Computer Science Day at IUPUI to Feature Industry Leaders, Teachers and Student Competition

Release Date: 
Mar 14 2013

More than 100 high school students interested in pursuing one of the most in-demand careers in the country will gather Friday at IUPUI to compete in the 2013 Computer Science Day. 

Through tests involving programming and problem solving, web development and game programming, students in grades 9-12 will come away from the competition with a deeper understanding of teamwork, software tools and deadlines associated with today’s computer science industry. 

“Events like Computer Science Day at IUPUI are significant in the development of the young people who are going to continue to move this field forward,” said Shiaofen Fang, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Computer and Information Science Department at IUPUI.

“Computer science is essential to the growth of nearly every industry with a focus on the better use of technology,” Fang added. “With more than 20 percent growth in computer science jobs predicted for the next 10 years, it’s important programs like ours at IUPUI continue to train and educate people to fill these high-paying, high-demand positions.”

The competition this year reached student capacity weeks ago, which Fang said is a good sign of more students interested in pursuing a computer science career.

Media Note: This event will serve as a wonderful snapshot into the computer science industry and its economic importance in Indiana and beyond. To arrange interviews with current teachers, industry experts and students, please call David Hosick with the School of Science at IUPUI at 274-4585.

The daylong event will begin with registration at 9 a.m. on Friday in the lower level of the IUPUI Campus Center followed by the competition during the morning session.

Following a lunch break, the event continues with a 1:30 p.m. panel discussion among leaders in the local computer science industry and a keynote presentation by Robert Reed, founder and CEO of RCR Technology Corp. a local information technology consulting firm and one of the leading minority owned businesses in Indianapolis.

Reed, who is scheduled to begin speaking at 2:45 p.m., is a computer science graduate from The Ohio State University. Prior to launching RCR in 1997, Reed worked on top-secret military projects involving the B-2 Bomber, stealth guidance systems and the NASA Space Shuttle program.

Today, RCR employs more than 150 technical consultants in several states and specializes in system integration, business intelligence and cloud technologies. The company’s work in entertainment cloud computing systems has been used to support the last two Super Bowls.

The panel discussion this year adds a key benefit for attendants. Representatives from DataXstream, GyanSys and System Design Group, as well as the headlining sponsors of Appirio and Interactive Intelligence, will discuss the bright future of the computer science industry and those who pursue computer science careers.

“Indianapolis has an exceptional talent pool that is fostered by local universities like IUPUI,” said Steve Pruden, director of consulting services at Appirio. “By opening an office in Indianapolis, we have capitalized on the city’s access to a large, highly educated talent base with close proximity to customers and partners.”

The competition also will serve as the host site for a meeting of the local chapter of the Computer Science Teacher’s Association, the nation’s premier organization for K-12 computer science teachers. Scheduled teacher-training workshops this year will focus on the new AP Principles in Computer Science course and upcoming professional development opportunities at IUPUI for K-12 computing teachers.