September 25, 2017

Cactus Con 2017

cactus con 2017 cyber security conference in arizona

Cactus Con is a local cyber convention that began in 2012 and has been growing each year. Considered to be Arizona’s Defcon, Cactus Con may be the biggest local/regional hacking, cybersecurity conference in Arizona – not to mention, it was started in part by UAT alumni.

This year Cactus Con will include a robotics village and organizers have asked UAT to run it. UAT Robotics Professor Joseph Horen will be on-hand at Cactus Con to show off robots, drones and answer questions about the program.

UAT to host Robot Village at Cactus Con

UAT to host Robot Village at Cactus Con

UAT will also bring Rasberry Pi and Arduino tech applications. The idea is to have a hands-on, interactive area where the kids and teens can experience building with this technology, including IoT devices and/or Bots that can be coded to do things.

UAT Network Security alumni and Antimatter Security COO Will Peterson said, “I can’t wait for this years’ Cactus Con! I’m happy to see professionals in local security groups getting involved in conferences and reaching out to the public. It’s great to have local talent collaborating for the better of our industry.”

What: Cactus Con
When: Saturday, September 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Convention Center

Cactus Con participants can attend a variety of workshops, presentations and break-out sessions. Some topics include Cloud computing, Covert communications, Cryptography, Incident response, Malware detection, Framework vulnerabilities, Mobile security, Network reconnaissance and Social engineering.

We hope to see you at Cactus Con on Sept. 30th!

Summer Internship at iD Tech Camps

id tech camp internship

During the summer semester, Game Design and Game Programming student Tyler “Ozzy” Osborne worked as a paid intern for iD Tech Camps held at Rancho Solano Prep School in Scottsdale, from June – Aug. 2017.

Ozzy was responsible for teaching students, who ranged in age from 13-17 years-old, Autodesk Maya, Unreal Engine 4, C# scripting with Unity Engine, and level design in a mod pack for Torchlight II.

The camp accepts students as young as 6-years-old up to 17-years-old.

Much of the job entailed trouble shooting, resolving issues that the students encountered, supervision of the group, encouraging students to follow instructions, and interaction and mentoring skills.

Ozzy was responsible for a maximum of eight kids. In managing a small group, he easily could teach them concepts as a group and then answer individual questions one-on-one.

One student really stood out because he took the project a little further than most. This student created a city builder game in Unity, when the task was to only replicate the classic Frogger game from the 80s.

iD Tech Camps Internship teaching programming

Teaching programming at iD Tech Camps 

Now that Ozzy’s summer internship is completed he admits he learned a lot from this experience. Ozzy now understands how tough it is to be a teacher and how much time it takes to prepare lessons, but the feeling is quite rewarding to see students exceed your expectations.

Ozzy attended iD Tech Camps when he was 13 and that’s how he became interested in becoming a game designer, and eventually found his place at UAT!

Programming Jam at UAT

Programming Jam

Calling all programmers!

The fall semester has begun and it’s time to get busy innovating with a fun Programming Jam!

UAT is holding a Programming Jam under the guidance of Computer Science Professor Tony Hinton starting on Friday, September 26, ending with an awards ceremony on October 6 in the UAT Theater.

Check out a Raspberry Pi from the Library at UAT. Your team has one week to create ANYTHING! There will be prizes for First, Second and Third Place winners.

Register here or reach out to Professor Hinton at thinton@uat.edu.

Look for this flyer around campus with all of the details!

 

 

Chief Science Officer Institute Returns to UAT

Chief Science Officer training at UAT

The CSO Institute is back!

Between 100-200 middle and high school students will be on campus on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16, preparing to be advocates for STEM. The Chief Science Officer (CSO) program is a project that has been a partnership between UAT and the Arizona Tech Council/AZ SciTech Festival since 2015.

What is uniquely great about this program is that it finds teens who love tech and then gives them a deep dive into leadership, networking, communication, social media skills and some advanced tech, as well). The result is that these future programmers and builders are prepared and energized about being the voices lifting other teens towards technology futures.

Chief Science Officer Institute at UAT

Chief Science Officer Institute at UAT

Here is what Governor Doug Ducey says about this program:

“The CSO program is an innovative, Arizona grown model that we anticipate will transform the STEM Climate. We are proud to be leading the path in providing the nation’s diverse civic STEM leaders.”

The need to build a STEM workforce in Arizona beyond the “usual suspects” in the educational pipeline is a pressing one. Through programs like this CSO event, UAT and its community partners are changing this trajectory.

These young tech leaders are the future of tech in the community. Kudos to them!

To find out more about CSO, click here.

UAT Business Technology Professor Offers Lean Startup Advice

Business Technology Professor Offer Lean Startup Tips

Many UAT students will become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses after graduation. Professor Mark Smith teaches Business Technology courses at UAT and has some great tips for how to operate a business under the lean principles.

What is a lean startup? Lean startup ideals originated by author Eric Ries, which states that if companies invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.

When starting an online business, you want to stay lean as you can. This includes expenses, efficiency and processes. Any additional overhead or extra time exerted can cost a first year startup company a chunk of its revenue.

Here are some key things that can be done specifically from on online standpoint to keep expenses down.

Only contract work that needs to be done. Instead of taking on employees that will be a regular fixed cost, contract workers out for a short duration of time. This cost can be deductible and you won’t have to focus accounting resources to pay them. If you’re specifically starting on online business look for the cheapest route for hosting, domain registration and website building. There are many free sites out there that will allow you to do much of this work without having to dig into your account. They might take you a bit more time to setup or create but you will not have extra costs.

Another tip specifically for an online business is to keep in home office for as long as you can. If you’re using your home as the business headquarters, you can deduct a portion of your utilities, rent and internet costs based on the amount of your home you are using.

The greatest costs to a business is labor, space and inventory. The goal is to reduce the cost of labor, space and product inventory as much as possible. That’s why contracted work is helps businesses stay lean. Working from home also saves you money while also limiting space for your inventory so you don’t house to much resources at one time.