OPIM Innovate

Innovate Lab Specialist Runs 3D Printing Workshop

On Friday, April 26th, OPIM Innovate hosted its 3D Printing Workshop. There, lab specialist Eli Udler walked students through the 3D printing process with Tinkercad, an open-source computer-aided design platform. After a brief walkthrough on how to use the online tool, students were then given free rein to pursue and build any of the step-by-step projects provided by the Tinkercad support team. For those students who were beginners or still intimidated by the software, Udler recommended the pennywhistle tutorial. As students worked independently, Udler remained attentive and answered any and all questions as they were asked.

After the workshop, many students left with a better understanding of 3D printing and computer-aided design. However, what made students feel the most fulfilled were the unlimited possibilities of 3D design and the Tinkercad platform. “With all of the tools and shapes we could use, I found it really enjoyable to just see what I could make,” said Neel Chakravarti (Environmental Engineering ’22). This was also the case for animal science major Rafael Samaniego (’20). “It was fun to turn each building block into something more complex,” he said.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the 3D Printing Workshop! Innovate would also like to thank Eli Udler for his participation as a workshop instructor in our workshop series!

 

Levo International Showcases Hydroponic Installation to Preschoolers

On Wednesday, April 28th, Levo International, in collaboration with OPIM Innovate, showcased one of its many hydroponic installations to preschoolers at the UConn Child Development Laboratory. Born from an Eagle Scout project completed by founder Christian Heiden, (Applied Economics major) Levo International creates hydroponic greenhouses and sells them in the United States to support the organization’s growth in Haiti. There, Levo hopes to assist the Haitian economy by creating manufacturing jobs for the natives and popularizing a more reliable mode of small-plant farming–hydroponics–where soil is not needed.

During the hydroponics showcase, Heiden explained hydroponics to the preschoolers, students-teachers, and Laboratory staff at the event. While the content had to be simplified for the younger members of the audience, the concepts were still well received with much enthusiasm from the children. In addition, as a gift to the Child Development Laboratory, Heiden donated the very greenhouse he showcased with hopes that the program would use it to grow vegetables and fruits for the children. The system can grow fruits like tomatoes, raspberries, and strawberries, perfect for snack time!

So, how does it work? Well, the hydroponic greenhouse is fueled by a nutrient reservoir filled mostly with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. From there, the water is pumped up to the top of the greenhouse, where it then flows through all the pipes to the seated plants. After the water reaches each plant, it returns to the reservoir and is recycled on a solar-powered timer. All a user has to do is check the roots of the plants to prevent the system from clogging and replace the fertilizer every two-to-three weeks. “That was our goal: eliminate most of the hassle,” said Heiden in his explanation of the system. “Especially in the United States, people are always on a time crunch.”

Want to support Levo International? Please click here to be redirected to their shop where they sell their greenhouses, nutrient starter packs, and wearable merchandise.

 

 

 

A Reflection: OPIM Innovate Drones in Action Workshop

On Friday, April 19th, OPIM Innovate invited Jason Otrin, entrepreneur and founder of On Course Drones, to host its Drones in Action Workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to teach students about the multipurpose benefits of drone technology and the Remote Pilot Certification process. In addition to this, Otrin spoke about why he decided to start his On Course Drones initiative and the entrepreneurial challenges he faced to get there. Overall, the workshop was an insightful look into how a recreational pastime and personal interest can become a successful commercial endeavor.

After enlisting in the Connecticut Army National Guard in 1990 and serving in aviation maintenance, Otrin enrolled in the UConn Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. In 1995, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and was commissioned as an intelligence officer in the US Army. He was always very interested in aviation and, based on his service with helicopters in the National Guard and exposure to military aviation, earned his private pilot license while serving on active duty. After departing from the army in 2000, he worked for 17 years in information technology (IT) services until he realized, from helping his wife with her own start-up ventures, that he wanted to open his own business. That was when he found UConn’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, which helped him apply his acquired entrepreneurial acumen to his first business plan.

“My intention was to start an IT training company,” said Otrin while reminiscing about his business prototyping days. “But, deep down, it wasn’t really what I wanted. One of my mentors helped me realize that. After working on a 45-page business plan for 4 months, she said to me, ‘You know what, I can tell that this isn’t what lights you up.'” She asked Otrin to think about his childhood interests, his hobbies, what he reads, and his pastimes to steer him in the right direction in terms of creating a business he would enjoy running. It didn’t take long for him to pinpoint that he wanted to do something with aviation. “I went to airshows, read aviation magazines, was obsessed with flying–so I came back a week later and told her that I needed to do something aviation related.” Based on how quickly he wrote his second business plan, he realized that following his passions would lead to his success.

Fast forward to today and Otrin now runs a drone training firm that helps clients prepare for the FAA 107 exam, a certification that allows you to fly a remote aircraft (a.k.a a drone) for commercial purposes below 400 feet, along with other requirements. In addition, he takes on private projects related to drones, such as birds-eye-view real estate displays showcasing neighborhood environments, and will be teaching a course at UConn in the fall, OPIM 4895-001, which will give UConn students the opportunity to prepare for the FAA 107 exam for credit. “As part of the course, I want to help students develop an idea of where they want to go with drones. This will be their project,” he explained, “applying drones to their career fields.”

Outside of recreational use, drones have many practical applications that can be beneficial to various industries. They allow human beings to get to places they may not otherwise be able to go, see things from an overhead perspective, and make informed decisions. For instance:

  • Insurance companies use drones before and after natural disasters to assess damage compensation and inform customers about the status of their homes.
  • Search and rescue teams use drones to assist injured persons by pinpointing their location and through the transportation of resources.
  • Military officers use drones to gain intel on the enemy and assist commanders to assess and decide on next steps.

Alongside these real-world examples, drone technology is becoming far more advanced, meaning that drones are becoming more automated, obstacle-aware and flight time is improving. DJI Mavic 2 Pro can be flown and monitored by its remote, or transmitter, up to 4.9 miles away and stay in the air for 31 minutes. Note that these specifications are under ideal conditions and FAA regulations require drones to stay within visual line of sight of the operator unless they possess a waiver. DJI also manufactures headsets that give drone users a first-person perspective of what the drone is capturing. These headsets typically monitor head movements to adjust camera direction using the drone’s gimbal, a stand that levels the drone’s built-in camera as it flies.

After the workshop, students left with a better understanding of drones and how they can utilize drone technology in their own pursuits. “I’ve had this idea for a while now to use drones as a way to help commuters find available parking spaces,” said computer science major Andi Duro (’21) when asked about his experience at the workshop. “This workshop gave me a better understanding of the regulations and rules of commercial air flight to help me better solidify that idea.” Natalie Chmielewska (’21), a computer science and engineering double major, also gained useful insight to help her with the UConn SPARK program. “Jason put in a lot of effort to show us every aspect of drone flying and how it can be used for our own pursuits and for those younger than us,” she said. UConn SPARK gives middle school and high school students access to week-long workshops centered around engineering and STEM to encourage their involvement in those areas.

OPIM Innovate would like to thank Jason Otrin for his service, both in the military and for the OPIM Department. We look forward to seeing what you do in the fall! A huge thank you to everyone who attended, as well!

 

 

 

 

Innovate is Hiring! Student Lab Specialist Positions Available

OPIM Innovate is currently seeking to fill three new student lab specialist positions for the fall of 2019. While two of these lab specialist positions will commence in the fall, one student worker will be needed over the summer.

As a student lab specialist, student workers must test and give presentations on the emerging technologies OPIM Innovate has to offer. In addition, lab specialists must assist students with various lab projects.  As such, great communication and customer service skills are a must. Experience with virtual/augmented reality, 3D printing/modeling, IoT/data analytics, drones/wearable tech, A.I./Blockchain is also preferred, but not required.

The student lab specialist position is a Class III job and offers great internship experience for students interested in learning about up-and-coming technologies. For more information on the student lab specialist position, please click here to be directed to the job listing on UConn JobX. For any additional questions contact MIS Program Director Jonathan Moore at jonathan.a.moore@uconn.edu.

A Reflection: UConn Maker Fair

On Saturday, April 6th from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, UConn hosted its first official Maker Fair at Werth Residence Towers. There, all “makers”–artists, innovators, inventors, businesses, and more–were able to showcase their work while interacting with onlookers. In addition to the little expo, the second annual Modified Pinewood Derby also took place. There, competitors put their pinewood cars to the test by having them race against each other, each miniature vehicle engineered to perform and carrying its own unique design.

Due to the Maker Fair and the Modified Pinewood Derby partnering together for a single event, the Maker Fair had a huge turnout. Both those primarily interested in the makers and Derby fans were able to walk from maker station to maker station while Derby contestants waited to race their cars. Even a few contestants themselves came up to appreciate the various creations presented by the makers before the big race. Stations varied from a NASA project to a tailor’s clothing collection. There was variety abound.

Alongside the various makers, OPIM Innovate also attended the Maker Fair with its own table. There, Innovate lab specialist Robert McClardy demonstrated the capabilities of various technologies such as virtual reality headsets, biosensors, augmented reality equipment, and drones. “Overall, it was a neat event,” McClardy said.

We thank everyone who attended the Maker Fair and stopped by our booth!

 

A Reflection: OPIM Innovate Alexa Skill-Building Workshop

On Friday, March 29th, OPIM Innovate hosted its Alexa Skill-Building Workshop from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Gladstein Lab, BUSN 309. Led by Tyler Lauretti (MIS ’18), a Travelers Information Technology Leadership Development Program employee and Alexa developer, the workshop introduced Amazon’s Alexa service through the lens of artificial intelligence and offered attendees the opportunity to develop their own Alexa skills, or voice-activated applications, with a zero-code graphical interface called Voiceflow.

Before introducing attendees to Alexa skill building, Lauretti wanted to describe the Alexa with artificial intelligence (A.I.) terminology. “The speech recognition and natural language processing realms [of A.I.] really make up the core of Alexa,” said Lauretti, “but what really makes Alexa and other voice assistants strong and powerful is machine learning.” Alexa, through speech and natural language processing, is able to extract pertinent information from voice requests and transform recordings into text. From these voice requests, she is also able to extract information to formulate a text response, and then voice that response to the user. With machine learning added to the mix, Alexa is able to learn with each request, and her underlying models get better over time. This is why, for example, an Alexa user with a strong accent is more easily understood the more they use the device.

In addition to the A.I. exposition of the workshop, Lauretti also clarified a few common, yet incorrect assumptions about the Amazon Alexa. For one, the Alexa cannot be purchased from Amazon, unlike their Echo and Dot smart speakers. Why? Unlike Amazon’s physical hardware, the Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that connects to all Amazon smart devices and some third-party devices. As such, while Alexa is a complement to Amazon’s smart speakers, she is also the overarching artificial intelligence framework that keeps every device responsive. When Alexa is asked something through a smart speaker, for example, a recording of the request is sent to the Amazon cloud for processing and analysis. Then, once the meaning of the message is predicted, Alexa gives you her best response.

As Alexa is a speech and natural language processor, developing apps for her is restricted to her ability to “hear” and to “speak.” As such, for Alexa skills, they have to be built so that they are “voice first,” or able to be used with just vocal input. This can be a weakness in some cases, especially for developers who want to create Alexa skills that may require the user to divulge sensitive information out loud. In Lauretti’s experience, the best way to develop an Alexa skill is to have it be “something that’s fun for you to do.” This can range from Disney trivia to teaching Alexa how to help users figure out whether or not they should order pizza or wings for the night, skills Lauretti has created in the past. Skill building can also be practical for businesses, and many businesses are currently building their own Alexa skills to make the customer experience better. Yet, like with speaking with a friend, Alexa responses should always include natural contractions and pauses, utilize follow-up questions, and have variation like “Sure!” and “Got it!”.

Before utilizing Voiceflow, Lauretti had attendees create paper fortune tellers (shown to the right). The point of the exercise was to show how Alexa can only process voice information, and cannot utilize any other “senses” in order to make a decision. As such, while paper fortune tellers require you to pull, fold, unfold, and process visual information, Alexa cannot do that with her limitations; she can only be programmed to listen and respond. Thus, when attendees began to use Voiceflow, which allows you to chain commands and responses together in a circular decision-tree-like diagram, all of the different blocks available for use on the graphical interface involved either speaking or listening for information. For example, in emulating a paper fortune teller game, a “Speak” block can be created with directions on which color to pick so Alexa can voice them to the user. Then, that “Speak” block can be chained to a “Choice” block outlining all of the different choices to search for in the voice input (blue, red, yellow, or green, for example). If the user does not pick a color on that list, the “Choice” block can be linked back to the “Speak” block through an “else” option so Alexa can clarify the different color choices, again. As can be inferred, an Alexa skill diagram utilizing Voiceflow can become very involved very quickly. However, even if the visual model can become fairly complex, it is very simple to build.

After the Alexa Skill-Building Workshop, many students left with a greater understanding of the Alexa service and Alexa skills. “I didn’t realize how simple it was to make skills for your Alexa,” said Calvin Mahlstedt (MIS ’19) in reference to the Voiceflow interface (shown on the left). As for Joanne Cheong (MIS ’20), she was amazed by the many uses Alexa skills can have. “They can be used for various things like controlling smart home devices, providing quick information from the web, and challenging users with puzzles or games,” she said. Robert McClardy was impressed with the security of Amazon Alexa products: “They’re not as huge a vulnerability in comparison to the number of other means that data can be compromised.” 

For those of you interested in learning more about Voiceflow and Alexa skill building, OPIM Innovate has tech kits available for you to explore, including a tutorial on how to make the voice-enabled fortune teller game featured in the workshop. For those who want a more code-oriented skill-building experience, consider downloading the free Alexa Skills Kit which includes tools, documentation, and code samples for exploration.

Thank you to all of those who attended the Alexa Skill-Building Workshop! We hope to see you in future workshops!

 

 

 

 

 

A Reflection: Splunk Day

On Friday, March 8th, OPIM Innovate hosted Splunk Day in collaboration with Splunk, Inc., the industry leader in operations analytics software. Held in the Student Union, the six-hour event introduced students and faculty to the Splunk software, Splunk’s organizational culture, and ways to get involved with the company and their various applications. The event was kicked-off by Ryan O’Connor, Senior Advisory Engineer at Splunk and adjunct professor of the Operations and Information Management Department at the UConn School of Business. To give attendees an understanding of what Splunk can do, O’Connor introduced the software and its capabilities as both a data-visualization tool and a data-monitoring platform.

After O’Connor’s brief introduction of Splunk, Glen Wong, Senior Engineering Manager at Splunk, took to the podium to give attendees an inside look at the endeavors of the Splunk Mobile Team. The Mobile Team’s mission is to make Splunk accessible, not just on laptops and desktops, but also on phones, tablets, televisions, smart watches, and so on. With applications like Splunk Mobile, Splunk users can pull up useful dashboards and receive notifications and alerts when pertinent changes are made to their unique Splunk environment. Splunk TV, another application developed by the Mobile Team for Apple TV, specifically, allows users to pull up multiple saved dashboards and search through data using voice recognition.

During the Splunk Mobile presentation, Devin Bhushan, Senior iOS Engineer for augmented reality (AR), showed audience members a live Splunk AR demo. Augmented reality is an emerging technology that superimposes digital modules, animations, images, and videos onto the real world through a mobile device. For Splunk AR, various augmented reality modules can be placed onto the physical environment through the use of a near field communication (NFC) tag. The NFC tag holds the information of a specific Splunk dashboard, and gives Splunk AR users the ability to see how that data is changing in real time. For example, if Splunk is capturing how hot a certain device is, Splunk AR can place a digital temperature gauge on that device. This versatile technology can also be used in manufacturing to track the movement of inventory.

On the topic of Splunk’s organizational culture, the next presentation centered around Women in Technology. Khadija Yamin, a Splunk Sales Engineer, started this part of the event with a few important statistics. For one, there are currently only about 26% of women in technology-related fields, with female minorities being even less represented. In addition, 56% of women in technical fields leave their jobs at the mid-level, which is a very costly point in time for an organization to lose an employee. What Splunk does to avoid this is to promote an inclusive culture, which is encouraged by mandatory unconscious bias training. They also regularly utilize textio, described by Yamin as “a spell check for gender bias,” for written communication. Though, to Yamin, inclusivity has to be present in the lives of women and other minorities pursuing roles in the technological field even before they reach Splunk to be the most effective. When I asked Yamin what both men and women can do at the college level to support women who want to pursue technological roles, she stated: “Stay involved with your female colleagues and classmates, don’t make derogatory jokes, and be respectful of the pursuits of both sexes. You can’t look at a person and expect them to not understand something because they are female or male. You have to look beyond that–we are equally capable human beings.”

For Brian Gilmore, Splunk’s Chief Technology Advocate and speaker for the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) portion of Splunk Day, a pattern he consistently faced in his early professional career was that useful data was not being explored by systems specialists. During his time at the Georgia Aquarium as an aquarist and life support manager, for example, he found that the automation control systems that kept “the animals healthy and the water clear” were not being utilized for business insight. As a result, he built connectivity to those systems, which controlled all tank valves, filters, sensors, and activators, by creating a way to feed that data into Excel. When he began to work with Splunk, he sought to use the Splunk platform as a more efficient medium between the machine and the man, which is basically what Internet of Things is all about.

Internet of Things, in an industrial context, is connecting any data-generating device to the internet for efficiency and insight. Splunk assists many companies in this area of emerging technology by giving them the data necessary to optimize their business models, minimize costs and generate optimal revenues. For example, Dubai Airlines partnered with Splunk to optimize their customer service model and keep track of utility usage. Due to this implementation and the data collected from customer checkpoints, Dubai Airlines can now get a customer from the front door to their gate in five minutes. They can also restock toiletries, such as hand soap, paper towels, and toilet paper, in a timely manner due to IoT sensors on toilets and sinks.

According to Rao Durvasula, Senior Instructor at Splunk and the presenter of the Machine Learning portion of Splunk Day, “You’re not a data scientist if you can’t articulate the problem in English.” So, when it comes to Splunk Analytics and its Machine Learning Toolkit, exploration is the best method for implementation. The moment you install Splunk, you can utilize the Machine Learning Toolkit as a free add-on to explore predictive analytics such as linear regression and logistic regression. These algorithms help you create future insights from present and past data and can assist you in making business decisions. In addition, the Toolkit gives you an opportunity to start understanding predictive models and machine learning for future communication.

As we have seen, Splunk can be used in a variety of ways, from gathering IoT information to making machine learning predictions. However, its capabilities do not stop there–it can also be used as a security client. During the Security portion of Splunk Day, Khadija Yamin returned to explain Splunk Enterprise Security, which helps organizations identify security concerns. For users who have the regular version of Splunk, Splunk Enterprise, they can install Splunk Security Essentials, a free add-on that helps detect security anomalies. As it takes, on average, 146 days for organizations to find out if they were hacked, having a security client is very necessary. And, Splunk Enterprise Security has been the top in Security Information and Event Management for 6 years, meaning that they are the optimal choice.

At the end of the informative portion of Splunk Day, the final presenter, University Recruiting Manager Katia Ratkovitch, described the “Perfect Splunker.” They are a person who is a team player, who enjoys building (or innovating), who is inclusive, who values personal growth, and who takes action when other people don’t. The Splunk environment thrives off of these individuals, and thus holds the values of being innovative, passionate, disruptive (ahead of the competition), open, and fun. If you are interested in this type of environment, consider Splunk’s 10-12 week internship program! Every intern has a mentor, works on a real-world project with a real-world team, and participates in fun events like a one-week hackathon. While most internship positions have been filled for the summer of 2019, please feel free to browse their internships and full-time positions for future opportunities.

Following of Splunk Day, students began to network with the various Splunk employees that presented during the event. One of these students was Joanne Cheong (MIS ’19), a Lab Specialist at OPIM Innovate who enthusiastically agreed to tell me about her experience. “Splunk day provided me with great insight on what the company does. I already knew about Splunk from the tech kits I write for the Innovate Lab, but I learned a lot more about how Splunk can be used in areas like operational intelligence and cybersecurity. And, given that I’m a [Management Information Systems] major, it’s great to have a platform where you can experiment with data for different purposes.”

Splunk, as an organization, tries its best to promote social change and stimulate personal growth. It is no wonder their motto for employees is, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”–growth is something they strive for, not just for themselves but for the communities around them. Through Splunk4Good, Splunk sponsors various educational institutions, including UConn, to give students the ability to build valuable skillsets while learning to use the Splunk Analytics platform. That way, they can use Splunk, and their understanding of data analytics, to positively influence the progress and growth of various organizations striving to make an impact.

If you would like to learn more about Splunk, I encourage you to take Splunk Fundamentals I and II. They are free Splunk courses for UConn students, and give you a first step towards an amazing skillset.

 

A Reflection: Wearable Tech in Action Workshop

On Friday, March 1st, OPIM Innovate hosted its Wearable Tech in Action workshop from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Gladstein Lab. There, students were able to use hardware such as FLORA microcontrollers, UV light sensors, and force sensors to design their own wearable technologies with pre-coded software templates created using Arduino, an open-source electronic prototyping software. There were multiple projects students could choose from based on the parts they selected from the toolkit supplied by the event instructor. Encouraged to work on their own, students downloaded the Arduino software, began building their wearable technologies, and experimented with changing light colors and cycle times by altering the code provided to them on the workshop’s GitHub page.

Since this was the first time I had ever created a wearable piece of technology, I decided to build an accessory that utilized a FLORA microcontroller and a neopixel light. Thanks to the diagrams available to us when using the GitHub tutorials, it was not that difficult to put together. In all, it took one micro USB cord connected to my laptop to power the FLORA microcontroller and upload the Arduino code. From there, I had to use three alligator clips and three on-board pads, or points of contact between devices, on both the FLORA microcontroller and the neopixel light to individuate the electric pulses that would make the device work properly given the current code. Once everything was connected, the neopixel light began to cycle through different colors. At first, the device ran on a red, green, and blue cycle. Then I changed the colors to aqua blue, purple, and pastel pink.

As I continued to experiment with my wearable accessory, I found that you could do various things with the code. For one, you could decrease the brightness of the lights, or even add an extra color to the current hue loop. Looking around me, I also saw my peers use Arduino to create color waves utilizing the neopixel strip, which carries 60 individual neopixels inside of it. Light traveled up and down the strip in a single color, something that could have become a rainbow arrangement with a little extra time.

If you or someone you know is interested in wearable technology, consider visiting OPIM Innovate! We have wearable technology kits available for you to use at your own pace, and you do not have to be an expert to get started!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Wearable Tech workshop. We hope to see you again, soon!

Register Now: Splunk Day

On Friday, March 8th, OPIM Innovate will be hosting Splunk Day in collaboration with Splunk Inc., an industry leader in operations analytics software. An American public multinational corporation based in San Francisco, California, Splunk, Inc.’s mission is to make machine-generated big data accessible. They do this by producing software clients can use to identify data patterns and visualize findings, all via a web-style interface.

Interested in a career with Splunk, or just want to see what products Splunk has to offer? Then come celebrate Splunk Day with us in the Student Union, Room 304 from 12:00-5:00 PM. Students should come prepared with their resumes and dress in business casual attire. Staying for the entire event is encouraged, but is not required.

During the Splunk Day event, a number of presentations will be held covering topics such as:

  • Mobile App Development
  • Machine Learning
  • Blockchain
  • IT Security
  • Women in Tech
  • Recruitment

If you are interested in this event, please register here. We hope to see you all there!

 

A Reflection: Splunk Analytics Workshop

On Friday, February 22nd, OPIM Innovate hosted its Splunk Analytics Workshop. There, Professor Ryan O’Connor, UConn adjunct and Splunk Senior Advisory Engineer, explained to students the origin of Splunk and its uses. Other than Splunk’s three premium solutions: Splunk Information Technology Service Intelligence, Splunk Enterprise Security, and Splunk User Behavior Analytics, attendees also learned of the knowledgeable and supportive community behind the service. From dedicated end-users to passionate Splunk professionals, this community develops intuitive applications utilizing Splunk while also answering each other’s questions. Splunk, therefore, is a user-oriented platform which does everything in its power to help companies and individuals succeed with its data monitoring and visualization software.

During the workshop, O’Connor introduced students to time series data, which is how Splunk got its initial patent. In short, time series data is data that has been indexed on a time scale, either to organize the data or to derive conclusions from certain time intervals. For example, credit card companies use time series data in order to deduce whether or not purchases are being made by the authentic cardholder. In Splunk, machine data is categorized and searchable by date and uses time to sort out feasible and non-feasible data. If a purchase is made in one store in Connecticut, and then another store in Vermont 30 minutes later, chances are the card in question has been compromised.

Splunk is a very flexible service that allows users to integrate data from other software such as SQL Developer, a database client. “Databases are everywhere and important,” O’Connor explained to students, “but, some database clients don’t visualize data well. They just store it, keep its structure, and that’s it.” That is why O’Connor developed an application, called DB Connect, that can grab database information, make a copy of the data inside of Splunk, and then visualize it. “It can make pie charts, line charts, or whatever the case may be,” said O’Connor. “Splunk isn’t designed to replace any one of these [database clients], but instead to aggregate data from them.” Splunk can also capture real-time web data, such as the number of times a server is pinged by a computer or the number of times it is successfully infiltrated.

For those interested in Splunk, Splunk Fundamentals I and II are free for UConn students. The ability to use Splunk Analytics is a very marketable skill, especially for those interested in entering the world of information technology. Also, on March 8th, OPIM Innovate will also be hosting Splunk Day, where students can network with Splunk professionals. Don’t let these important networking opportunities pass you by! Get started with Splunk, today!