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Computer Education Week Celebrated on Campus

Computer Education Week Celebrated on Campus

Posted: December 8, 2011

A talking rabbit, a dog, and even a ghost (all of the animated variety) could be found at Bulger Communication Center on December 8. The objects were featured in 3-D stories and games created by students in the computer information systems (CIS) program.

As part of Computer Education Week, celebrated December 6 and 8 in Bulger Communication Center's main lobby, students opened up their laptops to showcase what they have made in their introductory coursework.

Students Jacqueline Cook and Danielle Ryles, for instance, created an animated fairy tale—described as “Cinderella with a twist”—tailored for young children. While neither woman said they wanted to create games for a living, they both found using Alice, the 3-D computer-animation program used to create the project, to be a useful learning experience.

Senior Walter Promowicz, who was showing a 10-minute animated movie and helping to promote the CIS program, explained that Alice enables students to jump in and create something “without all the coding, which can be overwhelming at first.”

“And it’s free,” Promowicz added.

Promowicz said with confidence that he plans to pursue a career in video game programming and design. Cook said she would like to work in computer security, perhaps helping the FBI crack cases through computer searches, while Ryles said she is gravitating toward a career in health and wellness, but wants to use computers in her work.

One of the purposes of the demonstration was to attract more students to the CIS program and to focus on the tremendous job growth in the computer industry, noted Sarbani Banerjee, associate professor of computer information systems.

To get visitors thinking about job opportunities, senior Sean Reardon put together an elaborate chart showing the multitude of local IT companies. He said the list would soon be available on the CIS web site where students could scope out internship possibilities, too.

The celebratory demonstration also illustrated what women and minorities—traditionally underrepresented in the computer science field—are doing. Several of the students who participated in Thursday's event were minorities and at least four were female.

Ryles said she thinks more young girls and women should consider studying technology, math, and computer science.

“There are better job opportunities,” she said.

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