Computer Science Club now offers technological assistance
Jene Thomas – General Assignment Reporter
The 10 students circled around the long table with their own separate laptops at hand as they looked intently at the projection screen that displayed coding for the small computer operating system, Linux.
Working with and trying to understand computer codes is only one of the activities that the new computer science club participates in. Although the club was originally established last semester, Sahil Makhijani, president and co-founder of the club, insisted the club began as of this semester.
“We just started this semester,” Makhijani said. “We’ve definitely been around for a while but the club didn’t really do much. It was non-existent.”
While the computer science club was established to provide “a unique and fun environment for people interested in learning about new technology, programming, or any aspect of the digital world,” according to the club’s homepage, the overall goal is to incorporate itself into the community more. They would not only teach and play around with coding, but also help students and local schools with computer problems.
“What we were thinking about doing is some kind of computer work helping kids out around campus if they have problems with their computers or something like that,” said Alec Edwards, sophomore computer science.
Besides individual students, the club also plans on helping campus organizations. Utibeabasi Udo-Okon, computer science major, has been working with the theatre department in helping them redesign their website. They plan on reaching out to more organizations in hopes of establishing relationships.
“It would be nice to see all of the clubs working together,” said Azm Hussain, computer science major and co-founder of the club.
Their work extends past the Southern borders. At 3:30 on Wednesday, Edwards, along with Udo-Okon and fellow club member Robert Hardison went over to Beecher School in New Haven to teach the students on how to make basic computer programs. Their advisor, Dr. Winnie Yu, reached out to faculty to Beecher to express interest in developing a short computer science tutorial during one of the middle school’s afterschool science events.
They develop simple enough programs to keep the students involved, such as an Android app development demonstration. Hussain said he was extremely impressed on how well they understood the development. The club hopes to make this a regularly scheduled event.
On Feb. 21, many club members were invited on behalf of the university’s CRISP program to promote computer science education at the Discovery Museum & Planetarium in Bridgeport. The event was meant for elementary and middle school students who interacted with the club and learned about computers. Hussain said one girl around 12 years old really impressed him when she dove into the technology.
Two members were offered an internship after being observed with the children at the museum. The club is now looking for new members to help carry on their work.
“It’s an opportunity for people who want to develop things,” Udo-Okon said.
Though a majority of them are male computer science major, the one female, Sean Taylor, a sophomore computer science major, said she feels right at home with them. Less than 20 percent of the computer science department is female but that doesn’t deter her. However, the club is open to everyone, whether they are studying computer science or not.
“You don’t need to be a great coder,” Edwards said. “You just need to like computers.”
The club has their social media websites posted on the collegiate link. They meet on Wednesdays during community hour in Jennings 139B. Students and clubs interested in their assistance are encouraged to stop by or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
“All around, we want to give people a better knowledge on how to use computers instead of it being this scary thing that sits on your desk,” said Edwards.
Photo Credit: Jessica Teixeira