Computer and Information Systems Technology

Computer and Information Systems Technology

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AquaHacking Challenge and Opportunity to Save Lake Winnipeg

January 15, 2020

On January 15, 2020, representatives from the Winnipeg office for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) delivered an information session on their sustainability campaign to students at the ACE Project Space.  The IISD, whose mission is to champion solutions to our planet’s greatest sustainability challenges, created the AquaHacking Challenge, an initiative and competition designed to attract bright young minds who have the desire and ability to address our most urgent water issues.

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary, talked to our BIT, BTM, InfoSec, and PTEC students about the challenges the IISD is working to resolve in protecting and cleaning up our fresh water resources and species right here in Manitoba. Lake Winnipeg, which is the 11th largest fresh water lake in the world, is under threat due to excessive pollutants entering the watershed. The lake also serves as the sole source of potable water for many northern communities and supplies a significant commercial fishing stock. Gerard called for students’ help in assisting the organization in signing up to develop technology-backed ideas and solutions to stop further degradation of our precious fresh water resources.

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary describes AquaHacking

Pauline Gerard, Deputy Director, IISD-ELA and Corporate Secretary describes AquaHacking

Gerard guided students through the process of developing sustainable ideas by working on a common challenge affecting the agriculture sector today: providing agriculture producers with cost-effective solutions for managing drainage and the climate. The students were split into groups to discuss ideas around how the problem could be solved. One student from each group shared their idea to the audience. Ideas involved Internet-connected sensors, apps, and more.

The five challenges the IISD is working on for Lake Winnipeg include:

  • Providing agricultural producers with cost-effective solutions for water and land management
  • Assessing fish populations and health using non-invasive techniques
  • Preventing microplastics from entering the lake
  • Enabling local testing of drinking water quality in remote northern communities
  • Financing sustainable development initiatives by connecting individual and group funding sources

The AquaHacking Challenge is an 8-month long competition for the best ideas, connecting teams of innovative people with mentors from industry and workshops to create innovative and sustainable solutions. Technology-minded youth between the ages of 18 and 35 are encouraged to register to be part of a solution team for this competition, which starts in February with winners declared in October. Winners will receive part of a $50,000 prize pool to fund further development of their solutions.

To learn more about the AquaHacking 2020 Challenge for Lake Winnipeg and how to participate, visit https://bit.ly/HackLakeWpg or stop by the IISD booth on January 31st during the DisruptED Conference at the RBC Convention Centre.

ACE Project Space Hosts Mitacs Lunch & Learn Session

November 21, 2019

Entrepreneurs and members of Red River College faculty enjoyed a catered lunch & learn presentation about the funding opportunities provided by Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that builds partnerships between industry and post-secondary institutions to support industrial and social innovation in Canada with the ultimate goal of commercializing academic research.

Brent Wennekes, Director of Business Development (Manitoba) at Mitacs, described how their Accelerate program pairs entrepreneurs and companies working across all sectors of the economy with student research opportunities. Mr. Wennekes provided details about the funding model and the application process, which include a $7,500 contribution from a business in exchange for a $15,000 research award from Mitacs to support a research student intern for four months. Mitacs funding has spearheaded many of the four-month projects delivered at the ACE Project Space.

Mitacs funding recipient and CEO of ioAirFlow, Matt Schaubroeck, described his experience of having leveraged Mitacs funding while working a full-time job to kickstart his new venture. Mr. Schaubroek’s company is building an AI-supported solution using a network of temperature sensors to provide building owners and tenants with the data they need to increase energy efficiency. The research student embedded at the ACE Project Space as part of the ioAirFlow project was integral in building a marketable solution that won stage time at the Falling Walls Lab pitch contest in Berlin.

Stephen Lawrence, ACE Project Space Coordinator, shared the opportunity and process that lend to entrepreneurs the application development skills of fourth term students at the ACE Project Space with support from Mitacs. Mr. Lawrence described how the mutually beneficial relationship provides students with valuable real life project experience while providing entrepreneurs with the ability to bring their ideas to fruition.

To learn more about how to bring your business ideas to life at the ACE Project Space, please contact Stephen Lawrence, ACE Project Space Coordinator or visit our ACE Project Space web site.

ISACA Student Group Hosts 1st Annual Mini-Conference at the ACE Project Space

November 1, 2019

The Information Security program from the Applied Computer Education department at Red River College is only in its second year, yet interest in the program and the field of information security has never been greater. And it shows. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) student group at Red River College hosted its first ever annual mini-conference on Halloween at the ACE Project Space and it was a full house with over 70 students in attendance. Part of this group included high-school students from Seven Oaks School Division Met School and Maples Met School. Students enjoyed presentations from industry experts and one of our own information security instructors.

Along with a free pizza lunch and Halloween themed treats, students were treated to the following presentations by Deloitte, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries, Auditor General of Manitoba, and Red River College:

Introduction to ISACA (Certifications and Resources)

Presented by: Fraser McLean, CPA, CA, CISA, CRISC, Senior Manager, Risk Advisory at Deloitte Canada

Fraser described the information security landscape, the ISACA organization, career options available for students as well as key activities including penetration testing, incident response handling, and cybersecurity red team versus blue team scenarios. He also talked about the certifications and resources recognized by industry.

Fraser McLean, a senior manager for risk advisory at Deloitte Canada, discusses the career opportunities in information security

Fraser McLean, a senior manager for risk advisory at Deloitte Canada, discusses the career opportunities in information security

Internal Audit 101

Presented by: Catarina Sousa Machado, CPA, CGA, CISA, Senior Audit and Risk Management Professional at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation

Catarina educated students on the internal audit profession from an accounting perspective and contrasted it with the technology focus of information security professionals. She described the roles comprising internal audit, the importance of internal auditing to organizations, as well as the certification paths that are available.

Catarina Sousa Machado, a senior audit and risk management professional at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation, talks about the internal auditing profession

Catarina Sousa Machado, a senior audit and risk management professional at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation, talks about the internal auditing profession

Social Engineering: Human Element of Information Security

Presented by: Ganesh Sharma, FCA(India), CISA, CISM, CISSP, CIA, SAP Certified, Principal, IT Performance Audits at Auditor General of Manitoba

Ganesh shared the financial impact of data breaches on organizations and how social engineering allows these breaches to occur. He provided details on the time required to resolve incidents and the types of social engineering attacks, their methods of delivery, as well as points of exploitation, including people, processes, and technology.

Ganesh Sharma, a principal IT performance auditor from the Auditor General of Manitoba, discusses the financial impact of data breaches

Ganesh Sharma, a principal IT performance auditor from the Auditor General of Manitoba, discusses the financial impact of data breaches

Forensic Analysis

Presented by: Stephen Jay, Information Security Instructor, Red River College

One of our instructors, Stephen Jay, walked students through various aspects of forensic analysis in information security. He used examples of image analysis and demonstrated a multitude of tools that can be used to perform forensic analysis.

Stephen Jay, a Red River College information security instructor, describes how image analysis is performed as part of forensic analysis

Stephen Jay, a Red River College information security instructor, describes how image analysis is performed as part of forensic analysis

Interested in hosting a similar event for students?

For information about hosting an event at the ACE Project Space, please contact Stephen Lawrence, ACE Project Space Coordinator at (204) 224-2712.

Business Technology Management TalentMash – October 21

September 20, 2019

Our third annual BTM TalentMash is brought to you by ITAC Talent, a Division of the ITAC (Information Technology Association of Canada), our Breakfast and Lunch Sponsor: 24-7 Intouch, and Red River College.

The event is set for Monday, October 21, 2019 at CanadInns Destination Centre Polo Park.  We will start the day off with keynote speaker Gord Gibben, followed by breakout sessions with Adam Hendrickson, Ben Goldstein, and Karen Allardice.  Our MC for the day is Kathy Knight, CEO, from ICTAM.  In the afternoon attendees can network and visit our exhibitor booths, followed by a panel presentation.

Attendees will include industry, RRC Staff, and around 200 of our BTM students.  We would love to see you there!

Register to attend as a business delegate here:  Business Delegate Registration

TAIV – Application Enhancements

September 4, 2019

Project Term: Summer 2019

TAIV enables business owners to create, schedule and play their own TV advertisements instead of the commercials that appear during the broadcast. This helps establishments create a targeted audience and drive sales. During the summer term at the ACE Project Space, a team of students completed a number of enhancements to improve the user experience. Read More →

Red River College – Change Advisory Board Application

September 4, 2019

Project Term: Summer 2019

The ACE Project Space required a robust and scalable application to better manage change and incident requests, assets and those using them. The system that was in use was clunky and did not provide the full range of functionality that the Change Advisory Board (CAB) was looking for. A student team at the ACE Project Space went about designing the application from scratch. The purpose was to deliver a working application with asset, user and change management functionality by the end of the four-month term. Completing the application was accomplished through extensive research and learning through Lynda, Code Academy and Udemy as well as collaboration with the RPI research group. Read More →

Red River Bookstore – Web Site and Inventory Management System

September 4, 2019

Project Term: Summer 2019

Red River Bookstore has been operating for decades and has amassed a huge inventory of used books, comics, music, movies, video games and other miscellaneous items. With such a large inventory and very little online presence, the bookstore staff could not meet the growing demands without integrating digital solutions. ACE Project Space students worked with the bookstore to gather their requirements, and then build viable solutions to help the business manage its inventory. Read More →

Manitoba Genealogical Society – Manitoba Name Index

September 3, 2019

Project Term: Summer 2019

The Manitoba Genealogical Society (MGS) organizes and archives information about the lives of Manitobans and their family relationships. In a previous term at the ACE Project Space, students helped to build the consolidated Manitoba Name Index (MANI) service to provide a central source for searching genealogical data. During the summer term, a new team of students worked on improvements to the MANI codebase and delivered a number of enhancements to improve the user experience and create new revenue generation opportunities. Read More →

Equal Opportunities West – Resource Management System

September 3, 2019

Project Term: Summer 2019

Equal Opportunities West is a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization that provides support services to adults with developmental disabilities, helping them to attain meaningful employment. The organization’s rapid growth in the past five years increased the burden of administering activities involving staff, students, and vehicle assets. Employees were using a paper-based system and board to set activities, track assets and communicate with staff. The system could not keep up with all the activities and associated changes happening simultaneously.  A team of students from the ACE Project Space built a comprehensive resource management system to digitize the organization’s current system and improve business processes. Read More →