Marist College is a private liberal arts college on the east bank of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York. The site was established in 1905 by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic Religious Institute, and the college was chartered in 1929. The college offers over 60 bachelors and masters degree programs and 20 certificates across the traditional undergraduate, graduate, adult education, and distance learning environments including online. The college consists of six undergraduate schools and one school for working professionals. Approximately 4,500 undergraduate students attend the Poughkeepsie campus .Marist has a global presence with a branch campus in Florence, Italy and study sites in 26 countries including Egypt, China, England, Italy and Australia. The college also owns a 60 acre estate in Esopus, New York, which is used to operate the Raymond A. Rich Institute for Leadership Development.In 1969 Marist became Independent when ownership of the College was transferred from the Marist Brothers to the Marist College Educational Corporation with a predominantly lay board of trustees.Although Marist is no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church, it is "proud of its Judeo-Christian roots" and religion continues as a field of study and a part of many students' and administrators' lives; as does the continued presence of several Marist Brothers who reside and work on campus. The College maintains a chapel on campus, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, to offer services for an array of faiths. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 18, 2017
Just over half of American adults have tried marijuana, and 14 percent use it regularly, a new survey finds. Funded by Yahoo News and carried out by Marist Poll, the phone survey asked adults over age 18 about their personal use of marijuana and their opinions on the drug. The numbers are similar to those reported by the polling agency Gallup, which has found that although only 4 percent of Americans said they had tried pot in 1969, the number rose to 44 percent by 2015. Acceptance of marijuana's legalization is increasing along with experimentation: A 2016 Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans think the drug should be legalized. Seven states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of pot for recreational (rather than medical) reasons. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana] Researchers at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York state interviewed 1,122 adults between March 1 and March 7, weighting the responses to accurately reflect all Americans by age, gender, income, race and region. They concluded that almost 129 million, or 52 percent, of Americans (plus or minus 2.9 percentage points), have tried marijuana at some point, and that 22 percent of Americans define themselves as users of marijuana. This includes 14 percent of all Americans who currently use the drug regularly, defined as use at least once a month. Among those regular users, 51 percent (plus or minus 7.7 percentage points) are parents, and 27 percent are parents of children under age 18, the survey found. The 22 percent of Americans who currently use marijuana are a slightly gender-skewed group: 55 percent male and 45 percent female. (All values are accurate to plus or minus 6.2 percentage points in this group of current users.) Just over half (52 percent) are millennials ages 18 to 24, and 54 percent earn less than $50,000 a year. Most (71 percent) are not religious, and 69 percent do not have a college degree. Only 14 percent consider themselves Republican, compared with 43 percent Democrats and 42 percent independents. The rest identified as "other." Tracking with the growing number of states that allow medical marijuana use, 83 percent of Americans (plus or minus 2.9 percentage points) support the legalization of marijuana use for medical reasons, the survey found. For comparison, 49 percent supported the legalization of its use for recreational reasons. Having tried marijuana correlates with greater support for legalization: 70 percent of those who have ever tried it (plus or minus 4.1 percentage points) and 89 percent who currently use it (plus or minus 6.2 percentage points) support recreational cannabis legalization. [Healing Herb? 5 Conditions Marijuana Could Treat] Americans are less worried about pot than about cigarettes, the survey suggested, with 24 percent ranking tobacco at the top of their worries for children. Marijuana tied with alcohol for second place, with 21 percent of people saying the drug was their greatest concern for children. The survey also asked people's opinions on whether they'd view another person less favorably if they found out that person smoked pot. Thirty-six percent of Americans would lose respect for a doctor who smoked pot, the answers revealed, while 28 percent said they'd judge an athlete negatively for using marijuana. Sixty percent of religious Americans said they'd view a religious leader as less worthy of respect if that person used pot. Celebrities got a bit of a pass from the public: Only 22 percent of Americans said they'd see their favorite celebrity less favorably if that star used pot. Less than half (45 percent) of parents of children under 18 said they would judge their child's teacher negatively if they found out the teacher used marijuana in his or her personal life. Meanwhile, 79 percent of Americans said they'd lose respect for a parent who used marijuana in front of his or her child. Parents who use marijuana do keep their kids in the dark about their pot habit, according to the survey. Among parents who use pot and have underage children, 93 percent said they have never used it in front of their kids, though 54 percent said they have talked to their kids about their own marijuana use. Almost half (47 percent) of parents with adult children said they have used marijuana in front of their grown children or shared their stash with their kids. Most people who use marijuana do so for fun, with 86 percent of users saying they'd used pot during a party or social event with friends, and 78 percent saying they'd gotten high prior to a social event. Sixty-eight percent said they'd used pot before sex. Slightly more than half (54 percent) had availed themselves of their stash before a family function. Twenty percent of users said they'd used marijuana before a funeral.
News Article | April 21, 2017
A recent poll has shown that American people support the legalization of marijuana with a higher percentage than ever. There is a five-point increase from 2016, and both the medical and the recreational use seem to scare people less. At the same time, most of the respondents believe that marijuana is less dangerous than other drugs, and that addiction to it should rather be treated as a health issue than as a criminal offense. Marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, considered as dangerous as heroin. A recent poll conducted by CBS showed that people support the legalization of marijuana, as 61 percent of the respondents believe the drug should be legal for recreational use. At the same time, 88 percent of the respondents agreed with the legalization for medical use. The poll also showed that 71 percent of the subjects oppose the government's efforts to put an end to marijuana sales and use in the states where it is currently legal. The opposition was expressed among Democrats, Republicans and independents. According to the poll's results, 65 percent of the respondents believe that marijuana is less dangerous than most of the drugs, and only 23 percent showed concern that its legalization could lead to an increase in violent crimes. Concerning the generic idea of drug abuse, 69 percent of the respondents believe that it should be treated as a health problem instead of being classified as criminal offense. People over the age of 65 are most opposed to the legalization. At the same time, most of the respondents under this age, regardless of gender, support it. Previous studies showed that women were more reluctant than men when it came to this issue. However, according to this poll, the gender differences are now statistically irrelevant. Another poll, published by researchers from Quinnipiac University, shows consistent results with the one conducted by CBS. According to this poll, 60 percent of Americans agree with the legalization of marijuana, while an overwhelming 94 percent believe that the drug should be legal for medical use. The poll also suggests that 73 percent of the respondents oppose the enforcement of federal laws against the drug in states where it's legal either for medical or recreational purposes. "From a stigmatized, dangerous drug bought in the shadows, to an accepted treatment for various ills, to a widely accepted recreational outlet, marijuana has made it to the mainstream," noted Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. At the moment, marijuana is legal in 29 states for medical use. Eight states and the District of Columbia have also legalized recreational use. Another recent poll has shown that 52 percent of American adults have tried marijuana at least once. At the same time, approximately 56 percent of the adult respondents find the drug socially acceptable. However, most of the respondents believe that their parents will not be happy to hear about their experience. "Of note, 33% of marijuana users believe parents have not spoken to their children about marijuana because they do not want to encourage its use," noted the researchers at the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | May 8, 2017
LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has evaluated the top colleges in New York state for 2017. Of the 50 four-year schools who made the site’s “Best” list, Columbia University in the City of New York, Cornell University, Yeshiva University, University of Rochester and New York University were in the top five. Of the 39 two-year schools that were included, Monroe Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY Westchester Community College and Genesee Community college took the top five spots. A full list of schools is included below. “New York state offers a wide variety of educational options, but the schools on our list are those going the extra mile for students,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Not only do they offer outstanding certificate and degree programs, they also provide students with resources that help them make successful career choices after college.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in New York” list, institutions must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit schools. Each college is ranked on additional statistics including the number of degree programs offered, the availability of career and academic resources, the opportunity for financial aid, graduation rates and annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in New York” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adelphi University Alfred University Barnard College Canisius College Clarkson University Colgate University College of Mount Saint Vincent Columbia University in the City of New York Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Cornell University CUNY Bernard M Baruch College CUNY City College CUNY Hunter College CUNY Queens College Daemen College D'Youville College Fordham University Hamilton College Hartwick College Hobart William Smith Colleges Hofstra University Houghton College Iona College Ithaca College Le Moyne College LIU Post Manhattan College Manhattanville College Marist College Molloy College Nazareth College New York University Niagara University Pace University-New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rochester Institute of Technology Saint John Fisher College Saint Joseph's College-New York Siena College St Bonaventure University St John's University-New York St Lawrence University Stony Brook University SUNY at Binghamton Syracuse University Union College University at Buffalo University of Rochester Vassar College Yeshiva University The Best Two-Year Colleges in New York for 2017 include: Adirondack Community College Bramson ORT College Bronx Community College Cayuga County Community College Clinton Community College Columbia-Greene Community College Corning Community College CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY LaGuardia Community College Dutchess Community College Erie Community College Finger Lakes Community College Fulton-Montgomery Community College Genesee Community College Herkimer County Community College Hostos Community College Hudson Valley Community College Jamestown Community College Jefferson Community College Kingsborough Community College Mohawk Valley Community College Monroe Community College Nassau Community College New York Methodist Hospital Center for Allied Health Education Niagara County Community College North Country Community College Onondaga Community College Professional Business College Queensborough Community College Rockland Community College Schenectady County Community College Stella and Charles Guttman Community College Suffolk County Community College SUNY Broome Community College SUNY Orange SUNY Sullivan SUNY Ulster SUNY Westchester Community College Tompkins Cortland Community College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.
News Article | February 15, 2017
The Community for Accredited Online Schools, a leading resource provider for higher education information, has ranked the best schools with online programs in the state of New York for 2017. More than 70 schools were ranked overall, with Columbia University, New York University, Cornell University, Syracuse University and University at Buffalo coming in as the top four-year schools. Among two-year schools, Monroe Community College, Niagara County Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Genesee Community College and Tompkins Cortland Community College earned top spots. “College-bound students have many options for post-secondary education in New York state, but they don’t necessarily need to travel to a campus to be successful,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. “The schools on this list are strong examples of what today’s online learning is all about: providing quality education to enhance student success outside of a traditional classroom environment.” Schools on the Best Online Schools list must meet specific base requirements to be included: each must be institutionally accredited and be classified as public or private not-for-profit. Each college was also scored based on additional criteria that includes cost and financial aid, variety of program offerings, student-teacher ratios, graduation rates, employment services and more. For more details on where each school falls in the rankings and the data and methodology used to determine the lists, visit: New York’s Best Online Four-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Adelphi University Canisius College Clarkson University Columbia University in the City of New York Concordia College-New York Cornell University CUNY Graduate School and University Center CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Dominican College of Blauvelt D'Youville College Fordham University Hofstra University Ithaca College Jewish Theological Seminary of America Keuka College LIU Post Marist College Medaille College Mercy College Metropolitan College of New York Mount Saint Mary College New York Institute of Technology New York University Niagara University Nyack College Pace University-New York Roberts Wesleyan College Rochester Institute of Technology Saint John Fisher College Saint Joseph's College-New York St. Bonaventure University St. John's University-New York St. Thomas Aquinas College Stony Brook University SUNY at Albany SUNY at Binghamton SUNY Buffalo State SUNY College at Brockport SUNY College at Oswego SUNY College at Plattsburgh SUNY College of Technology at Canton SUNY College of Technology at Delhi SUNY Empire State College SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica-Rome SUNY Maritime College SUNY Oneonta Syracuse University The College of Saint Rose The New School The Sage Colleges New York’s Best Two Year Online Schools for 2017 include the following: Bramson ORT College Cayuga Community College Corning Community College CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College Finger Lakes Community College Fulton-Montgomery Community College Genesee Community College Herkimer College Hostos Community College Hudson Valley Community College Jamestown Community College Jefferson Community College Mohawk Valley Community College Monroe Community College Niagara County Community College North Country Community College Suffolk County Community College SUNY Broome Community College SUNY Orange SUNY Ulster SUNY Westchester Community College Tompkins Cortland Community College ### About Us: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable, quality education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 328.69K | Year: 2016
The Application-Aware, Software-Defined Networks for Secure Cloud Services (SecureCloud) project designs and builds an innovative cyberinfrastructure for cloud computing networks and enhancing data security without degrading network performance. SecureCloud is a response to the growth of new, highly sophisticated cybersecurity threats that have accompanied the emergence of cloud computing and placed national cybersecurity infrastructure at risk. Cyber attacks are responsible for a range of recent problems ranging from theft of personal information and interfering with financial transactions to threatening national security and government operations.
SecureCloud is studying 1) how to minimize the impact of multi-component malware infiltration and 2) how to improve threat visibility and response time. The project develops, tests, and deploys a fully automated security system that is implemented throughout the cloud infrastructure. The system is prototyped in a software-defined networking (SDN) test bed at Marist College, and first deployed into production across regional and New York State-wide networks. SecureCloud uses SDN to dynamically re-provision network resources in response to impending attacks. The infrastructure includes control of virtual network functions such as virtual router/firewall combinations, traffic flow segregation in metropolitan area networks, and integration of threat intelligence from other data sources using network traffic analytics. The overarching goals are to 1) enable new network functionality to protect networks from malware and denial of service attacks; 2) improve visibility and response time to security threats, 3) quarantine infected computers, and 4) contribute new open source software to the community for integration with a wide range of applications.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 678.88K | Year: 2011
Proposal #: 11-25520
PI(s): Norton, Roger; Coleman, Ron G.; Lauria, Eitel
Institution: Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-1387
Title: MRI/Acq.: An Enterprise System for Research and Research Training
This project from a mainly undergraduate-serving institution, acquiring an enterprise computing
processor and associated storage and network peripherals, aims to introduce research training in enterprise
computing to faculty, undergraduates, and K-12 teachers and students and to bring existing and new
research applications onto the new system. Enterprise computing (EC) research and research training has
steadily declined at universities for over three decades. Although enterprise systems and data are vital to national security and economic growth, many CS and ITS faculty are ill equipped to train the next generation of instrumentalists. This new equipment will be used to fill a major gap in computer science research and research training. Also, since many technological advances in systems hardware and software appear first on enterprise systems and are later adopted by smaller systems, access to an enterprise system will allow faculty researchers and students to explore technologies only encountered on large systems and to explore them earlier. This proposal focuses on research training of faculty and students on the system itself and its use by individual researchers to consolidate and upscale their projects from smaller systems to this larger system. Research projects in computer science, information technology, and mathematics will be moved to the new equipment where a wide scope of applications in different disciplines can be run simultaneously. The work consists of three primary activities:
- Business analytics as a solution to the problems associated with manual medical coding. The new equipment will allow analysis of much larger datasets than are currently feasible. As medical records expand and become more complex, the equipment will be able to accommodate the growth.
- Location aware mobile devices for historical sites will be dependent on the ability to rapidly deploy virtual Linux environments for new historical sites as well as high-speed access to large data stores that house the archives and artifacts associated with his system.
- Research training for faculty and students will prepare the next generation of instrumentalists and improve the computer science, information technology, and mathematics curriculum and introduce researchers in other disciplines to a technology that can benefit their research.
Business analytics and data mining have broad applications in correcting errors in medical diagnoses. The instrument would contribute to a model for data cleansing in large complex data sets. In location-aware mobile devices, the instrumentation would contribute in modeling other research projects to explore ways to give users in-depth information and navigation in large geographical areas.
The institution seeks to revitalize research and research training within a predominantly undergraduate setting. Faculty engaged in applied research and the 800 plus members of the NSF-funded Enterprise Computing (EC) Community have expanded training opportunities and provided resources to support their research. Although some of the research proposed has broad application in the medical field, the methodology under development can be applied wherever there is a need to detect errors and ensure greater accuracy in large complex data sets. Other research, digital information from an enterprise system to common handheld GPS devices, aims to prepare the next generation of researchers and industry professionals who will be responsible for the design and operation of the technology infrastructure that provides the rapid, reliable and secure backbone required by the national economy, the US, state and local governments, and academic researchers. This proposal aims to counter the decline trend in researchers by retraining current faculty and introducing a new generation of undergraduates and, through the Greystone Consortium, K-12 teachers and students to EC research and research training. Research conducted on the requested equipment will be made available to the broader community through a new website and online collaboration site that Marist will host.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 625.75K | Year: 2013
RPR (An Approach for Recruitment, Persistence, and Retention of CS/ITS Students) provides full four-year scholarships to a cohort of 13 academically-talented and financially-disadvantaged majors in Computer Science and Information Technology & Systems majors. Recruitment initiatives focus on program features that have broad appeal to a diverse population of students, including women. RPRs intellectual merit is grounded in its coordination of initiatives found to be effective in recruiting and retaining students. The program features a cohort approach to learning, including a common freshman year experience where students participate in a two-semester active learning CS sequence, a self-management course that aids in student persistence and retention, and a discrete mathematics course.
In addition, students have opportunities to engage in applied research and internships and to be paired with industry mentors. Program evaluation focuses on the effectiveness of recruitment strategies in attracting a diverse cohort and on core program features in aiding student achievement, persistence and retention. The broader impact of RPR is to promote growth and diversity in the CS/ITS field and to disseminate evaluation findings through peer-reviewed publications such as the Proceedings of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and the Journal of Computer Sciences in Colleges.
News Article | October 28, 2016
Unicon, Inc., a leading IT consulting, services, and support provider specializing in open source for the education technology market, today announced the delivery of several learning analytics components for Jisc's open source national learning analytics service. Jisc is the digital services and solutions organisation for UK education and research. This initial phase included completion of services and data integration for a Staff Dashboard, an alert and intervention system (Student Success Plan - SSP), and a predictive analytics model and associated technology (Learning Analytics Processor - LAP). The services for the predictive model were delivered jointly with Marist College, based on the College’s pioneering Open Academic Analytics Initiative research work; Marist completed data analysis and model training based on the UK-specific data set. “Delivering the initial phase of Jisc’s open national learning analytics service demonstrates progress toward their goals of increasing student retention and achievement. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Jisc to deploy this service for piloting institutions, enabling these institutions to draw insights from learning event data to help students succeed,” said John C. Blakley, CEO, Unicon. In July 2016, Jisc announced the beta-stage of their national learning analytics service, which will be piloted with 50 institutions throughout 2017. Jisc’s aim is to create new canonical metrics that will allow for meaningful comparison of analytic patterns in student engagement and other proxy measures for teaching quality. “At Jisc we’re excited to be leading the way in terms of UK learning analytics. We’re working with universities, colleges, and leading vendors, to define and implement a national open architecture for learning analytics. We’re building supporting resources and a learning analytics solution including an app for students to maximize their learning potential, and over 50 universities and colleges signed up to the initial phases of the implementation,” said Michael Webb, Director of Analytics and Technology, Jisc. Additional services delivered by Unicon included migration of data from the LAP to Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), a web service that uses open source Hadoop to quickly and cost-effectively process large amounts of data. Unicon also provided consulting services for increased scalability of future Readiness Assessments. Unicon’s services for learning analytics include systems integration and data integration (using open standards such as IMS LTI); cloud hosting for learning record stores; services for student success and intervention technology (SSP); and services for delivery of data reporting through dashboards and visualizations. To learn more, please visit http://www.unicon.net/services/learning-analytics. Hear the Story at EDUCAUSE Leaders of this UK-based initiative will share lessons learned from technical, implementation, and strategy perspectives and explain how others can get involved at this year’s EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. The conference session, titled “Deploying Open Learning Analytics at National Scale: Lessons from the Real World” will be held on Thursday, October 27, 8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. in Ballroom A, Level Three. About Jisc Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. We operate: About Marist College Marist College, founded in 1929, is located in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, midway between New York City and Albany, the state capital. The College has been recognized for excellence by publications such as, U.S. News & World Report, Time, and The Princeton Review. Additionally, Barron's Best Buys in College Education, has distinguished Marist for its leadership in the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning process. Marist reflects the ideals of the founder of the Marist Brothers, St. Marcellin Champagnat: commitment to excellence in education, a pursuit of higher human values, and dedication to the principle of service. Learn more at http://www.marist.edu. About Unicon Unicon, Inc. is a leading provider of IT consulting, services, and support for education technology and works with institutions and organizations to find solutions to meet business challenges. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management; student success and learning analytics; learning management systems; portals; mobile computing; and online video. Unicon is a Commercial Affiliate of the Apereo Foundation; a Trust and Identity Solution Provider in the Internet2 Industry Program and an Industry Member of Internet2; a Contributing Member of IMS Global Learning Consortium; an Advanced Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network; an Instructure Certified Partner in the Instructure Partner Program; a Pantheon Gold Partner; and a Solution Partner of Kaltura. For more information, visit: http://www.unicon.net. Unicon is a Registered Trademark of Unicon, Inc. 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News Article | February 28, 2017
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hundreds of enterprise technology experts will gather to learn the latest software and network among peers during SHARE® San Jose, March 5-10, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. The event features a Developer Day on Tuesday, over 500 educational sessions and a trade expo. The diverse collection of educational programming set for SHARE San Jose includes technical sessions on DevOps, innovative workloads, analytics, DB2 12, z/VM 6.4, new DFSMS updates, big data, mobile, cloud and security. Attendees also have the opportunity to participate in two concurrent events: SHARE Academy on March 5 and EXECUforum 2017, March 6-7. The single-day SHARE Academy program offers two classes — z/OS Bug Busterz or IMS Immersion — and EXECUforum is a two-day forum for enterprise IT executives. “SHARE is proud to host another year of education and networking in San Jose. SHARE events provide the best opportunities to learn what’s new in the industry and grow together with our peers in enterprise IT,” said Harry Williams, SHARE president and chief technology officer at Marist College. The event will also feature more than 50 exhibitors at the SHARE Technology Exchange Expo, including IBM, CA Technologies, Dell EMC, BMC, Hitachi, IntelliMagic, Luminex and Micro Focus, among others. Connie Podesta, human relations expert and hall of fame keynote speaker, will kick off the week with a keynote presentation on Monday, March 6, highlighting the keys to being a successful influencer. On Tuesday, individuals can participate in an interactive TED-style talk on “the mainframe in the digital age” which will be presented in groups by Peter Rutten of IDC; Jonathan Adams of BMC Software; Keith Sisson of Compuware; and, Hayden Lindsey of IBM Corporation and Ashok Reddy of CA Technologies. SHARE San Jose is open to both Members and non-members. Visit SHARE.org/SanJose for more information about registration and fees, including one-day, group and virtual attendance options. SHARE® is an independent, volunteer-run information technology association that provides education, professional networking and industry influence. Since 1955, SHARE has enabled IT professionals to achieve business results through a combination of credible, relevant programs and peer opportunities.
News Article | September 6, 2016
The IBM z890 Mainframe computer weighs 1,500 pounds and stands over five feet tall. When it was first unveiled in 2004, it cost over $300,000. At that time, the z890 was a cutting-edge solution that helped midsized enterprises run their businesses. A 2004 ComputerWorld article described it as small, but by today's standards it’s a big honking computer, and it’s for anything but personal use. That didn’t stop 19-year-old Connor Krukosky from buying one last year. He always had an interest in the behemoth machines, and this slowly but surely turned into a passion that led to installing a computer the size of a small person in his parents’ basement. In an age when enterprising young people are landing jobs via Snapchat or Twitter, Krukosky's antiquated computer would be responsible for earning him a gig at IBM before he was even enrolled in college. Let's back up a bit to understand the full story. Krukosky's parents have always encouraged their son's interest. They gave him his first computer—an IBM Aptiva—when he was 18 months old. Of course, it's unclear how he actually found use of a computer then, but I guess his point was that his family introduced him to computers at an early age. Besides just using them, Krukosky also enjoys taking computers apart. For years he did just this: Tinker with old machines and peek into their insides to try and figure out what precisely they did. Eventually, deconstructing these computers wasn’t enough. Krukosky began to fix them too, learning about old operating systems like DOS along the way. In his early teen years, he said he became "more curious about [those] little chips inside." This morphed into a fascination with how computer wiring evolved over time as he learned about the ways they were originally built. Doing this, he came across an online community of people who collect antiquated machines. After collecting more than a few older machines, he began to research mainframes. "I thought it was interesting," he told me. "I knew about mainframes and the history of IBMs." He never really considered the prospect of actually buying one, until one day (when he was 18) he came across a listing for one. Usually, he explained, these listings are in California. But this one happened to be for sale two hours from his home in Maryland. Krukosky and his father drove to Rutgers University in New Jersey, where the mainframe was being auctioned off. They paid $237 for the beast. Because it was more than a decade old, no longer owned by IBM, and therefore, no longer under warranty, Krukosky and his father were able to deconstruct the machine to transport it. Rutgers employees watched them slowly put it piece by piece in a car. If it had been protected by a warranty, transporting the mainframe would have been a difficult task, since IBM does not allow for these machines to be taken apart. Instead, working mainframes must be transported in one piece via large and expensive vehicles. The two were able to haul the nearly-one-ton machine and put it in the family basement. Krukosky reassembled the machine there and slowly tried to figure out what to do with it. The first problem was actually getting the machine to turn on. "I didn’t know how to effectively boot the machine," he told me. "It’s a long and tedious process . . . it’s not just flipping a switch." He consulted with his friends online and, after a series of trial and error, finally figured out the proper way to get the mainframe to light up. Once it was working, he tinkered with the platform. The machine was running Linux and Krukosky used it, as he said, "to move data." That is, a mainframe's purpose is to run an entire internal network so that people—usually in businesses—can share information with each other. It's a necessary function that a lot of computer users take for granted. Doing this gave Krukosky the chance to see exactly how machines provide the connectivity we all expect in our daily lives. A lot of what he did with the z890 allowed him to learn how to run such a network. He spent hours in his basement looking at the screen connected to the mainframe, inputting code to build his own internal network and running the machine continuously for 30 days. I asked him what he did every day for a month, and he said "exploring it, playing around with it." He and his old computer friends played around with some applications that were on the platform, and even made an FTP server that put some data on the internet. "It wasn’t anything serious," he said. What was serious, though, was the energy bill. Running a bulky computing-heavy machine is not cheap—especially one that is designed to never turn off. After only a month of computer fun, Krukosky’s family saw an energy-bill increase of over $200. His parents paid to power the expensive setup in order to encourage their son's love of machines. Krukosky decided to turn the machine off after first the month was up. During that time of experimenting and connecting with fellow mainframe enthusiasts, Krukosky continually posted inquiries online. One was on an IBM-specific email list where people discuss their technical experiences with mainframes. Said Krukosky, he emailed the people on this list just to "see what their reactions were." Some were impressed by the then 18-year-old and gave him some helpful information about the machine. One person even invited him to speak at a conference in San Antonio. Krukosky's presentation: "I Just Bought an IBM z890—Now What?" was given to a group of enterprise computer pros, introducing him to a whole new network. This initial interaction led to a "formal" connection when "some people from IBM came to me and said hi," Krukosky recalls. After some discussion, the company invited Krukosky to visit its offices in Poughkeepsie, New York. The meeting was just a tour of the company's grounds, however, it also got him talking with the company about employment. Though he was taking some community college classes, he wasn't fully enrolled in a university. IBM thought this was a perfect time to work with the young mind. Since last summer, Krukosky has been working for the company and learning about a variety of IBM's backend projects. "It’s not really an internship," he told me, as he’s being paid to work for the entire year, is not enrolled in school, and is helping out at numerous departments. Right now he’s working in the memory lab researching "how the current mainframe supports terabytes worth of memory." Krukosky told me his future plans aren’t set. He still needs to go to college, most likely Marist College in Poughkeepsie, so he can continue to live and work near IBM. The plan right now is to work part-time at IBM while enrolled, and then figure it out from there. He added that he'll probably get a dual major (possibly engineering and another computer-focused subject), but sees himself focusing on computer science down the line. (Neither IBM nor Krukosky went into detail about formal plans after college.) Krukosky also wants the ability to show off his collection of computers, and perhaps even open a museum. He rattled off a list of all the old IBM machines he owns—starting with one of the old punch-card computer systems—which roughly translates into a timeline of computer evolution. He wants to have a space where people can "play with things," he said, because that’s really what he likes to do: Play with computers. And I’m guessing that playfulness is going to continue to steer his career.