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November 9,  2018
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Deep Neural Networks: How They Work and When They Don't (11/15)
Congratulations TECHSTERS Winners!
Maker City Workshop: Laser Cut Puzzle (11/10)
Grand Opening: Inventors & Innovators of Harrisonburg and Rockingham Exhibit (11/15)
Deep Neural Networks: How They Work and When They Don't (11/15)
JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit (12/7)
eCYBERMISSION | For 6th - 9th Grade Students (registration deadline 12/19)
Cybersecurity Basics for Managers (1/7-1/17)
Shenandoah Valley Open Tech Jobs
Rocktown Tech Slack Channel Link
November 15, 2018 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Wood Grill Buffet, Harrisonburg

Over the last ten years, deep neural networks have been at the center of a machine learning boom that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the tech industry, governments and academic institutions.  Dr. Sprague will briefly explain how deep neural networks work, why they've had such a big impact, and why they *won't* solve all of our problems.

About the Speaker
Nathan Sprague , Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at James Madison University and the Coordinator of the JMU Robotics Minor.  He teaches courses in AI, Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles.  His research interests are in the areas of machine learning and computer vision.



Congratulations to the Shen. Valley's winning team, The Yeetz!

On November 3, 2018 several  technology and innovation business councils in Virginia participated in a statewide cybersecurity-focused "Capture the Flag" (CTF) event for middle school girls. The event,  TECHSTERS, was intended to inspire a future generation to discover technology and get excited about STEM.  The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council facilitated and held the competition for the Shen. Valley at JMU's Lakeview Hall / JMU X-Labs. 

Twenty five girls from around Shen. Valley competed their hearts out! For many of the questions the girls had no answers and had to google them. The head mentor, Dr. Brett Tjaden (JMU CS) was essential in pointing them in the right direction and explaining how things work and formulate the correct answer. We had some volunteers from the JMU Women in Technology club - and between them and others, the 7 teams were well served with mentors. They explained how to find the clues and what do with them. I believe there was learning going on. :-)

In the end, our Valley teams placed well in comparison to the others around the state (there were three locations around the state). And then we awarded 4 iPads to the highest-placing team in the Shen. Valley (from Winchester)!! Congratulations to The
 Yeetz on their hard work and excellent collaboration during the event!

November 10 | 10 am - 12 pm
Explore More Discovery Museum
$10: Visitors | $8: Members

Want to challenge your friends and family? Want to create something using the laser cutter? Come and make your own jigsaw puzzle! Only you will know what the picture is while your friends and family try to piece it together. Start learning how to use Inkscape and watch how a laser cutter works while learning fun facts about jigsaw puzzles and tessellations. 

November 15, 2018 | 6:30 pm
The Heritage Museum @ 382 High St, Dayton

Join us at the The Heritage Museum for a new exhibit opening on November 15th to celebrate the area's history of ingenuity. Come learn about the history of Harrisonburg's inventors and some beautiful patent art prints from the early nineteenth century on.

December 5, 2018 | 7:30 am - 9:00 am
JMU Festival Conference & Student Center, Harrisonburg  
Members: $15 |  Non-Members: $20
The Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce together host the Annual Pre-Session Legislative Breakfast at JMU Festival and Conference Center. This breakfast is a time when we listen to and engage with our area legislators about issues affecting business in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

*SVTC member registration note: SVTC members who are NOT also chamber members, initially choose the "not a member" link, and on the following page, there will be an option for "SVTC members, $15."

**Parking instructions will be sent out with final details the day before the event.

December 7, 2018 |  3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | JMU Lakeview Hall

Join us at the JMU X-Labs Innovation Summit, all eight courses who will display and present their final projects to administrators, industry client partners, family and friends. You are invited to join us to connect with extraordinary students, watch presentations and explore an open symposium of demonstrations and displays of student solutions.

The 8 Courses:
  1. Augmented/Virtual Reality
  2. Autonomous Vehicles
  3. Blockchain
  4. Community Innovations
  5. Creativity and Innovation
  6. Hacking for Diplomacy
  7. Internet of Things
  8. Medical Innovations

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM. Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community. Students compete for State, Regional, and National Awards. 

January 7 - 17, 2019

Are you being asked to shape how your organization protects its customer data or email systems?  Are your customers relying on you to protect their payment information?  Do you need a place to start learning about fundamental cybersecurity concepts?

This two-week crash course is designed for leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs who have a limited technical background related to cybersecurity, data security, and information technology.  The JMU Cybersecurity Basics for Managers noncredit certificate program is discussion-oriented and formatted for the working professional.

Participants will gain knowledge that can inform their strategies to mitigate cybersecurity risks, secure data and information, build secure infrastructure, and hire qualified personnel and vendors.

Course Format
Monday, Jan. 7th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Harrisonburg
Thursday, Jan. 10th: Online 9:00 - 11:00 am
Monday, Jan. 14th: In-Person 9:00 am - 4:30 pm in downtown Roanoke
Thursday, Jan. 17th: Online 9:00 am - 11:00 am

About the Instructor:
David Cafaro, CISSP/CCSP has been working in Information Technology for over two decades with a heavy focus on information security. Currently he is an Information Security Officer at Capital One where he leads a team providing security and risk management expertise on application, cloud, and on-prem technologies. Though currently working in the financial sector, his career has brought him through a variety of industries including environmental lab testing, government, telecommunications, and cancer research.  David holds a Masters in Computer Science from Georgetown University where he focused on security and privacy in the information age.  In addition to his careers focus on cyber security, David has also been active in sharing his knowledge through open source and community projects including working with the BSidesDC Security Conference to help organize the KidsCon section for the last 4 years.

  • Budget Referee, Harrisonburg (Full Stack Developer with front end web development focus)
  • Gravity Group, Harrisonburg (Digital Marketing Specialist) 
  • IT Decisions, Harrisonburg (Level 2 Technician / Systems Engineer)
  • Immerge, Harrisonburg (Web Developer)
  • Ryzing Technologies, Staunton (Mechanical Engineer)
  • Harrisonburg IT Department (Technology Support Specialist)
  • Chiedo, Harrisonburg (Web Development Intern) -- No experience required!
  • Jenzabar, Harrisonburg (Software Engineer, Senior Software Developer, UX Designer, etc) 
Participate in the local tech conversation: Rocktown Tech (Slack)

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