School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Active Students

Summer program offers student research opportunities

Lucy Ward tests her robot program
Lucy Ward tests her robot program

This summer, 90 students from across the nation participated in Washington State University’s summer undergraduate research program where they worked with award-winning professors in cutting-edge facilities. For many, the experience opened their eyes to the world of possibilities research offers.

Lucy Ward, an incoming freshman at the University of Wyoming, worked with Diane Cook, a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to build a robot that can work with Cook’s smart home system to assist older residents.

The current smart home system is able to detect habits and routine activities, but it can do little to assist someone who is struggling. However, the robot will be able to tell if a resident has skipped one of their routine activities, approach the resident and remind them to complete it, and provide assistance with completing the task if necessary. Ward tested the capabilities of the robotic arm, evaluated the accuracy of the visualization software that generates a map of the smart home, and checked the accuracy of the odometer readings from the robot.

“I worked with a lot of smart people and we worked together to create something that will help others,” said Ward. “The idea of taking real data and applying it to answer a question is really cool.”

WSU students attend pink elephant unicorn cybersecurity event

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PNNL hosted a cybersecurity capture the flag (CTF) event in the Tri-Cities on September 16th and 17th, named Pink Elephant Unicorn (PEU) x3.0. The event introduced cybersecurity topics to both beginners and experienced students. After attending workshops on a variety of techniques and getting some hands on experience, students were split up into groups and given technical challenges to solve. “The competition was friendly and really helped reinforce some of the concepts the students had just learned,” said Adam Hahn, professor at EECS. “This was really an event to get students from all over interested in cyber security in a fun way.” He went on to say: “Everyone should have some exposure to the basic concepts of cyber security in order to protect themselves and future employers. You don’t need to be an expert in a lot of technologies in order to benefit from understanding basic cyber security concepts. Students are often too intimidated to get involved in this area, especially if they’re new to computer science, and this was a good event to dispel this fear and really get them interested.”

https://twitter.com/PNNLab/status/777974777684328448
https://plus.google.com/photos/100922732508111452182/albums/6332145747967000401
https://www.facebook.com/PNNLgov/posts/10154039082884372

WSUCon 2016-the biggest yet

By Rachel Forbes, President of the Linux Users’ Group

con5On February 5th the Linux Users Group hosted the 14th annual WSUCon. The event took place in the CUB Sr. Ballroom, beginning at 5:00 pm, and lasted for 24 hours. WSUCon is an annual social gaming event started by the Linux Users Group as a way to get students, faculty, alumni, and Pullman-Moscow community members together for gaming in a fun and lively environment. One of the unique things about the event is that it is not just a LAN party; it is a social gaming event that welcomes gamers of all types. All sorts of gaming clubs are invited to the event to host various tournaments and help run board/tabletop/card game tables. Walking into WSUCon, you will see people playing League of Legends, Magic: The Gathering, Flux, CS:GO, and many more. All gaming is welcomed and even those that do not game very much can still have a lot of fun at WSUCon!

WSUCon XIV was the biggest WSUCon yet, with tons of tournaments, prizes, and food; the event welcomed over 450 attendees during the 24-hour event. WSUCon XIV had six official prized tournaments, including League of Legends, Magic: The Gathering, Smash 4, and other. There were also many ad hoc tournaments like Nidhogg and others put on by attendees, alumni, and organizers. Attendees were especially excited by the abundance of food provided this year, including Panda Express and WSU Catering, all made possible by sponsorships to WSUCon. Not only was dinner served to all attendees, but late night snacks and breakfast were also provided so that attendees wouldn’t have to worry about going out to get food and could fully participate in all of the gaming glory and general awesomeness.

With the success of this year’s WSUCon, The Linux Users Group has already started to think about expanding WSUCon next year to make it even bigger and better. If you are curious about the event or want to learn more, feel free to visit our website: wsucon.wsu.edu.

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