CSS autumn newsletter, Nibbles, from Chair Dr. Bill Erdly

Autumn 2021 newsletter, Nibbles

We successfully transitioned to in-person teaching this autumn and are once again back on our wonderful campus. Of course, we have learned much about teaching fully on-line – including new ways to teach, methods to keep our classes interactive, do group activities/projects, make presentations – and just finding new ways to still keep our connections between students, faculty and staff. Things will certainly never be the same again, which is good because our students will now be working in a global economy and likely be employed at least part time from their homes in the next-generation workplace. The CSS community is highly engaged in discussions and “experiments” as we try out new methods and approaches to further create a vibrant and accessible learning environment for all.

As we returned to campus we welcomed new faculty, staff, and leaders across campus like Chancellor Kristin Esterberg at UW Bothell and Dean Leslie Cornick of the School of STEM. In this autumn 2021 edition of Nibbles you will read about the new faculty and staff that joined the Division of CSS, huskies making an impact in the world, faculty promotions and multiple awards, sponsoring the Grace Hopper Conference, an NSF grant to research AI-enhanced cybersecurity, funding for 911 emergency communications, and more!

CSS Student Advisory Council

We are pleased with the formation of the new CSS Student Advisory Council who will provide feedback and recommendations regarding the student experience and courses/curricula. As technologies change, new areas of opportunity emerge, and new methods and processes for software engineering evolve, it is important to hear from our students as they enter the workforce to learn how the core competencies of the CSS programs are applied – and the need for refocus/ideas can be reviewed to assure a vibrant and contemporary learning experience. Our students are very passionate about our work, and we look forward to the work of this council! We will provide more info in future issues of Nibbles!

Technology Advisory Board

The Technology Advisory Board, led by Professor of Practice Arnold Lund, had its first meeting on October 22, 2021 and their second meeting on December 10, 2021. Board members were organized into working groups which led to them forming three subcommittees: student engagement, academic engagement, and community engagement.

  • Student Engagement committee will focus on better preparing and supporting students seeking careers in industry.
  • Academic Engagement committee will help with academic engagement by engaging with the student liaisons and faculty.
  • Community Engagement committee will be bringing the community in to engage on campus, and finding ways for UWB to engage outward into the community.

STEM4 ground breaking

Dean Leslie Cornick helped break ground for the new STEM4 academic building shared with Cascadia College over the summer. STEM4 reflects our commitment to access and excellence, and will move the School of STEM one step further towards preparing our graduates for in-demand STEM careers. Read the UW Bothell story on STEM4.

The new STEM building will support a variety of new classrooms and labs – featuring designs that encourage teamwork and collaboration and that are similar to what they might experience in industry. New labs will provide opportunities for research in cybersecurity, IoT, human-computer design, networking, AR/VR and other emerging areas. New undergraduate and graduate research spaces will also be created that offer small workrooms and conference spaces – each outfitted with large computer monitors/screens where students and faculty may share their work with others. The labs and classrooms can be readily configured to a variety of formats, including group activities, lectures, and even industry conferences/presentations for larger gatherings. The building will also feature spaces outside of the classroom for breakout sessions and other collaborative activities.

Demand and opportunity in CSS

The demand for software engineers is incredible – regionally, nationally and globally. The need for a well-rounded education that includes the requisite technical skills and ability to learn new programming languages and technologies – combined with strong software engineering methodologies and practices – is critical. Of course, teamwork and effective communication skills are paramount for success.

Large companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook/Meta, are all clamoring for new employees that are prepared for the many challenges. There is also considerable growth in small- to medium-size companies, as well as government and other businesses, that rely heavily on technology for delivery of their products and/or services. Studies vary considerably in terms of the magnitude and “counts” of how many software engineers are needed; however, the one thing that is certain is that the demand far exceeds the supply! CSS is doing its best to provide opportunities for our students and assure their success. State funding and industry support to further help us in expanding growth and opportunities for learning is paramount. It is indeed a partnership – with many opportunites!

Happy Holidays to everyone, enjoy winter break and see you again in the new year!

View the autumn 2021 edition of Nibbles