Read about Betta Lyon-Delsordo, a UM Computer Science student that is redefining what an undergraduate education can be.
Student housing can be especially stressful for student living off campus. UM Computer Science students working on their senior software development projects created a database for the ASUM (Associated Students of the University of Montana) Renter Center. This database helps students identify the services they need to find dependable housing in Missoula. Details of the project, as well as a video of the final result can be viewed here.
Faculty in CS have been busy, rethinking what it means to study computation in 2020. We have identified three major trends in the economy, and adapted our curriculum accordingly. Beginning in the Fall of 2020, students will specialize by choosing one of the three following concentrations:
More details will follow, but a formal announcement is here.
A graphical overview of the new curriculum is below.
Addison Boyer, a newly graduated Masters student at UM CS elected to create a portfolio for his MS work. In doing so, he’s created a fantastic account of the assignments our students do. If you have any interest in coming to UM CS for a graduate degree, or even if you wonder what some of the senior level course work looks like, have a look at Addison’s portfolio.
Freshman spent the morning building structures with Keva planks last week. While it seems a stretch, Professor Johnson says – “This has all the hallmarks of programming. A clear problem to solve (highest tower), a small vocabulary (orientation of blocks), a need for repetition that can be expressed as an algorithm (the building’s structure), and limited resources (students only get 100 blocks).”
“And, it’s social. The greatest predictor of success for our students is the peer networks they establish. Exercises like this help them build those networks.” Johnson concluded. It does look like a good time.
UM’s CS department is in the news! Assistant Professor Doug Brinkerhoff is providing a machine learning approach to understanding the complexities of tidewater glaciers in Greenland as part of a brand-new collaboration with researchers from across the globe. The project, which is funded by the Silicon Valley-based Heising-Simons Foundation, seeks to inform advanced glacier models with an unprecedented collection of atmospheric, oceanic, and glaciological measurements. The effort recently made the cover of Science Magazine. Check out the article here: https://vis.sciencemag.org/greenlands-dying-ice/.
One appealing aspect of the University of Montana is its study abroad programs. Students can spend a semester or year abroad, taking courses at a partner institution, and UM awards credit towards a degree for courses taken at these institutions.
UM-CS student Betta Lyon-Delsordo is doing exactly this. After some discussions with CS department advisers, Betta identified a set of classes that she could take in Spain that would be equivalent to computer science classes taken here. As they say, the trip is often better than the destination. This summer, Betta has been en route to Universidad de Vigo, in the North West of Spain. She’s been providing short updates to the department, and we’re sharing some of them here. What an experience she is having! In her own words:
I’m Betta, a rising sophomore studying Computer Science and Spanish, and this summer I’m working as a remote intern for GatherBoard. I work part time on projects for GatherBoard (a local tech start-up that creates event calendars), while traveling and working part time in exchange for room and board. My internship projects range from creating marketing campaigns for email and social media, to updating websites and the management portal, to Spanish translation work. When I’m not on my computer, I’m staying with host families through WorkAway, an organization that connects travelers with hosts to work a few hours a day for food and housing. This summer I’m traveling to Chile, California, Spain and other European countries yet to be determined. So far I’ve taught English, worked in hostels, and helped put on a Buddhist retreat, all while meeting incredible people and their families. My travels will end in Spain, where I will spend the next year at the Universidad de Vigo. This has been an wonderful experience, and I feel very lucky to be able to travel almost for free and further my tech skills at the same time.
Thanks to the efforts of UM-CS Assistant Professor Travis Wheeler, our campus will be receiving $395,000 in grant money from the National Science Foundation. This money will be for a high-performance computing cluster for UM researchers and students in support of scientific discovery. More details about the grant can be found here.