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Neumont College of Computer Science was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2003, to fill the growing national demand for industry-ready technology professionals by offering bachelor’s degree in three years that immerses students in a rigorous, project-based curriculum. This blog serves as a platform to publish and share, news, reviews, and stories from Utah's best kept tech secret. 

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Neumont College of Computer Sciences's official blogs shares the stories of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff to illustrate the Neumont experience. 

 

Filtering by Tag: computer science

Capstone Project Invitational | Highlight Video

Neumont College of Computer Science

Each year at Neumont College of Computer Science, our students exceed expectations and create remarkable projects. To display their work, we host the Capstone Project Invitational–a 10-week project-based challenge–where faculty selected students present their final product to a panel of industry professionals and alumni. In addition, we extend the invitation to Neumont students, staff, and community members to bask in the effort, progress, and successes of our presenters. Below you’ll get a quick look at the finalist and their projects from our CPI 2019 event:

Madeline Richard

Senior, Madeline Richard majoring in BSWD, created Photofolio, a social networking website. Her site is used as an online portfolio building tool for photographers to highlight and sell their work. If you’re an aspiring photographer, this is the perfect platform for you! On the technological front, Madeline utilized the MERN stack (MongoDB, Express, React, and Node), Redux, Cayman, AWS technologies including S3 buckets.

Nathan Gift

Nathan Gift, graduating this fall with a BSCS major, built a web application that allows users to generate music on the go. His project has the ability to create computer generated original songs based on a set of parameters–preferred instruments, rhythm, duration. Nathan utilized Spring Boot, JavaScript, HTML, J music, and Timidity. For music enthusiasts and amateur video creators, this is the app for you.

Colin Misbach

Colin Misbach, Neumont senior who will be graduating with a BSGD major, spearheaded his project, Nomads, which is a social media platform for gaming connoisseurs. The podium allows players to connect on a central hub and communicate with others also engaging in the site. Colin used Unity and high-level API’s for this project. Neumont is full of gamers and you know we’re really looking forward to exploring Nomad.

Melissa Buena

If you’re a foodie, then soon-to-be grad with a degree in BSWD Melissa Buena’s app is for you. Her project allows users to find unique and varied food options near them. The application function is similar to that of Tinder, where the users can swipe through choices based on their search preferences. Melissa intended to give food lovers more opportunities to discover different restaurants when launching this app. When creating Crave, she used the MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node). If your stomach is grumbling, it’s time to pull up Crave.

Ramon Caballero

Lastly, Ramon Caballero Villegas who’s working towards his degree in BSCS, created a martial art training program in his senior year at Neumont. This will allow a master to record their technique and a student can then go home, review, and practice. For his project, he used C# as the main scripting language, Unity as the game engine, and a Microsoft Kinect to capture body movement and positioning data.

After learning what our Neumont students are capable of, we recommend checking out our site to see if this is the right college for you. If you’ve already been accepted and want a taste of what our school is all about, it’s time for you to sign up for our upcoming freshman experience, FReX. Register for our event here and visit our campus, chat with faculty and current students, and also meet other incoming classmen. We hope to see you here!

2018 Fall Quarter Course Schedule For First-year Students

Neumont College of Computer Science

A project-based curriculum at Neumont College of Computer Science, means you'll receive a well-rounded education wtih an edge. You'll learn relevant technologies along with the skills you need to succeed in the workplace throughout your time here. 

From your first class to your last, courses are designed with input from employees at tech companies large and small. That's why you'll take math and social sciences along with computer science and technology courses. Through our hands-on approach, you'll learn far more than programming: You'll learn how to work in a team, how to communicate effectively, and how to present yourself and your projects as a professional.

You can see that combination of theory, skills, and experience in the brief list of courses you're likely to take in your first quarter listed below.

Classes may be taught in a traditional, blended, or online format. This is not a complete course schedule and your personal schedule may differ depending on certain criteria. For more details, check out the 2018-2019 Course Catalog.

  • NEU100: College Success Strategies
    Learn effective time management, communication, and research skills to help you succeed.

  • CSC105: Using Modern Operating Systems
    Learn the most productive ways to use modern operating systems like Windows and Linux.

  • CSC110: Introduction to Computer Science
    While building applications, learn fundamental computer science concepts.

  • MAT110: Sets, Probability, & Number Systems
    An introductory course to set theory, practical applications in probability, binary, floating point representation, and more.

  • SSC250: Human Relations & Personality Development
    Examine yourself, evaluate future expectations, and learn practical skills to develop a strategy for success.

We mean when we say the best way to learn to code is to code. You'll pick up your new Lenovo P1 laptop and course schedule at Orientation Kickoff on Saturday, September 22. From day one, you'll start learning to code by coding. We can't wait to show you how. 

Log in to the Accepted Student Portal to see which tasks still need your attention. If you have any questions about the enrollment process, call 888-638-6668 or email admissions@neumont.edu

Neumont Commencement Address Looks to Tech Future in Utah and Beyond

Neumont College of Computer Science

Neumont College of Computer Science honored graduates at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, August 31 at The Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City. John Knotwell, CEO and president of the Utah Technology Council, provided the keynote address. Neumont President Aaron Reed, Ed.D. also spoke briefly. You can watch the full ceremony at the YouTube link below. 

Knotwell, a 12-year veteran in Utah's growing tech community spoke of the value of listening, sharing that, "…true listening shows that you value those people around you. It shows that you are invested in them as people, and that you, as a colleague, coworker, boss, or friend, want them to succeed. And a world where we all wish one another success is the only way to find success ourselves. It's how we build each other up, how we build up our organizations, how we have faith in the future."

Valedictorian Mary Shultz (Computer Science) and Salutatorians Ben Goff (Computer Science) and Justin Furtado (Software & Game Development) stand to receive their diplomas. 

Valedictorian Mary Shultz (Computer Science) and Salutatorians Ben Goff (Computer Science) and Justin Furtado (Software & Game Development) stand to receive their diplomas. 

Making a plug for Utah's tech future as well, Knotwell shared, "We have over 6,500 tech firms in Utah. We are the fastest growing in the country, adding job after job after job to every listing site that has ever existed," noting that, "There will never be a moment where opportunity is not calling you. The only real impact that you can make, in your career or in your life, is your choice," and invited Neumont graduates to stay local.

Bashaa'ir Abdul-Qasim's (Information Systems) family greets the graduate during a reception after the ceremony. 

Bashaa'ir Abdul-Qasim's (Information Systems) family greets the graduate during a reception after the ceremony. 

"Make the choice to stay," he implored. "Make this community your home. Explore opportunities and the mountains. Invest your time here finding the balance that we all want in work and in life."

After noting three key life lessons gleaned from his time in tech and higher education, Dr. Reed closed his remarks reminding graduates, "Today was the day you joined an elite tech workforce --  the one-and-a-half percent that are chiefly responsible for the future of America's economy and national security," referencing remarks earlier where he noted that while 30 percent of Americans have bachelors degrees, only 3 percent of all awarded degrees go to computer science, and only 1.5 percent of people in the United States work in computer science.

2018 Commencement Ceremony Keynote Speaker John Knotwell, Utah Technology Council president and CEO, reminds graduates that the best way to find success is to help others. 

2018 Commencement Ceremony Keynote Speaker John Knotwell, Utah Technology Council president and CEO, reminds graduates that the best way to find success is to help others. 

But "even more exclusively than that," Reed said, "remember that today is the day you joined a growing army of tech giants that are part of a family of Neumont alumni."

Capstone Projects: Where passion meets innovation

Neumont College of Computer Science

Computer science student Ben Goff combined his passion for music with his tech skills to create "Ivory." The self-taught pianist used his software development skills to help other people learn how to play his favorite musical instrument. "Ivory" is an application that allows anyone with an electronic keyboard to upload MIDI files via USB or Bluetooth. Users can then learn their favorite songs with an easy to follow key-for-key user interface. Ben's project won the Industry Partner Choice Award at Neumont's 2018 Capstone Project Invitational. Watch the video for more details about this passion project.

Capstone Projects are just one way Neumont students get the hands-on, project-based experience required to help them land great jobs after graduation. Students begin learning cutting-edge technologies from their first day and continue to learn software development by creating projects from beginning to end.  

For real-world, projects-based, hands-on experience with relevant technologies, attend FReX. This Accepted Student Weekend event will help you better understand life as a Neumont student. You'll be asked to participate in a fun engineering challenge and receive some new hardware to try out software development on your own. 

You and your parent(s)/guardian(s) are encouraged to visit Neumont and Salt Lake City from Friday to Saturday on April 6-7 where you'll get answers to all your questions with presentations and casual receptions with current students, alums, staff, and faculty as you tour our campus, student housing, and city.

Ready to find out if Neumont is right for you? Register to visit during FReX on the Accepted Student Portal or complete your Application for Admission before Monday, March 26 to receive your admission decision and FReX invitation. 

Why choose Neumont?

Neumont University

Neumont College of Computer Science isn't like most other colleges and universities. And, we're okay with that. 

At our campus in downtown Salt Lake City, students learn in small, hands-on, project-based classes where they complete projects modeled after the tech industry. Students demonstrate what they've learned at our tech science fair Project Showcase. Then after two years of intense learning, they prove themselves to their peers and faculty through Capstone Projects. Finally, they work with real companies on meaningful projects during their senior year gaining relevant and practical experience prior to graduation. 

When you graduate in only 3 years with a bachelor's degree in technology, you'll have the skills and the experience you need to launch your tech career. Learn more about Neumont's unique curriculum by watching this video

Neumont’s Online Associate of Science in Software Development

Neumont University

We sat down with Jason Hammon, Neumont’s manager of learning and instructional design to talk about the launch of Neumont’s new Online Associate of Science in Software Development degree. Jason’s background in education  includes a degree from Brigham Young University, graduate school at Harvard, classes at Cambridge, and work for Google. 

NU: Well let’s get right into it. We saw the press release, and it looks like the first day of classes begin on June 26. Tell us a little bit about this degree, and ultimately who it’s for? 
JH
: I like to think of it as a “Get into Tech” associate degree. It’s specifically for those who don’t have a college degree, but are not able to take the traditional route. Maybe they missed the college boat right after high school, but would still like to get into a tech career. The online environment caters to a nontraditional student—someone who may have kids, or a part-time job, or can’t commit to living in downtown Salt Lake for three years. We expect people to use this degree as a way to change careers, no matter their age or experience. 

NU: And what specifically does it entail? 
JH:
It’s a two-year program that follows Neumont’s current quarter schedule; but as opposed to a lot of associate degrees that focus on your generals first then transfer into a bachelor’s degree, this degree is focused on getting your skills first. Here, you start out coding. And then, you can obtain measures of gainful employment as you move through the degree. 

In fact, after just a few classes students would be in a position to get some industry certificates. So for an example, let’s say Joey is working at Sunglass Hut and finishes his first quarter, so he takes a certification exam. Now he can start working for the Geek Squad. By aligning our curriculum with certification, at the end of the degree you could be a software developer—a Junior Developer or QA Automation Engineer. 

NU: So why is Neumont introducing this degree? 
JH:
We’re all aware that there is a huge gap as far as filling STEM positions—particularly in coding and computer science. This degree takes what Neumont does really well (computer science education), and gives more people access to it. Right now, Neumont can take on about 150 – 200 students each year, but we know that relocating to Salt Lake for a bachelor’s degrees, even an accelerated program, is not a fit for everyone. This program gives more people who are not able to move to Salt Lake City an opportunity to learn. 

NU: Some students have been asking about the program’s accreditation. Can you speak to that? 
JH:
 This program has the same accreditation as Neumont's bachelor's degree programs. However, usually what people are really asking is if Title IV funding is available. This program is not eligible for grants and loans under Title IV currently. However, there is financial aid available from the Office of Financial Aid. As I’ve mentioned, the associate degree follows the lead of Neumont’s proven record for computer science training. Our goal is to get people into the workforce to help fill the job demand. With regard to the question of funding, while the program is not eligible for grants and federal loans under Title IV, there is scholarship money available and the financial aid office can explain alternative funding options.

(For more information on Neumont’s accreditation, visit here and here. Financial aid is available to those who qualify for all of Neumont’s degree programs.) 

NU: And how specifically does the associate degree differ from Neumont’s bachelor’s degree? 
JH:
There’s a few ways it differs, some which we’ve already discussed. First, it’s an option for people who are outside what we’d deem a ‘traditional student’—maybe they are married with children, already have a full-time job, perhaps they have sick parents they need to take care of. It’s a student who is looking for, or needs a little bit more flexibility in their schedule than the traditional student who usually finds themselves at Neumont. 

Another difference is the structure, more specifically the time commitment – being an associate degree, it’s obviously structured to be shorter with a fewer number of classes. The aim of this degree is to help the student learn everything they need to know to qualify for employment in the software industry quickly with a reasonable course load. 

From a content standpoint, this degree offers different industry-related projects. Neumont's bachelor's programs have built-in team-based projects called Enterprise Projects where the students learn by completing meaningful projects for tech companies. Meanwhile, the associate degree offers team-based projects and individual internship opportunities for students to gain entry-level industry experience. 

NU: Can you give me a specific example of the differences between the programs? 
JH:
Sure. It could be the difference between knowing how to build a processor versus knowing what a processor does and how it affects programs in the real world. A bachelor’s degree will get you more deeply into both sides, but we’re going to focus on the latter in this program. 

It’s important to note this degree has large emphasis on testing – which seems to be a common first step into development. There’s big demand for software testers, but it’s not a group that organizations or institutions are putting much emphasis into training. 

The degree also takes a more traditional approach to programming – with a particular emphasis on Java. I’ll also point out that there is a team-based component as well – so it shares some of the structure, as far as the project-based approach, that Neumont is known and celebrated for. 

NU: How do the career trajectories and average starting salaries differ between Neumont’s two degree programs? 
JH:
While I’d love it if our associate degree graduates came out making the same as our bachelor’s degree grads, that’s not realistic for a two-year degree. Entry-level information technology specialists can generally expect to earn around $40,000 - $50,000. We need to remember it’s fundamentally a different group than our bachelor’s graduates who are averaging $63,000* a year when they graduate. The goal of this program is to help a student change careers and land an entry-level position in the tech field. The sky's the limit in this industry, and we want students to be able to have that opportunity.

NU: Why does this program have a different cost than the on-ground bachelor’s degrees? 
JH:
The online platform provides scalability. This scalability allows us to reduce the costs to the students while offering access to a Neumont experience. Keep in mind we are seeking to be competitive with other associate programs – and the associate program is already a shorter timeframe. Additionally, the overhead costs are another distinguishing factor between the two programs. 

NU: Will the credits earned towards a bachelor’s degree transfer to the online associate degree? And if so, can a student transfer from Neumont’s bachelor’s programs to the online associate degree program? 
JH: As I mentioned, the programs are built differently for their respective audiences. Currently, the associate degree credits don’t transfer into the bachelor’s degree programs. As far as transferring to the online program—while it’s technically possible to enroll, whether concurrently or moving to the program, there are still a lot of different classes a student would be required to take. It’s something that would need to be approached on a case-by-case basis with your advocate, taking into account long-term goals and keeping in mind the energy, resources and financial obligations that have already gone into the current program. 

NU: Is the associate degree easier than the bachelor’s degree? 
JH: (Laughs). Well, it’s shorter. From a course building perspective, some aspects are actually harder. One key difference is that students in this program need to be more autonomous – so it’s going to vary person to person. So it’s not that it’s easier, but again, it’s just different. 

We’ve worked hard on the course design so it’s more structured, which is especially helpful because there is not going to be as much in-person teacher-to-student feedback or instructor availability that you’ll find with the bachelor’s. 

And before we end, I’d also like to point out that our video quality is high, and that we still incorporate what you would expect from Neumont. We emphasize active and hands-on learning through projects. 

NU: Well Jason, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate your insights and are excited to see more from your team as this new offering takes off. 

Classes begin June 26. Learn more about the Online Associate of Science in Software Development at www.neumont.edu/online. You can apply for the program at admission.neumont.edu. Students who apply to start classes this June will have their application fee waived automatically. 

*Salary statistic is calculated using data from 301 Neumont University graduates from 2012 through 2015 who were employed within their field within six months of graduation. Neumont verifies employment, date of employment offer, and first-year compensation by employers in writing. Neumont does not guarantee employment or first-year compensation for future graduates.

Meet Computer Science Chair Kellie Thompson

Neumont University

From “algorithm enchantress” Ada Lovace to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, there are many stories of women in the tech industry whose talent, skill and brilliance have done incredible things for technology.

However it's well-established that there are not enough women working in technology today. Especially when you consider that in 1984, 37 percent of computer science graduates were women compared to only 18 percent today. 

We sat down with Kellie Thompson, the new chair of Neumont University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree to talk about women in tech, her 15 years of experience in the industry, the value of failing, and her love of animals.

(This interview has been edited for clarity and content.) 

NU: Thanks for taking the time to meet. Let’s talk a little bit about your path to Neumont, and computer science in general. 

KT: Yes, I love technology. Originally I wanted to work in tech as a veterinarian. I followed my Mom and moved to Northern California. As I worked in the veterinarian field as a technician, I decided that I really loved animals but I didn’t want to be a vet. My mom was a computer programmer, she did RPG and she told me, "Don’t go into programming." 

So I did, (laughs) and I’m glad I did. I love the problem solving, the constant learning and got my degree in Computer Science from Cal State Hayward. I failed one of my first tests in school and wondered if I should continue. But it was okay, as I’ve gotten older I better understand that failure is learning. 

There are a lot of opportunities for women in tech and a lot of us are trying to figure out the puzzle as to why they are not [more women taking advantage of the opportunities]. For example, I’m not a morning person, but the world seems to be more geared to morning people. And the same thing is happening in the workforce – it is so geared towards men. So I had to look at the puzzle, and I’m still trying to figure it out, but how could I make it work for not just me but other women.  

NU: Are there certain things that need to be done to make women feel more comfortable?

KT: You look at the numbers, and 90-plus percent of tech is men, that includes the leadership. But there are so many of the traits and characteristics we could all benefit from having more influence of women in this workforce and these leadership positions. One thing we could all do better is to reinforce positive behavior and look at the contribution of the individual instead of a person’s gender. I say I learned about the kind of boss I wanted to be a lot by working for people and learning what not to do. 

NU: Not to go negative in the interview, but are you willing to share a few examples? 

KT: I’ve seen lot in this industry, from the Dotcom bubble to experiencing sexism first-hand in the workforce. When I started in what I thought was my first ‘tech’ job, I had moved to the east coast, and it turned out to be more of a job as a secretary. That wasn’t for me. They had some very old ideas about the roles women should play in leadership and technology. I was told I was not qualified for positions and the main reason was that I am a woman. 

NU: That seems crazy to think about people saying and believing. How did you handle the hostility? 

KT: Looking back, I didn’t think about it or how it was playing out. Where I worked, for most of my life, I was one of, if not the only woman – but like I said, I didn’t think about it as much as I just worked hard, learned, created, and kept my eye on the prize. 

NU: So along the lines of being one of the only women in tech at your job, I’ve been reading a lot about the pipeline to these jobs – that there just aren’t as many women to choose from by the time it gets to the workforce. The non-profit Girls Who Code reported that about 74 percent of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science, but by the time they are deciding what to study, there’s already been a drastic drop off in that pool. Is there something we should be doing different, earlier in their development? 

KT: It makes me think about the larger issue of gender, and then something so simple as their toys. I mean, I love Barbie, sure, Barbie’s great—but how much problem solving is Barbie doing? You give a boy a truck, blocks – what does he do? He builds and creates and problem solves. He probably makes mistakes and figures it out. Our girls need to see it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, the problem-solving piece of Neumont’s curriculum is one of the things that influenced my decision to come here to teach. 

NU: Can you elaborate a little bit more about that?

KT: I like Neumont’s curriculum: the problem solving, the opportunities to create, and the hands-on approach. I like that instructors have flexibility within the curriculum to use their experience and passion to help these bright minds – many who are smarter than me – make valuable contributions to society.  

NU: Wow. That's a great point! Thanks so much for you time today. It's been great meeting you.