The University of Kentucky Amateur Radio Club: Dead or Hiding?, Tim Fisher

Not too long ago, the University of Kentucky had a club that not too many other Universities/Colleges could boast about; the University of Kentucky Amateur Radio Club. The closest post-secondary institution, geographically, that has a similar club is Murray State University, which is home to the Murray State University Amateur Radio Club. This is certainly something to be proud about – having the resources, knowledge, and federal approval of operating such a club. Each person, club, group, etc. that wishes to use such a radio station has to pay to take a test (indifferent of passing), and if you pass the test, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will issue you an Amateur Radio License, which grants you special permissions and operating regulations for radios shared by no others.

[FCC Logo]

The logo of the Federal Communications Commission, the governing body of all radio transmissions of any kind in the United States of America

The club was previously very active, and can be traced through their callsign or other details about them all over the internet. In the recent years, however, the club seems to have disappeared. Since the likelihood that all the remaining active members graduated last year is very low, I want to know why the club has been abandoned. It just doesn’t seem natural that anyone, especially a university such as UK would allow the amount of equipment that this club controlled to suddenly have no use to anyone.
(Especially when you take into account the fact that this equipment is not cheap!) Before I dive into the club’s history and attempt to find this, I’d like to explain some concepts and terms that otherwise would be foreign and confusing to you.

The first concept I feel I need to discuss is the amount of material one has to study for this federal exam, not to mention that it is a straight-cut pass/fail exam and is highly overwhelming. To get a group license, such as the University of Kentucky and Murray State University have, takes much stricter requirements. The second concept of amateur radio clubs such as this one that I feel I should explain, and possibly the biggest extra requirement, is that a single person is entrusted (or as the FCC defines it ‘responsible’) with the station both legally and professionally. Anyone wishing to use the station needs the approval of this person, usually called the ‘trustee’. Furthermore, that person is legally responsible to communicate with the FCC to make sure that all laws and regulations are being followed in good practice. For the UK Amateur Radio Club, this seems to be a big problem that has hit them recently.

The FCC have a database called the ULS (Universal Licensing System), which keeps records organized and publicly available to everyone, so that it can quickly and easily be verified that someone does actually hold the radio license they claim to. This includes Amateur, Commercial, Personal, Family usage, and many other types of radio licenses. For example, if you visit the ULS and look up my callsign, or my name over the air (my callsign is ‘K2TRF’), you will be presented with a page that tells you everything about my license, from the fact that it is an amateur radio license of the General Class, to the fact that I paid extra money to select my own callsign (called ‘vanity callsigns’). This page will even tell you what my original callsign was, which the FCC assigned to me the moment my exam was marked as passing and I was granted my Technician Level license.

According to the FCC’s ULS , the official trustee of this radio station is Gene Yates, who used to teach in the College of Engineering here at the University of Kentucky. (“Amateur License – W4JP – Univ of Kentucky Amateur Radio Club“) The reason this is a problem is that he has not taught on campus in well over twenty years. This is a problem because while Mr. Yates is still the trustee, he is legally responsible for the maintenance, operation, and contacts of the station. He is also responsible for the communications between the club and the FCC. Not only is this bad practice, but there is a bigger legal problem behind this; the FCC imposes a very sharp fine on anyone that improperly holds a trustee position for more than temporary purposes, such as handing over the trustee title to someone who can assume responsibility. I believe that the lack of activity in the club has slowed the transition of the trustee title, as no one in Mr. Yates’ position should hold on to it.

Something that has me puzzled is the existence of the UK Amateur Radio Club website (“University of Kentucky|SWEB”); that is it exists simply to say that it does not. If you try to go to a random directory under the student organizations of UK, you will be presented with a page, usually from your internet browser, to say that the page could not be found. In the case of the UK Amateur Radio Club site, however, there exists a page that serves the same purpose, but it looks as if someone just took the entire site and replaced it with that one page saying that the page doesn’t exist. The simplest reasoning I can think of for this is that the contents were deleted due to inactivity, which wouldn’t be uncommon at all. What is uncommon is that a page was left behind where nothing should have been.

The UK Amateur Radio Club needed a website simply to tell people about them, as most of the members were engineers (and we all know how unsocial engineers are). The website provided a way for the majority of people interested in the club to find out more about it, and it was something that I was deeply disappointed to find gone like that. I cannot find duplicates of the website in popular services such as the Wayback Machine or the Google Archives, but this is not surprising, as the website was located on a university server, and those are not often crawled by such services.

[Anderson Hall]

Anderson Hall, sometimes referred to as Anderson Tower; the home of the UK Amateur Radio Club and the UK Space Systems Laboratory.

The address for the club that is all over the internet is 453 in Anderson Hall. What may have once been Mr. Yates’ office is no longer there; the offices in 453 Anderson Hall belong to other professors now. Strangely enough, the actual amateur radio station, W4JP, is located exactly one floor above at 553 Anderson Hall. I believe this to be merely a coincidence, but that does not necessarily mean that it could not be for another reason. It could have been a way for them to easily run wires into the station for the equipment that remains up there. The closest person to a manager/trustee for the station that I was able to find was Dr. Bill Smith, whose office is located at 467 Anderson Hall. I assume that since Mr. Yates has left, Dr. Smith simply took over running the station with whatever students are interested in it at the given time.

Unfortunately, many if not most college ham radio clubs are in similar situations. Many people simply choose to let their license expire or never get it at all since it is so expensive to take the test and hope that you have passed. Radios are also a big problem; while it is true you can build your own radio and it will work, it will almost never work well and if it can tune at all the range is very limited. It is much simpler to buy the equipment, but with less and less colleges funding these programs, and the only people who would think to fund it are students who are taking out loans simply to pay for their classes, many of these kinds of clubs simply wither away unless someone finds it and attempts to start it back up, as I am doing.

With the UK Amateur Radio Club in particular, it seems that whatever logs were kept on day-to-day activities involving the use of their equipment are either in the station in Anderson Hall (Which is, of course locked so I will have to be let in by someone who has access if I want to see the inside of it) or with Dr. Smith or Mr. Yates. I hope they are either in the station or with Dr. Smith, because it would be very interesting for me to see what the last contact was. Each time two ham radio stations talk to each other, they usually keep a log of it with some basic information about it. Most notably, this log would contain (of the last & newest entry) the date, the time, the person who was using the station, the person who the station spoke to, and other trivial data such as the method used. What this information would tell me is the last person who was actively using the station, and exactly how long ago that was. The reason this would be interesting is because I would have a person to attempt to find, in the hopes that they would be willing to take part in an interview so that I could find out more about the club. If I am not able to find paper logs of the various activities the club did, I hope to be able to find this information from either Dr. Bill Smith or some former members of the club, hopefully even both, as I’m sure Dr. Smith has a different point of view of the club than the students that were a part of it. I was extremely lucky, and was able to interview Dr. Bill Smith about this topic for my paper.

[Dr. Bill Smith]

Dr. Bill Smith, the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Electrical Engineering.

Sometime around November 11th, 2011, Dr. Bill Smith graciously sat down with me to answer some of my questions about the UK Amateur Radio Club, as I was unable to find out a majority of exactly what had happened to the club (“Smith”). Previously, I believed that the club had disintegrated or disbanded, either for lack of members or money. Dr. Smith created a turning point in the direction of my examination; he told me the club technically still existed. Apparently what happened was the UK Amateur Radio Club and the SSL (Space Systems Laboratory) groups on campus decided that they could both do what they were already doing much more efficiently by teaming up. This would be beneficial to both groups as they could accomplish all their tasks much more quickly than they could separately (there is something to be said about the power of numbers in the fields these two clubs were operating in).

[KySat-1]

What KySat-1 looked like shortly before it was given to NASA to be put onboard the Glory Satellite Mission Rocket.

The two groups merged, and kept both names, but acted mostly under the Space Systems Laboratory. Their biggest project in the past couple of years has been their KySat-1 Cube sat. According to the UK Space Systems Laboratory website, a cube sat is “a nanosatellite standard which is used for missions involving educational outreach, component testing, and space research.” They also say that “the motivation for CubeSats is to standardize the dimensions and mass along with the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics to help drive down launch costs.” A cube sat has very specific dimensions that have to be maintained above all else so that every group submitting one can have theirs loaded onto the space shuttle. The UK SSL website defines these sizes by saying that “a One-Unit (1U) CubeSat must have external dimensions of no greater than 1 liter (approx. a 4” cube) and a mass of no greater than 1 Kg (2.2 lbs). Multiple CubeSats can be stacked upon one another to create 2U, and 3U satellites of greater volume.”

They have made very good progress with the development of these CubeSats, and got to see their KySat-1 scheduled to be launched on March 4 at 2:09:43 PST (5:09:43 EST) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Unfortunately, the CubeSat, along with others submitted from other groups failed to make it out of the atmosphere due to a technical failure that required the shuttle to be re-grounded shortly after takeoff. Details of the failure can be found in a press release by NASA on their website.

Since then, the SSL and the UKARC have continued working on their projects such as this with much more success. About a month ago they launched a small weather balloon simply to fill in some free time they had. Unfortunately I was not able to personally attend the event, but I was able to use my ham radio to follow what they were doing and hear all the data the weather balloon was sending back to the ground station. The club has plans to continue refining their KySat-1 CubeSat until they get another chance to send it up to the International Space Station, when they will resubmit it, hopefully with better luck then they previously had. Until then, they are doing many various projects such as the weather balloon to keep their skills sharp and sometimes to simply pass the time on a lazy weekend.

[SSL Students]

SSL Students setting up equipment to track a Near-Space Balloon Launch.

Often they will send these near-space balloons up with a camera attached to them, so that they can take pictures on their journey. Not only does this help with tracking the balloon and finding it after it lands, but they images often look very cool, since most of them are taken extremely high up in the atmosphere! A lot of these pictures can be found on the Space Systems Laboratory website, but one of my favorite ones is the one posted below here. This picture was taken about a month ago, when the SSL sent up a balloon they named “Hamster-3D”. The reason they named it this is because it was equipped, on top of the standard equipment, with a brand-new 3D camera. Obviously, these pictures are not displayed here in 3D, as they wouldn’t quite work. Still, the 2D versions of these pictures are amazing.

[Hamster 3D]

This is my favorite picture that was taken by the Hamster 3D near-space balloon about a month ago.

This project was very beneficial to me personally. It gave me an opportunity to I found out what happened to the club, why they appear to be dead on the surface, and what they are doing now that requires them to maintain this image, so that the two clubs can work together using both of their experiences and equipment to help each other reach their common goals. I will be continuing to follow this group for a little while and might possibly join them sometime soon. Unfortunately, I now have to choose which of these groups to join on paper!

by Tim Fisher, for WRD110, taught by Eric Casero.

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Things can help the corporation

Nowadays, we have a lot of corporation on the world. All those corporations are searching for something that can help them make more profits, save more time, and get the best work efficiency. I’d like to call those things are late-model machines. For example, accounting and computer engineering are two significant “machines” that were used in corporations. In the following two articles, you will read about some research about accounting and computer engineering.

Huo Lanxin

2011/11/8

WRD110-035

Manage your life smarter, like the accountant does

Figure 1: Accounting

Source: spearcpa.wordpress.com. History of Accounting. Web. 2 November 2011

       When talking about accounting, most people will feel both familiar and strange. Because we are living in a society with highly developed economy, everyone somewhat understands accounting. However, as a branch of Economics, accounting owns so many terminologies, which let many people think accounting is too complex to understand. In fact, because accounting exists in our daily life, and it is closely related to everyone’s life, a rough grasp on accounting is necessary and helpful to us. Therefore, by focusing on definition, history, examples in our daily life, and some popular issues about accounting, I will tell you something you had never know about accounting world.

       There is an interesting phenomenon, when people heard that my major is accounting, they will say, “oh, that’s cool!” However, they would not talk about it further more. I realize that actually people don’t know what accounting exactly is. Consequently, I started to think about why accounting is so difficult to understand? Finally, I got answer from my experiences. Before I came to Kentucky, I had enrolled into a course the name is the Basis of Accounting. The textbook is written by our professor, which is blue softcover. I remembered before I took the first exam, I didn’t do any exercises. I just reviewed the textbook again and again, but I still confused about the difficult terms, and finally I just got 72 points. After the exam, I heard the student behind me said, “I really don’t know what accounting is all about, people who learn accounting are non-human.” Even the student who is the same major as me, I usually heard they complained, “Accounting is to take all the simple things get complicated”. In a very long period of time, I doubt that I am on a wrong boat. Until one day, I was on the train to my grandmother’s home. I took out an “accounting profession in English” to memorize English words, then a little girl pointed the word “the balance sheet” and asked me what the meaning of that is. I was about to tell her, but suddenly realized: Even if I tell her the meaning of this word in Chinese, She also still will not know what it means. At that moment, I understand, accounting is a special kind of language. It records and expresses all the trivial things in our financial aspects, and it is a very professional disciplines. Thereupon, I told to myself, “I love my major.” I hope more people can know more about my major, so I must to find a way to make it easier to understand.

       What is accounting exactly? According to the authoritative explanation by Elliot Barry and Elliot Jamie, “Accountancy is the process of communicating financial information about a business entity to users such as shareholders and managers. The communication is generally in the form of financial statements that show in money terms the economic resources under the control of management; the art lies in selecting the information that is relevant to the user and is reliable.” However, this explanation seems professional and a little bit boring. To make it easier to understand, we can think about the things happened in our daily life. For example, we usually have a feeling like that: We did not buy too much things, but the money had gone inexplicable. Thereupon, we try to find the way to make certain where our money had gone. The way that we usually use is keep accounts, which actually is a kind of accounting. According to record what we bought, and the prices and quantities of the things we bought, we can not only know where our money had gone, but also make an analysis and figure out if we waste money on something. In this way, we could have better management of our financial situation. In fact, the things we did in this example are to make a simple “accounting books”. Therefore, accounting exists in our daily life, and is not complex to understand.

       If we think accounting as a human being, he must be an old man but with a young face. Many people are of the opinion that accounting is newly developing subject. Although with the development of business, there are a lot of concepts in accounting need to be gradually improved, accounting is thousands of years old; the earliest accounting records, which date back more than 7,000 years, were found in Mesopotamia (Assyrians). The people of that time relied on primitive accounting methods to record the growth of crops and herds. Accounting evolved, improving over the years and advancing as business advanced (Friedlob 1). The picture below shows accounting tokens made of clay, from Susa, Uruk period, circa 3500 BCE. As time goes on, accounting becomes more and more important to people and country. Today, accounting is called “the language of business” because it is the vehicle for reporting financial information about a business entity to many different groups of people. Accounting concentrates on reporting to people inside the business entity is called management accounting and is used to provide information to employees, managers, owner-managers and auditors. Management accounting is concerned primarily with providing a basis for making management or operating decisions.

Figure 2: Accounting tokens made of clay, from Susa, Uruk period, circa 3500 BCE. Marie-Lan Nguyen. 2009

 

       Recently, accounting is becoming a very hot major in university. Some worldwide known university, such as Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, are famous for their business college. It is easily to explain why a major become popular by career prospects. Because most people build their career not only depend on what their dream job is, but also will think about if they can easily find a nice job after they graduate from school, especially now we all in the recession employment environment. However, this creates another problem: Why Accounting is easy to find a nice job, or why do we need Accounting? Asking that question of an accountant is like asking a farmer why we need rain. We need accounting because it’s the only way for business to grow and flourish. Accounting is the backbone of the business financial world. Generally speaking, accounting as an organized method for record-keeping has been around almost as long as the trade and business industries. Another interesting fact is the knowledge and principles upon which the first accounting practices were established, have changed very little in the many hundreds of years that accounting has been in use. The concepts of assets, liabilities, and income and the need to reconcile these areas is still the basis for all accounting functions today.

       As for the role of accounting, we could do an analogy to make it easier to understand. Think about this, if you feel uncomfortable or just want to do a physical examination, you may be X-rayed to find where the problem is. Exactly as the function of X-ray in the medical science, accounting gives us the financial snapshot we need in order to make solid business decisions about the current status or projected future health of our businesses.

       There are two basic categories of accounting: financial accounting and managerial accounting.  Financial accounting is comprised of information that companies make available to the general public:  stockholders, creditors, customers, suppliers, and regulatory commissions. Managerial accounting deals with information that is not made public. Information such as salary costs, Cost of goods produced, profit targets, and material control information. The knowledge supplied by managerial accounting is for the use of department heads, division managers, and supervisors to help them make better decisions about the day-to-day operations of the business.

       Now, what about the “accountability” part of the accounting process? Why do we need that and how do we enforce it? Businesses need to be held accountable for the methods they use to run a business because the potential for greed, theft, and dishonesty exist in every business. You have only to read the current events section of the newspaper to realize how rampant corporate abuse is in business today.  We have Enron, HEALTHSOUTH, and Martha Stewart examples to show us just how extensive the problem has become. There are specialized areas of accounting, that when correctly enforced, eliminate the possibility for fraud. Auditing and income taxation, when used correctly, force business to account for all business income, transactions, and transfers, and then to pay their fair share of the tax burden.  The catch here is that the principles must be correctly enforced.

Figure 3: Fewer facts, more fiction (CartoonStock)

 

Source: http://www.CartoonStock.com. Accounting scandal. Web. 2 November 2011

       Accounting is the conscious of the business world. When handled with care and with respect, it performs as expected. When abuse occurs, and the system is circumvented or overridden because of dishonesty and greed, it doesn’t work correctly. Accounting is much like all other systems in place, they are only as good as the people using them. One thing that impressed me is about an inscription from Zhu Rongji, who is the Former Premier of China. I like him because of his honesty, uprightness and the professional knowledge of Economics. Zhu Rongji, never inscription, but made ​​an exception to the National Accounting Institute inscription “do not make the false accounts”. There’s the picture of that inscription in below. The inscription was engraved on stele, and it reminds every student who study there. Thus, the Ethics and integrity issues are becoming increasingly important in the accounting. In my opinion, this is a reaffirmation of the bottom line. Rapid economic development is certainly welcome, but if the bottom line of civilization vague, fear not stick, then this will be very fragile prosperity.

Figure 4: Do not “cook the books”

 

Source: impencil.org. 中国公司的海外骗局. Web 2 November 2011

       However, why do people like to make false accounts even they know that is immoral? The answer is very simple, profit. Remembered that I said accounting is the language of business. What is business? You can say business is somebody taking a hammer and building a house, and then taking the staff that he made and selling somebody with money. Another way to look at business is like a magical box. You take raw materials, put it in the box, and comes out is goods. You can sell those goods to make money. That box is business. So let’s say you have a business, you made something that cost you 100 dollars to make, and you sale it for 200 dollars, then you have 100 dollars profit in your happy. I just told you a story about business that I made 100 dollars. However, who should we tell story to in reality? You may tell your story to banks or investors. They want to hear your story because they might lend you some money. Another person who wants to hear your story is Uncle Sam, he wants taxes. We can break down three different people that want to hear your story: People on the inside or internal users, people on the outside or external users, and the government. The language by which you tell people story is sometimes called managerial accounting for internal users, financial accounting for external users, and tax accounting for the government users. The actual language that external users want to hear your information is GAPP, which is Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The government wants to hear your story based on IRC (Internal Revenue Code). That is the standard by which you must tell your story. For internal users, there is no standard managerial accounting language. If you are business, and you are talking to an external user, you want to look good, or show them you have a high profit. However, when you talk to the government, your project is to make it looks like you made nothing, because if you are rich, they’ll take a lot of your money. Then when you talk to internal users, you just tell them as accurate as you can, because these information upon to the manager to help them to make decisions. Hence, your story might be the same story and every instance, but depending on who is your audience you use different languages, and each of these languages will actually tell a different story, even though as based on the same actions as the business.

       Therefore, it can be said that accounting is an art of storytelling. However, it seems somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, accountants need to use different language to tell story and make the most profits. On the other hand, we demand that accountants should have a high ethical standard, do not cook the books. In that way, what are the criteria for a good accountant does? To clarify this question, I decided to interview my father, who is a general manager of Gainful Investment Corporation. He is graduated from Hebei University of Economics and Business, and his major is accounting. He answered:

       It is not as contradictory as you thought. Anyway, cook the books is illegal, but it doesn’t means that you can’t use accounting to make profit. A good accountant should have ability to make profit by using the knowledge of accounting and tax policy. This is like you go to the supermarket to buy some eggs. Of course you can’t buy eggs by using fake money, but you could use something such as coupon to make it cheaper.

       Have to admit that, as a freshman, I do not have much accounting expertise. Consequently, I just tell some basic information about accounting. As I said in the introduction, I think that accounting is a subject closely related to our daily life, and it is not complex to understand. As a rough understanding, we do not need to remember those complex terms, because we could found a lot of interesting examples in our life. That makes me think about my story. All my friends think that I am good at history, but in fact, I hated to take history class when I was a high school student. The history class is too boring to make me sleepy. Fortunately, I read a book named those things in Ming Dynasty, which is a book talk about the history of Ming Dynasty of China. I love that book so much. It was the first time I felt that the history can be so interesting. I usually laugh out loud because of the humor language and interesting stories in that book. In addition to fun, I also learned a lot of knowledge of history. Since then, I often wonder why we cannot make a lot of knowledge becomes easier and more interesting? Today, I finally got a chance to achieve a little dream of mine. Although I do not have specialized knowledge, I hope that through these simple descriptions and analogies to let more people develop a deeper learning of accounting knowledge and understanding.

 Work Cited

1. Elliot, Barry & Elliot, Jamie: Financial accounting and reporting, Prentice Hall, London 2004.

2. Friedlob, G. Thomas & Plewa, Franklin James. Understanding balance sheets. John Wiley & Sons. NYC, 1996.

3. Oldroyd, David & Dobie, Alisdair: Themes in the history of bookkeeping, The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, London, July 2008.

4. Pixley, Francis William: Accountancy — constructive and recording accountancy (Sir Isaac Pitman &Sons, Ltd, London, 1900)

5. Dudley, Lola Woodard; Davis, Denry H.; McGrady, David G.. Journal of Education for Business, Jan/Feb2001, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p125, 7p, 1 Diagram

6. Goodyear, Lloyd Earnest: Principles of Accountancy, Goodyear-Marshall Publishing Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1913

7. Xiang Huo, personal interview. 5 Nov 2011.

8. Money Instructor. 2009. Money Instructor®. “Why do we need accounting?” 3 Nov. 2011 <http://www.moneyinstructor.com >.

Importance of Computer Science in Corporations

By: Sabari Vatsavaya

Just think about how much computers affect your life every day. Before you can understand how computer science affects corporations, you need to know what computer science is. Computer science is the study of how computers work and developing applications that can be used for everyday life. Essentially computer let you manage a huge amount of information relatively easily. The same thing can be applied to corporations, because computers also handle the information as well. Computers have such a broad effect on the work place, it has literally changed the way business works.

Computers have changed many things in the workplace and the structure of corporations. Through applications of Computer Science, corporations have been able to simplify the amount of work.  . Author and Business specialist Tony Jacowski says “without the advent of technology, routine tasks would otherwise have taken and enormous amount of time and specialization”. According to KeKoBi “The six employees with their six computers are able to output much more work on a shorter time span than the thirty employees with their set of books of accounts.” This demonstrates  Instead of having to change things manually, the computer just does that for you. This allows corporations to increase their efficiency by a great amount. Corporations can make more profit and in turn create jobs and stimulate the economy. Computer Science has changed the workplace more than just the amount of work they do. They have changed how decisions and plans are executed.

         In the business world, the quicker you make decisions means more money. It is absolutely essential to be able to react quickly and make a decision based on the information that you are given. Computer Science has made this a lot easier to do. You have access to a ton of information under your fingertips, using that information you can make a decision, which can help your company. In the past important decisions could have taken longer and wasted precious time. When it comes to business, time is money, the more time you waste the less money you make.  It doesn’t matter how quick you make your decisions, if the information you used to make them is inaccurate. With computers you can make sure that the info you have is critical. Accuracy and correctness is an important to computer science as well as computer science. There are tools that allow this to occur; these tools are known as programs

A properly written program can be way more accurate and correct than a human could ever be. Unfortunately not all applications in computer science can be perfect. A malfunctioning computer program can cost a company millions of dollars. The only way to avoid this is to make sure there are people who can fix the problems with the program as soon as they happen. These people are called programmers meaning that they have an understanding on how to fix problems with computers. This job has evolved throughout the years. It has become one of the most important jobs in a corporation. The job market for this job can’t get lower because the use of computers just increases. More people depend on computer science more than ever before.

Now that we have got all that out of the way, let’s see how this applies to our community. There fare a couple corporate offices here in Lexington; they provide jobs to many people here in Lexington, KY. Out of all the corporations I chose to focus on Lexmark because it represents the ideal structure of a corporation. It is one of the largest employers in Lexington, KY and it is part of the fortune 500. Lexmark also houses its World Headquarter in Lexington, KY so it makes it easier to see the impact of computers. My father also works there; he is the manager for the IT branch for Lexmark, so I can get access to a lot of information about Lexmark as well as being able to see how computers affect jobs on a day to day basis.

The branch of Lexmark in Lexington, KY is the largest Lexmark branch in the world. So… How does a branch that big keep organized and avoid confusion and chaos, the answer is simple, the use of many networked computers. Lexmark has many buildings spread throughout the area, so it is absolutely vital to be up to date on what other people are doing. With this strong communication, things can be changed relatively quickly. With all these computers communicating it is easier to solve problems quickly. The employees at Lexmark can choose to communicate with almost anyone from any branch. Because of this open communication, people can get help and increase their productivity by a good amount. In order to understand how people are able to communicate this fast around Lexmark. Lexmark does not use standard email like for example; G-Mail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc…  They use specialized software that caters to their specific needs.

The specialized software allows them to do what the company needs of them. Computer science is absolutely necessary in order to understand to create specialized programs. With the use of computer scientists companies are able to design software specific to their needs. Remember as we defined Computer Science as the study of how computers work and how they can be used to develop applications for everyday use. With this concept in mind it is easy to understand why Computer Science is so important to the world of Corporations. Computer Science does more than just help with communications around Lexmark, they do much more.

This quote by Jane McGrath of HowStuffWorks helps understand how communications Lexmark there are many types of programs that they use, each one has its own specialized purpose. Some of them manage accounts for Lexmark clients, some of them assist in printer development. There are programs that help in manufacturing, stock, and inventory management. There are so many programs doing so many things at once.  It is crucial that all this data can be communicated and exchanged with one another. When all these programs work in sync it improves efficiency. At the heart of all this, one major goal for corporations is to be more efficient.

 

         Companies like Lexmark have become far more efficient with the onset of more and more advanced computer programs. Why spend nine hours doing multiple calculations by hand, when you can just do the same amount of work in 30 minutes. That is one of the best thing about computers, computers are naturally designed to run efficiently. When you add computers to anything, things tend to be quicker and more responsive.  The more information you extract from your data, the more you can accomplish. That is why businesses are far easier to run with the use of computers.

One thing that needs to be understood about computers is that essentially they are pretty dumb. The reason why computers may seem smart is because they can repeat the same set of instructions millions of times, over and over again. If you don’t tell a computer what set of instructions to execute it will sit there like a piece of junk. Programs are essentially just instructions that the computer repeats over and over again. Sometimes programs will make mistakes while reading those instructions but we will get to that later. There are people who give the computer instructions to do, those people are called computer programmers. Computer programmers are the people who make computer smarter than they actually are. Without computer programmers corporations have a bunch of useless machines lying around.

There isn’t just one type of computer programmer, just like how there isn’t one type of computer program. Each ‘programmer’ specializes in a certain type of program whether it be networking or accounting or the many other types. It makes sense in a programmer choosing to specialized .It’s good to concentrate on one field and be good at it. Some fields are tougher to specialize in but those are the fields that pay more. Corporations have many programmers working in many different fields.

In a corporation since there are many types of programs and systems it is absolutely necessary to have a team of people who specialize in those types of programs. If these people didn’t manage, create and fix programs on a day to day basis Lexmark would come to a grinding halt. This case isn’t just true for just the Lexmark in Lexington it is true for the branches around the world. A malfunctioning program in one of the branches can affect the company as a whole. That’s why it is so important to have computer programmers who can fix problems quickly. Programs need to be fixed on a daily basis in order to ensure that there are no errors. There is a certain part of the company that handles some types of programs, this is called the IT branch a.k.a Information Technology .

        

         Information Technology is essentially the art of controlling the amount information that the company gets and making it useful to the company. According to Breshannan” IT is among the most important technological changes affecting the economy and employers who use IT usually co-invent new approaches to workplace organization and new product and service offerings.”  This is the section which controls a lot of information and also does a lot of programming. My Dad is the manager of this branch so he should be able to give me insight on how he works day to day. It is also possible to observe how computers directly affect the people that wok there.

It is easy to see how computers affect this branch, because the branch revolves around computing. According to my Dad The IT branch of Lexmark has grown rapidly in the past 10 years. When my Dad joined there were only a 25 people but now there are over 150. This also indirectly shows how computers and Computer Science are becoming more and more important. This isn’t just true for Lexmark; this branch is growing really fast in all corporations.

There are any facets of the IT department; they do a wide range of things. They handle software requests; they address issues with the computer system that could potentially affect the entire branch. In order to even work in this branch you need some sort of engineering degree mostly dealing with computers. The people in this branch fully understand the impact that computer science has on Business. This branch also connects to more than one part of Lexmark. They work in Tandem with accounting and business technology.

My dad is the manager for the IT branch, so he handles a lot of responsible. His job mainly consists of keeping things on track and making sure that there are not new issues. If there are issues it is my Dads job to make sure those problems are addressed quickly and promptly. My Dad really doesn’t use to many computer science skills because he is a manager. When he first started he did a lot of programming and then eventually got to the point where he is at. He still has to maintain knowledge of Computer Science, because most of the problems he deals with are computer science related. He tells me that there are many important things deal with, and sometimes this job can be tough to do. Sometimes he has to deal with an important program going wrong or an error with a business account in Malaysia. But overall he enjoys his job because it provides him with self-accomplishment and it keeps the company running smoothly. His job does differ a little bit with the rest of the IT department, but he doesn’t mind that.

The rest of the people in the IT branch do a lot of programming. They race to fix issues as soon as soon as they pop up. They work in sets of teams often giving each other feedback on what to do. They sit there and each comes up with a solution to a problem. They combine their solutions to get the maximum effect. This team work allows for most problems to be solved relatively quickly.   This is how 90% of problems that are solved through programming.

A common stereotype of computer programmers is that they are isolated from the rest of their world in a cubicle. This is absolutely wrong, because programming takes a lot of teamwork. It would be difficult to find solutions to a problem if you only look at your point of view. That’s why programmers work in teams, because someone might catch something that you missed. This makes the offices of the IT branch in Lexmark a much more dynamic place

Lexmark isn’t the only company that follows this strategy. The strategy is the same throughout the corporate world. Many companies choose to work this way because it gets things done quickly. Since it works about the same in every corporation it is easy for programmers in the IT branch to communicate effectively with other companies. Lexmark is an international corporation so in order for the IT branch here in Lexington to communicate with other branches there needs to be an efficient way to do things.

Programmers might not have that much difficulty adjusting to a new job environment, chances are that the place is similar to where they work at. Computer Science is a growing field and is in high demand. The reason why the job is in such high demand is because of the advent of new technology. As time goes on and as technology gets more advanced there will always be computer scientists to maintain and innovate.

Computers can never cease to exist at this rate. In the near future we will become more and more integrated with computers. Eventually we might have computers inside of us one day assisting us with our daily lives. It’s because of this reason I chose this topic. It fascinates me that we will one day be part of computers or the other way around. I want to be part of the driving force that can make this possible. The driving force of this integration is the corporations of today. When we integrate man and machine in the future we need computer scientists to make sure everything goes as planned. According to HCI and Microsoft Research “By 2020, society’s relationship with technology will be quite different from what it has meant to be ‘users’ of computers. Computers will quite literally be everywhere, from insid our bodies to roaming Mars”

 

Why is this relevant to you? There is a good chance that you will work in a corporation. If you grasp the concepts of computer science you will be able to understand how the corporation works. If you know how corporations work you can do a better job. Since we are living in a world of constantly changing technology it wouldn’t hurt to know how computers work. It is always to have a better knowledge of computers so you can use them better yourself.

In conclusion computers are a big part of corporations. The way we do everything in the business world has been changed because of computers. We learned about the basics of computer science in order to really understand computers. The programmers who have great knowledge of computer science can shape our future into something extraordinary. Corporations have made all this possible. Everything isn’t always positive soon enough we will have to face problems we have never faced before. Also as computers increase in power we must also be able to maintain them and fix whatever problems arise. As corporations get more and more advanced we also should make sure they benefit the people and not themselves.

Works Cited

By: Sabari Vatsavaya

  1. “Being Human, Human Computer Interaction in the Year 2020.” Being Human. Microsoft. Web. <http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/cambridge/projects/hci2020/downloads/beinghuman_a3.pdf&gt;.
  2. . Bresnahan, TImothy F. “Information Technology and Recent Changes in Work Organization Increase the Demand for Skilled Labor.” Www.stanford.edu. Stanford, Feb. 1999. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. <Information Technology and Recent Changes in Work Organization Increase the Demand for Skilled Labor>.
  3. Jacowski, Tony. “The Importance of Technology in Business.” The Importance of Technology in Business. 13 May 2006. Web. 21 Oct. 2011. <http://www.articlesbase.com/technology-articles/the-importance-of-technology-in-business-27771.html&gt;. Note: The author is very credible, I researched it he offers training courses on various business concepts
  4. Interview with Balaji Vatsavaya
  5.  McGrath, Jane. “HowStuffWorks “How Has Technology Changed the Way We Conduct Business?”” HowStuffWorks “Communication” Web. 21 Oct. 2011. <http://communication.howstuffworks.com/technology-changed-business.htm&gt;.
  6. The Financial Standard. “How Computers Have Changed the Business Landscape.” How Computers Have Changed the Business Landscape. KeKoBi, 24 Apr. 2007. Web. 21 Oct. 2011. <http://www.kekobi.or.ke/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39:how-computers-have-changed-the-business-landscape&catid=3:newspaper-articles&Itemid=14&gt;.

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