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Honors students travel to Boston, NYC for conferences and site visits

By Fran Broderick

Golisano College’s Honors students have spent quite a bit of time on the road this fall, learning about employment opportunities and generating new research ideas.

Old friends and new in the Boston area

During the third week of October a group of thirty students traveled to the Boston area to visit the campuses of Google Cambridge, MITRE Corp., and Constant Contact. During their visit students toured facilities and met with RIT alumni that now work for each company. In addition, leaders from each of the companies met with students to discuss research initiatives and answer questions related to working as a computing professional.

“I think it’s clear from our visits [to RIT] and the number of alumni we’ve hired that we love RIT students,” said Katie Maillet, Campus Recruiter for Constant Contact. “RIT students come to work ready with the skills they need.”

Honors students have previously made site visits to cities that include Seattle and San Francisco, as they explore future opportunities for co-op and employment.

Crisis mapping research in New York

From November 5th through 9th a separate group of Honors students travelled to the International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) Conference in New York City. The group was led by Department of Information Sciences and Technologies (IST) assistant professor Brian Tomaszewski, who also spearheaded the launch of the Golisano College’s minor in geographic information systems (GIS).

ICCM is a premier conference focused on humanitarian technology. Attendees include private sector companies like Google and Esri, international organizations such as the United Nations, as well as groups like the Red Cross. “The conference has a particularly international focus as many attendees work on international issues like Ebola, refugee populations, and disaster response in developing countries,” explained Tomaszewski.

According to Tomaszewski, who has travelled extensively, assisting aid efforts and helping bring GIS education and analyses to areas such as Rwanda, the conference served as a springboard for generating new research ideas for RIT students. Tomaszewski himself has kept busy with a variety of international research and aid projects. He recently partnered with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany on a game designed to teach spatial thinking through crisis response management using ArcGIS and will soon travel to Jordan via funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to assist an effort to aid refugees of the Syrian conflict.  He is also author of the forthcoming book Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Management, scheduled for release in December.