This summer students from all over North Texas and beyond ranging from ages five all the way to seventeen came to the UT Dallas Computer Science department to explore the world of Computer Programming. During the eleven weeks of summer the Center for Computer Science Education and Outreach (CCSEO), operated by Drs. Jey Veerasamy and John Cole, both UT Dallas Computer Science professors, offered over 100 coding camps including residential camps. Each week approximately 200 k-12 student attended different coding camps on subjects that included playing with robots, animations using Scratch, Advanced Problem Solving with Dr. Ivor Page, 3D Printing, Enjoyable Programming using Alice, and an intensive Cyber Defense Camp taught by Kevin Henson of the Cyber Defense Center (CDC) and Cyber Defense Labs.
As part of the summer outreach program, knowledgeable UT Dallas CS students helped with the teaching with guidance from the UT Dallas CS faculty. At the CCSEO, UT Dallas CS Professor and Associate Director of the CCSEO, John Cole, “believes that just as children can learn to read and write earlier than most people believe, they can also be taught the logical processes of programming very young. They key is using age-appropriate programming environments. The CCSEO offers a smooth path from the earliest grades through high school and beyond.”
Summer camp participants were exposed to several programming languages including Alice, Java, C++, as well as Python for the campers who were more advanced and proficient in programming. In general, these camps tend to be geared towards middle and high school students. However, the CCSEO also offers coding camps to early starters (k-5th grade) including 2D animations, Exploring Scratch, playing with robots, and game making with Alice. In summary, the CCSEO caters to campers of every age.
The CCSEO also offered intensive summer courses including Advanced Problem Solving with Dr. Ivor Page and a four-week summer Cyber Defense Camp taught by Kevin Henson of the Cyber Defense Center (CDC) and the Cyber Defense Labs. Dr. Page’s course covers a broad selection of Algorithmic techniques such as recursion, brute force, greedy methods, divide and conquer, and dynamic programming. During the camper’s time with Dr. Page, they become more confident and mature programmers by being exposed to ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) university-level contest problems. The UT Dallas Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, in partnership with the Cyber Defense Center (CDC), continued its second year of offering this course to gifted high school students interested in building the foundation for a future in the field of Cyber Security. The hands-on camp challenged the student with various topics including; web/cloud based security, computer structure and logic, operating systems management, hardware trouble shooting, digital forensics, and network security and architecture. Students were able to work closely with CDC professionals on their projects while training to compete in the national Cyber Patriot Competition. The CCSEO also offer off-site coding camps sponsored by the State Farm Corporation (read more here).
Techy Girls Residential Camp – 16 – 18 year old High School Girls
Dr. Ivor Page’s Advanced Problem Solving Summer Course using Java – High School, Senior High School students, and teachers with programming experience.
Enjoyable Programming with Alice – Ages 10-13
Cyber Defense Camp with Kevin Henson of the Cyber Defense Center – High School students
About the UT Dallas Computer Science Department
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with, over 1,600 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,100 master’s students, 160 PhD students, and 80 faculty members, as of Fall 2015. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.