CS Interview #1: 18-Year-Old App Developer

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted. I have been working on a series of interviews featuring students and young adults involved in interesting CS projects that will be published over the next couple of months. 

For this blog post, I interviewed an incoming Freshman at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). Tyler is a self-taught programmer who plans on studying CS at Cal. Below are the most important points from our interview including information about his new project:

  1. Tyler first learned to program at a young age by downloading random freeware from different indie developers. He watched tutorials on YouTube, read source code and documentation, and watched talks by other developers to learn about programming culture and style.
  2. In order to both dive deeper into his passion for programming and prepare him for university, Tyler participated in Stanford’s STEM to SHTEM program. As part of this program, Tyler and a group of other students were tasked with investigating the compressibility of genomes of different DNA sequences. To do this, they had to take input files of raw sequencing data, construct a pipeline for processing each sequence, then streamline the results into a single format and generate graphs. Tyler said this experience was “incredibly valuable” as it taught him new-found skills in a fun and engaging way. 
Continue reading “CS Interview #1: 18-Year-Old App Developer”

Menlo-Atherton High School’s First Ever Coding Career Conference

Hi again! For a quick reminder, my name is Amelia and I am a sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School (M-A) in Atherton, California. Last year, I founded the Menlo-Atherton Coding Club for Teens – a school club designed to teach coding languages to both members and younger kids in the community. Currently, we host two sessions a week over Zoom as our club has expanded to over 45 active members! A senior at M-A teaches Go (a programming language designed by Google that is similar to C) for the first session, and I partnered with a college student to teach Python for the second session. A few months ago, we had the chance to represent the M-A Coding Club in person for Club Rush, where due to Covid-19 students drove through carpool to learn about the different clubs on campus. Below is an image of me along with two club members at Club Rush.

Our table and banner at Club Rush.

In April of 2021, I led M-A’s First Ever Coding Career Conference- a two day conference where over 40 students joined to hear about different career paths in the computer science area. I had this idea a few months ago as I personally am interested in learning about jobs in the technology sector, and thought about how other students must be interested too! The mini conference over Zoom was centered around the theme of the advantages and disadvantages of tech jobs at big companies versus small companies. 

Continue reading “Menlo-Atherton High School’s First Ever Coding Career Conference”

Introduction to FRC 2021 Season: M-A’s Robotics Team

Hi, my name is Amelia and I am a sophomore in high school based in Menlo Park, California. I am very involved in promoting computer science in my community through robotics and computer science clubs. I help lead the Menlo-Atherton High School’s Robotics Team that participates in the First Robotics Competition (FRC) every year.

A typical season consists of 16-hour weeks working tirelessly to brainstorm, prototype, build, and, my favorite part, program our robot. The image below highlights our robot from the 2020 season – Infinite Recharge. The objective was to design a robot that could work with an alliance to shoot foam balls into a variety of goals for points and balance a monkey bar, called the Shield Generator, for end game. I specifically worked on the hook mechanism; I designed a hook that could lift the robot up, and then move along the monkey bar in order to balance it. 

Our robot for the 2020 Infinite Recharge season
Continue reading “Introduction to FRC 2021 Season: M-A’s Robotics Team”

Team ‘It’s Spelt Bolognese’: UCT to SCC

By Leanne January, student at the University of Cape Town

I was introduced to the Student Cluster Competition by Jehan, one of the members of the previous UCT team who had won the competition last year (2018). Fresh off their win, Jehan came to my Computer Science lecture in the first week of term to tell us more about the Cluster Competition and encourage us to find a team. We had until April, when the competition sign up opened, to find a team – two of which would be chosen by the SCC to represent UCT. Jehan would act as the mentor for both teams, and he promised lots of workshops before the first round to familiarise all of us with the content we would need to do well. 

At this point, I had just switched faculties and didn’t know any of my Computer Science peers very well. Although I was interested in the competition, the prospect of finding a team was rather daunting. Luckily for me, one of the requirements of the competition is that every team needs at least one female member – and in a male dominated class there aren’t really a lot of females to choose from. It was not long before I was asked to join a team to which I excitedly agreed. 

Continue reading “Team ‘It’s Spelt Bolognese’: UCT to SCC”