Get Involved with our department!
There are numerous ways you can get involved with and help out the CSE department. One big way is to attend the Alumni Conference. Other ways include working with Capstone Projects, Speaking to classes, Helping with Yield and more.
Recognized for their leadership in the workplace and within their communities, alumni from the College of Engineering and Computing (the artist formally named the School of Engineering and Applied Science) measure their success by their education and by their contributions to the world in which we live. We are grateful for their inspiration and their continued commitment to excellence.
Juan Gilbert (CSE) 1991
"If you could build a system that resulted in world peace, but no one could use it … it would be useless. Usability matters."
Juan Gilbert is the T-SYS Distinguished Professor in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department and a Center for Governmental Services Fellow at Auburn University where he directs the Human Centered Computing Lab. He is the inventor of Applications Quest, an innovative data mining and analysis tool used to process applications for university admissions. He also created Prime III, an electronic voting system that allows everyone equal access to voting. Dr. Gilbert is Professor and Chair of the Human Centered Computing Division in the School of Computing at Clemson University.
In November, 2011, Gilbert was a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. He was one of nine recognized by the White House in 2011 for his "commitment to education and innovation" and for "playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st century workforce" (President Obama).
Dwight Merriman (CSE) 1990
Dwight Merriman is an Internet entrepreneur in New York City.In 1995, he co-founded DoubleClick and served as its CTO for 10 years. He was the architect of the DoubleClick ad serving infrastructure, DART, which still serves billions of ads per day.
Merriman has helped found several startups in New York including Gilt Groupe and The Business Insider. He is CEO of 10gen, which is sponsor of the open source MongoDB project.
Dwight and Jodi Merriman graciously provided an endowment that supports the Dwight and Jodi Merriman Lab for the Computer Science and Software Engineering students in the new engineering building.
Louise Morman (CSE) 1975
"I attribute the successes throughout my eclectic career to the critical thinking skills I learned in the systems analysis program at Miami University. It was an amazing foundation that encouraged me to be curious and a lifelong learner."
Louise Morman is currently the Executive Director of the Lilly Leadership Institute and an instructor at Miami University. She is also a certified executive coach, management consultant, and eldercare advocate. Prior to starting her own business, she had a long and successful career as a senior management executive for three major energy companies. In her most recent position as the senior vice president, marketing and economic development for the New York Power Authority, she was the chief marketing/customer officer for the multi-billion dollar entity.
Advisory Council Membership Information
The College of Engineering and Computing very much values the commitment of Advisory Council members to the School and the time and effort that members exert on behalf of the School. In order to balance continuity and experience on the Council with the infusion of new members, there are two types of membership on the Council: regular membership and associate membership. Both receive invitations to Council meetings and the meeting minutes. The primary difference is that with regular membership participation in council meetings and committee meetings is expected, whereas for associate members participation is optional.
The following guidelines pertain to membership status:
- Appointments to the Advisory Council are made for a three-year term and end after the Spring Meeting.
- Inability to attend three or more of the six meetings in a three-year term will normally result in a change of status from a regular member to an associate member of the Advisory Council.
- Prior to the spring meeting of a member’s third year, regular members will be asked if the member wishes to serve another three-year term as a regular member or become an associate member.
- After six continuous years of service on the council as a regular member, the member’s status will normally change to associate status. Members playing leadership roles on the Council, its committees, or with their affiliated academic department, may be asked to renew their regular membership beyond six years.
- A person shall remain an associate member as long as the member wishes.
- Council members may request change of status from regular member to associate member at any time.
- Assist the College of Engineering and Computing in maintaining and improving the quality of its programs and curricula by insuring that they are relevant in meeting the needs of society.
- Provide information of new trends and forecasts through speakers, seminars, and workshops.
- Contribute to the continual reassessment of curricula through review with faculty, students, and alumni.
- Provide information on society’s need for new programs.
- Assist the College of Engineering and Computing in attracting and maintaining the highest quality faculty.
- Assist in recruiting faculty (part-time and full-time) through professional and personal contacts.
- Identify opportunities and provide means for the faculty research and consulting program.
- Assist the College of Engineering and Computing in obtaining quality students.
- Provide awareness to community about Miami University and the College of Engineering and Computing.
- Provide assistance in making prospective students aware of society’s needs for people who gain competencies provided by the programs in Engineering and Computing.
- Provide assistance in maintaining the student summer intern and co-op programs.
- Provide or assist in identifying sources for funding student scholarships.
- Assist the Engineering and Computing students in obtaining information about the environment and opportunities in business, industry, and the professions.
- Provide information about career opportunities for Engineering and Computing graduates.
- Assist the College of Engineering and Computing in obtaining the necessary support to maintain and enhance its programs.
- Provide or assist in acquisition of needed laboratory equipment.
- Provide or assist in funding applied research.
- Assist in maintaining and improving the image of the College of Engineering and Computing within a university that has a liberal arts heritage.
- Provide a means to communicate the need for diversity in a university setting.
- Be available whenever necessary to advise the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing in matters which would be beneficial to the School, the Advisory Council, and society.
You can find more information at the CEC Main Advisory Council page.
Ways for Alumni to be involved with the CSE (SAN) Department
Our senior students all complete a capstone project in their senior year. This is a two-semester, team projects in which student teams of 3-5 students develop a complex software system to solve a real world problem or opportunity. The projects are supposed to cover all phases of software development: requirements analysis, software design, software construction, and testing. Students are expected to work directly with clients and stakeholders throughout the project. We use an agile process in which students develop the system in increments of increasing complexity with close interaction with clients.
In recent years, we have found that projects with external clients are more effective than more internal projects. One way that alumni can help us is to facilitate connections between their company and the department by identifying a capstone project. What we suggest is a project that is not in the critical path of the company. This is a student team; the students are taking other classes. Thus, it takes these teams longer than it would if they were working full time. A good project choice is the project that is number eleven on your prioritized list of top ten projects that you want to implement. This is a project to which you would not typically get in your normal business. This can be an excellent added value.
We do ask for a certain level of commitment from the company. First, it is important for the company to follow through for the entire year since the students’ graduation depends on finishing a capstone project. Secondly, we ask for a time commitment. Since we are using an agile process, it is vital that the students have contact with the client on a weekly or at least biweekly basis. As the team develops product increments, they will need to have assessments and feedback about that increment. The third commitment is a sponsorship fee of about $10K. For smaller companies, we have negotiated a lower fee.
Another type of project that is excellent for a capstone is a service project. If an alumnus is in a service organization, we would be glad to have that organization sponsor a capstone project. In that case, we would not ask for a fee or would ask for a much lower level of fee contribution. However, we would still need a commitment from organization to give time to the project so that students can provide a project that meets their needs and requirements.
It is very helpful for alumni to visit classes to talk about their jobs, about technology that they use, trends in technology, or career advice. When an alumnus speaks to a course and a message that he or she delivers is the same that the professor has been giving, this is an effective validation. Students respect experienced alumni. In the event that an alumnus delivers a message that differs from the faculty perspective, this provides an important point for discussion and learning.
Alumni often want to speak to classes to introduce their company and recruit students. Our policy is not to invite alumni to classes for that reason alone. However, when alumni come to class to talk about technical topics, it is easy to tie in an advertisement for their company.
One of students’ chief goals in majoring in computer science or software engineering is to get a well-paying, challenging job that makes a difference in our world. There are several things that alumni can do to help with this. The most direct action is to advertise jobs and internships with the Miami University Career Services Office. In addition to that, the CSE department chair, Eric Bachmann (bachmaer@MiamiOH.edu) routinely sends out job and internship information that he receives from alumni. As described elsewhere, it is possible for alumni to speak in a class or to a student club about a technical topic. In that process, the alumnus can easily talk about their company and job openings. Some alumni set up table in our hallways to speak to students. There are two job fairs each year – one in September and the other in February.
Recruiting students to Miami and to the CSE Department is a great help. We are always looking for strong students, especially those passionate about learning. If you connect us to high school students with whom you are associated (children, grandchildren, children of friends and colleagues, etc.), we will be glad to recruit them. If you can help facilitate a campus visit, we can take it from there. (The statistics show that the probability of a student apply to Miami University increases dramatically if that student visits campus.)
The term yield refers to the process of converting students who are admitted to students who accept that admission and become students. In the spring of the year, we have asked alumni to write to a few students to discuss their experiences at Miami and their careers since graduation. We believe that these messages are helpful and increasing yield.