The Brandeis GPS blog

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

Tag: Engineering

SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: New Dimensions in Technology Recruiting

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Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: A privately-held education industry trailblazing company dedicated to improving the lives of people through literacy achievement. This confidential company has branches in both MA and NH. Applicants interested in the position will work with the New Dimensions in Technology Recruiting Agency.

New Dimensions in Technology (NDT) continues to be on the forefront of change. Our experienced Recruiting Team has seen industry trends come and go. NDT Recruiters have developed keen insight into companies that are most likely to grow and prosper. NDT also offers a proven track record of successful matching of candidates with client companies by understanding our candidates career goals and knowing the needs of our client companies and their corporate cultures. We have partnered with start-up companies to staff and grow their businesses into FORTUNE 500 companies; we have assisted our mid-size and large client companies in recruiting the most sought after superstars. No matter what the global economic conditions, NDT consistently delivers value to both new and long-time client companies and candidates.

Position: Vice President of Engineering/Chief Technology Officer

Their Mission:  To provide quality professional learning, ongoing support, programs, and tools to educators whose goal is to educate students to become fluent independent readers.

This is a newly created position. He/she will be a key member of the executive leadership team and report directly into the Publisher/CFO. The person in this role will lead the company in their next generation of web and digital offerings and must have a strong background in leading high-performance product development teams.

Professional Requirements:

  • Experience building and leading high performance product teams that partner well with marketing, program management, and customer support
    • Creative technology leader who still loves to “code” with product development experience in agile methodology processes, leading mobile and web application development teams
    • Demonstrated competency in leading technology teams, including managing resources across multiple projects in a complex environment
    • Superior analytics, planning, innovation and product development mindset
    • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of emerging educational and product technology trends and opportunities that prepare students and drive highly personalized learning experiences
    • Knowledge of best practices for data security, especially regarding student or other sensitive data; identity and access management
    • Knowledge of Data & Information Management: Business Intelligence, Machine Learning, Analytics
    • History of working with a Service Oriented Architecture, REST
    • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills – with the ability to influence, facilitate, collaborate and manage cross-matrix team
    • Knowledge of web application technologies required including .Net Framework, JavaScript, contemporary JavaScript libraries such as “Knockout.JS”, “Angular.JS”
    • Knowledge of mobile technologies including Objective-C, xCode, Swift, Xamarin, Java, Eclipse
    • Knowledge of cloud technologies including Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing Strategy
  • Experience in using Gamification in a learning environment a plus

Strongly Preferred:

  • Bachelor or Master’s CS Degree
  • Passionate about using technology to make a difference in a person’s life
  • Start-up experience

 

Click here to view further details on this opportunity!

To receive full consideration for this position, candidates are asked to submit a Resume/CV and Cover Letter through the recruiting agency’s online portal here.

Please make sure to reference seeing these positions through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

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SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS: Bastian Solutions

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Members of the Brandeis GPS Community may submit job postings from within their industries to advertise exclusively to our community. This is a great way to further connect and seek out opportunities as they come up. If you are interested in posting an opportunity, please complete the following form found here.

Where: Bastian Solutions: Indianapolis, IN

Position: Director of Systems Engineering Integration

Bastian Solutions is an independent system integrator and is one of the fastest growing material handling companies in the world. We are seeking an entry level project engineer to join our growing team.The project engineer has many responsibilities at Bastian Solutions including design engineering, site supervision, project management, customer support, and sales consulting.

This person is responsible for all aspects of the Bastian Systems Integration including Sales, Engineering, Execution, Financial performance, Controls, and Consulting. The Director of Systems Integration works with and promotes the products and services of all the other Bastian Solutions business units for their mutual success and assists the President and Vice President in executing strategic business goals.

Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate  Engineering Degree with 5-15 years practical business experience
    • Master’s  Degree is not required but preferred.
  • Proven track record of delivery.
  • Strong computer skills with: MS Office, CRM, and MS Dynamics AX
  • Process driven personality

Click here to view further details on this opportunity!

To receive full consideration for this position, candidates are asked to submit a Resume/CV and Cover Letter through the online portal here.

Please make sure to reference seeing these positions through the Brandeis GPS job spotlight post.

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Adapting Design to the User

Written by: Kelsey Whitaker, A Senior at Brandeis University

The way in which people experience design is a vital factor in the success of any creation. There is currently a growing movement of designers who search to implement technologies that adapt to the user. This is where the newest Master of Science program at Brandeis GPS in User-Centered design comes in. User-centered design covers fields including Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction, and User Experience. Human factors deal with the physical factors of interaction as well as the psychological and social factors of design. Human computer interaction is concerned with the interfaces between humans and computers and how these factors influence user experience. User experience deals with the usability issues of design. In addition to providing students with an advanced understandingUCDGraph of these areas, the program at Brandeis GPS will provide students with the leadership skills necessary to implement and advocate for design thinking.

Currently, the field of User-centered design is in high demand and expected to grow significantly over the next ten years. CNN Money recently voted the profession as the #14 best job in America. It was also featured in Glassdoor’s list of “25 Highest Paying Jobs with the Most Openings Right Now.” “User experience has caught on so much, both as something that people enjoy doing and something that is more and more widely recognized as being valuable to a growing number of companies,” says user experience designer Louisa Armbrust. The applications of user-centered design are broad and specialization can be found in fields such as information architecture, web designing, engineering, interactive media, and technology. Leading organizations that are currently hiring user-centered designers include Amazon, IBM, Disney, Apple, and several more.

UCD

The Brandeis GPS user-centered design degree program is geared towards individuals who are currently working in fields such as information technology, computer science, information architecture, web design, and other related areas, who are looking to extend their expertise in human factors of design. The Brandeis GPS program is unique because there are few online master’s degree programs in this field, none of which are geared towards developing leadership. In addition to a focus on leadership development, the available electives will create possibilities for students to graduate with skills in user interface design. This is an altogether different field than user-centered design, however, employers generally search for individuals with skills in both. The 30 credit program consists of 7 required courses and 3 electives.

Interested in the User-centered design program at Brandeis GPS? Apply now! To learn more about the program, contact 781-736-8787 or  gps@brandeis.edu.

 

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Emerging Trends in Software Engineering to Keep Your Pulse On

– Associate Editor, BostInno

The need for talented software engineers is clear.

“I think if you talk to just about any company around here that has an engineering organization, they’re going to talk about howdifficult it is to hire good software engineers,” said Kevin Murray, director of talent acquisition at soon-to-IPO e-commerce giant Wayfair, in a previous interview with BostInno.

A key to becoming one of those good software engineers, however, is to be on the pulse of emerging trends, and the software space is no stranger to change.

Take Cambridge-based distributed database technology company NuoDprogram-hero-softwareB, which recently raised$14.2 million to help legacy 3D modeling software leader Dassault Systèmes transfer to the cloud. The 33-year-old company — creator of everything from sustainable wind turbines to an Airbus — has started shifting its focus to software as a service, meaning the need to shift to the cloud was necessary if they wanted to keep up with manufacturing demands.

NuoDB is now assisting Dassault Systèmes in making that move, and is expected to start helping several other companies do the same. As Barry Morris, NuoDB founder and CEO, explained to BostInno, “Thousands of companies are in a similar situation to Dassault Systèmes in that they historically would have sold software. But that software needs to be able to run on the cloud.” To Morris, the move is a no-brainer, particularly because it boasts “economic benefits to the vendor and to the user.” After all, gone are the days of needing hardware and data center space, or shelling out cash for up-front costs. Instead, software can be integrated to the cloud with a few simple clicks at a relatively low price point. Once it’s there, Morris added, applications can start integrating with other cloud-based applications, thereby adding value and sparking more business.

cloud-iaas

Customer Relationship Management software provider Salesforce forced itself to move to the cloud, and is allegedly succeeding.

All-in-one inbound marketing software giant HubSpot is forging a forward-thinking path, as well. The local leader is currently beginning its IPO process, and saw a 50 percent jump in revenues in 2013.

That achievement stated, who better to ask for emerging trends than HubSpot’s VP of Engineers Elias Torres? He gave BostInno the inside scoop on where software engineers should focus their attention, as well as helpfully highlighted how HubSpot is innovating around those trends.

Per Torres:

  • JavaScript and single-page web applications using Backbone.js, Ember.js or Angular.js. At HubSpot, we’ve completely shifted all client-side development from Python/Django to Backbone.js and are gearing up for the future to make sure we can keep using JavaScript on the server-side to create isomorphic applications using node.js.
  • PaaS and the shift from virtual machines to containerized applications. The cost of managing static server allocations will force companies to look at containers and cluster management services such as Docker, Apache Mesos or CoreOS. HubSpot deploys 300 times a day on a minimal number of server instances by using Apache Mesos.
  •   DevOps is empowering engineering organizations to balance speed and product reliability. HubSpot does not differentiate between engineers and operators. We have created a release practice that minimizes roadblocks to customer satisfaction through better release and configuration management.

At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is key. One way to ensure customers are satisfied, however, is by repeatedly innovating and ensuring the product being delivered reflects the best of what’s happening in the ever-evolving field. Aspiring software engineers, take note.

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Graduates with Roots in STEM Face Growing Career Opportunities

By: – Custom Content Coordinator

As we enter May, young people here in Boston and across the country are about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Many will be graduating from college and taking their first step into the great, wide, professional world. Question marks fill their future as they wonder what kind of opportunities await them and their hard-earned bachelor’s degrees.

While it is impossible to forecast the job market with absolute certainty, it is undeniable that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold the greatest opportunities for job seekers now and in the future. Industries like renewable energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and technology are rapidly growing and demand increasing numbers of skilled workers to sustain their expansion.

The computer and math occupations account for close to half of all STEM employment, followed by engineering with 32 percent, and then physical and life sciences at 13 percent, according to U.S. Department of Commerce. Significant growth is projected for computer and mathematical scientists, engineers and engineering technicians, architects and architectural technicians and more STEM occupations.

Those with strong STEM education backgrounds “will find themselves at the center of our new economy,” tech expert Vinay Trivedi said in the Huffington Post.

But unfortunately demand is outpacing supply when it comes to STEM-related careers. Fewer students are pursuing advanced math and science degrees, creating a problematic skills gap threatening the United States’ position in the new global economy.

The U.S. ranks 30th in math and 23rd in science, according to latest Program for International Student Assessment; and the latest ACT results show that only 44 percent of our high school graduates are ready for college-level math, and just 36 percent are ready for college-level science, the National Math & Science Initiative reported.

The impact of the skills deficit which develops in secondary level education has deleterious consequences once those students reach college. Many students abandon interest in STEM career by the end of their sophomore year, Irv Epstein, Professor of Chemistry at Brandeis University, observed.

It is a national imperative to reverse this trend. President Barack Obama declared creating the next generation of STEM leaders an educational priority for the nation at his State of the Union Address in January.

“I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that–openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work,” he said. “That’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.”

program-hero-softwareMany have answered President Obama’s call to improve STEM education. In addition to early education initiatives, select colleges and universities have stepped up including Brandeis University who has partnered with the Posse Foundation to provide merit-based scholarships to minority students interested in pursuing STEM degrees.

But meanwhile, as programs launch to serve the next generation of students, the STEM jobs are still waiting, available for current job seekers who have the skills and ambition to seize the opportunity.

For those who lack adequate STEM skills but are eager to break into expanding, innovative industries, there is a way for them to bridge the skills gap: graduate education. Don’t wait for a job to pop up that fits your resume. Act now to get the training you need for the jobs available.

Brandeis University’s Division of Graduate Professional Studies prepares ambitious professionals for exciting, expanding opportunities in the job market right now. 

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Standing At The Mean

Sam Halperin  is currently a Programming Instructor at Thinkful. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies Master of Science in Software Engineering. He is working on a doctorate in Computer Science, and also blogs at www.samhalperin.com

Experimentation enabled by advances in low-cost consumer virtual reality hardware and software.

A few months ago, after a long hacking session with a genetic algorithm (an algorithm that evolves a solution from “chromosomes” over time),Pic1 Unity Game Engine (a 3D video game engine) and an Oculus Rift immersive display, I had what I think is a unique experience:   Creating a data set with the GA, writing a renderer that transformed the data into geometry, hues and color values, and piping the output to a head mounted display, I was able to don the goggles and somewhat literally walk around and stand at the mean of the data set and look around.  For me, this view into the data was a transformative personal experience, if not a scientifically valid approach to understanding data.

Weeks later a second experiment emerged, this time using sensor data attached to a stationary bicycle to drive the view-camera in a virtual environment.   This apparatus had been part of a somewhat Quixotic quest for a virtual reality based active gaming Sampost2experience.  Once implemented, it represented the faintest surface scratch into the vast requirements of art, engineering, sound, theatre and animation that actually make up a production game, but a uniquely satisfying experiment.

The most recent experiment in this set leveraged design training and demonstrated the architectural visualization pipeline from consumer-grade modeller (SketchUp) to virtual reality experience.  This product, like the other two, was also the “first 20%” of effort, (see The Pareto Principle), but uniquely satisfying. The video from the work has been retweeted many times and had over 1800 views since it has been up, and I have received numerous requests for collaboration on similar projects. (http://youtu.be/mJLK_t0bTYA)

Clearly there is a growing mass movement representing a desire for this type of virtual reality technology.  The defining factor in my experience thougsampic3h, as differs from virtual reality experimentation in the past, was that this work didn’t require access to a university
lab, defense contractor or space agency. This access is possible due to a sea change in VR technology driven by the release of the Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display.

Beginning with the release of the Oculus Rift, and followed closely by other projects, VR technology is beginning to permeate as a consumer level technology.  My bike-vr project is actually one of a few similar experiments documented in the various online communities surrounding the technology.  There is a growing community of VR hackers (perhaps a better term is maker) throughout the world, and the level of experimentation has grown exponentially.

My involvement in this work is only beginning, but I am tremendously optimistic that the technology itself represents a positive force for our ability to visualize problems, to communicate with each other, and to be present in environments that we wouldn’t normally be able to experience — across history, geography, scale and any other limits.

Question: What is the value of “being present” and experiencing virtual environments in this way?  What is the value of “standing at the mean”, and how does it differ from viewing a place, a time or a dataset on a traditional computer monitor?  What are the drawbacks?

Answer: The experience of presence with this type of display is so powerful that it can actually make the viewer nauseous, experiencing a sort of simulator sickness approaching seasickness.   At the same time, intelligently engineered virtual environments, built with this in mind can fool the brain in a more positive direction, producing joy, fright, sadness, even the perception of temperature changes.  This is not an experience that is common to interaction with a smartphone or tablet.

Current VR work of interest is quite vibrant and diverse, spanning topics such as “redirected walking” techniques for navigating large virtual environments by walking around small laboratories[1], the study of “oculesics”, where eye movements are tracked and communicated across networks to enhance communication[2], and the exploration of very large datasets using large laboratory installations ringed by huge arrays of displays[3].

See Also

  • [1] Suma, E. A., Bruder, G., Steinicke, F., Krum, D. M., & Bolas, M. (2012). A taxonomy for deploying redirection techniques in immersive virtual environments. Virtual Reality Short Papers and Posters (VRW), 2012 IEEE, 43–46. doi:10.1109/VR.2012.6180877
  • [2] Steptoe, W., Wolff, R., Murgia, A., Guimaraes, E., Rae, J., Sharkey, P., … & Steed, A. (2008, November). Eye-tracking for avatar eye-gaze and interactional analysis in immersive collaborative virtual environments. In Proceedings of the 2008 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 197-200). ACM.
  • [3] Petkov, K., Papadopoulos, C., & Kaufman, A. E. (2013). Visual exploration of the infinite canvas. Virtual Reality (VR), 2013 IEEE, 11–14. doi:10.1109/VR.2013.6549349

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Graduates with Roots in STEM Face Growing Career Opportunities

By:

As we enter May, young people here in Boston and across the country are about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Many will be graduating from college and taking their first step into the great, wide, professional world. Question marks fill their future as they wonder what kind of opportunities await them and their hard-earned bachelor’s degrees.

While it is impossible to forecast the job market with absolute certainty, it is undeniable that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hold the greatest opportunities for job seekers now and in the future. Industries like renewable energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and technology are rapidly growing and demand increasing numbers of skilled workers to sustain their expansion.

The computer and math occupations account for close to half of all STEM employment, followed by engineering with 32 percent, and then physical and life sciences at 13 percent, according to U.S. Department of Commerce. Significant growth is projected for computer and mathematical scientists, engineers and engineering technicians, architects and architectural technicians and more STEM occupations.

Those with strong STEM education backgrounds “will find themselves at the center of our new economy,” tech expert Vinay Trivedi said in the Huffington Post.

But unfortunately demand is outpacing supply when it comes to STEM-related careers. Fewer students are pursuing advanced math and science degrees, creating a problematic skills gap threatening the United States’ position in the new global economy.

The U.S. ranks 30th in math and 23rd in science, according to latest Program for International Student Assessment; and the latest ACT results show that only 44 percent of our high school graduates are ready for college-level math, and just 36 percent are ready for college-level science, the National Math & Science Initiative reported.

The impact of the skills deficit which develops in secondary level education has deleterious consequences once those students reach college. Many students abandon interest in STEM career by the end of their sophomore year, Irv Epstein, Professor of Chemistry at Brandeis University, observed.

It is a national imperative to reverse this trend. President Barack Obama declared creating the next generation of STEM leaders an educational priority for the nation at his State of the Union Address in January.

“I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that–openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work,” he said. “That’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.”

Many have answered President Obama’s call to improve STEM education. In addition to early education initiatives, select colleges and universities have stepped up including Brandeis University who has partnered with the Posse Foundation to provide merit-based scholarships to minority students interested in pursuing STEM degrees.

But meanwhile, as programs launch to serve the next generation of students, the STEM jobs are still waiting, available for current job seekers who have the skills and ambition to seize the opportunity.

For those who lack adequate STEM skills but are eager to break into expanding, innovative industries, there is a way for them to bridge the skills gap: graduate education. Don’t wait for a job to pop up that fits your resume. Act now to get the training you need for the jobs available.

Original Post: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/channels/stem-education-leads-to-career-opportunity-1/

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