Computer Literacy Seminars

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The UWT Information Technology department partners with the Center for Data Science to bring UWT students, faculty and staff a series of Computer Literacy Seminars.  The Seminars address new and relevant topics such as Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), and BIG Data in a manner that is friendly to all backgrounds, technical or not.  These seminars are funded by the Student Technology Fee and are Free to all UWT students, faculty and staff.  See below for the upcoming seminars:


2018-2019 Seminars:

ANNOUNCEMENT: As part of the Computer Literacy Seminar series, UW Tacoma IT department will be hosting an informational session for Portfolium. The session will cover the basics of Portfolium, review some great examples and address any questions. Experienced users from Portfolium and California State University, Northridge will be joining the session. For more information about Portfolium on UW Tacoma campus, visit:

Wednesday November 28th, 12:30-1:20 PM in CP 108

RSVP Today:


Additional 2018-2019 Seminars Will Be Announced Shortly! Check Back...

Here is what happened last year:


Spring 2018 Computer Literacy Seminars

Have you ever wondered where your data goes when it is saved to the cloud?

Do you know how easy it is to steal your personal information online?

Or have you ever thought that your microwave can be online?


This spring, Center for Data Science and the Information Technology department brings you answers to all these questions & many more with our computer literacy seminar series…


Cloud Computing Seminar 

Wednesday April 4: Cloud Computing: How Cloud Computing is Helping Accelerate the Pace of Science

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room  -          Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

This session will start with an overview of the general concepts of cloud computing, and then focus on how scientists are leveraging the computational power of cloud computing to help solve problems and accelerate scientific discovery.


Wednesday April 11: The Amazon Cloud

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

In the mid-2000s Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, introduced the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) services.  These service offerings are considered by many as the services that launched the "invention of cloud computing" creating the multi-billion dollar cloud computing industry of today.  This session will feature an overview of the general concepts of cloud computing from the perspective of two guest speakers from Amazon.  The session will include an open question and answer (Q&A) forum with our guest speakers from Amazon.  The guest speakers include:

Aaron Bucher

Aaron Bucher is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and assists large research universities in adopting AWS and architecting cloud environments. He specializes in working with higher education and optimizing high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

Aaron joined AWS from the University of Minnesota where he served in both administrative and collegiate roles during his time there. Most recently, he was responsible for enterprise architecture and technology planning for their five campuses. Previously, he led UNIX and network operations for the College of Science and Engineering for their general-purpose, production environments and high-performance, research environments. Before returning to the University of Minnesota, Aaron worked in the private sector doing systems programming for an enterprise firewall product. He focused on algorithmic libraries and distributed systems for parallel processing of network traffic.

Aaron holds a bachelor in Computer Engineering and a masters in the Management of Technology.


Lori Clithero

Lori Clithero is a Sr. Account Executive for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and assists large research universities in adopting AWS and architecting cloud environments.

Lori joined AWS from Monsanto Company where she ran a mobile development and strategy group. Prior to Monsanto, Lori spent 15 years in various vendor and application development organizations focused on working with customers in medical, agriculture and higher education institutions. Her experiences are in organizational change management, mobile application development architecture and project management.

Lori holds a Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, an MBA from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri.


Wednesday April 18: Cloud Computing Concepts for Everyone

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room -              Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

When you mention "the cloud" many people think of the "iCloud" for music, or "Dropbox" for files, but in reality cloud computing encompasses much more.  This session will provide an introduction to cloud computing concepts and terminology in a lecture and activity based format, to help convey the concepts of cloud computing and to communicate what the cloud offers for everyone. 


Cybersecurity Seminar - Cryptography 


Wednesday May 2: Cryptography: Past, Present and Future  ~~~ Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

In this talk, we will give an introduction to cryptography aimed at a general audience. We will see how encryption has played a significant role throughout history, from ancient Rome till World War II and present days. We will briefly cover basic encryption techniques and how they are deployed in modern communication systems. Finally, we will see how quantum computers will impact the security of current cryptosystems and what cryptographers are doing to address this threat.


Wednesday May 9: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies ~~~ Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

In this talk, we will present an overview of modern cryptocurrencies with a focus on bitcoin. We will cover the basics of the blockchain technology, proof of work (mining), digital signatures and how these can be used to solve the double spending problem in e-cash. We will briefly discuss limitations of current cryptocurrencies and survey new technologies such as cryptocurrencies based on proof of steak (PoS).


Internet of Things (IoT) Seminar  


Monday May 14: The IoT Revolution: New Opportunities Brings Challenges ~~~ Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging paradigm for connecting objects. These objects or “things” can collect, send and exchange data with minimal or no human intervention. This seminar session focuses on introducing the fundamental concepts of the IoT paradigm, trends, opportunities and challenges that this new wave of technology is bringing to our everyday lives.


Wednesday May 23rd: Internet of Everything: From Fiction to Reality ~~~ Did you miss it or want to recap?  Watch the session recording HERE!

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

Do you have a “smart” wristband to track your workout? Do you wish to live in a “smart” house where you can manage and optimize energy consumption easily from your smartphone? Have you thought about creating your own “smart” things at home? In this session, we will discuss state-of-the-art IoT applications and promising use cases. We will also demonstrate how you can turn ordinary objects into smart “things.”


Wednesday May 30th: Data Fusion in IoT Applications

12:30pm-1:20pm | Room 

The IoT technologies enable the digitization of the physical world. The power of knowledge unlocked from digitizing the physical world changes how we interact with the world significantly and opens windows to new opportunities, experiences and applications, e.g., self-driving cars, self-checkout Amazon Go, smart grid, smart city and smart home, etc. However, there are lots of challenges in digitizing the physical world environment and extracting knowledge from various sources of sensor data due to the partially observable, stochastic and dynamic nature of the physical world environment. 

The goal of data fusion is to synergistically combine data from multiple sensors and prior knowledge to provide more accurate and reliable estimation of interest so that it is better than would be possible if the data sources were used individually. More specifically, data fusion allows better spatial and temporal coverage, reduced estimation uncertainty, better estimation accuracy, and increased robustness to sensor and algorithmic failures. 


In this talk, we are going to discuss some state-of-the-art data fusion technologies and how they are being applied in real-world IoT applications.