Featured Major: Biochemistry 9/14

The Biochemistry degree program is now 5 years old; and 13 students have graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry. These students have gone on to a wide range of career choices, including medical school, pharmacy school, and biomedical research.

Pictured from left to right, Thomas Summers, Colton Terhune, Kim Ngo, Jimmy Nguyen, Karina Chavez, Shesha, Shah, Takeva Hicks, and Emi Abutineh are shown performing a column chromatography experiment in the Biochemistry I Laboratory course.

Pictured from left to right, Thomas Summers, Colton Terhune, Kim Ngo, Jimmy Nguyen, Karina Chavez, Shesha, Shah, Takeva Hicks, and Emi Abutineh are shown performing a column chromatography experiment in the Biochemistry I Laboratory course.

The Biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy, medical and dental schools. The degree places a strong emphasis on the development of a wide range of skills at the molecular level that are needed in medical and biochemical research laboratories. For this reason the major places a heavy emphasis on requiring laboratory courses to accompany most of the lecture courses needed for completion of the degree. Of the 15 required biology and chemistry lecture courses in the program, 14 have companion laboratory courses.

Stephen (Riley) Pace, Chemistry 2013, Alecia Stewart, Biochemistry, 2013, and Jessica Green,  Biochemistry 2013, are pictured above in the lobby of the Curris Center at Murray State University after presenting their research at the 36th Annual SMACS Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting.   Riley Pace received a Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) fellowship to perform his research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Alecia Stewart received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to perform research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Jessica Green performed her research in the Department of Chemistry at CBU.

Stephen (Riley) Pace, Chemistry 2013, Alecia Stewart, Biochemistry, 2013, and Jessica Green, Biochemistry 2013, are pictured above in the lobby of the Curris Center at Murray State University after presenting their research at the 36th Annual SMACS Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting. Riley Pace received a Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) fellowship to perform his research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Alecia Stewart received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to perform research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Jessica Green performed her research in the Department of Chemistry at CBU.

Research is an important component of the B.S. Biochemistry degree program. In recognition of this fact, we now have a 4 semester sequence of Research Seminar courses, including CHEM 330 Research Seminar I, CHEM 331 Research Seminar II, CHEM 428 Research Seminar III, and CHEM 429 Research Seminar IV. An important component of the research program is the development of effective communication skills. Students are required to present the results of their work in a variety of formats, including: (a) a poster at the University Poster session in April; (b) oral presentations at a SMACS Area Collegiate Meeting and at the Annual Department of Chemistry Research Conference; and (c) a written senior thesis in the style of a major scientific journal.

Featured Major: Computer Science

CBU offers three related degrees in the broad field of computing with courses taught in three schools. The School of Business offers courses in Management Information Systems (MIS), the School of Engineering has a major in Computer Engineering (ECE), the School of Sciences has a major in Computer Science (CS), and CBU offers a multidisciplinary degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. The MIS courses prepare a graduate to manage software that solves problems in a business environment. The ECE degree prepares a graduate to design hardware and software. The CS degree prepares a graduate to develop software. A computer scientist designs algorithms to solve applied problems efficiently with software in such areas as video games, search engines, bioinformatics and secure communication. For example, one reason why Google is such a widely used tool for web searches is the speed and quality of its search algorithm.

Computer Science lab

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer
Science teaching the CS 234 Data Structures Lab.

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, uses a genetic algorithm to create a final exam schedule each semester that meets the needs of both students and faculty. His algorithm creates a final exam schedule that a) has no conflicts for students; b) has no student taking four exams on any day; c) allows faculty to schedule multiple sections in one time slot for a common final exam; and d) minimizes those students who have three exams on one day. His algorithm represents a significant improvement over the old way where some students had to resolve conflicts of two finals in the same period and common final exams for multiple sections were difficult to accomodate.

Our Computer Science majors take an internship course in their junior year where they help to develop software for local businesses. They next take a capstone course in their senior year in which they complete a software project for industry in order to gain additional experience and use their skills and knowledge bases to solve a real problem. Our best graduates find jobs with companies such as Microsoft, Google and the New York Times. Some of these graduates have been featured in previous issues.

The Computer Science degree requires an option in computer engineering, information technology management, bioinformatics, or forensics. Bioinformatics applies techniques of computer science to solve biological problems at the molecular level. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital uses bioinformatics as one of its research tools to find cures for diseases. A computer scientist in forensics applies techniques of computer science to answer questions in the legal field.

CBU offers the opportunity to obtain dual degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. CBU has also developed a degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics that requires several computer science courses.

Featured Major: Biochemistry 9/13

The Biochemistry degree program is now 5 years old; and 13 students have graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry. These students have gone on to a wide range of career choices, including medical school, pharmacy school, and biomedical research.

Pictured from left to right, Thomas Summers, Colton Terhune, Kim Ngo, Jimmy Nguyen, Karina Chavez, Shesha, Shah, Takeva Hicks, and Emi Abutineh are shown performing a column chromatography experiment in the Biochemistry I Laboratory course.

Pictured from left to right, Thomas Summers, Colton Terhune, Kim Ngo, Jimmy Nguyen, Karina Chavez, Shesha, Shah, Takeva Hicks, and Emi Abutineh are shown performing a column chromatography experiment in the Biochemistry I Laboratory course.

The Biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy, medical and dental schools. The degree places a strong emphasis on the development of a wide range of skills at the molecular level that are needed in medical and biochemical research laboratories. For this reason the major places a heavy emphasis on requiring laboratory courses to accompany most of the lecture courses needed for completion of the degree. Of the 15 required biology and chemistry lecture courses in the program, 14 have companion laboratory courses.

Stephen (Riley) Pace, Chemistry 2013, Alecia Stewart, Biochemistry, 2013, and Jessica Green,  Biochemistry 2013, are pictured above in the lobby of the Curris Center at Murray State University after presenting their research at the 36th Annual SMACS Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting.   Riley Pace received a Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) fellowship to perform his research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Alecia Stewart received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to perform research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Jessica Green performed her research in the Department of Chemistry at CBU.

Stephen (Riley) Pace, Chemistry 2013, Alecia Stewart, Biochemistry, 2013, and Jessica Green, Biochemistry 2013, are pictured above in the lobby of the Curris Center at Murray State University after presenting their research at the 36th Annual SMACS Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting. Riley Pace received a Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) fellowship to perform his research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Alecia Stewart received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) to perform research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Jessica Green performed her research in the Department of Chemistry at CBU.

Research is an important component of the B.S. Biochemistry degree program. In recognition of this fact, we now have a 4 semester sequence of Research Seminar courses, including CHEM 330 Research Seminar I, CHEM 331 Research Seminar II, CHEM 428 Research Seminar III, and CHEM 429 Research Seminar IV. An important component of the research program is the development of effective communication skills. Students are required to present the results of their work in a variety of formats, including: (a) a poster at the University Poster session in April; (b) oral presentations at a SMACS Area Collegiate Meeting and at the Annual Department of Chemistry Research Conference; and (c) a written senior thesis in the style of a major scientific journal.

Featured Major: Chemistry

The CBU Chemistry Department offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a degree in Biochemistry that we featured in our September 2012 newsletter. Four paradigm options are available with the chemistry degree: a traditional paradigm designed for students interested in graduate school or working in a chemistry lab, a paradigm designed for pre-med students, a paradigm for pre-pharmacy students, and a paradigm for pre-forensic science students. The biochemistry degree is designed to provide a strong preparation for both the workplace and professional schools, including pharmacy school, medical school, or dental school. The program places emphasis on development of a wide range of laboratory skills that are needed in today’s biomedical laboratories, whether they are found in industry or academia.

The Department also offers, in conjunction with the Department of Education, a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science with teaching licensure in chemistry or chemistry and biology for grades 7 through 12.

The Chemistry program provides students with an understanding of chemical principles in the areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students gain laboratory skills and the ability to select and utilize appropriate instrumentation to investigate and solve specified problems.

Biochemistry Lab

Students in the Biochemistry Lab are shown performing a column chromatography experiment.

One of the main aspects of our chemistry program that contributes to its success is the number and quality of the labs that support the lectures. Labs are a place where students get to know the subject by working with the subject and working closely with the chemistry faculty. The CBU lab instructors are usually the same professors that teach the lecture component of the course. The Chemistry Department regularly offers 17 different courses and 13 of those 17 have labs attached. The labs have excellent equipment thanks to some large grants from the Assisi Foundation as well as others. The department has a web page showing and explaining their major instruments.

Chemistry is very much a three dimensional subject, and the imaging capability of computers has greatly enhanced our ability to visualize in three dimensions. The Chemistry Department has recognized the importance of this kind of tool, and with the help of donors has obtained software to help with this visualization.

Chemistry Lab Assistant

The picture above shows Riley Pace, Chemistry student worker.

The Chemistry Department has adopted a philosophy that the best way to learn to do chemistry is to do it in real world settings. In addition to the research requirement in the department, we offer a variety of opportunities through either work-study or direct employment in the department for students to begin working in the laboratories throughout their entire course of study with us. Students begin as Laboratory Assistants; juniors and seniors have the opportunity to be selected as Laboratory Specialists. Two students who have been in our work-study program for at least two years have the opportunity to be selected each year as Associate Lab Coordinators. The Laboratory Specialist and Associate Lab Coordinator positions include supervisory responsibilities, giving students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience.  Riley Pace and Yusef Akbik are the department’s second and third Associate Lab Coordinators.    Duy Nguyen has been named the department’s fourth Laboratory Specialist.

SMACS officers

The picture above shows 6 of the 2012-2013 SMACS Officers. Pictured from left to right are Krystyna Clark (Treasurer), Russell Higgins (Senator), Yusef Akbik (President), Esha Thakore (Secretary), Tiffany Corkran (Chemistry Olympiad Chair), and Anna Birg (Vice-President). Not pictured are Robert Banks (National Chemistry Week Chair), Brent Holmes (Social Chair), and Alvin Siow (Photographer/Historian).

The CBU chapter of the Student Members of the American Chemical Society, SMACS, has continued its high level of activity during the past year. The CBU SMACS chemistry club won two more national awards from the American Chemical Society in 2012.  The first award was the Honorable Mention Award for their 2011-2012 Program and Activities.  The second award was a 2011-2012 Green Chemistry Chapter Award from the American Chemistry Society Green Chemistry Institute.   The club is one of the sponsors of the Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair. Members of the club serve important roles in the Fair handling registration, judging middle school projects, helping with general set-up, and serving as courtesy guides. The CBU chapter of SMACS is co-host for the Greater Shelby County High School Chemistry Olympiad and Local High School Chemistry Competitions which are sponsored by the American Chemical Society. The club participates in a wide range of additional service activities including chemical demonstrations for middle school and high school students, participation in the Science Olympiad, participation in activities that promote environmental awareness, and presenting demos for National Chemistry Week, and Science and Engineering Day.

SMACS meeting

The picture above was taken at the second SMACS meeting in 2013.

The Chemistry Department serves not only its own majors, but many others including other science and engineering majors. For the electrical, mechanical and civil engineers, the department has developed a one semester chemistry course with lab, Chem 115, that is more solid state than the traditional wet chemistry necessary for biology, chemistry, and chemical engineering students.

The results of a CBU chemistry degree, and with any of the CBU science degrees, is quite impressive. See our statistics for the past five years for acceptance into medical, pharmacy, and other health professional schools. The department is also successful in getting is graduates into graduate programs and directly into the workforce.

Featured Major: Computer Science

CBU offers two related degrees in the broad field of computing with courses taught in three schools. The School of Business offers courses in Management Information Systems (MIS), the School of Engineering has a major in Computer Engineering (ECE) and the School of Sciences has a major in Computer Science (CS). The MIS courses prepare a graduate to manage software that solves problems in a business environment. The ECE degree prepares a graduate to design hardware and software. The CS degree prepares a graduate to develop software. A computer scientist designs algorithms to solve applied problems efficiently with software in such areas as video games, search engines, bioinformatics and secure communication. For example, one reason why Google is such a widely used tool for web searches is the speed and quality of its search algorithm.

Dr. Yanushka, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science teaching the CS 234 Data Structures Lab.

Dr. Yanushka, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
teaching the CS 234 Data Structures Lab.

Dr. Pascal Bedrossian, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, used a genetic algorithm to create a final exam schedule that meets the needs of both students and faculty. His algorithm creates a final exam schedule that a) has no conflicts for students; b) has no student taking four exams on any day; c) allows faculty to schedule multiple sections in one time slot for a common final exam; and d) minimizes those students who have three exams on one day. His algorithm represents a significant improvement over the old way where some students had to resolve conflicts of two finals in the same period and common final exams for multiple sections were difficult to accommodate.

Our Computer Science majors take an internship course in their junior year where they help to develop software for local businesses. They next take a capstone course in their senior year in which they complete a software project for industry in order to gain additional experience and use their skills and knowledge bases to solve a real problem. Our best graduates find jobs with companies such as Microsoft, Google and the New York Times. Some of these graduates have been featured in previous issues.

The Computer Science degree requires an option in computer engineering, information technology management, bioinformatics or forensics. Bioinformatics applies techniques of computer science to solve biological problems at the molecular level. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital uses bioinformatics as one of its research tools to find cures for diseases. A computer scientist in forensics applies techniques of computer science to answer questions in the legal field.

CBU offers the opportunity to obtain dual degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and dual degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics. CBU has also developed a degree in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics that requires several computer science courses.