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National Computer Science Education Week to be observed Dec. 8
By Melissa Vasquez
Posted: 12/02/2009
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The week of December 7 has been designated National Computer Science Education Week by the U.S. House of Representatives and The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Computer Science will celebrate it for the first time with an afternoon dedicated to the technology field.


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“Computer Science Education Week focuses on improving computer science education at all levels and motivating students to increase the participation in the field,” said Dr. Laura Grabowski, computer science assistant professor and one of several faculty organizers of the event. “A celebration at UTPA will help highlight computer science as a discipline and as a potential career field for our students.”

To observe the week, the Department of Computer Science will be hosting an informative session on the field Tuesday, Dec. 8, noon at the Engineering Building, Room 1.272. Computer science faculty will be sharing their research interests and job-related anecdotes with the UTPA community, particularly freshmen and sophomores interested in the computer science field. In addition, the Office of Career Services will be on hand to discuss the many career possibilities available in the discipline. Pizza and refreshments will be provided to attendees.

Grabowski said the session is open to all individuals interested in learning more about the UTPA computer science department. The department currently offers undergraduate degrees in computer science with the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program accredited by ABET, the national accrediting agency. The department also partners with the Department of Electrical Engineering to offer a bachelor's degree in computer engineering. In addition, it offers master's degree programs in computer science and information technology.

“The faculty of the department is diverse with a wide range of teaching expertise and research interests. The department places a strong emphasis on quality in both teaching and research. Many of our students had gone on to be hired by important companies such as IBM, Lockheed Martin, Exxon, Intel, Xerox and many others,” Grabowski said.

According to Grabowski, computer science touches nearly every aspect of everyday life, from cell phones to medicine. She said there will always be a demand for computer science professionals in all facets of the field with good salaries and an array of opportunities being offered.

“In terms of the problems that our country and planet face, computer science can help find solutions in areas such as increasing energy efficiency, improving and reducing the cost of health care and improving communication. Computer science also enables innovation in science, technology, engineering, education and medicine,” she said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed resolution H. RES. 558 in June 2009 to raise awareness and increase the understanding and interest in computer science and computing careers among females and underrepresented minorities, public, and schools and universities.

For more information on the event, call the Department of Computer Science at 956/381-2618.