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The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers degree programs that prepare students for high-demand professions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. With an emphasis on Grand Canyon University’s Christian worldview, our college believes in instilling social awareness, responsibility, ethical character and compassion. Our blog, BrainSTEM, focuses on topics related to science, engineering and technology, with engaging contributions from students, staff and faculty. On the blog, you can find helpful resources relating to STEM fields and learn more about current events occurring globally, locally and within GCU. We hope to provide our readers with information that helps them learn about the necessary knowledge, skills and mental disciplines to succeed in today’s job market.
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Category: CS and IT
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By Isac Artzi, PhD
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

“Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

The Raspberry Pi miniature computer has sparked the imagination of aspiring computer science professionals and Internet of Things hobbyists since its first introduction in February 2012. Its myriad of uses ranging from an inexpensive computing platform to a robot power source are well documented on thousands on websites. At GCU, a computer science research team is tackling a particular area of computing: the clustering of multiple Raspberry Pi’s in order to build a parallel computer. The idea itself is not new, but the (successful) endeavor epitomizes the type of activities computer science majors pursue.

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By Isac Artzi, PhD
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

The current classroom experience across colleges and universities is typically based on one or more of the following: lecture, discussions, hands-on activities, laboratory experiments and knowledge assessment activities. Our applied research team (S.M.U.R.F) in the Department of Computer Science at GCU is investigating the potential of adding a new dimension to the classroom experience: mixed reality, i.e. the combination of virtual reality, augmented reality and interaction with real objects. The use of virtual reality technology while interacting with physical objects in class provides multiple opportunities for enhancing learning activities from a pedagogical and student engagement perspectives. Our team’s current research focuses on the following question: “What is the feasibility of virtual/mixed reality environments as experiential learning environments?”

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Legal hacker, white hat hacker and penetration tester are all names that refer to the same specialty: ethical hackers who apply their skills to test networks and applications, identify vulnerabilities and strengthen cybersecurity. Essentially, it is a career that gives tech enthusiasts all the thrills of black hat hacking, but without the unethical activities or legal consequences. If you find you have an interest in this field, our Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity includes a course in Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking to prepare students to tackle real world challenges.

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Modern society produces a mind-boggling amount of data every day—at least 2.5 quintillion bytes. Those bytes include everything from social media posts and cute kitten videos to technical white papers and financial records. So what happens to all of that data, and what exactly do data scientists do? If you’re fascinated by this field, you may wish to consider a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with an Emphasis in Big Data Analytics, available from Grand Canyon University.

Our computer science degree is a science degree that provides a strong foundation in math, science and theoretical computer science. This foundation prepares students for a broad range of specializations within the realm of computer science, including data science, big data analytics, business analytics and network analytics. If you are interested in this field, then consider our emphasis in big data analytics to start learning more and consider furthering your education after earning your degree.

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Cyber security professionals meet an increasingly critical need in today’s culture of connectivity. As an IT security specialist, you’ll identify cyber risks, implement proactive strategies to prevent those risks and take corrective action when attacks occur. You can get your start in this dynamic field by earning your Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security. To take your education to the next level, consider advancing your knowledge with a Master of Science in Cyber Security.

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Cyber security is one of the few fields in which having a busy year is not always a good thing, since it indicates rampant criminal activity. When you earn your Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security from Grand Canyon University, you will be well-equipped to take on the continually evolving challenges in this industry. As the year 2018 unfolds, keep an eye out for the following emerging trends:

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If the name Amazon popped into your head upon seeing the words “online shopping,” you are probably not alone. Tens of millions of people rely on the Internet giant and other e-commerce stores for everything from diapers to gluten-free flours. Every time a transaction is made on these sites, a shopper’s full name, address and credit card information is sent to a server. To save time, repeat customers often store their sensitive information with the e-commerce site, potentially posing a significant risk in the event of a data breach. If you choose a degree in information technology with an emphasis in cyber security, you can put your God-given talent to work by helping to protect people in your community and throughout the country from online thieves.

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By James Gordon, MS
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Back in 2003 I took a course in data mining as a graduate student at the University of Washington. At the time, data mining seemed like a nice marketing term – just another hot technology buzz phrase to describe the same old database design and searching techniques. Fast forward to the year 2018 and data mining has evolved to the point where it could actually be offered as a degree program. During the fall 2017 semester I taught a course at Grand Canyon University in our growing computer science program called Search Engines and Data Mining. Over the last 20 years the internet has evolved into an economy of information where data mining is a core skill that our computer science students are expected to enter the workforce with.

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By James Gordon, MS
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Most of us have heard about the popularity of bitcoin, but how bitcoin and digital currencies actually work is not as widely known. The technology behind digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum is called the blockchain. The blockchain is the mechanism that keeps digital currency transactions secure. Quite literally, the blockchain is a public ledger of all transactions and anyone is able to see it and make their own transactions. How this public ledger works is the complete reversal of our traditional banking system and really ushers in a new era of distributed computing.

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