Author Archives: Bkborn79

Advancing Technology at NYCCT

Aaron McIntosh, Josh Rojas, Maisha Price

, Peter Junot



1) Lack of advanced, competitive technology; engineering, communications, machinery.

– A larger budget, and highly trained professors are needed to foster innovative technological growth within the school.

2) Shortage of academic support; student advisors and staff along with creating more partnerships with businesses to produce internship programs for students. – We need to network with more businesses in order to provide them with more opportunities upon graduation.

3) More lab hours are needed. Also, labs are typically old and outdated.

– We need to extend lab hours to satisfy the needs of students who need more practical hands-on time. Also the equipment needs to be replaced with new and modern resources.

4) The Cunyfirst website is very convoluted and difficult to use, particularly for new users.

-Redesign Cunyfirst website. Make it more streamlined and user-friendly.

5) The school could use  a greater push towards providing a more expanded entertainment/performing arts curriculum.

-We need to bring in trained professors to teach the curriculum, and also invest in expanded facilities.


*In order to advance the quality of the school as a whole, we need to apply for grants and greater funding to accommodate any applicable new curriculums and upgrades.

Aaron McIntosh – NYC Tech Profiles – “Brainscape”




Product/Service: Brainscape is an adaptive web/mobile education platform that helps you learn anything more efficiently, using cognitive science.

Founder/Co-Founders: This company was founded by Andre Cohen, who is also the CEO. He is still very much involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

Office/Headquarters: Brainscape is headquartered in the heart of New York City, and this office is their sole location.

Products/Services:  Brainscape is a web/mobile platform that allows its users to learn and retain information at an astonishing rate; It does so by breaking complex concepts down into smaller, easily absorbed building blocks, delivered to the individual in a way that matches their particular pace(their studies show that on average, we lose 90% of what we attempt to retain via traditional study methods). Their process supposedly helps one to learn exponentially faster than most traditional study methods(flash cards, books, etc.). These services are conveniently delivered across desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Method of Making Money:  As far as I can tell, Brainscape makes its money from royalties garnered as a result of licensing its platform out to a variety of content-makers. They also issue private licenses to schools and universities, cognitive science researchers, tutors, and in general, companies interested in training their employees more efficiently than ever before.

Target Customers:  To quote a short blurb on their website: “join the millions of students, teachers, language learners, test-takers, and corporate trainees who are doubling their learning results.”

How many current users/customers, etc: If the counter on their website is accurate, the number of people who use Brainscape is about 7,025,380.

How does the company advertise its product/services? The brains behind Brainscape have built their presence by partnering with apps such as MCAT Chemistry, Ultimate Music Theory, LEED Green Associate, and Gourmet Food, all powered by Brainscape’s algorithms.

Competitors/Competitive Advantage: I’ve found quite an extensive list of companies that offer services similar to Brainscape’s, and these are:




Learning with Texts






Mnemojojo & Mnemododo






Flashcard Exchange Flashcards

Flashcard Hero


I’m not quite sure what, if anything sets Brainscape apart from these other products/services. These other products are also flash-card based, and promise to accomplish the same things as Brainscape.

Works Cited:


Aaron McIntosh – Job Ads

After going over the results of my job search, I find that as a Web Developer, Html, CSS and Javascript are the most mentioned foundational skills employers are looking for.  Other prerequisite skills/experience vary wildly from employer to employer, but these three major areas are prominently included in just about every search result iv’e come across. Secondarily, MYSQL, PHP, Photoshop, UI/UX Design, and a few others are also typically included as required areas of expertise. This gives me a really good sense of the skills I need to be strong in as I seek to compete in this particular field.

After perusing my list of ads, iv’e actually walked away with a much greater understanding of just how complex and potentially intensive the field of Web Development actually is. And while many seem to be looking for anywhere from 3-5 years of practical industry experience in particular areas, many of these employers also seem to be willing to, and have the expectation of, training potential candidates in certain areas. This tells me that I should probably be prepared to learn a wealth of new skills while on the job, and i’m definitely fine with that. Academic instruction alone cannot possibly prepare me for EVERY area this exhaustive field is comprised of, and that’s OK.

My primary strengths are:

The creation of digital graphics using Photoshop and Illustrator.

Hand-drawn illustration/animation.

HTML coding.


As far as professional goals are concerned, i’d really love to explore the world of web design, perhaps at some point even lending my talents and ideas towards some innovative and ground-breaking new ways of using the world wide web. I’d like to work within a progressive-minded organization with a collective push towards future possibilities of what the internet can be used for. Designing and maintaining websites is fun, but my ambitions go far beyond that. On a bit of a side note, Google immediately comes to mind, but iv’e heard my share of horror stories.

The types of results I run into are typically listed as: “Web Designer/Developer”, “Front-End Developer”, “Web PHP Programmer”, Web Project Manager with slight variations depending on the company’s primary focus(Ecommerce Web Developer, Java Developer, UX Designer/Manager, etc.)

I feel that my instruction here at City Tech has done and is continuing to do a solid job of preparing me for entry into my desired field, but I also get the sense that I of course I will have to do my fair share of DIY practice-work outside of class instruction. I use online resources such as and CodeAcademy, and I always try to set aside time to keep my skills strong and sharp. I feel that i’ll be a really strong candidate when it’s time to pound the pavement towards the next major step in my career.


Aaron McIntosh


My name is Aaron McIntosh, a Junior-level Communications Design student with a module in Web Design/Development. I’m into a wide variety of music, particularly Hardcore Punk. My hobbies/interests include illustration, animation, film, and the study of world cultures. I have a special scholarly(and to a large extent, practical) interest in Occultism and I’m very much into the study of spiritual systems the world over; my personal favorites are Eastern spiritual systems/practices such as Buddhism in general, Taoism, Zen Buddhism in particular, and certain aspects of Hindu philosophic thought, such as the Vedanta. I’m also a bookworm, and an avid reader and hardcore video gamer since I was very young.
My experiences here at City Tech have been very positive. I’ve studied here on-and-off since I was 17, straight out of Franklin K Lane high school in 1997. I started as a Graphic Design student for a semester, and was on a waiting list for Pratt Institute. I was called, and after a semester left and studied there for two years. I came back in 2001, and continued on as an Art/Advertising Design student for about two semesters. I had some personal life issues that made it difficult for me to continue my studies with full concentrated focus, and so I left to take care of a few things. After some time I finally decided to re-enroll last year in the fall of 2014, with full commitment and intent to finish up my bachelor’s degree, continue to develop my skills and move on towards my career.
Over the Summer, I pretty much just worked, visited family in Toronto I hadn’t visited in a very long time, had fun, and prepared to come back to school.
As a writer, I’d say I have a pretty solid set of skills, which I suppose largely comes from and supplements the fact I’ve been a hardcore bookworm for most of my life. For a good few years I’ve also been somewhat of a songwriter, so I’ve had lots of practice. As for my strengths, I’ve got a pretty extensive vocabulary and can be creatively expressive in a multitude of ways. I enjoy just about everything about writing, whether with pen/pad or in digital form. I’ve always been a really quiet, introverted type of person, so I guess writing provides me with the sort of expressive relief and joy I typically don’t get in a social sense. All in all, I really love reading, and I really love writing.
My background with technology is extensive, and mostly self-taught. As I mentioned before, I’m a long-time gamer, starting with the Atari 2600 back when I was about the age of 8. Since then I’ve not only moved along with the technological advances of console systems, but in 1997 at the age of 17, I got my first computer as a graduation gift. Since then I’ve made myself very familiar with the PC environment, getting my hands into the guts of the hardware as I began to teach myself the ins and outs of computer hardware and software.

I get the sense that technical writing is the creation of documents for the purpose of business/professional use. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but that’s what I intuit it as meaning. My expectations for this class? I expect that I will leave here at the end of the semester with a greater understanding of, and ability to write in a professional setting.