DeMatteis School Spring 2019 Newsletter

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Spring 2019 Newsletter


Message from the Dean  
Sina Y. Rabbany, PhD (Bioengineering)


I am pleased to share with you some of what is going on in the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science as we start the Spring 2019 semester. These highlights represent just a snapshot of ever-evolving curricular offerings, student achievements and opportunities and faculty accomplishments, along with my favorite section, which is the alumni updates.This Fall our school moved up to 35th nationwide out of 205 non-PhD granting engineering schools in the rankings by US News & World Report. The continued growth in both stature and in student numbers... Read More



Message from the Chair of the Department of Computer Science 
Krishnan Pillaipakkamnatt, PhD (Computer Science) 


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is HUGE these days. I'm not exaggerating here: Almost every single high tech startup purports to use AI, whether it is a no-frills stock trading company ( or a "human-free" cybersecurity company ( So, what exactly is AI? And does Hosftra "do AI"?  Here is the academic definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the rather popular textbook on the subject by Russell and Norvig: It is "the study of agents that receive percepts from the... Read More



Hofstra in Silicon Valley Program 
On January 13th, a team of thirteen students and one faculty mentor from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering journeyed to California to participate in an exploratory trip of Silicon Valley. 'Hofstra in Silicon Valley' was the first of its kind and is designed to give students a deeper insight into Silicon Valley: company operations, culture, and... Read More


Message from the Director of the Graduate Program

Gerda Kamberova, PhD (Computer Science)


During the past semester, more students took more graduate classes and the overall student enrollment increased compared to the previous year. In total, $65,000 of scholarship money was awarded to new and continuing students. In Fall 2018 we offered special topic courses in Text Mining and Deep Learning. During the Spring 2019 semester for the first time we are offering a course in computer vision. Read More  


Dr. Ostheimer to Attend Seminar at Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany

Gretchen Ostheimer, PhD (Computer Science)


Dr. Gretchen Ostheimer has been invited to attend a week-long seminar at Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany in March 2019. Dagstuhl seminars are frequently praised by participants as the most productive academic events they have ever experienced. This can be attributed to Dagstuhl's unique concept: Dagstuhl seminars promote personal interaction and open discussion of results as well as ideas. Read More  


Decoding Code

Computer Science faculty and students recently hosted a campus-wide interactive event designed to demystify computer programming. The 'Hour of Code', part of the Computer Science department's celebration of national Computer Science Education Week, drew 45 students and professors from varied disciplines. The Hour of Code is organized by the... Read More


Cyber Warfare


Three computer science students emerged as winners at Hofstra's 3rd Annual Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition. Over a 24-hour period, students were asked to defend their computer servers and attack their competitors' potential vulnerabilities. Twenty-seven students participated in this year's competition, which was held in the DeMatteis School. Read More


Code for Good


Two computer science students were on a team that took first place in the JPMorgan Chase Code for Good competition hosted in Tampa, Florida.

The competition is an opportunity for students to work in teams alongside JP Morgan's coders to solve a technical challenge faced by

one of two non-profit clients at the event. Read More


Facebook Cybersecurity University Program: A Year in Review


Hofstra University's first year participating in Facebook's Cybersecurity University Program provided students with a myriad of educational and professional opportunities.  Hofstra is one of only nine universities nationwide selected to participate in the program which strives to help cultivate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Read More


360-Degree Education


 A collaboration between The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, the course brings together students from diverse majors such as journalism, film, graphic design, and computer science to create digital storytelling projects using the latest in virtual reality and 360-degree video technology. Read More


Students Attend Cybersecurity Conferences


Five students, accompanied by Dr. Angeliki Zavou, assistant professor of computer science, attended the BlackHat and DefCon conferences in

Las Vegas, thanks to scholarships from Facebook. The merit-based travel scholarships were awarded to computer science students. Undergraduate students were selected based on their performance... Read More



Message from the Chair of the Department of Engineering  
Richard J. Puerzer, PhD (Industrial Engineering)


While engineering is one of the few fields where the undergraduate degree program enables a student to become a "professional," graduate education related to engineering can still be very valuable to engineers in order to expand their knowledge and abilities. It is with this in mind that we have created the first graduate program in the engineering department: the MS Engineering Management program. Read More


Message from the Director of Freshman Engineering 
Mauro J. Caputi, PhD (Electrical Engineering)


Dr. Mauro Caputi, Director of Freshman Engineering, has long been renowned for his innovative first semester course ENGG 15: Designing the Human-Made World, in which incoming aspiring engineering majors begin to experience the design process and learn how to work on teams to build devices while working within time and budgetary constraints. After developing, teaching, and revising a follow-on course... Read More


Engineering Professor Wins Grant 


Assistant Professor of Engineering, Dr. Edward Segal, Ph.D  won an $8,000 grant from the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation for his project, Rapid Rope Bridge Deployment, which demonstrates the feasibility of constructing polyester-rope suspended footbridges that can be rapidly deployed during natural disasters to aid in rescue efforts. Dr. Segal will conduct research over the course of 18 months in Hofstra's civil... Read More


Moles Scholarship and Student Awards Recipients


In the past two years, civil engineering students Christopher Collaro, Kevin Cunningham, Britany D'Introno, Daniel Freidina, Jake Haney, and Adam Perlmutter were awarded the prestigious Moles Scholarship (2017: Christopher and Daniel; 2018: Britany and Jake) and the Moles Student Award (2017: Adam; 2018: Kevin). Founded in 1936, the Moles is a fraternal organization representing civil... Read More


System identification of Sign A 

Comparing Human Visual Learning Behavior versus Neural Networks

Dr. Rojas-Murillo has a PhD in Industrial Engineering in the field of Human Factors and Ergonomics, while Dr. Oren Segal has PhD in Computer Engineering and Alexander Speicher is a Computer Science masters student under the direction of Dr. Segal. Both researchers are leading a project towards the development of a virtual reality tutor software to teach American Sign Language... Read More



Play Video

Advanced Summer Program in Research (ASPiRe) 

The Advanced Summer Program in Research (ASPiRe) is a ten-week, intensive program for students interested in pursuing a research project related to their major. ASPiRe students work full-time in DeMatteis laboratories under the guidance of faculty peer mentors. Please inquire in the Dean's Office (103 Weed Hall) for summer 2019 program details.


Co-op Information  

Co-op Video

Co-op Program Continues to Expand  
Philip Coniglio, Co-op Director


Our co-op program is now in its fourth year of operation. By the end of 2019 we will have seen over 100 students go through the program with over 170 corporate partners participating. So far, 75% of the students that have completed the co-op and have graduated have accepted permanent jobs with our corporate partners. This achieves one of...  Read More


Co-op Student Wins High Praise


Computer science co-op student Raj Patel '19 was awarded Black Knight's 2018 Intern Champion Award for his on-the-job performance, professionalism and dedication. Patel worked as a security analyst on a cybersecurity project in Black Knight Financial's Business Operations and Research Management department... Read More


Tricks of the Trade: Co-op Provides Work Experience and Competitive Edge


Making the transition from school to work was easy for industrial engineering major Michael Spencer – because he made it before he earned his degree. Spencer '16 was among the first students in the co-op program at the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. After working at Black Knight Financial Services in Los Angeles for seven months... Read More



The DeMatteis Executive Speaker Series offers engineering and computer science students the opportunity to gain valuable career advice from industry professionals. 


Fire Protection Engineering

Charles Joyce, PE, Director of Fire Safety at AKF Group®


Fire protection engineering – the study of the causes of fires and how building design influences the prevention and suppression of fires – is a rapidly growing sector of the job market, Charles Joyce, told students from the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. In his presentation,Fire Protection Engineering:  Protecting People, Property... Read More


Communication is Key

Don Balducci, Vice President and Senior Advisor of Talent Development at CA Technologies


Engineering and computer science students need to develop soft skills if they want to compete in today's global market, according to Hofstra alumnus Don Balducci."If you are applying for a job and competing with people who have the same technical talents, the person with superior communication skills will be promoted every time," Balducci said. Read More


Career Goals

Joseph M. Heaney III, PE, Principal at Walden Environmental Engineering, PLLC


Pursuing a career in engineering requires ingenuity and hard work, according to Joseph M. Heaney III. Mr. Heaney's presentation, Engineering Consulting: Planning and Executing a Successful Career, kicked off this year's Executive Speaker Series hosted by the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. Heaney discussed accreditations... Read More



Second Annual Computer Science and Engineering Fair a Great Success!


On November 14th, the office of career services held the second annual Computer Science and Engineering Fair. Thirty four companies hosted tables and over 200 students attended the fair.


Celebrating Ada Lovelace - "THE INTERNET NEEDS YOU: How Your Data Can Change the World"


Every time we post or update our status on social media or write an online review, we provide researchers with valuable information, according to Dr. Monica Stephens, PhD, assistant professor of geographic information science at the University at Buffalo." The data you create tells a story of your experience in space and time," said Dr. Stephens... Read More


Celebrating Women in STEM


More than 50 engineering and computer science students attended the 12th Annual Women in Engineering and Computer Science Luncheon hosted by First Year Connections and dedicated to celebrating the new cohort of women students at the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. The event, which has doubled in size since it... Read More


Alumni Notes  
Please send updates to:

1975, 1977, 1980. Stephan G. Kravitz, PE. BS Engineering Science, MS Secondary Education, MBA. After 37 ½ years at PRELOAD, Stephan retired as CIO when the company was sold. To keep busy, he now sells appliances, cameras and other electronics at Best Buy.

1978. Anthony Notaro, BS Computer Science. Currently H2M Architects & Engineers Sr. Construction Inspector, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Project-PSEG/LI; USMA West Point Instructor - Judo Team, Volunteer since 2003; Received Presidential Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award-from President Barack H. Obama

1980. Howard Gropper, BS Engineering. With most of Howard's almost 40 years ticked away with only 2 companies, he has managed commercial, residential, education, municipal, airport, and healthcare projects from NYC to South Florida, ranging from $2M to $600M.

1984. Peter M. DiFiore, MS computer Science. Open Systems/Database Administrator, Hofstra University IT - Systems and Operations.

1984. Nina (Silitschanu) Gregory, BS Computer Science. Completing 22nd year as Global Bonus Administrator within Global HR Operations for PepsiCo, Purchase NY.

1985, 2018. Irving Bruckstein, BS Computer Science & Mathematics, MS Computer Science. Currently the Chief Information Officer & Chief Information Security Officer at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, PA. He is comprehensively responsible for information technology and cyber-security throughout five campus locations. A certified program manager.

1987, 1990. Charles Bonomo, BS Mathematics, MS Computer Science. Currently SVP / Chief Information Officer at MSC Industrial Supply, an industrial distribution firm with over $3 billion in annual revenue, headquartered in Melville, Long Island. Residing in Westhampton Beach, NY with Linda, his wife of 30 years, and two children, Nicholas (24) and Larisa (21).

1988. Sal Picataggio, BE Engineering Science. Career Review: Grumman Aerospace, Dayton T. Brown, EDO Corporation, Brookhaven National Lab.

1988. Lorie Hobart (McGarrigle), BS Computer Science & Math, Application System Engineer @ Wells Fargo working in the Enterprise Core Data Services area.

1990. Kellyann M Few, BE Engineering Science, Kellyann is currently the Vice President of Operations for Power52 Energy Solutions ( She utilizes her engineering and management skills to support the development, financing, and construction of clean energy solutions while addressing the social & economic needs of vulnerable communities. Everyday Kellyann is given the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained as a Civil (Environmental) Engineer working for the Department of Defense and US Environmental Protection Agency. She came to Hofstra University as a NOAH student and has built upon this academic experience by committing to Resiliency through Sustainability.

1996. Michael Nelkens, MS Computer Science. Managing staff and technology as the Executive Director, Global Head of Infrastructure in a global energy commodities trading firm. Manage technologies such as cloud, networks, servers, workstations and databases. He credits his MS in Computer Science from Hofstra to much of his success.

2001. Rose Diaz, BS Computer Science, MS BCIS. 2013-Present - Director of IT for College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte (Charlotte, NC); 2009-2013 - Director of Information Computing & Information Technology for Hunter College Campus Schools (NY, NY)

2003. Jill Hilton, BE Engineering Science. Lead developer and director for skincare packaging innovations at the Estée Lauder Companies. Where they analyze corporate and brand strategy, emerging trends, new technologies, and gaps within their portfolio to create new cutting edge concepts that enhance the efficacy of the formula through packaging or devices.

2004. Vivian Toscano, PE, BE Engineering Science. Currently working at the NYC Department of Design & Construction as a Project Controls Specialist.

2013. Navid Paknejad, BE Engineering Science, Bioengineering. PhD candidate at Weill-Cornell Physiology, Biophysics, and Systems Biology program specialized in using cryo-electron, atomic force, and optical microscopy to study ion channel structure and function in the lab of Richard Hite at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is open to mentoring undergraduate volunteers who would like to contribute to his research.

2014. Nicole Companion, BE Engineering Science, Biomedical Engineering. Accepted admittance and will be attending the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University, Class of 2023.

2014. Dennis Vasquez Montes, BS Industrial Engineering, MS in Industrial Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (2016); Data Analyst at NYU Langone Health, Spine Research Center since August 2016.

2015. Maurisa Morris, BS Electrical Engineering. Currently an Engineer at Underwriters Labs in Melville.

2016. Chris Guagliano, BS Electrical Engineering, minor in Computer Science and Math. Employed with Lockheed Martin since graduation. In 2017, accepted into Lockheed Martin's Engineering Leadership Development Program. Currently attending Johns Hopkins University for a MS in Computer Science, specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with an anticipated gradation in Spring, 2020.

2016. Jeffrey Scott, BS Mechanical Engineering; Working for a General Contractor/Construction Management firm in Manhattan. His division specializes in commercial renovations for clients predominantly in the investment banking industry. 

2017. Robert Kollmer, BS Mechanical Engineering. EIT as of Jul. 2016, HVAC Engineer for Jaros Baum & Bolles as of Aug. 2018.

2017. Mohammad H. Malik, BE Engineering Science, Civil Engineering. President/CEO of a full service general contracting firm (Malik Construction LLC).

2017. Marin Varney, BE Engineering Science, Biomedical Engineer, Concentration in Biomechanics. Earned Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2018 and hired as a Systems Engineer for Boston Biomotion. A start-up company in the sports and healthtech industry whose Proteus System incorporates cutting-edge hardware and analytics software to alter and improve the way athletes and patients can train and rehabilitate.

2018. Luke Laisney, BS Mechanical Engineering. Since June 2018 Luke has been working as a Superintendent at Structure Tone. For the past 6 months, he has been managing the construction of Chase Bank's new headquarters and will be heading over to the new Google site in March when his current project is complete.

2018. Kristin Melcer, BS Industrial Engineering. Kristin moved to Colorado in June and in August got an industrial engineer position with a cold storage facility called Lineage Logistics. She is working to become the regional IE for the company.








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Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science - Office of the Dean 
103 Weed Hall - 133 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 11549 - Phone: (516) 463-6028 - Fax: (516) 463-4939 

The DeMatteis School Spring 2018 Newsletter was produced by Elizabeth Downey, Office of the Dean,

and Lia Rodriguez, Office of Alumni Affairs.

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Office for Development and Alumni Affairs, Hempstead, NY 11549-1000