Department Hosts Venezuelan Students for Summer Practicum
For the third 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.
Dr. Daniel Saloni, Assistant Professor of Wood and Paper Science at NCSU, 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. In 2007, Professor Susana Garcia, Coordinator of the Department of Informatics at UCAB, contacted Dr. Mladen Vouk, head of the Computer Science Department to discuss the possibility of a relationship between the two departments. Dr. Robert Fornaro, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the CSC Senior Design Center, stepped up to the challenge and developed a short course in response to Dr. Vouk’s request.
The practicum focused on software development for wireless sensor systems. Students attended lectures and lab sessions daily, with the goal of developing a project of their choice. At the end of the two-week session, students demonstrated what they had learned with poster presentations of their projects for computer science faculty, staff, students and other visitors.
As part of their experience outside of the classroom, the students participated in a tour of RENCI (http://www.renci.org/), and they had the opportunity to sample US culture with visits to a nearby theme park, outlet mall and state park.
The summer practicum has become extremely popular with UCAB students, and faculty, undergraduate and graduate students have enjoyed participating in this international outreach.
“We really enjoy working with our summer practicum students,” says Dr. Fornaro. “We appreciate their energy and enthusiasm for the program and because of their interest and focus, teaching them is a great experience. We look forward to next summer’s class!”
A special thank you to the following computer science faculty and students who made this summer practicum a success: Dr. Robert Fornaro, Margaret Heil, Douglas McClusky, Nathan Green, Drew Boyuka, and Theresa-Marie Rhyne.
Other photos of the team’s visit are available here.
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