Outside of class, students may participate in special programs designed for students studying Computer Science. Students may travel on one of the departmentally funded trips to conferences, participate in research, or take part in other activities offered year-round. Research and internships are also encouraged by the department and are often pursued by students during their summer break.
The Computer Science Department has a long-standing tradition of involving students in research. Current research is underway on developing software for a new robotic platform. These research efforts include a completely new overall robot design with an impact on performance in terms of mobility, manipulation, and communication capabilities, the creation of a software backbone system for sensory processing and communication among different miniature robots in order to create an effective robotic team. This work is expected to contribute to the field of miniature robot design resulting in heterogeneous robot teams that will be far more effective in tasks such as search/rescue missions, locating the source of a biological or chemical release, decontamination and decommissioning efforts, and monitoring highly sensitive areas of populations, such as elderly or disabled patients in residential care units. This work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Award #0420836 from 2004 to 2008.
More information about research opportunities in the Department.
Labor in the Department
Following Berea College’s commitment to student labor as a means of learning, the Computer Science Department employs students to work within its facilities. Student labor positions in the department include working as a teaching assistant, tutoring in the Computer Science Lab, supervising other students, working as a research assistant, student programmers and other jobs that keep the department functioning.
STARS Computing Corps
Berea College is a member of the Students and Technology in Academia, Research, and Service (STARS) Computing Corps, a national non-profit aimed at broadening participation in computing. Each year, the STARS Computing Corps engages undergraduate students in outreach and service to help promote diversity and inclusion of all people in computing. Students who serve in the corps are eligible to attend the annual STARS Celebration Conference. If you would like to participate in the STARS Computing Corps at Berea College, contact the Academic Liaison, Scott Heggen [mailto: email@example.com]
Student Software Development Team
The Student Software Development Team is a program through the Labor Program at Berea College designed to help the Berea College community identify inefficiencies in their processes, and develop technical solutions to address those problems. The team helps Berea College units identify their needs and develop software solutions to solve their problem. To date, the team has created nine software applications which are actively used by the Berea College community, including the Labor Status Forms system, the Berea College Syllabus Repository, and the SKYZ Chemical Inventory system. For more information on the team, contact the Student Software Development Team Leader, Scott Heggen [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org].
Travel to Conferences
Several times each year, the Computer Science Department sponsors a trip to a professional conference. Because of the departmental commitment to the value of these experiences, the cost to the student is minimal. The Department has sponsored recent trips to conferences as close as Eastern Kentucky University and as far away as Chicago.
An internship is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an applied setting. Internships are supervised both within the work setting and by a faculty member who is knowledgeable in the discipline related to the internship. Internships typically take place during Short Term or Summer Term. For example, during the Summer of 2017 there were 20-30 Berea College interns working in various locations. There were interns working in offices in New York and some stayed on Campus and helped better the campus.
Each year the Computer Science Department invites several outside lectures on a variety of topics in the facets of computer sciences. Recent invited talks have been on graphical techniques of image recovery and optimizing algorithms in parallel processing.
Each year at homecoming time the Computer Science Department holds two special events: The Friday afternoon Homecoming Alumni Lecture in which a departmental alumni returns to give an invited talk and the Saturday afternoon Homecoming Alumni Panel Discussion which is a formal opportunity for alumni to return to discuss their work experiences with current students and to offer some observations and advice.
Computer Science Summer Camps:
Working with the AmeriCorps program, computer science students deliver computing and technology-related comps to regional k-12 students. Topics such as robotics, 3D printing, making video games, and e-textiles (i.e., crafts with embedded electronics) were taught.