Members of Morehouse College’s Culturally Relevant Computing (CRC) Lab have received travel scholarships to attend the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, which will place September 20th-September 23rd in Atlanta, GA. Ernest Holmes, Kevin Womack, Nathan Harris, and Leron Julian were awarded the travel scholarships to attend the conference through support from the Institute for African- American Mentoring in Computing Sciences grant (NSF grant #1303156). Travel scholarships include conference registration, meals during the conference, and hotel accommodations.
The Tapia Conference brings together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities to celebrate the diversity that exists in computing, connect with others with common backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and gender so as to create communities that extend beyond the conference, and obtain advice from and make contacts with computing leaders in academia and industry. The Tapia Conference has always been a premier venue to acknowledge, promote, and celebrate diversity in computing.
This is a great achievement for our lab members. Tapia Conference scholarship applications are extremely competitive and are reviewed by over 90 professional volunteers in computer science industry and academia. Congratulations to these students!
Culturally Relevant Computing Lab Director, Dr. Kinnis Gosha, and Google software engineers, developed a course for Morehouse students to learn Android Application programming, along with the Applied Computer Science(CS) content, and received hands-on experience in a for-credit class. The course, titled “Mobile App Development with Advanced Data Structures,”combined lecture, class discussion and in-class assignments targeted at learning Java, advanced data structures, ADS, and other basics for Android programming. The Applied CS classes ran for 75 minutes and were held twice a week for 16 weeks in the fall semester of 2016. These classes, the first at the university for mobile app development, filled up quickly due to the buzz around the collaboration with Google, and 11 out of 12 students successfully completed the course.
Applied CS content enabled students to understand, apply and implement advanced data types using a mobile application platform that more than two billion devices run on today. The application development skills received provide something tangible that could be used after graduation to create software, products and even companies. “A lot of these students get into computer science because they’re entrepreneurs and they need to understand the platform to generate revenue,” Dr. Gosha says. “Learning coding in a platform-specific environment is a great way to prepare them both for CS or software engineering challenges, and exposes them to processes, and workflows they will encounter when using any platform or system for actually making their code run.”
- Potential Impact: Consider hot topics with care, Make sure topic/problem are important
- Scale: Need more than one problem; results/finding
- Scope: Not too narrow or too broad, open-ended
Options for finding topics
- Read papers and attend talks in your area and others
- Flash of brilliance (unlikely but possible)
- Term project
- Redo, re-invent, refine
- Three to five (or n) papers = dissertation
Deciding Where to Apply
- What areas of computing interest me?
- What type of degree am I considering? MS? PhD? Why?
- What type of academic climate do I want to study in?
- Do I have any geographic preferences? Any restrictions?
- What are my academic credentials? (GPA, research experience, test scores, communication skills)
- Who is on the faculty at the school I am applying to? Who would I like to be my advisor?
Preparing Application Materials (Pay attention to deadlines)
EVERY program is different, but most want: Application (basic contact info), Transcripts, Letters of recommendation (2-3), Statement of Purpose (Goals/Research/Intent). Resume, Test scores (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS), Fee.
Engaging Reference Letter Writers
- Ask “Would you be able to provide a positive recommendation?”
- Give them materials (transcript, resume, statement of purpose, chart of schools, deadlines, how to submit a letter) at least 2-3 weeks before first deadline.
- Take spring junior/fall senior years, retake if needed. If non-native English speaker take TOEFL, TOEIC
Pay attention to deadlines, follow-up with letter writers, report test scores, request official transcripts
Financing Your Graduate Study
After application, apply for financing options like teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships (NSF Graduate fellowship), other grants
Spend time researching programs, visit the schools, meet faculty in your interest area(s), meet current grad students/alumni and ask about their experiences
Making the Final Decision
You will likely do well at any of top choices, make decision and inform schools, write thanks notes to letter writers, CELEBRATE!
- Relevant Courses
- GPA – You’ll also typically need to submit a transcript
- Major projects
- Work experience
- Languages, tools, etc. – include level of proficiency
Be careful, neat and honest!
Time: Summer 10 weeks
Stipend per student: $7,000, relocation travel assistance
Location: Mentor’s institution
Application: Students and mentors apply separately and are matched by the program (Due mid Feb.)
Time: Academic Year (10-15 hours per week), possible summer extension
Stipend per student: $1500 per semester, $4000 per summer
Location: Home institution
Application: Students and mentors submit a proposal to work