News and Events
April 20, 2015
Virtual to reality video games to help teach disabled children cognitive skills
​Video games could change the lives of children with intellectual disabilities as students and professors work together to create a safer way to teach kids functional skills like crossing the street.

Computer science summer courses available

February 25, 2014 - Looking to get some courses in over the summer? Check out the list of what's available this year from the CMU Department of Computer Science.

Summer Session 1: May 19 - June 26, 2014

  • CPS 180, Principles of Computer Programming
    Monday-Friday, 10:00-11:50 AM
    Section # 22261681, Professor Ugur
    Meets in Pearce Hall 124 with labs held in Pearce Hall 423

Summer Session 2: June 30 - August 7, 2014

  • CPS 100, Computers and Society
    Monday-Thursday, 8:00-9:50 AM
    Section # 22262688, Professor Cregger
    Meets in Pearce Hall 126 with labs held in Pearce Hall 424
  • CPS 181, Introduction to Data Structures
    Monday-Thursday, 10:00-11:50 AM
    Section # 22261682, Professor Kinnicutt
    Meets in Pearce Hall 126 with labs held in Pearce Hall 423
  • ITC 101, Reasoning through Computer Visualization
    Monday-Thursday, 10:00-11:50 AM
    Section # 22261675, Professor Stinson
    Meets in Pearce Hall 124 with labs held in Pearce Hall 424

Smartphone Security

In November 2013, CMU's Department of Computer Science was visited and interviewed by Traverse City's CBS affiliate about the issue of smartphone security. Reports have been surfacing that indicate smartphones present a security risk by revealing the location of the user, since through geo-tagging, GPS coordinates can be embedded into the header portion of an image file. Anyone with the correct software can then determine the exact location of where the picture was taken.

On iOS devices, this feature is enabled by default, allowing users to perform useful tasks, such as searching through their photos by location. Many people take several photos using their smartphones, but if you ask someone, for example, to show you pictures of their trip to Alaska last summer, they will have a hard time going back through hundreds of pictures to try to find the ones that pertain to that particular trip. However, with geo-tagging enabled, a smartphone user simply has to look at a map of the United States and zoom to the state of Alaska. Then all of the photos taken in that location will be shown.

Unfortunately, criminals are increasingly taking advantage of geo-tagging to find out where a person is. If you take a photo and email it to all of your friends, anyone that they then share that photo with is able to figure out exactly where you were when that photo was taken. Some people are concerned that if a picture of their child is shared, for example, criminals will be able to determine exactly where their favorite park is. While this is true, it is also not as widespread as most people believe.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram remove all geo-tagged information by default so that pictures available on these publicly-visible platforms will not contain any geographic information relating to where the photo was taken. Of course, any signage in the background of the photo may contain clues to the location, so anyone posting a photo needs to be aware of the content within it.

The important thing to remember is that photos taken with a smartphone that are then emailed will still contain the geo-tagged information by default, but this geo-tagging information capture is a feature can be turned off in the settings menu of the device, thereby preventing any security issues from arising.

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