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
Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.