Announcing the Fifthteenth Annual
Fall Joint Meeting
Miami Valley Computing Societies
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
at the David H. Ponitz Center,
Sinclair Community College

When the Right Stuff goes Wrong –
Lessons Learned from NASA


Maj. Gen. John Barry

Director, Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command
Member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board

On February 1, 2003 the shuttle Columbia was lost during its return to earth. How could this have happened? Doesn't NASA employ some of the brightest scientists in the country if not the world? Don't they have processes and controls in place to ensure safety in the launch and recovery process? Weren't those processes examined and overhauled in the 1980s after the Challenger disaster?

An accident investigation board was formed that included Maj. Gen. John Barry from WPAFB. The board confirmed initial speculation on the physical causes of the accident, made five preliminary recommendations to NASA, and will be releasing their final report later this year.

From the initial recommendations it is clear that managing the development and use of complex experimental systems is a difficult task. Most of us could have guessed that, except that NASA's problems were more than just technical. They covered a broad spectrum including people, processes, technology, and culture.

Many of the issues that led to the Columbia disaster can be found in any software or engineering development and production environment. Come spend an evening learning from NASA's mistakes and see if you can transition this knowledge to some of your projects!

The accident board website is:
NASA’s website is

Participating Societies

ACM The Association for Computing Machinery, an international education and scientific society of more than 80,000 computer specialists, is dedicated to development of information processing as a discipline, and to the responsible use of computers in all applications. The Dayton Chapter holds periodic dinner meetings. TJ Cope, 865-7761,

AITP The Dayton Chapter of Association of Information Technology Professionals (formerly DPMA) is a non-profit organization interested in educating, promoting, and the professional certification, of its members. Contact: Jim Stryker, 434-000

ASIST Since 1937, the Association for Information Science and Technology has been interested in improving the ways society stores, retrieves, analyzes, manages, archives and disseminates information, coming together for mutual benefit. Members come from such fields as computer science, linguistics, management, librarianship, engineering, law, medicine, chemistry, and education. The Southern Ohio chapter meets monthly except during summer months. Contact: Patricia Carter, 865-6800 x56099;

ASQ/ASQ Software The Association of Quality is a society of professionals engaged in the management, engineering, and scientific aspects of quality and reliability. The Software Quality Committee of the ASQ provides a forum for discussing software quality issues and promoting the use of software quality technology, tools, and techniques. The Dayton ASQ meets monthly from September through May. Contact: Sandy Feola, and locally

BDPA Black Data Processing Associates is made up of entrepreneurs, managers, employees and others involved in the Information Technology industry. BDPA's objectives are to accumulate a pool of information technology knowledge and business experience with the intention of utilizing these resources to strengthen the expertise of minority members of the information technology community and to broaden or expose information technology knowledge to the minority community as a whole. Contact: Charles Crawford III, 854-2957.

DACW The Dayton Advocates for Computing Women is a professional society composed of women and men in the computing profession. The purposes of the DACW are to promote communication among women in computing, to further the professional development and advancement of women in computing, and to promote the education of women in computing. The society meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from September to May. Contact: Jo Columbro, 495-4048

DMA DMA The Dayton Microcomputer Association is a group of 800+ computer enthusiasts organized as a non-profit corporation to promote education about computer technology and applications. The DMA meets monthly (except December) for presentations from Microsoft, Intel, MaCaffe, and other local and national companies. DMA also sponsors Computerfest(r) in March and August every year. DMA(r) has SIG (Special interest groups) for Linux, Apple, Amateur Radio, Digital Photography, Digital Textiles, Certifications, Perl, Northern, Software Development and Venture Scouts. DMA(r) has their own recycling project, OTAP. Contact: Info line 222-4DMA (4362) or

IEEE/Computer Society The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers sponsors a number of societies, one of which is the Computer Society. The Dayton chapter of the IEEE CS holds lunchtime meetings on a wide range of computer-related topics to advance the theory, practice, and application of computer and information-processing science and technology. Contact: Bob Kreutzfeld, 259-4898,

IIE The Institute for Industrial Engineers, founded in 1948, is the only international, nonprofit, professional society dedicated to advancing the technical and managerial excellence of industrial engineers. IIE strives to provide continuing education opportunities that enhance members' capabilities to improve productivity and quality while imaging the contributions made by the profession. The Dayton chapter meets monthly from September through May. Local Contact: Sara Deem,

Project Management Institute (PMI) Since it’s founding in 1969, Project Management Institute (PMI®) has grown to be the organization of choice for project management professionalism. With almost 45,000 members worldwide, PMI® is the leading nonprofit professional association in the area of Project Management. PMI establishes Project Management standards, provides seminars, educational programs and professional certification that more and more organizations desire for their project leaders. Contact: Brian Garrison,

About the Presenter

Maj. Gen. John L. Barry is Director, Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

Barry is a 1973 honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He graduated from Fighter Weapons School, and was a test and evaluation pilot at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. He was selected as a White House Fellow at NASA and worked as the NASA administrator's executive assistant and White House liaison during the Challenger accident. He also served as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

He has commanded an Air Force fighter squadron, and, in a combat zone, a fighter operations group and a composite wing. He served as commander of Air Force forces, where he led the recovery of a wing following the Blackhawk helicopter shoot-down at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. His assignment prior to his current position was the Strategic Planner for the U.S. Air Force.

He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours in the F-4 and F-16, including more than 270 hours of combat time in support of operations Southern Watch and Provide Comfort over Iraq.

Joint Meeting Dinner Reservation Form

Please print out the form below and mail it.

The Chef's Choice Buffet consists of:
Salads, 2 Entrées, choice of vegetable
Assorted breads and rolls / coffee / tea / iced tea & chef's sweet table
For special dietary needs call Sandy Feola at 672-0735

Name: ______________________________
Company: ______________________________
Address 1: ______________________________
Address 2: ______________________________
Phone: ______________________________

I am a member of (circle all that apply): AITP, ACM, ASIST, ASQ, BDPA, DACW, DMA, IEEE, IIE, PMI, none, other: ____________________

Make dinner reservations for ____ @ $20 = $___________ ($2 Parking is included in the price)

(Please make copies for additional reservation) Payment by check payable to "MVCS Joint Meeting"

Mail to:
Sandy Feola
406 Grants Trail
Dayton, Ohio 45459
or online at

Reservations must be received by Friday, September 19, 2003

Society Showcase

Before and after the program, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the activities of the societies. Each society will have a table display presenting their activities over the past few years and plans for upcoming meetings. Membership information will also be available.

The area universities/colleges have been invited to display information about their CS and MIS programs.


Door prizes will be awarded to dinner attendees during the Networking. You must be present to win.

Joint Meeting Committee

The following volunteers planned this meeting:

Ponitz Center = Building 12, Parking below
Map online at