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Interview Process
I received an email from Dr Fred Kitchens notifying me of an opening in the Cluster group. I replied informing Dr Kitchen of my interest in becoming a member. Within the next two day I was informed, that the group would be conducting interviews, they would let me know when. Timing for the interview became a minor problem to overcome. Upon arriving for the interview the members of the cluster group where conducting a practice session covering the presentation they were going to be giving at the Indy Airport on Friday. To carry out the interview they broke into two different groups of three interviewers. The interview itself was conducted in a laid back manner with the questions concerning what interest I had in the Cluster along with my previous knowledge of Cluster computing. What I hoped to gain from my experience, and how I might add value as a member. The second group of interviewers asked a number of questions along the same lines as the first group. What I realized during the interview is that although all of the members bring a different set of skills to the group as a whole they fit very well together without any special effort. I hope to bring yet another set of skills to the group while learning from each of them.
posted on: 1/30/2006 6:03:52 PM by Howard Wickelman

New Team Member Search
After the loss of a member of the group, the team decided we should search for another individual to replace him. Dr. Kitchens then proceeded to email current technology students as these types of students usually make great additions to the clustering project. Several students responded quite promptly, and at our next meeting we determined which ones we felt were qualified enough to warrant an interview. Times were set to interview these individuals at our next meeting. Before these interviews took place, the groups split up into two groups of three and proceeded to generate a list of common questions to ask each candidate. All candidates that were interviewed presented themselves quite well and expressed their desire to be members of the team. In the end, the group decided to vote between two extremely qualified candidates, and our new member of the BAA-Indianapolis Cluster Computing Research project was chosen to be Howard Wickelman.
posted on: 1/29/2006 7:01:33 PM by Jeff Cunningham

Meeting Two with BAAI
On Friday, January 20th the team traveled to Indianapolis to meet with BAAI. The purpose of our trip was to give a quick presentation on the current status of our project, as well as to find out more about the infrastructure of their operations and the skill sets their employees possessed. We were short a few team members, as Dave and Jeff weren’t able to make it along with the rest of us and Joe had left the team for personal reasons before the beginning of the semester. After a quick introduction where I discussed the purpose of our meeting, what we were hoping to accomplish and a quick reintroduction of our respective teams the meeting was under way. Will talked for a few minutes on the technical, operational and financial feasibility of installing a cluster or grid computer within the current operations of BAAI. James presented the schedule that we had collaborated on, which consists of five different phases. Phase I occurred during the Fall semester, which dealt with the initial planning of the project, public relations, and developing the challenge question that this project is meant to solve. Phase II went underway in January, which simply consisted of information gathering for this project. Phase III will happen in February. With Phase III, we need to develop alternative solutions and provide comparisons of the different solutions for BAAI. Phase IV won’t happen until March, when we will actually propose a system to BAAI as well as its design. Phase V will take place in April. During this phase we will develop a plan for installation, construction, and maintenance for BAAI. Kyle then presented the Risk Analysis of our project, which is basically the likelihood of us encountering troubles with the project and how we plan to correct those issues in the event they arise. Some of the problems Kyle talked about were communication difficulty, what would happen if we missed a meeting with BAAI, and how we would handle falling behind schedule on the project. In all, the meeting went quite well and we were able to get answers to several of the questions we had concerning the project, as well as give answers to BAAI with their concerns.
posted on: 1/24/2006 10:30:36 PM by Zac Adkins

Etiquette Dinner
The Business Fellows organizers put on an etiquette-dinner for us. It was a great opportunity to learn how to eat correctly in professional business setting. The evening started out with appetizers and drinks (non-alcoholic drinks) to learn how to politely mingle in a business reception setting. We then moved into the dining area and sat down at our tables with our table host. We ate a four course meal and learned proper etiquette such as how to use a napkin, which fork to use, how to eat bread, and how to properly eat soup. After dessert, the leaders from the Career Center gave a presentation on proper dress for interviews and other business functions. This presentation taught me many great ways to present myself at my next interview.
posted on: 11/4/2005 by Kyle Keesling

President’s Reception
Today we had the chance to go over to the Bracken House, which is Presidents Gora's house. President Gora invited all of the Business Fellows into her home for a reception. This gave all of us an opportunity to network with all of the other Business Fellow teams. It was also a great chance for us to put our networking skills to full use, and to practice the skills that we learned at the etiquette dinner. About half way through this reception President Gora addressed all of the students and our faculty mentors. She discussed how working with our Indiana based companies helps us as students gain valuable hands on experience while providing assistance to our clients.
posted on: 11/2/2005 6:14:34 PM by James Skinner

Blue Shirts and logos
At a team building meeting facilitated by Terri Best of the ISOM department, the team decided a great way to feel more like a team would be to get matching shirts with logos. We determined that the best color scheme would be a blue shirt with a white logo. Zac created a logo for our shirts that looks pretty snazzy. Our client, BAA-I, has agreed to pay for our shirts. He also ordered our shirts for us, and they arrived the day we were to go to the airport for our first meeting. We wore them all day and felt good knowing that we were a team. We also wore them the next day for the presentation at the Alumni Center, and we quickly became the loved and known as the “Blue team”. After the Saturday presentation, Fred ran through proper washing procedures as well, so our shirts would not fade.
posted on: 10/29/2005 8:54:25 PM by Kyle Keesling

Saturday workshop -- Communication in the workplace
I woke up early on a Saturday morning after our group meeting at the airport to go to a presentation at the Alumni Center. Breakfast and coffee were served for us during a period of time to network with the other teams. The first speaker was Ms. Brenda Bailey Hughes from Indiana University who spoke about communication in the workplace. She had many great interactive games that we were forced to play that helped us understand what we learned in her presentations. After this first speaker, we took a short break for lunch. During this time we also were able to participate in a brain teaser that helped us work as a team. Our team really grasped the concept of this and allowed us to come up with a clear understanding of what we need to do to complete the activity. The second presentation that we had was Scott Smalstig (President of Joseph David Advertising). He spoke about the importance of communication in our personal lives and in the workplace. His presentation helped me learn a great deal more about communications. This was the only all-day workshop that we will be having. All future workshops will have a narrower scope of information being presented; this will really help everyone absorb all the important information being presented.
posted on: 10/29/2005 2:58:52 PM by Joe Brown

Meeting at Airport
We left for the airport on Friday at 11:30am. We had to make a quick pit stop at the local Burger King, where Joe continued to amaze us by eating a Triple Whopper. We then proceeded to go to the airport to meet with Tim Konopinksi, the IT Director, and the rest of his team. The session was very informative as we learned more about BAA-I and what they would like from us. We were then taken on a guided tour around the airport to see the server rooms, offices, and even the jet way. After the tour we had a resume review session. This is where we each met with current BAA employees to evaluate our resumes. I received input that was valuable to the improvement of my resume. I really felt that this resume feedback session was very beneficial; getting a critique from someone that works in the field will really help in my job-search. After we left the airport we proceeded to have a team-building dinner in Indianapolis which was a great chance to hang out with everyone in more of a social setting.
posted on: 10/28/2005 10:23:35 PM by Jeff Cunningham

Camp Adventure
Camp Adventure was a great time for our team. First, we had a delicious meal provided by the Rib Cage. We joined with two other Business Fellows students to make a team of ten. We worked in this team of 10 all day to participate in (and conquer) many different team building activities with our Camp Adventure facilitator Dave. Dave was a great, funny guy and a lot of fun to spend the day with. Our group participated in many different activities to get to know each other, these icebreaker activities helped us bond as a team. Some other activities that we participated in were equal weight distribution on a plank, a game that involved us getting our entire team across an obstacle course without falling off the planks. Our team really excelled at working with one another we were given the opportunity to do the tower climbing obstacle. After we completed all of the different activities Dave took us on a tour and showed us all of the other areas of Camp Adventure. Overall the ropes course has been the best experience that we have had during this business fellowship experience. This has really helped us to bond as a team.
posted on: 10/8/2005 6:32:08 PM by Dave Los

Presentation to the BSU Board of Trustees
The President of Ball State University, Dr. Gora, and the Board of Trustees came to our lab so that we could demonstrate to them the importance and usefulness of cluster computing. After a brief presentation where we described cluster computing, and our goal of working with BAAI to determine the feasibility of implementing a cluster at the Indianapolis Airport, we were able to demonstrate the power of the cluster to the attendees. We demonstrated the Networking Security Cluster, a pedestrian modeling program, and an application that uses complex mathematical formulas to produce fractal images; which were all applications developed by previous teams in the Cluster Computing Lab.
posted on: 9/23/2005 9:18:31 PM by Zac Adkins

Working in the lab
Working in the lab has given us the opportunity to learn about cluster computers and the technology that is used to run them properly. So far this semester we have worked on building a networking to connect each of the nodes. The task of wire management has been a daunting one. But I think we are finally all caught up, and the lab looks great! We are setting up a network in the lab so that we can simulate the environment at the airport. This way we can test hardware and software before giving our final recommendation to the airport. Part of our team has been working with different flavors of Linux to see what works best with the cluster. Currently we are using Quantian which is based on Debian. We also want to try Globus which was suggested to us by a Professor at IUPUI. There is also another group of us that is working on finding different applications that can be used at BAA-I. The current application that we are researching is VMWare. This application is used to install multiple virtual operating systems on one machine. This can be really beneficial in testing before an organization does a wide-scale implementation.
posted on: 9/21/2005 by James Skinner

What is BAA-I and what are we doing for them
The main mission of our Business Fellowship research project is to work with the “BAA-Indianapolis” – they are the company that runs the Indianapolis International Airport. We are going to be researching the feasibility of using a cluster in their current operations. We will be studying how they do their work currently. We will be meeting with them monthly at the Indianapolis Airport. At these meetings we will be giving status reports and discussing our findings as well as asking any questions we may have in order to complete the next stage of the project. This is a great opportunity for each of the team members because it will give us all experience of writing a project proposal. Not only are we learning the process of writing a proposal we are also learning the steps to complete the research for this project. We are also learning many other important Business skills by participating in the Business Fellows program. The Business Fellows program at Ball State University places students into teams that work on projects with local companies that have real world applications. This program helps expose students to real world business practices, and they also learn how to work together in teams. The Business Fellows program also has many other activities for students to participate in such as Camp Adventure, an Etiquette Dinner, and special speakers. These events help the students to become well rounded and more aware of business practices.
posted on: 9/21/2005 by Will Freeman

How we got hired
I received an email early in the school year from Dr. Fred Kitchens concerning the Business Fellows program. I responded within the hour saying that I was interested in working on the project, and I sent him my resume for review. He sent me an email back the next day asking if I could meet with him to discuss the possibility of my being on the project. We discussed my experience in programming and hardware, and after that, I was offered a position on the team. Then I had to fill out a great deal of paper work for the Business Fellows program. The overall process of applying has been a very beneficial to my future interview skills. Having an interview that asked a wide range of technical questions will be very helpful with interviewing with corporation for a career after college. It was a great feeling to know that roughly 30 people applied and I was one of the lucky 7 people who got offered a position. As it turned out, the 7 who got hired were all within the first 9 to apply – I wonder if that says anything about the personality characteristics that Dr. Kitchens was looking for on the team, or if it was just coincidence.
posted on: 9/21/2005 by Jeff Cunningham