CSC News

September 12, 2012

Department Welcomes Venezuelan Summer Practicum for Sixth Year

For the sixth 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, to develop a short course for the summer practicum in Computer Science.
The computer science 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 shopping malls, a bowling alley/bistro and the North Carolina beaches.
“We enjoy seeing the exchange of cultures and observing the students’ approach to learning,” says Dr. Fornaro.  “We’re always impressed by their spirit of adventure – they’re coming to a different country, many for the first time, sometimes struggling with language, but always dedicated to learning.” 
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, Douglas McClusky, and Ignacio Dominguez.


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