The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Category: GPS News (page 1 of 14)

Top 10 data scientist Charles Givre becomes new Strategic Analytics program chair

Headshot of Charles GivreBrandeis GPS is delighted to announce the appointment of Charles Givre, MA, CISSP, as the new chair of our online MS in Strategic Analytics program.

In his role as chair, Charles ensures high course quality and provides the industry insights that keep the program’s goals and outcomes current and relevant. He also recruits and mentors faculty, and advises students on program and course requirements.

Charles is a Vice President and Lead Data Scientist at Deutsche Bank in the Chief Security Office (CSO), where he leads an international team of data scientists working on security challenges. He has a passion for solving difficult problems with data and using data in unique ways to drive business decisions. In fact, Charles was recently named as one of the Top 10 Data Scientists you need to know right now by Enterprise Management 360.

With over 10 years of experience in the intelligence community in various organizations, Charles has a lot to share with the data science community. Charles regularly presents classes and presentations at international conferences including Strata, BlackHat and the Open Data Science Conference. His research interests include adversarial machine learning as well as improving analytic efficiency. He is a committer to the Apache Drill project and has co-authored a book on the topic.

Charles received undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Music from the University of Arizona before getting his MA from Brandeis University. Then, he went on to work at the CIA and Booz Allen Hamilton before starting in his role at Deutsche Bank.

Learn more about the part-time, online Master’s of Science in Strategic Analytics here.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

How to keep the peace and move projects forward in the workplace

Conflicts of interest are common, both in professional environments and daily life. It is important to know how to handle them, in order to get along with and move forward with the people around you – especially as a project or program manager. The ability to accommodate others is a vital skill that all successful business professionals should possess.

Resolving conflicts has become increasingly complex with an increase in virtual teams and the globalization of project management. Virtual teams must approach conflict resolution differently as cultural differences, interests, and values can all influence negotiation strategy and tactics.

Conflict Resolution Word CloudBrandeis GPS will be offering Negotiating and Conflict Resolution during our Fall 2 session, starting in October. The fully online, 10-week course will provide students with a framework to understand the basis of conflict, select an appropriate conflict resolution strategy, and employ tactics that optimize results for both individuals and organizations. During the course, students will explore different characteristics of negotiation including the two fundamental strategies, frames of reference, value creation, value claiming, and the impact of both tangible and intangible factors on the negotiation process.

The course will highlight the challenges that virtual teams present at each stage of the conflict resolution process. Negotiation is a soft skill that benefits from practice of the concepts in addition to learning the theory, so extensive role play of virtual group negotiations are incorporated into the course.

By the end of the course, students will have the skills to develop a systematic plan to negotiate with colleagues, bosses, clients, other stakeholders, and external groups of all kinds. They will be able to:

  • Analyze the characteristics of a negotiation situation and develop strategies for conflict management
  • Execute the fundamental strategies of distributive bargaining
  • Analyze different positions taken during a negotiation and handle hardball tactics
  • Prepare for communications in negotiations and analyze the opponent’s communication tactics
  • Identify frames in negotiation, managing emotions and perspectives, and identifying cognitive bias
  • Apply power to strengthen negotiation and manage influence during a negotiation process
  • Evaluate ethical and unethical tactics
  • Execute culturally responsive negotiation strategies

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Project and Program Management, or would like to learn more about negotiations and conflict resolution as part of your own professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

Protecting privacy: securing your organization from cyber-crime

Woman standing in front of teamAs technology continues to change the way we experience sectors of our daily life, it’s not surprising that cyber-security risk and vulnerabilities are also on the rise. From popular fitness tracking apps to university data systems, there have been dozens of high profile security breaches in the first half of 2018 alone.

According to Trustwave, $600 billion is lost to cyber-crime globally every year. In 2016, 53% percent of IT security professionals felt more pressured to secure their organizations than in 2015, demonstrating a growing need for information security management of businesses, government agencies, and other enterprises. Now more than ever, companies need leaders who can establish teams, processes and policies to secure their data.

Brandeis GPS offers a course in Information Security Management that explores security concepts, infrastructures, standards, protocols, and best practices. that are necessary for today’s information security professionals. The course focuses on management and governance, assessing and communicating risk, law (compliance) and ethics, policies, planning (strategy and operations), contingency planning (disaster recovery and incident response), and testing. These concepts are applied and discussed in the context of common enterprise scenarios.

Throughout the course, students acquire an understanding of the fundamentals of information assurance solutions and learn to establish a comprehensive security strategy and execution plan. By the end of the session, students will be able to apply the concepts, principles, and vocabulary of IT and information security within the context of their own organizations.

Information Security Management is a fully online, 10-week course that will next run in October 2018.

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Information Security Leadership, or would like to learn more about information security management as part of your own professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

How has GDPR changed the world?

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect to set a new standard for the protection of European individual’s rights over their personal identity data.

If you are in Technology or Security in the US, you are aware of GDPR, and, unless you have been living under a rock, you have assessed whether or not your organization needs to comply. Now, just because this regulation is new, that is to say, just because no one has gone to jail or received a hefty fine does not mean that regulators do not know what they are doing or are lax in their enforcement.

So, how has GDPR changed the world? This new regulation replaces the outdated 1995 EU data regulation, Directive 95/46/EC, which, while sound, was written before wide-scale adoption of the Internet. Simply put, the GDPR is a directive to place the control of a person’s information in the hands of the individual. It is specific to EU citizens and applies to all those classified as either ‘controllers’ or ‘processors’ of the personal information for EU citizens. This means, yes, the GDPR does apply to you if you are a US business, without a physical presence located in the EU, but you do offer goods/services to citizens of the EU.

One of the best sources for all things GDPR is the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The rights afforded individuals under GDPR are comprehensive, such as the right to be erased, the right to restrict data processing, or to stop direct marketing. The US does not have a comparable directive, so you will need to involve your legal team to determine your need to comply. The bottom line is that the regulation is all about accountability, transparency, control and reporting.

What do you do if you’re not sure if your organization needs to comply? If you think you need to, it will take some time, so start immediately. You want to acknowledge your requirements and get a plan in place to move toward compliance. How do you do that? You can conduct a self-assessment with an ICO tool, which can be found here. The tool will walk you through and provide a score by topic area. If you missed the deadline, the most important thing you can do is act. Get your legal team together and go.

Also, put protection in place to limit your interaction with EU citizens. This can be simple and straightforward. I found an example in the form of the LA Times website.

Screenshot of VPNIP Address Information Using a VPN

I used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to appear to be an Internet user coming to the LA Times website from London.  When I arrived at the website, I was instructed that I would be unable to view the web content.

LA Times Unavailable Message

I cannot speak to the LA Times compliance plans for GDPR nor have I contacted them, but they have put measures in place to detect the IP address of viewers and filter those from the EU.  Obviously, LA Times needs a more comprehensive solution so as not to miss a market of approximately 518 million people, but this is a great short-term solution in that it protects LA Times and  EU citizens’ rights to control the potential collection and processing of their personal data.

So, what have the results been? The online news site DataBreachToday listed the UK privacy regulator as seeing a rise in breach reporting in June of 1,750 instances, up from just 400 reported in April.  While this sounds high, a more than 400% rise in one month is an indication of compliance management.  This is the EU; this is principles-based regulation which is focused on outcomes.  Saying you do not comply, measuring, and monitoring your progress towards compliance are important.  It means you are taking accountable steps to control and monitor how you don’t comply.

US organizations may not comply, but you need to know if you must and then start working toward it.  You had two years to comply.  Take the first step and the rest will follow.

Joseph (Joe) Dalessandro is the program chair of the Information Security Leadership program at Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies, and the Head of Security & Technology Audit and Audit Data Analytics, Australian Unity.

The ABCs of SEM

According to Internet Live Stats, Google currently processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, which amounts to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Digital marketers know that web users arriving on Google’s search engine results page are looking for specific information based on the keywords they searched for. Search engine marketing (SEM) is a tactic marketers can use to get their products or services in front  of these users as searches are happening in real-time.

People looking at chartsThe idea behind SEM (also known as paid search, or pay-per-click marketing) is to anticipate the types of keywords a target market is going to search for, and strategically optimize a paid search budget to bid on those keywords. By also including the keywords in Google ads and on landing pages, marketers can earn one of Google’s top ad spots on the search engine results page, placing an ad among users who have already expressed an interest in searching for a product or service.

For professionals looking to build their search engine marketing skills, Brandeis GPS will be offering Principles of Search Engine Marketing during our October 2018 session. The fully online, 10-week course will explore ad creation, keyword expansion, landing page optimization, monitoring, bid management, and analysis. It will also explore search engine optimization, and how that strategy can enhance and complement paid search campaigns.

Students will learn the back-end technology behind search engines and how people use search engines to find information, and will then explore ways to position relevant content within those searches so that their products or services become part of the searcher’s decision process. Students learn about and evaluate SEM methods including content creation, keyword strategies, website programming, pay-per-click advertising, digital marketing optimization, and social media. As part of the course, students use Simbound, a digital marketing simulation, to create their own SEM campaign including forming objectives, strategy, budget allocation, tactics, and measurements to monitor progress.

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 Master’s degree programs. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Digital Marketing and Design, or would like to explore paid search as part of your own professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

Online learning tools that foster interactive coursework

Woman typing on computerThere is a common misconception that online learning cannot be as interactive as in-classroom learning. With today’s instructional design technology however, this is simply no longer the case.

The Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017, produced by Digital Learning Compass, in partnership with OLC, Pearson and Tyton Partners, indicates that online participation in graduate-level coursework is on the rise. The report found that the number of total students taking at least one online course increased by 11 percent between 2012 and 2015.

To meet this demand, graduate programs are responding by developing tools and technologies to keep their online classrooms interactive.

All Brandeis GPS programs are fully online and asynchronous, allowing a lot of flexibility for students throughout each week. Instructors use a number of digital tools to enhance their students online learning experience. These are some of the new tools that Brandeis GPS is using this year:

Mahara ePortfolio

Mahara ePortfolioThis fall, Brandeis GPS is adopting Mahara as it’s new ePortfolio tool. ePortfolios allow students to compile and preserve their submitted assignments from course-to-course and create a web-based collection of their work products and program accomplishments. The inclusion of ePortfolio assignments within GPS courses will allow students to learn more deeply through self-reflection and to illustrate the skills they acquire through their participation in the program to current and prospective employers.

Select courses within the Strategic Analytics, Information Security Leadership, Health & Medical Informatics, and Software Engineering programs will feature ePortfolio assignments this fall. Then throughout the year, Mahara will be rolled-out more broadly to all GPS programs.

VoiceThread

Voicethread Online ToolVoiceThread allows instructors and students to engage in voice and video based asynchronous discussions. Users can post discussion responses that include webcam video, images, audio, and text uploaded from their browser or mobile devices and can reply to classmates’ or instructors’ posts with voice, video, image-based, and/or text responses. VoiceThread creates an opportunity for students to engage in rich audio-visual discussions and group activities, and allows instructors to provide voice and video based feedback on students posts and assignments in an asynchronous setting.

VoiceThread has officially been adopted as a university-supported teaching tool following a successful Teaching Innovation Grant supported pilot spearheaded by GPS Instructors Kim Round, Carrie Miller, and Carol Damm and Brandeis Arts & Sciences professor Kathrin Seidl last year.

For more information on GPS courses or graduate programs, contact gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787 or check out our website.

Brandeis GPS students continue collaboration on statewide MATTERS data project

According to the State Technology and Science Index, Massachusetts is the most high-tech state, with top tier-institutions for higher education producing a highly skilled workforce and innovation economy.

What is MATTERS?

Logo for the MATTERS projectMATTERS™ is the Massachusetts’ Technology, Talent and Economic Reporting System.  MATTERS was created to measure the strength of the technological environment in Massachusetts and compare it to other states. It was developed by faculty and students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) under the guidance of the Massachusetts High Technology Council (MHTC) to compare Massachusetts’ competitive position to it’s 15 peer technology states.

The MATTERS peer states include the 10 “Leading Technology States” from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s annual Innovation Index and the top 5 states in the Milken Institute’s State Tech and Science Index. The MATTERS performance index ranks each state along talent, tax (financial climate), cost of doing business, and quality of life by using a weighted average of key metrics in each data category. The goal is to make Massachusetts the most desirable state to grow a high technology business by using the data from the MATTERS™ project to drive public policy that will enhance the state’s strengths and draw in businesses.

How is Brandeis GPS Involved?

Starting in January 2016, Stephen Gentile, former chair of the MS in Strategic Analytics and a current GPS instructor, created a program for GPS  students to curate MATTERS data. The course is now taught by Travis Dawry, who took over as instructor in fall 2016. In each iteration of the course, students are selected based on a variety of factors including their academic performance, professional experience, and leadership abilities.

The role of the GPS team includes:

  • Developing, documenting, and receiving approval for the scope of work from MHTC project sponsors
  • Evaluating, analyzing, and transmitting MATTERS data from multiple sources
  • Proposing and executing extension projects to enhance MATTERS analytics capabilities
  • Effectively communicating the project’s status, issues, risks, and results to MATTERS stakeholders
  • Creating or enhancing the methodology to maintain the MATTERS system and developing a proposed work plan for the next offering of the course

Since the launch of the program, Brandeis GPS students have:

  • Analyzed the current MATTERS state indices and suggested changes to the metrics and weighting across all four of MATTERS’ index categories
  • Compared Massachusetts infrastructure spending to that of its peer states
  • Evaluated traffic to the MATTERS website itself using Google Analytics data

There is now a system in place for data versioning and issue tracking, via a private GitHub repository, so the Brandeis GPS team is able to coordinate with the MHTC and WPI points of contact asynchronously throughout the semester.

How can you participate?

The Brandeis GPS course that works with MATTERS data, Special Topics in Strategic Analytics, will be taught during our Fall 2 session starting in October. It is open to students who are matriculated in our 100% online MS in Strategic Analytics program, which aims to help students master the technical and strategic skills necessary to transform data analysis into insightful, data-backed stories to influence key decision makers. The 30-credit part-time, flexible program is designed with equal focus in both the art and science of data in its seven required courses and three electives. After graduating from the program, students should be able to identify patterns and trends within big data, interpret and communicate results to stakeholders of various levels, and leverage data to inform strategic decisions. Samples of our Strategic Analytics courses include Business Intelligence, Analytics and Strategic Decision MakingFoundations of Data Science and Analytics, and Data Quality and Governance.

How do you apply to Brandeis GPS?

If you’re interested in applying to the MS in Strategic Analytics, we offer rolling admission, so you can apply and be accepted at any time. However, there are recommended deadlines if you are seeking admission for a specific term. You should submit your application by Wednesday, September 12 for Fall 2 admission with courses starting in October. Those interested in the program who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still take up to two online courses without officially enrolling. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. Course registration is open now for our Fall 2 classes starting in October. Learn more about our MS in Strategic Analytics, and preview our Strategic Analytics courses here. You can also contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis GPS to Participate in the RoboBusiness AI Summit

Several Brandeis GPS staff members will be representing the division at next week’s Robotics and AI Summit: Advancing Manufacturing Competitiveness event. Special sessions include a round table on “Creating tomorrow’s Robotics leaders,” featuring Nancy Deangelis, Director of Program Development, and Brian Salerno, Director of Online Learning and Instructional Design. The conversation will focus on topics such as what academia can do to support innovation. Let us know if you’ll be attending! You can follow the Summit on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin and register here.

Brandeis GPS offers fully online, top-tier master’s degrees for professionals in today’s most in-demand fields. The Master of Science in Robotic Software Engineering program aims to help students develop an advanced understanding of robotic engineering concepts as they learn from leading software engineers and roboticists. While benefiting from the flexibility of a part-time fully online program, students also gain hands-on experience through the incorporation of robot kits into the curriculum. All courses are ten weeks long, and students can complete the 30-credit degree in as few as 18 months. Samples of our Robotics courses include Modern C++ and Robotics Frameworks, Design and Architectural Patterns for Robotics, and Robot Sensing and Perception.

If you’re interested in applying to the MS in Robotic Software Engineering, you should submit your application by June 20 for fall 1 admission with courses starting in July. Those interested in the program who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still enroll in courses. At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. Learn more about our MS in Robotic Software Engineering, and preview our Robotic Software Engineering courses here. You can also contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) offers fully online, part-time master’s degrees and professional development courses in today’s most in-demand fields. With four 10-week sessions each year, students can complete their degree in as little as 18 months. Courses are led by industry experts who deliver professional insights and individualized support. Brandeis GPS is dedicated to extending the rigorous academic standards that make Brandeis University one of the top institutions in the country to a diverse population seeking to advance their careers through continuing studies. Brandeis is a medium-sized private research university with a global reach, dedicated to first-rate undergraduate education and the making of groundbreaking discoveries. The university’s 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students are motivated, compassionate, curious, and open to exploring new and challenging experiences. 

Brandeis GPS congratulates a new cohort of “storytellers” in 2018 commencement ceremony

The Rabb School of Continuing Studies awarded diplomas to 131 Brandeis GPS students at its 2018 commencement ceremony this morning. Approximately half of the graduating class attended the event, which took place on campus from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Faculty Club.

“Not only have you mastered a rigorous curriculum, most of you have done this while working full-time,” said Karen Muncaster, Vice President of the Rabb School, in her opening address. “Your academic achievements are made even more noteworthy because they were made in the midst of ‘real life.’ I want you to know that the entire University community has great respect for what you have accomplished and how you have done it.”

Commencement speaker Tom Gerace, author and founder/CEO of the content marketing firm Skyword, urged the graduating class to use storytelling to drive change, both professionally and personally.

“You have the opportunity to act differently, to shape how your companies act and what they value, and to make a real difference in the world when you do,” said Gerace. “I hope that when you retire and your grandkids crawl into your lap and ask what you did for a living, instead of telling them that you helped a company make more stuff or sell more stuff, you can tell them a story about how you made the world a better place.”

As GPS master’s degrees are fully online, many of today’s diploma recipients and their families are first-time visitors to the Brandeis campus. Some students traveled from as far as Ontario, Canada, and throughout the U.S., including California, Michigan, Illinois and Georgia.

“The last couple of years have been a very edifying, challenging, rewarding and sometimes exhausting

endeavor,” said Steve Boardman, student speaker and a graduate of the MS in Strategic Analytics program. “Now having completed my program with GPS, it has proven to be a great fit for me as a busy adult with a family and has exceeded my expectations in the value I have gained from its coursework.”

GPS extends an extra congratulations to the inaugural class of graduates from the Digital Marketing and Design and User-Centered Design programs, both of which launched in 2015.

The full breakdown of diplomas awarded this morning is as follows:

  • Master of Software Engineering (13 graduates)
  • MS in Bioinformatics (9 graduates)
  • MS in Digital Marketing and Design (4 graduates)
  • MS in Health and Medical Informatics (17 graduates)
  • MS in Information Security (10)
  • MS in Information Technology Management (15 graduates)
  • MS in Instructional Design & Technology (2 graduates)
  • MS in Project and Program Management (35 graduates)
  • MS in Strategic Analytics (24 graduates)
  • MS in User-Centered Design (3 graduates)

Congratulations to our graduates!

Susan Carman brings decades of expertise, leadership to Health and Medical Informatics

Susan Carman, HMI chairBrandeis GPS is thrilled to announce the hiring of Susan Carman, MS, CHCIO, PMP, as program chair of the online MS in Health and Medical Informatics.

In her role as chair, Susan serves as the subject matter expert for the program, providing the industry insights that keep the program’s curriculum and outcomes current and relevant.

Susan is the Chief Information Officer at UHS Hospitals and has served in the healthcare information technology and informatics industry for a total of 28 years. Prior to her current role, Susan was the VP of Information Technology at Wingate Healthcare, implementing an EMR system and building a HIPAA security plan for their 19 Post Acute Care facilities.

Susan spent 15 years of her career at Medical Information Technology (MEDITECH) implementing Electronic Medical Records throughout the U.S. and Canada. She transitioned to the Healthcare Provider sector in 2004 starting with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and more recently at Hebrew Senior Life, leading her team to complete the implementation of Stage 6 EMR system. Susan is certified as a Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) and Project Manager (PMP) and is an active member of HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) and CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives). She is also an active participant in the Executive Mentorship Program with ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives). Susan completed her Master’s degree in Healthcare Informatics at the University of Massachusetts in 2013.

Learn more about the part-time, online Master’s of Science in Health and Medical Informatics here.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

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