Google-funded mentorship program encourages undergrads to develop hidden talent for computer science
Colorado School of Mines’ Computer Science Department has received funding from Google to create a mentorship program to encourage undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to pursue graduate education and research in computer science.
The CS@Mines Developing Hidden Talents program launches in February and is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors majoring in science, technology, engineering or math fields at any two- or four-year university. Funding for the program comes from a Google exploreCSR award.
“Research shows that companies who have a more diverse workforce have better innovation. It’s been proven – they innovate better and they are better able to compete, adapt to change and have stronger financial results,” said William Hoff, professor of computer science who oversaw the grant application. “Encouraging diversity in computer science is nothing new for CS@Mines, and through Developing Hidden Talents, we hope to make the case to even more students, and especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, about the advantages of pursuing graduate studies and research in computing here at Mines or wherever their paths take them.”
Students who participate in the free program will be partnered up with a CS@Mines graduate student mentor and experience hands-on CS research, culminating in a research symposium in which undergrads will present their work. All meetings will be held in virtual reality, with Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets provided to all participants.
“We just want to get students excited about the notion of doing research,” Hoff said. “Computer science is a very broad field with lots of applications. Just in our department, we have three overlapping research areas – intelligent systems, which includes things like machine learning, robotics, computer vision and augmented reality; systems, which looks at topics like high-performance computing, cybersecurity and networking; and algorithms, whether classical, learning or game-theoretic.”
For more information about CS@Mines Developing Hidden Talents, go to https://cs.mines.edu/hiddentalents/. The deadline to apply is Jan. 19, 2021, with the program expected to run from February through late April.