Topic: ACET - 2022 Conference

Time: Nov 4-5, 2022 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)


Soon to be posted.
ACET will host virtually its 56th Annual Conference

28-29 October 2021 Virtually

10 things that yield happier students and better learning outcomes in lower-division CS/CE courses
A summary review of over four years of student success research around dynamic interactive learning methods, showing improved learning outcomes and better grades, and freeing lecture time for more examples, student activities, and facilitation of flipped classrooms.
Dr. Frank Vahid
Professor of Computer Science & Engineering
University of California, Riverside and
co-founder of zyBooks, now a Wiley Brand
Friday, November 1 2019, Lunch
Higher-Education Track
Secure Coding for CS1 and CS2
William A. Booth, Ph.D. - Baylor University
Defensive programming is a form of software development intended to ensure the continuing function of software under unforeseen circumstances. Secure programming is the subset of defensive programming concerned with security. Avoiding bugs is a primary objective of all software development, however the motivation in secure programming is to reduce the vulnerability of your code to attack. The programmer must assume that the software will be actively and systematically attached to reveal bugs, and that bugs could be exploited maliciously. In this session specific examples of defensive programming will be discussed. These examples will be appropriate of entry level programming courses.
Teaching CSS Positioning with Coordinate System
Chao Gong, Ph.D., Heejun Choi, Ph.D. - University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
It is recommended by ACM and IEEE to offer web development courses in both Computer Science and Information Technology undergraduate programs. The three cornerstone technologies of the web, namely, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, constitute the main contents of an introductory web development course.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a computer language for describing the presentation of a web page. One function of CSS is to set how a web element, such as an image or a paragraph, is positioned in the web page. The traditional approach to teaching CSS positioning is to specify the offsets between two rectangles. Consider a web element, which occupies a rectangle area on the web page. The position of that element can be specified by the distances between that rectangle and another rectangle occupied by an existing web element.

We propose a new approach to teaching CSS positioning. In our approach, the position of a web element is specified by the coordinates of a point on a coordinate plane. The point is a vertex of the rectangle occupied by the element in question, and the coordinate plane is derived from another rectangle occupied by an existing web element. Our approach makes it easier for students to understand CSS positioning and to apply that knowledge in the process of developing web pages. Our approach teaches students new knowledge (CSS positioning) through connecting to the knowledge they already know (coordinate system). We have been started experiments in our teaching to compare those two teaching approaches.

Positive cycle of integrating teaching and research: Machine learning Self-driving Car project
Keith Edwards - University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
When the computer science courses are designed, how to make the students understand the core concepts and algorithms is usually considered significantly. However, applying them to the real fields, which is considered more important, is often skipped. This research project introduces how to implement the positive cycle of integrating teaching inside the class and research outside of class. In addition, it shows the process that the students build the machine learning based self-driving car.

This project is a practical but good one because it includes various theoretical knowledge that is learned in the class. The project is conducted in 3 stages. First, an RC car is assembled with mechanical and electronic components (Raspberry, sensors, etc.) and is tested by the signal measurement. Then, the self-driving software modules using machine learning are developed and tested. Finally, the RC car with self-driving software module is tested and will be able to move on the bended lane.
Steganography: Simplifying Cybersecurity’s Unsolved Mystery
Isaac K. Gang, Ph.D. - Texas A&M University-Commerce
Securing data at rest or in transit has been a major challenge for researchers and practitioners alike for quite some time. Methodologies, particularly those pertaining to encryption, to disguise information at rest and in transit, have been proposed with varying degrees of success. In this presentation, the author will discuss steganography, an old but effective “secret writing” technique popular in the cybersecurity domain. This algorithm is implemented using contemporary software Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to secure simple or complex messages in transit. Specifically, the software is implemented, so that it is capable of protecting and/or revealing confidential information in transit, using digital images
Analysis of Botnets and their Communication Patterns
Isha Vyas, Lawrence J. Osborne, Ph.D. - Lamar University
Botnets pose numerous dangerous cybersecurity threats for which general detection and solution mechanisms have not been found. A botnet is described as a network of bots or zombie computers which are used to carry out malicious activities over a wide area at the same time. There are basically three parts to a botnet: (a) Botmaster (the person who creates/codes a botnet), (b) bots (the zombie or compromised computers), and (c) C&C (Command and Control). In our research we discuss the communication patterns of botnets that enable a C&C server to execute the malicious intentions of the Botmaster. This paper explains how botnets are constructed, the issues and challenges that are responsible for hindering the efforts to find a general solution to the threats of botnets, and how to recognize and remove botnets from a computer.
Developing a Digital Health Learning Platform: iManage
Stefan Andrei, Ph.D. - Lamar University
Many countries cooperate with the purpose of using technology to improve the quality of health in the world. For example, countries like India, Brazil and South Africa channeled their Facility Fund to Viet Nam through UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and WHO (World Health Organization) in 2018. This represents an example of South-South cooperation in education and healthcare, utilizing the advanced ITC infrastructure and innovation.

Another effort to accommodate technology in health and welfare services was recently done in Finland. Paper (Ahonena; 2017) described the competences that students have before their studies and those they expect to gain from the study module “Developing Digital Health and Welfare Services” in multi-professional groups during their bachelor studies. Their experimental results demonstrate that students are keen to learn about developing digital health and welfare services.

Many other efforts targeting using technology to improve the health services is done by universities and research institutes. Stanford University offers a course called 'Building for Digital Health', as a new Bio-design course sponsored by the Stanford School of Medicine and Stanford’s Computer Science department.

None of these platforms considered the same designated health purposes and all of the following categories of people as we did in our study, from a wide variety of patients: children, nursing aides, autistic students, hearing and aphasia participants. This work describes our efforts to develop a digital health learning platform, called iManage. Besides explaining health related concepts, iManage will evaluate the research study findings as well as the results of its platform.

Industry-Based DNA Chip Analysis Techniques and Implementation
Heejun Choi, Ph.D. - University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Health industry has evolved in the last few decades witnessing a great deal of software use and advancement in the process. In this paper, the authors will review the DNA chip technological advancement with respect to research efforts and usage. The authors will also introduce a process of developing data analysis software that is used for analyzing DNA chips. Then, we will discuss technological limitations and impact on the healthcare sector that DNA chip technology has had. Finally, we will suggest several ways to successfully commercialize the DNA chip, emphasizing its impact on future healthcare sector.
Gamification of Computer Science Education
WIlliam A. Booth, Ph.D. - Baylor University
Educators face challenges regarding student motivation and engagement. Gamification, or the incorporation of game elements into non-game settings, provides a teaching strategy to help address these issue. If gamification is to be of use to higher education, we must better understand what gamification is, how it functions, and why it might be useful.
Reverse Software Engineering: A Sophomore-Level Project In Computer Systems
Cindy Fry - Baylor University
On the first day of class, you are presented with a challenge. A piece of executable code has been found on a server, and you must determine what the code is designed to do. How do you begin? How will you find out if the file is safe to open? What could happen if the program is executed without knowing it’s intention? Is there a way to tell what the file does before opening it?

We will walk through the spring 2019 group project in CSI 2334, “Introduction to Computer Systems,” and have two students present their findings to us.
Lamp Stack Installation And Management: A Systems Programming Project
Cindy Fry - Baylor University
Computer Science students must develop an understanding of modern web service stacks, so students in CSI 3336, “Systems Programming,” are assigned the task of developing a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on their own virtual machine. The learning objectives of this project are:

  • Creating, configuring, and managing a UNIX virtual machine for personal use
  • Utilizing a minimal ISO Linux environment effectively by configuring, managing, and maintaining this distribution
  • Setting up a virtual web server with Apache
  • Forcing secure web services through Apache
  • Creating a database
  • Creating a PHP webpage that queries the database created

A student from the spring 2019 semester will present his LAMP stack installation.
A Unique Experience Using Social Media and Free Software: Pitfalls and Triumphs of Teaching a Class to Dispersed Students All over the world
Sam Hijazi, Ph.D. - Texas Lutheran University
The question was, would it be easy to teach Syrian students scattered all over the world a class on success and persistence using social media, smartphones, and free software? Would the instructor be able to handle the pressure caused by different time zones, faulty Internet connections, various backgrounds, different level of experiences, and unlike educational backgrounds? The answer was a big YES.

The presenter will share the challenges, difficulties, pitfalls, and triumphs of the experience. Working with an expert on motivation and a young assistant made the endeavor possible. What made it also convenient was the flexibility and availability of certain information technologies. These include Facebook, Screencast-O-Matic (screen recorder), and Google Drive, to name a few. The presenter will share the best, and worst lessons learned from this unique experience. The class started with 123 students and ended up in 24 students. The success rate was around 20%! Was it an acceptable percentage to call for a celebration? The answer was yes. The experience would still worth it, and the instructor would repeat in the future. Without existing and free technological innovations, it would have been impossible to share the needed knowledge with eager students all over the world. The passion for learning and the relative ease of access to innovation technologies worked magically to the benefit of the learners.
Reexamining Information Overload
Sam Hijazi, Ph.D. - Texas Lutheran University
It is about time to reexamine information overload. Information anxiety is still an issue resulting in negative feeling, frustration, and even health problems. Information Technology (IT) is a double-edged sword. The exponential growth of information did not help the situation as well. There is no question, IT has improved the decision-making process, but also it has caused some confusion and has added burliness to the process. Distraction is one major problem that has been created by information overload. Information overload is a prevalent topic and should be taken seriously, an issue that would impact the quality of our decision making.

The solution will depend on handling the two actions, our technological use and behavior associated with technology. Clearly, the ubiquity of IT undoubtedly has significantly contributed to the problem. But, IT should as well help to alleviate the situation to reduce most the adverse side effect. Understanding how to use capable search engines efficiently is the first step in handling this never-changing problem. Emphasizing the difference between data, information, and knowledge is also an elementary requirement in dealing with this problem. Accepting the fact that the time-gap that will take to double the amount of information will always get shorter will create a needed awareness. The presenter will suggest multiple solutions to handle these negative side-effects. It is evident that this presentation is not a call to unplug but to create a balance in how to react, act, and, as we should, proact to the tsunami of information.
Getting Students to View Those Videos
Ruth Robbins, EdD - University of Houston Downtown
Do you sometimes wonder did your students actually view a particular video? You give an assignment and ask the students to view the video and provide a description of what they saw. The answers are sometimes acceptable, but you cannot really tell if they actually viewed the video in full. Did they get their description of what the video was about by reading someone else’s description? Or, did they get a friend’s explanation and just change it somewhat.

This presentation will describe a testing tool available to Blackboard users, which allows students to answer multiple choice or true-false questions interspersed throughout the video, only while viewing the video. This eliminates the question attached to “Was the video viewed?”.