Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ACM students take Second Place in PACISE Programming Contest

Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel,and Brett Logan took Second Place
A nine-member programming squad from Bloomsburg University's ACM student chapter competed at Edinboro University in the PACISE 2017 programming contest on Saturday, March 31, 2017. Seniors Jacob Daniel, Brian Fekete, and Brett Logan took Second Place overall among 15 teams from the PASSHE school system. Squad members Jared Frank, John Gibson, Laura Josuweit, Daniel Kilgallon, Luke Vuksta, and Rio Weber also did well, taking Fourth and Eighth Places. This is the third year in a row that a Bloomsburg team has taken second at PACISE contests. It is also the largest squad the ACM chapter has fielded, and augurs well for future contests. BU's Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences is a member of PACISE, the Pennsylvania Association of Computer and Information Science Educators, representing computer programs across the PASSHE member schools. The programming squad coach, Dr. Robert Montante, represents BU at PACISE. He is also a member of ACM, an international professional organization of computer scientists and computer science educators with student chapters at many schools.

From left: Laura Josuweit, Jared Frank, Rio Weber, Brett Logan, Brian Fekete, Jacob Daniel, John Gibson, Luke Vuksta, Daniel Kilgallon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

COST Mathematics Professor Publishes New Text

A truly committed instructor understands and embodies the classic saying: “Deeds, not words!” Several inspiring examples of that old chestnut are evident in the work of Dr. Kevin Ferland, professor in the Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences. Kevin saw his first book, Discrete Mathematics: An Introduction to Proofs and Combinatorics, published in 2009. He began teaching the subject some ten years earlier, whereupon he discovered that he was unable to find a suitable text, i.e., one that in his words, “both covered the topics we needed and did so with sufficient support for students that may struggle with the ideas.” Consequently, Kevin decided to create a book that would offer both theory and practice and at the same time, would engage his students, rather than intimidate them. In his words:

“In 2001, I started writing the first edition of this book with a central focus upon providing quality and well-explained examples that are then well supported by many exercises that are tied directly to those examples.”

Eight years later, the aforementioned first edition of Kevin’s discrete mathematics text was born. Even so, he immediately began making substantial notes in his copy of the first edition, which were based largely upon student feedback each semester; it was these notes that formed the foundation for most if not all of the modifications which became the basis for the updated second edition, Discrete Mathematics and Applications. He suggested that

“Ever since the first edition came out in 2009, I have paid close attention to the efficacy of my approach. By improving and adding examples and exercises, I have subsequently made significant improvements that I know will benefit students even more in this second edition. What I have learned from using my textbook for eight years and receiving feedback, has been invaluable to me and I expect that users of this new edition will appreciate it as well.”

Happily, the new edition of Kevin’s book has been published recently by the prestigious Taylor & Francis publishing group. For additional substantive information about Discrete Mathematics and Applications, please refer to the following link:
--- Michael Stephans

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Nursing Students Participate in Legislative and Policy Advocacy

On May 1, seventy-four senior nursing students and six faculty participated in legislative and policy advocacy in Harrisburg, PA. Students met with representatives from the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) to discuss the state legislative lobbying process and the nurse’s role in impacting clients and the profession. PSNA Chief Executive Officer, Betsy Snook, and PSNA Director of Government Affairs, Keven Busher offered real-life roundtable discussions surrounding current legislative priorities such as safe staffing and registered nurse delegation. Students met with Senator John Gordner (R-27th) and also Karen Coates, Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Turzai. To end the day, Senator Gordner gave a guided tour of the Capitol Building to a group of students and faculty and discussed his support for nurses and student nurses in his district and in the Commonwealth.