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Computer Science Day Inspires Tomorrow's Computer Professionals

Computer Science Day participants in 2011
Computer Science Day participants in 2011


March 13, 2012

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The 2012 Computer Science Day at IUPUI will provide more than 100 local students the opportunity to experience firsthand one of the most in-demand fields in the technology sector.

High school students from across Central Indiana will compete in three categories at the March 16 event: computer programming andproblem solving, web development and game programming. Winners will earn $1,000 scholarships in each category.

However, the scholarships and the opportunity to create and play their own video game are just a few of the many benefits the competition provides students, according to Josh Morrison, coordinator of undergraduateresearch, curriculum and administration for the Department of Computer and Information Science (CIS) at IUPUI.

“This event will encourage interest among students and help to excite and enliven them in the possibilities of computer science as a career. We need to provide qualified people to the IT workforce, where it is needed in the worst way,” Morrison said. It's estimated the computer science field in Indiana has three jobs for every one qualified candidate.

2012 Computer Science Day details:
What: Local high school students working with cutting-edge computer technology
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, March 16
Where: IUPUI Campus Center
Why: To showcase computer science industry, career potential
Keynote speaker: Kris Van Hees, principal developer, Oracle

Van Hees, currently pursuing a doctorate in computer science, will discuss his career path and his current work at Oracle Corporation, a leading hardware and software company. His latest efforts involves creating a Parallel User Interface Rendering (PUIR), designed to provide visually impaired programmers the non-visual data required to develop software.

Three teams of current undergraduate CIS students will showcase their latest research at Computer Science Day. Undergraduate research is quite unique to the IUPUI campus and provides potential students immediate insight into the broad applications of computer science.

A panel of current students, alumni and faculty also will discuss what future students can expect as a computer science/IUPUI student and the real-world impact of the field. A teacher-training workshop will be hosted as well.

“We want to show people that we don’t just stare at our computers in the basement all day. Computer science is out there changing people’s lives,” Morrison added.

The growth in the technology sector has left a major divide between the number of computer science jobs out there and the graduates available to fill them.

“There is a terrible mismatch right now between the jobs we have and the people we need,” Morrison said. “The field is crying out for talent, and we expect Computer Science Day to spur renewed interest in the field and help develop the next generation of computer science graduates.”