CSC News

August 18, 2010

Venezuelan Summer Practicum Returns for Fourth Year

For the fourth year in a row, the NC State Computer Science Department hosted a team of 18 undergraduate students from the Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB), Caracas Venezuela, for a two-week summer practicum.

The summer practicum began in 2007 after Dr. Daniel Saloni, Assistant Professor of Wood and Paper Science at NC State, and alumnus of UCAB, initiated the connection between NC State and UCAB. Summer programs in Industrial Engineering and Civil Engineering have been in place for several years. Professor Susana Garcia, Coordinator of the Department of Informatics at UCAB, worked with Dr. Mladen Vouk, head of the Computer Science Department, and Dr. Robert Fornaro, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the CSC Senior Design Center, to develop a short course for the summer practicum in Computer Science. 
The practicum focused on software development for wireless sensor systems. Students attended lectures and lab sessions daily to develop a project of their choice. They also had an opportunity to develop applications for the new generation of Android phones. At the end of the two-week session, students demonstrated what they had learned for computer science faculty, staff, and students.
The students were also able to experience some American culture outside of the classroom with visits to area attractions including a state park, a shopping mall, and a theme park.
The summer practicum has become extremely popular with UCAB students, and faculty, undergraduate and graduate students have enjoyed participating in this international outreach. In fact, a new practicum for UCAB students was established this summer in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department under the supervision of Dr. Mihail Sichitiu.
“We look forward to the Venezuelan students coming to NC State to study each summer, “ says Dr. Fornaro. “We especially appreciate their excitement about the program – our faculty, staff and students really enjoy working with them.”
A special thank you to the following computer science faculty, staff and students who made this summer practicum a success: Dr. Robert Fornaro, Margaret Heil, Marhn Fullmer, Douglas McClusky, Jared Smith, Matt Zizzi, and Sam Hensley.


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