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Outstanding Chapter Website 2009-2010

American University in Bulgaria ACM Student Chapter
Computer Science Student Union (CSSU)

URL for your chapter home page
CSSU URL: http://www.cssu-bg.org

Names and email addresses of chapter officers and faculty sponsor
CSSU’s Program Committee (Chapter Officers):

Vassil Stoitsev

Georgi Petrov

Ergys Ristani

Nikolay Minchev

A brief description of your chapter and school including number of chapter members
Chapter Description:

The Computer Science Student Union (CSSU) is an independent student organization of the Department of Computer Science at the American University in Bulgaria. It represents the American University in Bulgaria Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter.

Our mission at CSSU is to foster a sense of community and belonging among students of computer science, to allow them to build up their skills, and reach out to the computer science community outside of the university. The organization’s major activities include weekly presentations, practical workshops, social events, and projects.

University Description:

The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) is a private American-style liberal arts university located in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. It has assumed a unique and critical educational role in the dynamic region of Southeastern Europe through its emphasis on preparing students for leadership, community involvement, careers, and advanced study. The liberal arts education encourages students to develop critical thinking and creative problem solving. The University is accredited both in the US and in Bulgaria, and academic credits are fully transferrable in Europe and in the United States.

The mission of the American University in Bulgaria is to educate students of outstanding potential in a community of academic excellence, diversity, and respect and to prepare them for democratic and ethical leadership in serving the needs of the region and the world.

Chapter Members:

CSSU has a number of different both male and female members, all of whom are of different standing (freshmen/ sophomores/ juniors/ seniors).

Number of students at your school who take computer science and related courses, and typical majors of your chapter members.
Typical Majors of CSSU members:

Computer Science, BA

Information Systems, BA

An essay of no more than 500 words for each of the categories for which your chapter would like to be considered. You may submit an essay for more than one category. Guidelines for these essays appear below.
CSSU would like to apply for the 2010 ACM Outstanding Chapter Website Award with the new feature of our official website – a sub site dedicated to Women in Computer Science (http://www.cssu-bg.org/WomenInCS/).

Computer Science Student Union (http://www.cssu-bg.org/),

American University in Bulgaria ACM Student Chapter

The New Feature of the CSSU Official Website – a Women in Computer Science Sub Site

(http://www.cssu-bg.org/WomenInCS/)

The Women in Computer Science sub site was originally planned as an independent project, which major objective would be to create a website to promote the breadth of computer science and information technologies, and, thus, help the Computer Science Department at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) to encourage more female students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in this field. In the course of the project’s development, however, there was a suggestion by one of its initiators that the new site would best serve its purpose if it becomes an integral part of the official website of the Computer Science Student Union (CSSU), the university’s ACM student chapter. This idea was well accepted by the organization’s program committee, and, hence, an initial version of the website has been recently uploaded on the server used by the union.

Although the Women in Computer Science sub site is currently still under construction, it possesses a vast amount of potential for future development. The basic notion behind its implementation is to keep its design simple while at the same time providing various information on hi tech-related topics, and, in particular, the great contributions women have made to the field of computer science since the invention of the first mechanical computing machine by Charles Babbage in 1821.

Furthermore, being the newest feature of the CSSU official website, the Women in Computer Science sub site also contains a whole section dedicated to the students studying computer science and information systems at the American University in Bulgaria. The section is named AUBG Alumni because its major purpose is to connect current students with their older colleagues, who graduated from the university years ago. Having already acquired a great deal of professional experience in the computing branch, a computer science alumnus/ alumna often represents the ultimate source of inspiration for the younger undergraduate students. Having this in mind, CSSU plans to reconnect with many female computer science graduates and ask them to share their personal experience at the IT job market with the current AUBG students who are still pondering over the opportunity to pursue a degree in computer science or information systems. Our goal is to upload a list of interviews with AUBG alumni on the new Women in Computer Science sub site, and, this way, assist freshmen and sophomore female students in their decision making process.

In addition to the AUBG Alumni section, the Women in Computer Science sub site also contains a section dedicated to the notable women in the history of computing and a section discussing the issue of the increasing gender gap in the IT sector and the need of more women to enter the hi-tech industry. The section concerned with the realization of female computer specialists and the one providing hyper links to different articles regarding the latest novelties in the area of modern technologies are also an important part of the new sub site.

In the end, we would like dedicate our new Women in Computer Science sub site to all those women who are considering majoring in computer science but are still not 100% sure about their career choice because they do not possess a single-minded passion for technology. It is them we want to show that Computer Science is a field that is worth exploring.