2011 CIE/Collin College Spring Technical Symposium – Cloud Computing and Cyber Security

CIE and Collin College organized a very successful Spring Symposium on Saturday, March 26. The event occurred at the Collin College Preston Ridge Campus. The theme of the symposium was “Cloud Computing and Cyber Security”. We had about 170 registered attendance, and about 40 of them were students. The symposium started at 12 pm and ended at 5 pm. There were four keynote seminars and two panel discussions, organized in 3 sessions. The speakers were all experts in their own individual field. In addition, there were five local and an out-of-state companies set up their booths at the event to hold on-site interview with the students. The major difference between this annual event from the past was that this is the first time ever CIE co-organizes the event with Collin College, which established the strong foundation for further future collaborations.

The MC of the event was Dr. Lun Tsuei, the CIE Mechanical Engineering Technical Director. He first invited Dr. David Kao, CIE president, to briefly introduce CIE. Dr. Kao listed a number of achievements CIE made that have positive impact to the DFW community. He also encouraged the audiences to participate the many more events to come. Mr. Sammy Yang, CIE EVP, then gave the ceremony opening speech to welcome the audiences. He acknowledged Mr. David Arbuckle, the VP of External Affair of AT&T, who initiated the relationship between CIE and Collin College. He also acknowledge the help that Mr. David Galley, the director of Engineering & Technology of Collin College Preston Ridge Campus. Finally, he thanks the organizing committee from CIE and Collin College, who made the event possible.

Mr. David Galley, the host of the event, then provided a brief introduction to the Preston Ridge Campus. He mentioned that the state-of-the-art campus is growing fast, offering many 2+2 technology and computer courses for the perspective students, and also many different computer and IT related certification courses. Dr. Toni Jenkins, the Vice President & Provost of Collin College, again sincerely welcomed the audience to the campus. She was very positive about the future of collaboration between CIE and Collin College.

The first session of the symposium was mainly keynote seminars. The first speaker was Mr. John Weston from Microsoft, and his talk was “Cloud Computing”. Mr. Weston is an IT evangelist at Microsoft, where he provides software training and gives talks in various events. In his talk, he briefly introduce the Cloud Technology, and why Cloud Technology can bring cost efficient software solution to a company. Such a “pay as you go” model is going to be the emerging trend of software. He also introduced how Microsoft implements the novel approaches to server management to facilitate the efficient technology. He also performed live demonstration for some new Microsoft products.

The next speaker was Mr. Kevin Mellott, the CEO and founder of ERASE Enterprises, and his talk was “Cyber Security Treat”. Mr. Mellott has over 36 years of experience in the field of public safety. He is also nationally and internationally recognized in the field. In his talk, he emphasized the importance of psychology in understanding cyber security threats. He joked that there are tons of coding experts out there, but most of them do not understand psychology, which was why cyber security treats have been a challenging problem in the IT field. He mentioned that the “bad guys” perform attacks only when there are clear advantages, so it is important to understand the source of the treats. Mr. Mellott advised that companies should proactively equip with technology and intelligence to prevent such attacks to avoid costly aftermath loses.

The second and third sessions of the symposium were run in parallel in different auditoriums. In the second session, Ms. Amy Minyard, Deputy Director of Cyber Intelligence Division at Cyveillance, discussed how a company should protecting itself in the world of social media. She has eleven years of experience in the intelligence field. She pointed out that companies should not hide themselves in the growing use of social media, but rather clearly defining their policies in the use of such medium internally within the employees and externally for marketing to avoid misuse that could cause reputation damage to the company. The session followed by a panel discussion formed by Ms. Minyard, Mr. Mellott, and the faculty members of Collin College, Mr. Stephen Willis and Mr. Pete Brierley. The audience actively participated the discussion by raising various topics on cyber security that were closely related to our life.

In the third session, Dr. Zunxuan Chen, a Counsel at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, first talked about “US Export Controls”. Dr. Chen’s practice focuses on patent prosecution and patent litigation in the areas of electronics, mechanics, biology, chemistry and medicine. Dr. Chen pointed out that US imposes some level of intellectual property export controls that many engineers and scientists that may or may not be awared of. Many of the victims carelessly released these properties in the form of data stored in a the laptop computers and public presentations given in the seminars in the foreign countries. Dr. Chen also provided guidelines that one should follow to prevent violating such controls. The session also followed by a panel discussion formed by HR personnel from Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Oncor. The participated young professionals actively asked questions to learn more about internship and career opportunities, resume preparation, interview skills, and visa sponsorships. The discussions were very helpful to prepare them for successful career path.