This page can also be reached using: bit.ly/CoolCS
[Visiting Your School] [Presentations] [Demos] [Statistics] [Chicago CS Programs] [Teacher Resources] [FAQ]
Computer Science is cool! Take a look at the demos below.
This is part of the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Please visit this page if you are interested in attending a CS Open House event. Also see news on a special $10K/year scholarship program.
We have an engaging message geared towards encouraging students to consider taking more Computer Science classes in High School, combining puzzles, hands-on activities, videos, and other visual examples.
Please contact us if you would like a visit to your classes.
Contact: Elena Lathos, Program Coordinator. email: Tel: 312.413.4950
See the summary of topics used in high school presentations.
What Others are Saying: [See even more]
...The presentations have been engaging, exciting, and the students love them. Dr. Reed helps put a human touch to the notion of studying Computer Science at the college level. ...I encourage teachers of all grades to invite Dr. Reed to visit their classes.
- Jeff Solin National Board Certified Teacher, Computer Science Department, Northside College Prep
Professor Reed brings a certain charisma to his presentation that keeps the students mesmerized. Many of my students didn't want to leave after the bell rang because they had so many questions for him. His presentation was both dynamic and packed full of useful information. ... His presentation left students with a sense of magical wonder in technology which is exactly what we need to instill in this future generation.
- Stirling Crow Von Steuben Metro Science Center
...Several parents came into parent-teacher conferences telling me that their students are now considering pursuing computer science in college.
- Doug Allee Oak Park / River Forest High School
... Long after the enthusiasm generated by your visit, a number of students (months later) come in with questions they have from exploring college CS curriculums on line.
- Sam Polki, Lane Tech High School, Computer Science Teacher
...Excellent job. He has a thorough knowledge of the subject and captivated his audience... I wish I was going back to college....
- Mark Nance Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka, Alaska
Link straight to these demos using: bit.ly/CSDemos
Got something cool for this list? email the link to me at:
Want to see some cool stuff in person? Come to one of our UIC CS Open House events.
Random number generator [Written by Pat Troy, UIC]
Fall '08 Open House PowerPoint presentation (video links don't work, however).
Fall '07 Open House PowerPoint presentation, See the Fall '06 PowerPoint presentation. (Alternatively see the video [98MB avi] corresponding to the Fall'05 version.)
Browse the directory of older versions of PowerPoint presentations.
See some statistics on CS enrollment, employment, and rankings.
What are career options in Computing? ACM addresses this question.
What is the difference between different computer-related majors? See the excellent Computer Curricula 2005 Report on this page (or locally here [pdf]) that describes the difference between Computer Engineering (CE), Computer Science (CS), Information Systems (IS), Information Technology (IT), and Software Engineering (SE).
Diversity has its advantages, as CS Dept. Head Pete Nelson comments in this Chicago Sun Times editorial article.
If you think a good CS education is expensive, consider the cost of failure: Well-known software Failures, Peter Neumann's RISK site, and History of Project Failure Blog.
At UIC we are part of the IMPACTS Alliance*, a consortium of Chicago-area universities supporting CS education. When looking at school options, it is important to find the best fit. For each school consider average ACT, private vs. public, average class size, cost, and program emphasis. Here are some options for you to pursue for a Computer Science degree in the Chicago area, listed in alphabetical order:
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
Loyola University Chicago (LUC)
University of Chicago
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)
Though not in the immediate Chicago area, many students from the Chicago area also attend:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
An alternative pathway is to attend a community college for 1-2 years and then transfer to one of the above programs.
* IMPACTS Alliance is funded in part by the National Science Foundation
Scratch is a a captivating 2-D environment that makes it easy for 7+ year-olds to create 2-D animations and upload their interactive creations to the web.
Alice is a great free drag-and drop 3D development environment for learning programming, often used with kids 12+ years old
Greenfoot gives more user control for Java programming, used with kids 14+ years old
This page gives pros/cons on the above and gives tutorial links, suggesting moving from Scratch to Alice to Greenfoot.
In the near future (Fall 2010?) use Scratch-like tools to program an Android phone using App Inventor.
AnimationCreate frame-by-frame stick figure animations using Stykz (PC/Mac). This is a multi-platform free program similar to Pivot. Download additional figures to use at Droidz.org. [Thanks to Mark Nance, Mt. Edgecumbe HS in Sitka, AK]
PortableApps.com allows you to load free useful software on your flash drive and take it with you.
See light-Bot for a nice flash game introduction to the need for subprograms
To capture YouTube videos to show as demos to your class, consider using keepvid. To capture screen shots a very nice program is Camtasia's Snagit, offered as a 30-day free trial, and at a discount to educational users.
Looking for programming assignment ideas? See the Nifty Assignments page. See also old programs used at UIC.
In the Chicago area consider joining the Chicago Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) at http://cstachicago.ning.com
SIGCSE is the ACM Special Interest Group for Computer Science Educators. The yearly conference provides a wealth of resources and ideas for CS teachers at both the high school and college level.
MSDN offers subscriptions for High Schools of Microsoft system products, such as Visual Studio and Windows 7, at prices ranging from $299 to $799 per year for a site license.
Check out descriptions from the ACM of what computer scientists do. See also http://www.imageofcomputing.com/resources.html
For sources, please visit http://logos.cs.uic.edu/recruit/CSStatistics.htm
Funding for this material has been provided in part by the National Science Foundation BPC Program (Broadening Participation in Computing), Award CNS-0837480. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Last Update: April 7, 2012