CSC News

August 22, 2011

Department Hosts Venezuelan Summer Practicum for Fifth Year

For the fifth year in a row, the NC State Computer Science Department hosted a team of 20 undergraduate students from the Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB), Caracas Venezuela, for a two-week summer practicum.
The summer practicum began 2007 after Dr. Daniel Saloni, Assistant Professor of Forest Biomaterials 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. And just last year, a new practicum for UCAB students was established in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department under the supervision of Dr. Mihail Sichitiu
The computer science practicum focused on software development for wireless sensor systems. Students attended lectures and lab sessions daily and designed 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 to 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 an outlet shopping mall, bowling alley/bistro, and a theme park.
“It’s a highlight of our summer to have the Venezuelan students come to NC State to study each year, “ says Dr. Fornaro. “Our faculty, staff and students really appreciate their enthusiasm and excitement about the program, and we 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, and Ignacio Dominquez.  (As a side note, Ignacio Dominguez, a former student of the Practicum, is now enrolled in our Computer Science PhD program.)

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