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Posted by raherschbach on 20 Mar 2018

In a business or organization, motivated employees are an asset.

Employees who develop rivalries and try to undermine each other -- not so much.

A 25-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry, Capitol doctoral student Roxanne Robinson has long been intrigued by the way company culture can impact the well-being of a business. Too often, she says, negative dynamics in the workplace produces a steep toll, whether in the form of high turnover, missed deliverables, or lost productivity.

Photo of Roxanne Robinson"I've observed over the years that in almost every organization there is some degree of rivalry or competitiveness that is not positive, does not result in more productive personnel, and does not help the organization," says Robinson, who is earning her Ph.D. in Management and Decision Sciences at Capitol. "My research sets out to analyze how this kind of behavior influences companies and diverts them from their strategic objectives."

"Not only that, but I aim to put a dollar amount to it," Robinson adds.

Being able to quantify the impact is important, she says, because businesses often don't act unless they can see how the bottom line is affected. "These kind of negative organizational dynamics are widespread and fairly well-known, but not much has been done to mitigate them. By focusing on a specific industry -- commercial real estate -- and providing real numbers, I hope my research will help management understand the problem clearly and take steps to address it."

The Ph.D. program is not Robinson's first experience with Capitol; she also earned her M.B.A. and Certificate in Acquisition Management at the school. While many choices in online graduate education are available, she says Capitol's approach is the best fit.

"I like the way Capitol does online education. I'm able to have a closer relationship with my professors as well as my cohort. I like the size of the school -- you're not lost here and when you have questions they can be answered quickly, as opposed to going through the kind of bureaucratic process you often encounter at a larger-sized institution. Capitol pays attention to students," she says.

Capitol currently offers three online doctorate programs: a PhD in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences, a DSc degree in Cybersecurity and a Ph.D. in Technology. Online delivery makes doctoral studies more feasible for professionals like Robinson, who must balance their academic work against the demands of a busy career.

"I've always wanted to earn a Ph.D.," Robinson says. "Among other things, it's a way of diversifying my professional profile and be marketable across a number of areas. With this degree, I hope to move up into management. If not, I look forward to going into teaching or school administration because I will have the business credentials that allow me to do so."

"Job security in today's economy requires this kind of diversification," she says. "You need to be able to position yourself for a variety of possible opportunities. A doctoral degree will help me do just that."

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 19 Mar 2018

By Dr. Alex "Sandy" Antunes, KB3VNB

One student separates from the group to walk around the hill, causing the others yell out.  "Did you lose signal?"  The answer is yes, so they quickly rejoin.  "It has to be on the north side of Campus", they agree, and begin walking with strange dowsing-rod like tubes of metal in their hands.  In less than an hour, they succeed. 

Capitol students partiicipate in an amateur radio foxhuntAre these just students with cell phones looking for 4 bars so they can text?  Not quite-- instead, a 60-year old American hobby has become revitalized through active students exploring radio communications.

In an era when we suspect most millennials don't exactly care what a radio station is, Capitol is experiencing a resurgence of amateur radio licenses (or 'Ham' licenses) and its related amateur satellite (AMSAT) usage.  This is the art and science of using off-the-shelf radio gear to communicate worldwide with other radio amateurs, not via internet or digitally, but through basic principles like power, antenna size, and a fair dose of understanding just how radio waves work.

Capitol has started up radio/wireless activities -- students Sean Dabbs and J.C. Culp re-started the Capitol Amateur Radio Club (CARC), AE students are tasked with a 'fox hunt' to search for a hidden transmitter, student pairs tackle r/c car races where each car's control radio interferes with the others.  Ham radio is partially integrated into the EE & AE curriculum.  In AE-455/Satellite Comm, taking the FCC amateur license is an option as an opt-out replacement for one of the required exams.  But the real motives behind active amateur radio are skill building -- and job hunting.

Capitol call signs: CARC KB3KJI, Robert Herschbach KB4ZGU, Sandy Antunes KB3VNB, Alex Petrov KC3FDV, Aaron Bush KL2XF, Carl Hansen KC3BXO, James Culp KC3FSG, Electra Sherlock KC3DNO, Zach Richard KB3TXV, Keegan Moore KB3TXQ, Ryan Schrenk KC3JNH, David Mileto KB3KHS, Igor Vegner KC3HIC, Victor Chaves KC3HIB, Gabriel Piazzalunga KC3HHU, Neil Caulfield KC3GMK, Sean Dabbs KC3HPK, Joshua Hernandez KC3JTY, Mark Horvath KD2ODG, Chris Murray KC3KJH, Sofoniyas Demelashe KC3KLP, Jacob Gregory KC3KJP, Ralph Stormer KC3KBL.  For more info on amateur radio, visit ARRL

Call it applied electronics or analog hacking, it's an area where students learn a little physics and a lot of applied 'getting it to work'-- and an area that has surprising career opportunities. "If a student lists their call sign on their resume, they're getting at least an interview," said one hiring manager at Capitol's Career Fair.  Corporate visitors to the Fusion Lab show surprise at Capitol's list of students with call signs -- a skill set and rating they thought was a lost art.  Capitol even offers a little-known scholarship open only to student Hams.

The core FCC exam itself is 1/3rd basic second-semester Physics, 1/3rd common sense like 'don't fix an outdoor antenna during a thunderstorm', and 1/3rd jargon that you can study up on online. The Capitol library carries the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay League) license test-prep books, and the exam is offered for free on the 3rd Saturday of the month by the Laurel Amateur Radio Club (LARC).

Once they earn their free license, students can talk world-wide with other amateurs, help rescue services in natural disasters, and connect with other Hams for fun and professionally.  You can even talk to astronauts on the International Space Station.  Capitol students are yet again in the forefront of hands-on learning through amateur radio, a 'lost art' that is more accessible than ever.  All they have to do is be ready to step up to the radio.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 16 Mar 2018

Being able to use your thoughts – no mouse or joystick required – to control computerized devices may once have sounded like sci-fi fantasy, but a research team at Capitol is working on projects that demonstrate such capabilities are very real.

Stock photo of an EEG headsetDrs. Jason M. Pittman and Garima Bajwa are co-leading the Brain-Machine Interface program at Capitol, with a lab on campus providing space and equipment for experimentation. Currently on the agenda: enabling humans to fly drones using just their thoughts.

“You think ‘drone go up, drone go down, drone go left, drone go right – there’s no joystick,” Pittman explained. “You fly it and think it. We have a team of four students who are working with Dr. Bajwa on this.”

In addition to the Capitol community, opportunities are available for students at area community colleges to visit the university and see this technology in action. Capitol will be holding a special BMI workshop on Saturday (March 24) for community college and high school students.

“We’ll have activities for them that involve interacting with the drone, or using your brain to interact with a piece of software and control an object moving on a screen – like playing a game of Pong using only your thoughts,” Pittman said. “It’s some pretty cool stuff.”

And the potential applications are boundless. Human activities are increasingly linked to a variety of computerized, networked devices that, together, constitute what many refer to as the Internet of Things. Tools like the “personal assistants” Alexa or Siri allow humans to control these devices with voice commands.

The technology being explored at Capitol takes the process a step further – one day, Pittman says, we may not need to utter a voiced command to control our devices. They will respond to our thoughts.

“It’s exciting and scary,” he says. “Exciting because of the benefits – for instance, people with certain kinds of disabilities or impairments will have access in a way that they didn’t have before. Scary because of the security aspect. A nefarious actor could theoretically get between you and your devices. The lights turn on, leaving you to wonder ‘did I think that?’” There is the potential to mess seriously with people’s minds and sense of agency.”

As a cybersecurity expert, it’s part of Pittman’s job to consider such risks and devise ways of mitigating them. For now, though, the BMI workshop’s main focus is to explore the technological possibilities – in ways that are educational and excitement.

“We’re having a blast,” Pittman says. “And we hope area students will join us on the 24th to join in the fun.”

Interested in exploring BMIs? Register here for an upcoming workshop or send an email to cybersat@captechu.edu.

Blog

Posted by raherschbach on 15 Mar 2018

UAVs, ROVs, UUSs, RPAs: How do unmanned systems experts keep it all straight? The scope of unmanned systems is greater than just the word “drone.” Defining the difference and the language surrounding unmanned systems is important for anyone serious about operating one.

Photo of Richard BakerAccording to Capitol Technology University's Dr. Richard Baker, an unmanned system is defined as, “any electromechanical system which has the ability to carry out a predetermined or described task, or a portion of that task, and do it automatically with limited or no human intervention.”

Unmanned systems can operate in a variety of different atmospheres and perform tasks ranging from agricultural work to planet exploration. “They can be used in the air, on the ground, in the water or below the water, or in space to do many kinds of things. But these are basically mobile guided vehicles that put a sensor someplace or deliver a package,” says Dr. Baker.

“They can be operated in a few different ways as well,” he continues, “An unmanned vehicle, which doesn’t contain a person, can be what we call teleoperated, which means that they are operated remotely by either a radio frequency or a tether, a cable. They can be autonomous, run on their own; they’re programmed to do what they’re doing. And they typically deploy a payload which can either be a sensor or an actuator. Actuator being like, you’ve seen the robots with little fingers or tongs that pick up things.”

Unmanned systems are typically deployed to do things that people either can’t do or shouldn’t do. “Putting an unmanned system in a dangerous position, or someplace that we can substitute it for people doing something that’s a repetitive or dull job is ideal. Using unmanned systems to do things that are dirty because it’s a hazardous environment is another good use of them. A nuclear power plant, or that sort of thing is where a robot would be good,” says Dr. Baker.

But now that what they are and why they are makes sense, what about all of those acronyms? Well here is a list of the terms you might hear the most often, and it’s simpler than it seems. Just take the first letter of each word in the system to get the acronym:

AUV – autonomous unmanned vehicles

UAVs - unmanned aerial vehicles

UAS - unmanned aircraft system

RPA - remotely piloted aircraft

UGS/ UGVs - unmanned ground systems, unmanned ground vehicles

USS - unmanned surface systems

UMS - unmanned marine systems

UUS/UUV - unmanned underwater system, unmanned underwater vehicle

ROVs - remotely operated vehicles, Dr. Baker notes that, “the ones under the water are usually referred to as ROVs.”

“They’ve been called drones,” says Dr. Baker, “but when you think drones, people usually think of either the military drones which are doing airstrikes that they’ve seen in the news, or the ones in your backyard flying around and surprising your neighbors.”

The term unmanned system defines a broader idea than the term drone currently does. We need to start thinking of them as more than just military equipment or miniature quadcopters used as toys, and see them as they are: vehicles capable of advancing our society into a safer, smarter future.

Capitol’s unmanned and autonomous systems programs are set to begin this Fall of 2018. To learn more about our programs, check out: Unmanned and Autonomous Systems and Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Policy and Risk Management.

Blog

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 14 Mar 2018

types of big data business analytics every analyst should knowThe word “analytics” is trending these days. More and more businesses are looking for employees with data analytics know-how and experience to help them sort through all of their collective data, or big data. And that makes sense.

Without big data, companies are driving blind. Properly sorted data can help management determine the direction that their company needs to move in, in order to be successful.

Are you interested in becoming a business analyst or adding some analytical skills to your resume`? What type of skills are required for a business analytics career? Is it just one skill or a compilation of knowledge? How does it really work?

Don’t worry, Capitol Technology University is here to help. To get you started on your business analytics journey, let us tell you about the five key types of business analytics data, and why each is important.

Prescriptive Analytics

Prescriptive analytics, along with descriptive and predictive analytics, is one of the three main types of analytics companies use to analyze data. This type of analytics is sometimes described as being a form of predictive analytics, but is a little different in its focus.

The goal of prescriptive analytics is to conceive the best possible recommendations for a situation as it is unfolding, given what the analyst can determine from the available data. Think of prescriptive analytics as working in the present, while predictive looks to the future, and descriptive explores the past.

Diagnostic Analytics

This type of data analytics is used to help determine why something happened, diagnostic analytics reviews data to do with a past event or situation. Diagnostic analytics typically uses techniques like data mining, drilling down, and correlation to analyze a situation.

It is often used to help identify customer trends.

Descriptive Analytics

Similar to diagnostic analytics, descriptive analytics looks to the past for answers. However, while diagnostic analytics asks why something happened, descriptive analytics asks what happened?

Summary statistics, clustering, and segmentation are techniques used in descriptive analytics. The goal is to dig into the details of what happened, but this can sometimes be time sensitive as it’s easier to do a descriptive analysis with more recent data.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics attempts to forecast the future using statistics, modeling, data mining, and machine learning to hone in on suggested patterns. It is the most commonly used type of analytics, and typically focuses on predicting the outcome of specific scenarios in relation to different potential responses from a company to a situation.

There are different types of predictive analytics models, but usually they all use a scoring system to indicate how likely an outcome is to occur.

Cyber Analytics

A combination of cyber security skills and analytical knowledge, cyber analytics is a new and rising proficiency within the business and data analytics industry. Cybersecurity threats have escalated in volume and sophistication, while the number of internet-connected devices continues to burgeon. Cyber analysts answer the demand for big data sifters with an I.T. background.

Cyber analysts use sophisticated tools and software to pinpoint vulnerabilities and close off attack vectors using a data-driven approach.

Interested in learning more about business analytics and data science?

Check out Capitol’s business analytics and data science programs, offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. For those interested in cyber, we also have programs specific to cyber analytics at the undergraduate and graduate level.

 


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