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Lewis Alumnus Nathan Adams speaks about Linux

Lewis Alumnus Nathan Adams speaks to Computer Science students about Linux

Published: December 2, 2013.

The department of Mathematics and Computer Science recently welcomed alumnus Nathan Adams back to Lewis University to speak to students in Linux classes, who provided real-world application of the material the students were being taught in class.

Adams, who has worked at Argonne National Laboratory since graduating from Lewis in May of 2010, gave a presentation on powerful tools Linux system administrators use to manage their systems. Adams described how he uses a variety of tools to perform his system administration tasks, including parsing server and security logs, performing system backups and monitoring infrastructure. He described and then demonstrated using commands and tools like AWK to analyze logs; rsync, BackupPc, and SystemImager to perform backups, and Zabbix to perform comprehensive monitoring of hardware changes and critical events across an enterprise. Adams integrated explanations of what the tools do and how they work with demonstrations on how to use them.

Sharing helpful insights about the place of Linux in the industry, Adams cited current salary statistics that are very encouraging for Linux enthusiasts and experts. These kinds of positions require experience using the kinds of tools Adams shared with the group. He also explained that all Linux professionals need to learn how to script in Bash, Python, or Perl; to edit configuration files in vi or Emacs; to configure and troubleshoot Apache, Nginx, BIND, and ProFTPD; to manage operating system loading using GRUB and LILO; and to configure network connectivity and DNS. In sharing these insights with the students, Adams helped them see that their efforts in this challenging course will prepare them to do great work in the industry.

“The Department is very fortunate to have such expert alumni willing to come back to campus and show students the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ One of our department mantras is ‘be real world,’” said Dr. Ray Klump, chair of Mathematics and Computer Science at Lewis University. “We constantly evaluate our curriculum to make sure that what we’re teaching is practical, focused and relevant. Alumni like Nathan assist us tremendously in accomplishing that goal.”

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. It also offers minors in Computer Science and in Cyber Security Science. It’s also nationally recognized for a Master of Science in Information Security program, which includes an innovative fast-track that enables students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. In addition to receiving personal attention from experienced faculty and learning in an attractive and modern facility, Computer Science students receive real-world experience, working on service projects for non-profits and taking advantage of numerous internship opportunities. Students acquire both the technical skills and the team-oriented problem-solving strategies necessary for a successful career, through a cutting-edge curriculum and integrated learning opportunities.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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