4:00 - 4:05pm: Announcements and Approval of Minutes (5 minutes)


David MacAlpine begins by announcing that today’s presentation is “Scary ITAC” and that Tracy is on vacation.


Welcome to Harry Thakkar, the new backup ITAC coordinator who will be working with Ryn Nasser.


The March 24th and May 19th minutes are approved.


4:05 - 4:55pm: Watching You on the Cheap: Abusing low-cost tech for more efficient cyberstalking – Nick Tripp (35-minute presentation, 15-minute discussion)

  1. What it is: For this year’s Scary ITAC, the IT Security Office will present on the security and privacy challenges introduced by low-cost tracking technology.
  2. Why it’s relevant: The past year and a half has seen a slew of news headlines related to cyberstalking and tracking technology. We feel that it’s important for Duke faculty, staff, and students to understand the current threat landscape and how they can best manage their own personal exposure.


Scary ITAC minutes are not recorded. However, here are some relevant urls:








4:55 – 5:15pm: Code+ Program Update – Isabel Valls, Jen Vizas (10-minute presentation, 10-minute discussion)

  1. What it is: Code+ is one of several +Programs aimed at providing students with a unique summer opportunity to enhance their Duke experience beyond the classroom. Participants experience the software development process and gain technical and professional skills.
  2. Why it’s relevant: Having recently concluded the fifth season of Code+ — fully in person for the first time since 2019 — we continue to strengthen and improve the program based on feedback from students and the IT professionals who lead and mentor the student teams. Together with +Programs partners Data+ and CS+, we are creating an ecosystem whereby students form a community that lives, learns, and works together. The +Programs continue to evolve and are formalizing their collaboration efforts with partners across Duke to undertake projects related to climate, security, and our Durham community.


Jen Vizas says the purpose of today’s presentation is to provide updates and an overview of the Code+ program and to announce what is coming up on the horizon.


Isabel Valls says she is the Code+ program manager. Code+ is a 10-week co-curricular undergraduate project-based summer program. Students with little or no technical experience are invited to work on a software project relevant to the Durham/Duke community. The goals of Code+ include increasing diversity and preparing students for jobs in the tech industry. Some of the technical offerings include git, Linux, Jupyter, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Docker, and Ruby to name a few.


This summer the program was 100% in-person. Code+ and Data+ teams worked together this summer with programs co-located in Gross Hall with dedicated team rooms, joint discussions, workshops, and social activities.


Isabel says that 43 Duke staff have led teams. Some of these leads have been from outside of OIT.


This summer, there were 8 projects and Isabel mentions a few:

1. FixIt for issue reporting. The was a proof-of-concept web app that has now been slated for production.

2. DukeHub Schedule Visualizer was also proof of concept but now, there is the potential to incorporate project features into DukeHub.

3. Data Visualization in Python to visualize huge data sets is in production and available through Research Computing.

4. Using ML/NLP in grant proposals was proof of concept and now ORI is interested in moving these concepts into a program. Mark McCahill adds that the project looked at grant language to see if there was any overlap with other grant proposals.


Jen presents the following very positive feedback that was obtained about the Summer Code+ experience:

  • Helped obtain industry internship: 97%
  • Helped with future academic coursework: 85%
  • Helped obtain a job or accepted to grad school: 85%
  • Enjoyed working with It Professionals: 94%
  • Gained exposure to new tech and tools: 100%
  • Would Recommend Code+ to fellow students: 100%


Q. Zoe Tishaev – What percent of students gave feedback?


A. Jen – 94% of the students took the survey. Going forward, Jen’s team will work with Sunshine on best survey practices including the right questions, etc.


Program feedback was also in the form of written comments. Students appreciated the professional development skills that they learned. This included speaking up and finding their own voice. Also, skills in gathering data, interviewing, presenting, and discussing were appreciated along with gaining a high-level understanding of the technology and issues.


Jen then presents feedback on “What could we change?”:

  • Students would like the 2 weeks of training on the front end spread out.
  • Students would like more industry stakeholders.
  • Students would like meetings to start on time more regularly.
  • Students would like more cross-collaboration.
  • Food is very important to students.


Going forward, the Code+ team will work on more social activities next year. On-campus housing was provided this year for the first time, with the help of the Provost and Student Affairs. 30% of the students often interacted with others at Duke, outside of their Code+ community.


Project lead feedback was also obtained. Team leads liked the exposure and mentoring of students. Some team leads took on projects outside of their expertise and found this experience valuable.


As you heard two weeks ago from Paul Bendich (Data+), the +Program ‘ecosystem’ includes co-curricular skill development programs:






And also, impact or subject areas whose projects relate to the application of those skill development areas:






2023 Program Planning is taking place right now and includes:

  • Identifying potential projects now
  • Finalize list of potential projects by 12/1
  • Identifying project sponsors both corporate and Duke
  • Identifying project leads
  • 8 to 12 projects are chosen to run per year
  • Open student application: early/mid-January
  • Accept students (Feb-March)
  • Finalize projects and teams in April


The team is also implementing AirTable; right now, Excel is being used. The Code+ team is also working with Alumni Affairs to identify projects of interest to others.


Q. Chris Meyer – Do you collect data on the Code+ alums?


A. Isabel – We are working on this.


A. Jen – When we reach out to alums, they are happy to help and answer questions.


Q. Steffen Bass – The impact of this on students is great. These are great projects. How will these great projects live on?


A. Chris Meyer – Duke has taken some of these projects and incorporated them. An example is Duke’s Feed Every Devil app. Also, another project was incorporated into the parking app.


Q. Sunshine Hillygus – Social Science students would love to have access to this training and workshops. Specifically, tech training is wanted.


A. Isabel – There were some space constraints this year, but we are hoping to build on this.


A. John Board – There were 200 students all told.


Q. Mark Palmeri – Can we weave this into the academic year? Traditional education has been done in the same way for decades – in classrooms.  But this is more applicable to the real world. I’m wondering if this could have a bigger scope and vision for education.


A. Steffen Bass – Curriculum per se is over 20 years old. Conversations are being had on this right now and this presentation is very timely. These types of real-world experiences are a needed complement to traditional classroom experiences.


A. Jax Nalley – The Academic Affairs committee is looped into this idea as well: what would it look like to have experiential experiences integrated into the curriculum?


A. Mark Palmeri – The Med School curriculum used to be problem-based; now, the curriculum is experiential.