Computer Science Education Week 2014

#HourOfCode #DCACM #DeVRYOver five days, the DC ACM and DeVry University held free workshops offering individuals the experience of computer programming. We believe broadening access to computer skills is important and are very proud of the diversity our workshops drew.

Our workshops were titled “Hour of Code” events to recognize the connection our local initiative held to the global #HourOfCode initiative. Code.org, a non-profit organization aiming to create access to computer science, led the global effort. According to Code.org, participating individuals and organizations recognized #CSEdWeek by creating #HourOfCode events in over 150 countries worldwide.

Professor Shahnaz Kamberi organized the events with support from DeVry and the DC ACM. The events were held on DeVry’s Crystal City, Virginia campus in honor of National Computer Science education week.

image063We locally offered the following workshops:

  • “Introduction to C++” – taught by Professor Kamberi
  • “Introduction to CISCO Academy” – taught by Professor Alidad Jalinous of DeVry University DC Metro
  • “Introduction to Web Design and Development” – taught by Professors Anne Chandra and Prince Ikegwuono of DeVry University DC Metro
  • “Introduction to Code through Games” – taught by Kamberi & Zumkhawala

Many of our younger participants and their parents encouraged us to offer more coding opportunities in the future. Attendees expressed that they enjoyed coding in C++ and learning about web design. Younger attendees especially enjoyed the #HourofCode studio tools such as “Code with Anna and Elsa”, “The Farmer”, and “Candy Quest”.

image058The goal of Hour of Code workshops is to offer individuals of all ages and backgrounds exposure to computer science concepts. Whether 4 years old or 104 years old, we urge all people to tinker with computers and programming!

Did you participate in the #HourofCode event last week? Tweet us at @dcacm.

For more information, please email info@dcacm.org.

DC Hour Of Code Event

DC ACM and DeVry University (DC Metro) Celebrates Computer Science Education Week!

In honor of code.org‘s Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week, DC ACM is sponsoring DeVry University DC Metro’s Computer Science Education Week at their Arlington, Virginia campus.

To celebrate, a free workshop is offered to the public each day of the week December 8th through 12th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

Finding out more about and register for one of the free workshops through eventbrite: https://devrycsweek.eventbrite.com

We welcome all adults interested in coding. This includes individuals who wish to tinker out of intellectual interest as well as adults who are considering computer programming bachelors degrees. Monday – Thursday’s events are all ages, Friday is for teens only.

Hashtags associated with this event: #devrycsweek #dcacm #hourofcode #csedweek

Spotlight on DC ACM member and Vice-Chair Shahnaz Kamberi

As part of her dissertation research study, “Gam(h)er: How to Increase Girls’ Interest and Knowledge of Computer Science via a Gender Specific Educational Game with Two Dimensional and Three Dimensional Game Components”, Shahnaz Kamberi developed a 2D educational game prototype called Array[7] to teach Java Programming to girls ages 13 – 17 years. She also developed a companion 3D virtual world to the game as the ‘affinity space’; where girls can socialize learn and communicate regarding their game progress. Her study involved conducting all-girl Java programming workshops where the girls played and evaluated the game developed. She also surveyed and quizzed the girls to determine the effectiveness of gender specific game based learning. A total of 78 girls participated in the workshops held at DeVry University Arlington, VA campus. Kamberi is currently analyzing her research results and preparing for her Grace Hopper Conference presentation in October 2014.

To read more about her research please Click Here….

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Girls in the 3D Virtual World

What is the DC ACM?

dcacmlogo2008jpgformatAs the DC ACM embarks on another hopeful year, we find ourselves exploring new collaborative initiatives. The DC ACM is connecting with other organizations to create professional development opportunities for ACM members in the DC metro area. One common initial question asked of me as I introduce our community is “What is the DC ACM?”

We are the DC area chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery. The ACM is a professional association for computing professionals and students. It has a broad membership of over 100,000+ members, internationally. The organization’s mission is to create professional development opportunities for our members. Professional development includes networking opportunities, educational opportunities, and conferences.

IMG_20110915_185852Many members first hear about the ACM in college, as universities with computer science departments naturally have student ACM chapters. For example, several DC area universities, have student chapters, including Howard, George Washington University, American University, and George Mason University. Universities connect with the ACM because it offers many resources tuned to academic research, for example  digital libraries of published academic papers.

A vast number of cities have professional chapters which members can join after graduation. The DC ACM, founded in 1958, is one of these professional chapters. Today, we are an active community group. We openly organize events on our meetup group, communicate on social media (@dcacm), and include non-acm members at our events.

DCACM_Group_Photo_2013-11-14Locally, we create professional development opportunities for our members. Our group creates  opportunities through events; we also connect with events from other organizations in the DC area that are of value to our members.

The DC ACM has evolved quite a bit since 1958. Members who have been around for decades, since the early days of computing, have shared numerous stories of what computing communities were like prior. Why have we changed? Our groups adaptations are intended to complement the elevation of grassroots IT communities and emerging startup companies in DC.

DC ACM members are very technical, possess in-depth practitioner knowledge, and generally hold degrees in computer science or related fields. Our group has many entrepreneurs,  managers, practicing lawyers, programmers, and IT architects. This diversity is an outcome of how many members begin their careers by learning computers and engineering in college, and over time professionally branch out as their professional endeavors develop. As a result, the DC ACM has a wide network of individuals beyond programmers.

Our board consists of five members: Amar Zumkhawala, Chair; Shahnaz Kamberi, Vice Chair; Bob Downs, Treasurer; Ronnie Dasgupta, Secretary; and Ray Van Dyke, Member-At-Large.

As chair, I encourage interested individuals to join (http://dcacm.org/join) and stay in touch. Please consider either joining our meetup group, subscribing to our mailing list, or following us on twitter from our join web page.

Contact the chair of the DC ACM at chair@dcacm.orgacmlogo.png

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Announcing Candidates for 2014

Greetings DC ACM followers! Please read below for our list of 2014 election cycle candidates.  We’ll be voting in the new board at the next meetup on June 30th at WeWork.  We also have 1 vacant spot, and several uncontested spots.

Do you have an interest in creating some local Comp Sci community activity by joining our board or our organizer team? Contact me for details, Andrew Conklin, aconklin@dcacm.org

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GeoGit and MapStory

Big Data, Cloud Computing, and virtual teams are all big trends in the field of computer science. That’s why GeoGit and MapStory are outstanding technologies worth a DC ACM tech talk.

Dr. Chris Tucker. Photo courtesy DC ACM member Gene Gaines.

Dr. Chris Tucker. Photo courtesy DC ACM member Gene Gaines.

On Monday, 3/31, Dr. Chris Tucker, founder of MapStory, discussed various technologies used to help people tell stories through maps. These are no ordinary maps. What makes MapStory stand out is that the maps visualize data and can tell a story through visually presenting data as it changes over time.

The simple idea of telling stories through maps requires very powerful technology. One piece of the technology stack, GeoGit, helps MapStory makes manage the large amounts of data. Based on the concepts of GitHub, the open source GeoGit offers data versioning, change history, and distribution capabilities, much like GitHub, though highly tailored for geospatial data.

Dr. Tucker offered a tremendous amount of technical information on GeoGit, MapStory, GeoNode, and other pieces of technology. His slides are available online.

Attendees listening to Dr. Tucker speak on GeoGit

Attendees listening to Dr. Tucker speak on GeoGit

The event drew a diverse crowd of students, professionals, and hobbyists. We also got a surprise visit from ACM President and Turing Award winner Dr. Vint Cerf! After the educational talk, attendees went out for a SIG-BEER at Capital Brewing Company.

The DC ACM would like to thank Google DC for graciously hosting the well attended event.