‘Fear factor’ associated with math, science unwarranted

The advent of October, the month designated for STEM awareness by Gov. Rick Snyder, has computer science faculty excited to share their knowledge and spread interest about their discipline.

Many students get anxious about their performance in math and sciences classes; some even decide then to take their studies down another route.

George Corser, assistant professor of computer science, hates to lose those students to what he calls the “fear factor” and wants to provide ways for students to get involved with and interested in the STEM fields.

“(STEM awareness months helps) to take the fear factor out of math and science,” Corser said.

Faculty members Il-Hyung Cho, Khandaher Abir Rahman, George Corser and Chad Dewey are all actively participating in presentations of their own research.

These presentations are open to the general student population; more information on them can be found by contacting computer science and information systems faculty or any Association for Computing Machinery students.

The association is a scholarly community that includes students with majors like computer science and criminal justice. Part of their focus for this month is cybersecurity.

This topic encourages students to get the facts about what is going on in cyberspace and to protect themselves against misinformation.

“Getting robust and rigorously researched information out there to the general public is an important thing that SVSU is doing through…students in the (Association for Computing Machinery),” Corser, said.

Cybersecurity seeks to design practices and technologies to protect networks, computers, programs and date from attack, damage or unauthorized access.

A recent increase in the number of faculty members in the computer science and information systems department has allowed for more research opportunities, especially in the area of forensics, a specific topic related to cybersecurity.

Cho, associate professor of computer science and information systems, sees his knowledge of cybersecurity as an opportunity to expand the departmental reach.

“We want to make it better known to students so students can get involved,” Cho said.

Facilities like the Center for Algorithm Research and Development Including Novel Academics and Learning (or “CARDINAL”) Lab are spreading awareness about new technologies, such as high-performance computing.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, students are invited to an event in the Alan W. Ott Auditorium located in Gilberston Hall. An FBI agent will be presenting information on the topic to help students protect themselves online.

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