Computing Careers Now

The NSF Funded Exploring Computing Careers Broadening Participation Research project is to develop a virtual career fair using embodied conversational agents (ECAs) that will engage students in career discussions and, if they have interest in computing, help inspire them to reach their potential in computing careers. Part of the rationale for this project is that many students are enrolled in high schools without any teacher or counselor who are truly knowledgeable about computing careers. Additionally, many students are not exposed to any underrepresented minorities in computing careers.  Participating high school students will benefit by receiving up-to-date career information from computing professionals currently in the field via the ECAs. The expected outcomes for students interacting with the ECA via the ComputingCareersNow.org website is: 1) students are more likely to consider a career in computing, 2) students who considered a career in computing but didn’t know if they pursue it would be more interested in pursuing it and 3) students who want to pursue a career in computing can start investigating what careers they want to pursue and what requirements are needed to achieve that career.

“X-Capp” Xanadu – Computer App Development Summer Program

X-Capp is a highly competitive and selective academic computing program that will be offered from June 5, 2017 through June 29, 2017 at Maynard Jackson High School and Morehouse College.
Students must be rising 10th – 12th graders with an interest in pursuing a degree in computer science after graduation.
Registration will take place on Friday, May 19 at the Campbell Building (21 Thirkeld Avenue SW, Atlanta) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where:
Maynard Jackson High School
801 Glenwood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30316
Morehouse College
830 Westview Drive SW,
Atlanta, GA 30314
Dates:
Monday, June 5, 2017 – Thursday, June 29, 2017
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Cost: APS Students – $50.00
Non-APS Students – $100.00
Registration:
Friday, May 19, 2017 – 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Campbell Building, 21 Thirkeld Avenue SW, Atlanta, GA 30315
What is the Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
It is highly competitive and selective academic computing program that will be offered from June 5, 2017 through June 29, 2017. Students must be rising 10th – 12th graders with an interest in pursuing a degree in computer science after graduation. Students do not need to know how to write computer programs to participate. Preference will be given to applicants who attend an APS High School and have limited exposure to such a program. Seats are limited.

Who is eligible to participate in the Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
All gifted and talented eligible/high achieving students in the metro Atlanta area who have successfully completed ninth grade and who also meet program criteria are eligible to participate. This program is highly competitive.

What are the criteria for acceptance into Xanadu – Computer App Development Program? This program is designed for gifted and high achieving students. Supporting documentation is required as outlined below and must be submitted at registration. Supporting documentation will not be returned. Please make all copies prior to submission.
I am an APS employee; my child does not attend APS. Can I enroll my child in Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
Yes, children of APS employees are eligible to apply for acceptance into the program as long as they meet program criteria. Students of APS employees pay the Non-APS Student rate.
Can students of APS charter schools participate in the Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
Yes, children of APS charter schools are eligible to apply for acceptance into the program as long as they meet program criteria. Charter students pay the non-APS student rate.
When will I receive notification verifying my child’s acceptance or non-acceptance into the program of application?
A letter of acceptance to the program will be emailed on Monday, May 22, 2017 by 5:00 pm.
What is the content of the program?
Students who participate in the course will receive a broad and rigorous introduction to computer science based on App Inventor, a mobile programming language for Android devices. The course is based on the College Board’s emerging Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles curriculum framework for introductory computer science. Participating students will learn computer science by building socially useful mobile apps. In addition to programming and computer science principles, the course is project-based and emphasizes writing,
communication, collaboration, and creativity. Participants will not receive academic/course credit.
How are the instructional programs organized?
This course is based upon the units listed below:
Unit 1 – Getting Started: Preview & Setup
Unit 2 – Introduction to Mobile Apps & Pair Programming
Unit 3 – Creating Graphics & Images Bit by Bit
Unit 4 – Exploring Computing: Animation, Simulation, & Modeling
Unit 5 – Algorithms & Procedural Abstraction
Unit 6 – Using and Analyzing Data & Information
Unit 7 – Communication through the Internet
Is transportation provided to the Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
No, APS bus transportation is not provided to Maynard H. Jackson High School.
What is the application and registration process for the Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
1. Complete the online application which is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XanaduAppDevelop. Completion of this application DOES NOT secure placement in the program.
2. Secure the program fee in the form of a money order or cashier’s check made payable to Atlanta Public Schools. Personal checks and cash will not be accepted. The submission of supporting documents and receipt of program fees secure consideration of placement in the program. We will refund 100% of all program fees if the applicant is not selected for X-Capp.
3. Registration takes place in person on Friday, May 19, 2017. Bring copies of supporting documentation, and the program fee to the Campbell Building 21 Thirkeld Ave. SW Atlanta, GA 30315.
*Receiving Schedule
Friday, May 19, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration Begins
What forms of payment are accepted?
Money orders and cashier’s checks are the only acceptable forms of payment. No cash or personal checks will be accepted. Please bring payments made payable to Atlanta Public Schools with the student’s name written on the method of payment.
Is there a discount for families enrolling multiple children?
No, multi-student discounts are not available.
Are school meals provided Xanadu – Computer App Development Program?
The school meal program operates on-site during the program. Atlanta Public School students and its charter school students eat breakfast and lunch at no charge during the program regardless of meal status during the academic year. Non APS students will be required to pay for meals at a rate of $4 for each lunch and $1.50 for each breakfast. Students will not be permitted to charge meals. Parents will be contacted in the event a student requires a meal but funds are not provided. Students may bring their own lunch from home.
What is the policy regarding cancellation?
If cancellation is made on or before May 26, you will receive a full refund minus a $25.00 processing fee. No refunds will be made after this date. To cancel your registration, call 404-802-7585 and email a letter of cancellation to Xanadu_Gifted@atlanta.k12.ga.us. Include your child’s name, the program registered for, and reason for cancellation. Please allow 14 days for refund processing. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email the Office of Gifted and Talented Education at Xanadu_gifted@atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Program Requirements

Gifted Identified Students 
REQUIRED:
  • Student Recommendation Form completed by the school principal or gifted program teacher; Bring in a sealed envelope
  • Most recent transcript and progress report
  • Student Statement of Interest (300 word
    minimum)
  • “B” average (highly recommended)
Non-Gifted Identified Students
REQUIRED:
  • Student Recommendation Form completed by the school principal or general education teacher; Bring in a sealed envelope
  • Most recent transcript and progress report
  • Student Statement of Interest (300 word minimum)
  • “B” average (highly recommended)

Typical Graduate School Timeline

Year 1

  • Take graduate level courses
  • Identify a research advisor
  • Join a research group

Year 2

  • Take more grad-level courses
  • Take PhD Exams
  • Complete First Mentored Research & Paper
  • Complete Masters degree

Year 3

  • Identity Specific PhD Topic
  • Complete Preliminary PhD Research & Paper
  • Draft PhD Proposal

Year 4

  • Defend Proposal
  • Complete More Research
  • Write Research Papers

Year 5/6

  • Complete More Research
  • Write Research Papers
  • Write and Defend Dissertation

Identifying a Specific PhD Project

Consider:

  • 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
  • Apprentice
  • Three to five (or n) papers = dissertation

How is Graduate School Different from College

  • Activities: all CS classes vs. variety of classes
  • Deliverables: Research contributions, papers, posters, presentation, proposals, dissertation vs. exams/class projects
  • Daily schedule: Flexible hours & open-ended deadlines vs course schedules
  • Modes of working: Innovating, experimenting, presenting, writing vs. studying, absorbing, solving known problems
  • Evaluation of success: Research contributions, PhD Exams, publications vs. exam scores, project grades

Masters vs. PhD

Master’s Degree

  • 2-3 years
  • Courses + Thesis Project
  • More attractive for industry/lab
  • Minimum for academic instructor
  • Limited opportunities to specialize
  • Often limited graduate study funding

PhD (Doctorate Degree)

  • 3-7 years
  • Courses + Research + Dissertation
  • Minimum for industry/lab research
  • Minimum for Academic position
  • Become expert in a particular research area
  • Easier to obtain RA/TA support

 

How to Apply to Graduate School

Deciding Where to Apply

  1. What areas of computing interest me?
  2. What type of degree am I considering? MS? PhD? Why?
  3. What type of academic climate do I want to study in?
  4. Do I have any geographic preferences? Any restrictions?
  5. What are my academic credentials? (GPA, research experience, test scores, communication skills)
  6. 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.

Taking GREs

  • Take spring junior/fall senior years, retake if needed. If non-native English speaker take TOEFL, TOEIC

Finalizing Applications

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

Evaluating Offers

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!

CRA-W/CDC Research Programs

DREU

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.)

CREU

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

Website: www.cra-w.org