Think about how many times you interact with technology each day. Technology and computing are more prominent in schools than ever—so much so that the week of December 9 through 15 has been named Computer Science Education week.
Buffalo State’s Computer Information Systems Department will celebrate Computer Science Education Week on December 4, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Bulger Communication Center.
“The actual Computer Science Week takes place during our exam week,” explained Ramona Santa Maria, assistant professor of computer information systems. “We want to celebrate what is happening with computing nationally, locally, and within our major here at Buffalo State.
"We wanted to keep our event small in length but large in the amount of activities and awareness,” Santa Maria said. “Students, faculty, and guest speakers will be presenting at the event, providing great knowledge and exposure for computer science, and what our department has to offer.”
Last year was the campus’s first Computer Science Education Week celebration. Sarbani Banerjee, associate professor of computer information systems, came up with the idea for the event as a recruitment and retention tool.
“Careers in computer science command some of the top salary offers from employers, but not enough students are entering this field,” Banerjee said. “We need to encourage and embrace our students’ interest in computing and computer science.”
Professor Neal Mazur, associate professor of CIS, noted that computer science is an important field because it touches our daily lives as we deal with smart phones, the Internet, banking and healthcare systems, and even checkout at the grocery store.
"With the all-encompassing use of computer technology, computer scientists are needed to secure our cyber-infrastructure and protect our national security," Mazur said. "Computer science-related job prospects and earnings remain strong despite extraordinary economic challenges.
Santa Maria explained that many people feel that they don’t have what it takes to pursue computing. “Instead of thinking they can’t do that, they need to think ‘I want to be able to do that,’” she said. “This event allows students to see if this major or field is a good fit for them.”
“Our students learn a foundation in information technology and are exposed to many current software developments and tools,” said William Lin, chair and associate professor of the Computer Information Systems Department. “Our computer information systems program has an applied practical focus, enabling students to gain internships, experience, and skills, which has provided us with a good reputation in Western New York.”
Attendees will be able to play student-created video games, talk about computer science, learn about job opportunities in the field, and have multiple networking opportunities. “We hope that people will see how fun and interesting computing is,” Santa Maria said. “It’s universal.”