The Computer Science Department has a long history of working with industry to promote student success. Our consistent (nearly 100%) placement of CS students in the job market or in advanced study before they graduate from our program is due in part to this collaboration!
For information about partnering with the Department of Computer Science, or sponsoring student projects, activities, or research in computer science or software engineering, please contact the Department of Computer Science Development Manager at:
Programming contests and competitions help students develop problem solving, programming, communication, and teamwork skills. Each fall, the CS Department participates in the regional ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Freshmen teams are encouraged to participate. Winning teams from regional contests are then sent to the ICPC World Finals, which are held at a different location each year. Our Iowa State collegiate programming team has earned a spot to compete at the world finals in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016! Your organization can partner with us to help sponsor student travel to competitions, and to sponsor practice competitions at ISU.
Course Projects/Software Design
A Computer Science education involves team projects with the goal of giving students real-world experience in project management, software and algorithms design, time management,communication, and teamwork skills. Your company can contribute real-world projects to Computer Science courses to enhance our students’ experience in project-based classes. Companies are advised that projects suitable for courses such as the year-long Capstone Courses may require specialized software, hardware and/or devices. Complex projects may also require travel funds for students to visit the company site and consult with company employees on project requirements, progress, and implementation. Projects for courses should be proposed well in advance of the semester that work should start. Representatives at your company should work with the faculty in charge of the course to coordinate logistics and requirements in advance as well.
Companies seeking a traditional route to supporting students can contribute funds to a Computer Science scholarship. Scholarships can be established in the name of the supporting organization, or contributions can be made to the general CS Department scholarship fund. Organizations can support students who demonstrate characteristics, either academic or personal, that match well with their company culture and goals.
Company Visits/Job Shadowing
Students who understand what the IT industry looks like firsthand are more likely to stay in a CS major. Company visits and job-shadowing opportunities are critical to our retention efforts by helping to break many myths that pervade the industry, including that IT employees work alone in cubicles and do nothing but programming, that IT jobs are all outsourced to foreign companies, and that soft skills including communication and presentation skills are not required for success. Students also need a variety of experiences so that they can decide what kind of company fits best for their life and career goals. The CS department hopes to increase this exposure to freshmen and sophomore students as they are investigating their first summer internships. A company visit or day spent job-shadowing a current employee can make a strong impression!
K-12 Outreach Program
Computational thinking is a critical thinking skill that, according to some, is a required skill for success in the 21st century. For most students, exposure to computational thinking as a problem solving tool comes late, or not at all. The Computer science Department at ISU is making efforts to change this in Iowa K-12 schools with Computational Thinking Workshops and the annual Computational Thinking Competition. Support is needed to provide lunch for workshop participants and prizes for the CTC competition, held each spring on the ISU campus. Please see the Computational Thinking webpage for more information about the K-12 Outreach Program.