Atanasoff Today: News Update

K-12 Outreach

Given the widespread proliferation of technology in our daily lives, it is critical that youth are exposed to opportunities that develop their problem-solving and computer skills. To foster student success, the Department of Computer Science works with the Iowa Department of Education to align our K-12 outreach workshops and activities with current school curriculum standards.

The department partners with Iowa 4-H to extend opportunities for K-12 students, but school officials are also encouraged to host a workshop or take advantage of guided exploration sessions on the Iowa State campus.

Thanks to passionate students and corporate partners like Collins Aerospace and John Deere, hundreds of K-12 students have engaged with technology in meaningful, educational and fun ways. The year’s activities culminated with the department’s Computational Thinking
Fair in April.

The Department of Computer Science hosted the 9th annual Computational Thinking Competition for K-12 students.
(Contributed photograph)

Student News

Iowa State University’s Department of Computer Science was selected as a host site for the Regional Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming (ACM-ICP) Competition. Next fall, with the generous support of Kingland Systems and John Deere, teams from ISU, including an all-female team, will compete for a chance at the ACM-ICP  world finals. Students can take a problem-solving course during the academic year to earn credits as they hone their critical thinking skills. Teams from Iowa State have qualified for the world finals eight of the past eleven years.

New project and research-based coursework align with industry expectations through both a senior capstone and undergraduate project-based courses. The undergraduate project-based course includes five demonstrations per month, client-side mobile application development, web sockets and  utilizes SCRUM and continuous deployment. The new curriculum improves the quality of students’ work and increases their familiarity with code used by future employers.

John Deere helped students create the Computer Science Female Peer Mentorship program, which pairs females in the field for support and advocacy. The student group will partner with LAS Career Services and WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) for a workshop and a visit to John Deere in the spring semester of 2019.

Industry and Alumni Partners

As technology becomes an integral part of nearly all industries, the demand for computer science expertise and knowledge continues to skyrocket. In addition to recruiting our graduates to companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, industry expansions within Iowa State University’s Research Park are providing several new and exciting opportunities at the local level. The John Deere Technology Innovation Center’s first hire was a Ph.D. student from the department and the company developed a course catalog of topics, which reflects specific industry knowledge, available via classroom presentations. Collins Aerospace also opened a new office in the ISU Research Park, which will expand
partnership opportunities.

Kingland Systems, a long-time friend of the department, continues to support and collaborate with faculty (read about Kingland’s formal faculty support on page 5). They also provide critical student support, hiring many graduates and interns, while supporting the department’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) - International Collegiate Programming Competition teams and the Computer Science Graduate Student Organization’s annual poster presentation.

Computer Science Alumni Awards

Congratulations to computer science alumni honored recently by the Iowa State University Alumni Association (ISUAA), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), and the Department of Computer Science.

Sean R. Stanek   Young Alumnus Award
Charlie Hunt   Distinguished Alumnus Award
George Strawn   Distinguished Service Award
Srinivas Aluru   John Atanasoff Discovery Award
William Bock   Distinguished Alumnus Award

L to R: Gianfranco Ciardo, chair of the Department of Computer Science, Sean R. Stanek (computer science '02), Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
(Photograph by Blake Lanser)

L to R: Charlie Hunt (computer science '92), Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
(Photograph by Blake Lanser)


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