Outstanding Community Service Winner

Purdue University ACM Student Chapter

The Purdue University chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery has made significant contributions to the community during the 2013-2014 academic year.  Our Special Interest Groups provide an experience to Computer Science students that cannot be captured within a classroom setting.  Freshmen with no previous coding experience are able to join the ACM and learn things that are normally taught only in upper division classes.  The benefit extends beyond improving their programming skills, though.  Our chapter focuses on improving the lives of others, whether those lives are Purdue students or members of the global community.

Purdue ACM's SIGAPP chapter is currently working on an app for the campus police department's SafeWalk program, which will allow students to request escorts at night between campus buildings using a design similar to Uber. The reputation they have received from early demos of the app has resulted in Purdue giving the group full control over their official iOS and Android apps, which currently have a large impact on every Purdue student. The members voluntarily contribute to these projects because they thoroughly enjoy writing mobile apps and server software.

SIGBOTS has done a lot for the community as well.  Due to limitations of operating systems on the market, the Purdue Chapter of SIGBOTS decided to create their own OS to compete in the VEX Collegiate Robotics Competition and release it to the public. Since then, the Purdue Robotics Operating System (PROS) has been downloaded over 1400 times in over 30 different countries.  Students in high schools and colleges all around the world are utilizing PROS.  With the source code freely available, teams can now personalize their robots in a way that was previously impossible.

As a group, the ACM strives to contribute to the CS department.  Recently, there has been an expressed interest for providing high school students with a taste of what Computer Science is all about. As a result, this spring we decided to host a high school coding competition similar in structure to the ACM-ICPC to see if students would be interested.  The students loved getting to compete against each other, and many stuck around afterwards to talk to us about computer science, classes, and college admissions.  The success of this event is now leading us to plan for a much larger event in the fall, featuring high schools from all around the state.

As our chapter continues to grow, involvement in the CS department does as well.  Our contributions to the department as well as the community continue to reinforce Purdue's rank among the most renowned schools for Computer Science.  With projects like SafeWalk and PROS being developed, students are able to gain real-world experience while also improving their community.  Events like the high school coding competition pique an interest of the Computer Science field in students.  With all that we have accomplished so far, it will be exciting to see how we can contribute to the local and global communities in the future.

Lehigh University ACM Student Chapter

As a chapter, Lehigh ACM is dedicated to serving our community. We do so through a series of workshops and outreach programs.
To start, once a week, we held a 1-hour session on a new technology or skillset. These covered various aspects of web development, game development, academic development, and career-building. All in all, we held 25 workshop sessions on 19 unique topics (there were some makeup sessions). There was a regular group of female students from Liberty High School that attended many of these workshops and used their gained knowledge to participate in the Technovation Challenge - a mobile app development contest for high school students. Our Chair, Greyson Parrelli, served as a mentor to these students and met with them to walk them through the competition.
Our biggest outreach event was our annual mobile game development competition, mobiLEHIGH. We had 14 teams of 3-4 people from 4 local colleges and universities compete. They each made a game over a two-month period that ended in a showcase that attracted over 100 attendees. To prepare participants, we held a series of 5 workshops on various technologies, such as LibGDX, Construct 2, and two frameworks that were developed specifically for the competition: LibLOL (https://github.com/mfs409/liblol) and Cutiepa2D.js (http://luacm.github.io/cutiepa2d). These two frameworks were made by club members and were specifically catered to people with little to no game programming experience, and the code was made publicly available on Github.
Among the attendees of the mobiLEHIGH showcase were 60 middle school students from the local area who had received presentations on technology and learned what it meant to be an engineer. These presentations were given by our sponsors, which included Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Philadelphia Game Company. Through these presentations and a Q&A session with a few club members, these middle school students were able to see what it was like to not only be an engineer but also a college student in general. This is crucial as our local students are statistically less likely to attend college than the national average.
The winners of mobiLEHIGH won Nexus 7 tablets, Jawbone Jamboxes, or $100 Amazon gift cards depending on the prize category. Everyone in the competition received a $25 Amazon gift card if they did not win a prize otherwise. Funding for the event was done through a combination of a Lehigh Community Event grant and sponsor donations. You can see the event website here: http://acm.cse.lehigh.edu/mobilehigh/.
Lehigh ACM is committed to serving our community. We believe that our position in the Bethlehem community gives us an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of the youth in the area. We hope to continue our existing programs while adding new ones over time.

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