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 ACM ICPC World Finals eight of the last 11 years! 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 and Internships
Students who understand what the technology industry looks like firsthand are more likely to succeed in their careers. Whether the visits occur here on campus, or on-site at your company, these visits and internship opportunities are a critical component for student success. They serve to build the important partnerships between the Department of Computer Science and companies that help us to develop the talent you need to grow your business, and meet the demands for future innovation.
Developing these strong relationships between our department and industry also helps to dispel myths about working in the tech industry. We know that technology employees today need to be able to work as collaborative teams, and that the most innovative solutions are created by diverse groups of people working together. These real-world interactions also help our students develop their much-needed soft skills such as effective written and verbal communication, and how to build effective relationships with those around them. These skills are necessary for working as part of a team and presenting important information to customers, as well as to other members of your company. Students also need a variety of experiences in order to determine what type of company and positions best fit their life and career goals. The Department of Computer Science hopes to increase this exposure to freshmen and sophomore students as they are investigating their first summer internships. A company visit, a day spent job-shadowing a current employee, and internships all build the important skills and strong relationships that lead to student and industry success!
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.