Sullivan, Campus Ministry and adjunct biology instructor, went with a group of students to the Gulf Coast Research Lab on a field trip.

On Tuesday, October 30, Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Professor of Biology, gave a 10 minute video presentation to Spain from here in Memphis for the XIV Symposio Internacional de Informatica Educativa meeting on the use of technology in the MHIRT program.

On Thursday, November 1, Br. Kevin Ryan, Natural Science instructor, visited Wooddale Middle School and made several presentations on the solar system, the planets, and the moon with its phases and eclipses.

On Thursday, November 1 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sabbatini Lounge we had our annual Health Career Opportunities Fair. The event was anchored by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and we had representatives from the following programs:
* Southern College of Optometry
* Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program
* DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
* Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine
* Union University with its School of Pharmacy and its School of Social Work
* U.S. Army Healthcare Scholarships
* William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

MAA Chess Tournament

Chess match between Martin Tribo and Khai Nguyen at the MAA.
Tournament. Click on the image for a second picture.

In the evening of the Health Career Opportunities Fair, we had special presentations for interested students pertaining to the following programs:
* Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
* DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
* Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program, featuring Jamee Covington and Elizabeth Schriner, two of the students in the entering class
* U.S. Army Healthcare Scholarship

On Friday afternoon, November 9, the CBU student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) hosted its annual Chess Tournament for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the second floor lounge of Cooper Wilson. Hotdogs, drinks, and lots of fun were served. Fred Smith emerged as the champion of the tournament.

Bowling for Uganda

Bowling for Uganda.
Click on the image for a group photo of some of the bowlers.

Billy Hardwick's was the place to be for CBU faculty, students and alums on Friday, Nov. 9. Beta Beta Beta hosted its annual Bowlathon for Hope North, a small community in Uganda educating and caring for children devastated by the recent civil war in that country. It was a night of triumph (TKE took the first place trophy and student Velita Thornton garnered the highest women's average) and tragedy (Dr. TJ, normally the picture of health and agility, fell while not so gracefully attempting to throw an 8 lb bowling ball. Those over 50 were just relieved she hadn't broken a hip.) Thanks to all faculty bowlers who risked their reputations as prickly professors to come and make amazingly low scores. A surprising number of them were actually spotted having fun. They included Drs. Maureen O'Brien and Tracie Burke (psychology), and Dr. Brendan Prawdzik (English). Also showing up with their game faces and bowling shoes were, Drs. Sandra Thompson-Jaeger, Malinda Fitzgerald and Mary Ogilvie (Biology); Dr. Johnny Holmes and Bro. Kevin Ryan (Physics); and Drs. John Young and Tony Trimboli (chemistry).

Jennifer and Christina

Jennifer Hendrick and Christina Brown Tran,
founders of the fundraiser.

Thanks too to all alums who good-naturedly played next to former professors and current students. Joe Alfonso, Biology 2012, took top honors with the highest overall average. Sadly his team members, Kelli Jeu, Biomedical Science 2012, Catherine Gluszek, Biochemistry 2012, Madeline Reynolds, Biology 2012, and Austin Gooch, Mechanical Engineering 2012, were not so fortunate. Other young alums included Prashant Patel, Biochemistry 2012, Joe Fong, Biology 2012, David Kim, Biomedical Science 2012, Kyle Smith, Biomedical Science 2012, and Rhett Jordan, Biochemical Engineering 2012. Even some of the older alums came tottering in, i.e., David Tran, Chemistry, 2005, Christina Brown Tran, Biology 2006, and Jennifer Hendrick, Biology 2006. Incidentally, Jennifer conceived of the fundraiser back in 2005 and both she and Christina brought it to fruition that year. The rest is history. The adversity that the children of Hope North have overcome is nothing short of miraculous. It gives one pause to realize how fortunate most Americans are. What an honor it is for Tri Beta to be able to present a check of over $1,000 to the struggling community.

Science Trivia Contest

Science Trivia Contest.

On Tuesday, November 13, the CBU section of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) hosted a "Jeopardy-like" Trivia Night covering Biology, Math, Chemistry, and, of course, Physics. There were five teams of three members each including two teams from Rhodes College. A trophy was awarded to the winning team, prizes were awarded, and small refreshments were served. The first place team members were Joey McPherson, Catt Miller, and Alec Lindman from Rhodes. They were awarded the "Science Genius" trophy. The second place team members were Tiffany Corkran, Rebekah Herrman, and Lucia Pagni from CBU.

Upcoming Events

Beta Beta Beta and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society will have a joint Christmas pot luck party tentatively scheduled for Nov. 27. As always we'll they will sing Christmas carols with Dr. Mary Ogilvie, Professor of Biology, playing the guitar and the science people doing their part with the singing. All science people are welcome.

The Alpha Chi Induction has been moved to December 2nd. Membership is by invitation only based on standing within each individual school. Invitations will be issued via email to the top 10% of the juniors and seniors in each school. Alpha Chi has finally collected enough quarters to buy a goat from Heifer International. There will be a quarter rolling party at the induction. They will start to collect for their next goal of providing chickens and other small animals again from Heifer.

On Janurary 10, we will have a Science and Engineering Discovery Day. This is an opportunity for prospective students to participate in hands on learning activities and experiments through the School of Science and the School of Engineering. The event is scheduled for January 10 at 2:00pm followed by a reception at 4:15pm. If you are interested, please contact the Admissions Office at 901-321-3205 or email You can also register for the event at

March 20-21: The Memphis - Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair is a regional Fair that is affiliated with the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair for the high school competition and with the Broadcom Masters Competition for Middle School Students. The Fair this coming year will be will be held on March 20-21, 2013, on the campus of Christian Brothers University. The event is co-hosted each year by the CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society and the CBU Chemistry Department and School of Science. The high school division is for grades 9 thru 12 and accepts only individual projects; the middle school competition is open to grades 6 thru 8 and accepts both team and individual projects. The high school division winner of our Fair goes on to compete in the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Pittsburgh this year. The top 10% of our middle school fair goes on to compete in the on-line phase of the Broadcom Masters competition. Our student participants come from the Memphis-Shelby county area. Our competition is open to all middle and high schools in Memphis/Shelby county, whether public or private, to students from schools that do not have science fairs, and to home school associations. We do not charge schools or students a fee to enter. For more information, please contact the Fair Director, Dr. Dennis Merat, at

Alumni News

Analice Sowell, Chemistry 2002 and M.A.T 2005, shared her knowledge of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) with the Tennessee Association of County Mayors at Cook Convention Center in Memphis on Thursday, October 11. Analice spoke about her experience implementing AEDs and teaching safety programs, and she offered personal reflections on the importance of installing the devices in schools and public places. The quick use of an AED saved her father's life in 2006, when he went into cardiac arrest while at work. Analice has spearheaded the installation of nine AEDs on the Memphis University School (MUS) campus where she is a science instructor, and she has trained more than 40 faculty and staff members in AED use and other safety procedures. Click here for more and on this Facebook page, which is a public Facebook page for MUS.

Michael Hankins, Natural Science 2012, has been accepted to the Podiatry School at Barry University in Miami.

Laura Mason and Greg Garniss were married on October 6th in Ocean Springs Ms. Laura was a psychology and Global Studies major at CBU and was a work study in the MHIRT program.

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Featured Story: Technology in Teaching

Many faculty members at CBU have made very good use of technology in the classroom and in their course support materials. Powerpoint provides a useful classroom tool. As with any tool, it has the potential to be abused, but it also has the power to be a way of providing clear and concise notes including images and graphs. Some of the professors post the powerpoint presentations on their web sites as a way of providing good class notes that can be annotated by the students in lecture, freeing up time for the students to listen and participate in class. Another powerful tool is spreadsheets that can show numerical techniques and provide simulations. These also are sometimes posted on professors' websites and can be used and experimented with by students. Some of our professors use Moodle as a tool to provide graded homework and class information.

physics computer homework example

The image above shows a screen from one of the computer homework programs developed at CBU on the theory of relativity.

But computers provide more than just powerpoint and spreadsheets. In the Physics Department here at CBU, Dr. Johnny Holmes and Dr. John Varriano, Professors of Physics, have created computer homework program sets that have been downloaded by hundreds of other educators around the world. This work began about 1980, so there are now plenty of CBU science and engineering graduates that are familiar with these. The programs have recently been updated so that they run on the newer windows operating systems. Based on student comments on course evaluations and student performance on tests, these program sets are a useful learning tool. Dr. Varriano has also created videos of him doing physics problems that are available from his course web pages. Dr. Ted Clarke, Assistant Professor of Physics, is using Wiley Plus as a computer aid for his students.

students working in lab

Along with all of the automation and computers,
labs at CBU still have a hands-on component.

Biology is very image intensive, and our biology faculty have used the ability of the computer to store and retrieve images quickly. Particularly outstanding in this area is Dr. Anna Ross, Professor of Biology. She has shared with me many notes of thanks from around the world for her resources she makes available on the web. And the biology resources on our intranet are even more extensive! Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald has recently co-authored an article on her use of technology in her summer mentored research program: Utilization of Technology to Manage an Undergraduate International Research Program: Minority Health International Research Training n Uganda, Kenya, Brasil or Thailand. The paper discusses the utilization of various electronic mechanisms to manage undergraduate students during their summer research program. Social media, blog sites, Skype, You Tube, shared user interface, and twitter are all used in some capacity in order to interview, keep in touch with, or manage documents among multiple users. The authors discuss the pros and cons of this technology.

In chemistry, molecules exist in three dimensional space, so the computer is now an important tool to see these molecules in 3-D. Dr. William Busler, Professor Emeritus, wrote a program on the old Commodore computers to help students practice nomenclature, and that program has recently been updated to run on the newer windows operating systems. Many of our alums should remember that program! Dr. William Peer, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has many chemistry resources available on Moodle for his students including the above mentioned nomenclature program, powerpoint slides, study guides and practice exams. He also uses the OWL computer system because of the instant feedback in doing homework problems and because of the good explanations when students do not get the right answer. Dr. Anthony Trimboli, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, uses the Sapling computer system, and he is now using Turning point software with individualized response tools (clickers) to get immediate feedback during his lectures. Dr. David Dawson, Associate Professor of Chemistry, uses software to display organic chemicals in his Organic Chemistry lectures.

In the lower level mathematics courses, the Math Department uses several different tools including graphing calculators. In the ALGebra sequence, the department uses a computer program to supplement the lectures. This program gives students guided practice on the skills and concepts being taught. In the Finite Math course for Arts and Business majors, Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, has developed computer tools for a hybrid course offered in the evening to Professional Studies students but they are also useful to day students as a great study guide. In the Precalculus course, the department is using a free on-line system called MyOpenMath for quizzes and homework and a free electronic textbook developed through the state of Washington Mathematics Project.

The Mathematics Department has utilized the Moodle Program since 2003 by setting up a series of tests in Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus/Calculus 1, Calculus 1 & 2, and Differential Equations courses to help students with their computational abilities in these areas.

In the upper level mathematics courses, the department uses the Maple programs to help visualize functions in several dimensions (parameters). Not only do the math faculty use this tool, they also create tools that they share with others in the world. For instance, Dr. Leigh Becker, Professor of Mathematics, has worked with students to develop Maple worksheets and some of these have been published by Maplesoft at its Maple Application Center web site.

The use of computers in the lab is everywhere. They provide excellent tools in the gathering of data and in the analysis of that data. Almost every instrument now has a computer interface. We try, however, in the labs to really let the students see, touch, and understand what is really going on and not just learn to push buttons. And we do use technology in lab teaching, too. One advantage is allowing students to "replay" lab activities as they study the material outside of lab time. In biology, they have tutorials using digital images (of anatomical models, dissection specimens, and photomicrographs) and video that we can link through moodle, course web pages and made available via a shared directory. Here is a link to a video clip from a recent embryology lab. Ebony Talbert, Biology 2014, captured this video (as well as some still images) with her iPhone through the dissecting microscope objective. It shows a stained, living chicken embryo. You can clearly see the heart beating.

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Featured Article: Two of our Math Center Tutors

by Br. Joel Baumeyer, Math Center Director

KJ Grove, Math Center Tutor

KJ Grover, Math Center Tutor

The Math Center is a very popular place and continues to set new records for usage. It is a place for free one-on-one tutoring in math. It is also a place to do your math homework by yourself or in a study group with others in the center. Here are profiles of two of the tutors. Profiles of some of the other math tutors can be found in previous issues of this newsletter.

Sophomore mechanical engineer KJ Grover has been a math center tutor for almost a year now starting in the second semester of his freshman year. A graduate of Homelife Academy, KJ was home schooled throughout high school. He is a member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), has been a Freshman Peer Counselor, and is currently on the moon buggy team and the mini-Baja team in the School of Engineering. He tutors anything from basic algebra to Calculus III and is always willing to give a helping hand in the Math Center.

Tyler Stranburg, Math Center Tutor

Tyler Stranburg, Math Center Tutor


Tyler Stranburg, a sophomore, started tutoring in the Math Center this fall. He is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, and states that he chose CBU because of the great atmosphere and the honors program. His major is Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. He tutors basic math through Calculus II and also is a tutor for basic Chemistry. Tyler is a proud member of the CBU honors program.

The Math Center tutors will help any CBU student with a math question or problem. They provide assistance in a warm and congenial atmosphere. They can get you through the toughest homework problem. They're here to help you learn math.
Location: Cooper-Wilson 321
Phone: 901-321-3245.

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Featured Alum: Kristi Prevost, Biology 2010

I'm Kristi Prevost, and I graduated in the class of 2010 with a degree in Biology. I have always had a special interest in animals, have worked in various small animal clinics throughout my life, and have always wanted to pursue a career with animals. As a junior in college, trying to find a position with Dr. Fitzgerald for my senior research project, I decided to apply to a few marine mammal facilities for internships. I was fortunate enough to get an internship at Dolphin Cove in Key Largo, Florida. While there, I conducted a behavioral research project studying the social, dominant, and aggressive behaviors and interactions between the bottlenose dolphins there. I spent the summer in the Keys, getting a taste of what it would be like to live in a tropical setting and to work with exotic animals.

Kristi Prevost

Kristi Prevost with Alfonz,
a 19-year old male Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

After my experiences that summer, I knew I might want to pursue a career with marine mammals. Going into my senior year, I hadn't completely made up my mind about applying to veterinary school, so I decided that I would work for a year or two before making my next step. On the last day of my exams, one week before graduation, I received a call from my supervisor from Dolphin Cove. She wanted to know if I was interested in a full time position as a Dolphin Trainer in Key Largo; this was a phone call I was not expecting at all. I was offered a dream job, but one thing I was worried about was how far away from my friends and family I would be living. Despite these worries, I ultimately decided that this was an opportunity which I could not pass up. One week after graduation, I was on my way to the Florida Keys. If it weren't for Dr. Fitzgerald's senior research class and for all of my professors' encouragement and support during my four years at CBU, and most importantly during my senior year, I would never have had this amazing opportunity or the courage to make this huge step.

During my time at Dolphin Cove, I learned so much about marine mammal life, conservation, and research. I had the best co-workers I could ask for: four Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. During my time there, I was exposed to a variety of research projects going on, helped to train and care for the dolphins there, and was also able to help out the veterinarians with various procedures. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and appreciate everything I learned, I decided that I wanted to move closer to home and try out a different field of research. I moved back to Memphis and started working at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the department of Infectious Diseases, which is where I am currently employed today. I work in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Webster. St. Jude is one of six WHO (World Health Organization) collaborating centers for influenza research and the only center that focuses on the transmission of animal viruses to humans. My lab is specifically dedicated to the study of antiviral drugs and influenza research. Throughout my time at CBU, I learned a lot which has helped me in my position at St. Jude, starting with Freshman Biology and Chemistry all the way up to Dr. Ogilvie's Immunology class. I would say that immunology in particular has helped me the most in my position since I deal mostly with antibody-antigen interactions. Many of the laboratory techniques I use on a daily basis are ones which I learned during my time at CBU. I also conduct many experiments testing the efficacy of certain proteins/drugs against influenza using different animal models. I have been in my position at St. Jude for almost 2 years now.

All of my experiences at CBU and thereafter have lead me to where I am now, currently finishing my applications for veterinary school for the class of 2017. I hope to start in the fall and am looking forward to the next phase in my life!

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Thank You Notes to Sciences Faculty

The month's note comes to Br. Joel Baumeyer, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Director of the Math Center, from a former student.

From: Stephen Allen
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:41 PM
To: Joel Baumeyer
Subject: Overdue gratitude

Dear Brother Joel,

It is unlikely that you remember me but I was a student of yours during the 1993/1994 academic year. While my performance in your Cal I & II courses may have ended in disappointment, the inspiration you provided has persisted for nearly 20 years. I spent only one year at CBU but my education continued at State Tech, Univ. of Memphis, Univ. of Central Arkansas, and Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock. Along the way I earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Higher Education. For the past eight years I have worked in higher education serving as a teaching assistant, adjunct faculty, and tutor in the discipline of Mathematics.

Thanks and gratitude are hardly sufficient but are the least I can give you. Your passion for the subject and compassion for people left an indelible impression upon me. You are in part responsible for my good fortunes to this day. Thank you so much for what you gave me in the short time we spent together.

I immediately liked you when you commented on a M.C. Escher t-shirt that I was wearing as we passed each other in the stairwell.

Hope you are well,

Stephen Blue Allen

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Featured Major: Computer Science

CBU offers three related degrees in the broad field of computing with courses taught in three schools. The School of Business offers courses in Management Information Systems (MIS), the School of Engineering has a major in Computer Engineering (ECE), the School of Sciences has a major in Computer Science (CS), and CBU offers a multidisciplinary degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. The MIS courses prepare a graduate to manage software that solves problems in a business environment. The ECE degree prepares a graduate to design hardware and software. The CS degree prepares a graduate to develop software. A computer scientist designs algorithms to solve applied problems efficiently with software in such areas as video games, search engines, bioinformatics and secure communication. For example, one reason why Google is such a widely used tool for web searches is the speed and quality of its search algorithm.

Computer Science lab

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer
Science teaching the CS 234 Data Structures Lab.

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, uses a genetic algorithm to create a final exam schedule each semester that meets the needs of both students and faculty. His algorithm creates a final exam schedule that a) has no conflicts for students; b) has no student taking four exams on any day; c) allows faculty to schedule multiple sections in one time slot for a common final exam; and d) minimizes those students who have three exams on one day. His algorithm represents a significant improvement over the old way where some students had to resolve conflicts of two finals in the same period and common final exams for multiple sections were difficult to accomodate.

Our Computer Science majors take an internship course in their junior year where they help to develop software for local businesses. They next take a capstone course in their senior year in which they complete a software project for industry in order to gain additional experience and use their skills and knowledge bases to solve a real problem. Our best graduates find jobs with companies such as Microsoft, Google and the New York Times. Some of these graduates have been featured in previous issues.

The Computer Science degree requires an option in computer engineering, information technology management, bioinformatics, or forensics. Bioinformatics applies techniques of computer science to solve biological problems at the molecular level. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital uses bioinformatics as one of its research tools to find cures for diseases. A computer scientist in forensics applies techniques of computer science to answer questions in the legal field.

CBU offers the opportunity to obtain dual degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. CBU has also developed a degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics that requires several computer science courses.