UCLA Computer Science Department
Alumni Advisory Board
Fall 2015 Meeting
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Faculty Center, Sierra Room
Board Members: James Anhalt, John Busch (via Skype), Alfonso Cardenas, Tim Ford, Lorraine Fesq, Tim Ford, Bill Goodin, Francis Nickels, Dorab Patel, Ben Zamanzadeh
Guests: Rizwan Kassim, Gary Loo, Diana Skaar, Ning Ning Yu, Mario Geral, Laurie Leyden, Cassandra Franklin
Student Leaders: Fay Wu (ACM), Josh St. Clair (UPE)
Department Update – Mario Gerla, Chair
Please see attached PowerPoint presentation.
Three new faculty members have joined this year in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence. He anticipates that these areas will become Department strengths.
Approximately 100 more first-year CS and CSE students enrolled this fall than in past years. This mirrors the trend at other universities, and will stretch department resources.
There was a lot of discussion about how to increase the number of women in the CS major. Last school year, the number of women undergraduates in CS was 16 percent. The Department is working very hard to increase this percentage. There was a suggestion that Prof Korf attend the next AAB meeting to listen to the feedback regarding how many TAs are not well prepared for supporting female CS students.
The Department sent 20 female compute science students to the Grace Hopper Celebration in Houston in October; and they were all thrilled with the experience. The Department plans to send more female students to the conference next October in Houston. It costs approximately $1000 per student; so donations from alumni and industry would be welcome.
The group also discussed the possibility of creating scholarships for incoming female first-year students. Electrical Engineering has started a fast-track program with 21 freshmen, who were among the top applicants to the department this year. Eight of the 21 are women. They were offered a small scholarship to come to UCLA at the same time as they were offered admission. Perhaps computer science can do something similar.
There was also a discussion about how to improve the soft skills of computer science students, which are very important for success in the workplace. It would be difficult to add a course on this subject to the already packed undergraduate curriculum; but it may be possible for ACM and UPE to help with this issue. Some undergraduate students participate in the UCLA Extension Technical Management Program, which is one-week long. It is designed to help technical professionals improve their soft skills, http://tmp.uclaextension.edu/.
Student group presentations:
ACM: Created a program for non-CS majors called init, which is designed to expose them to computer science concepts. Held several tech workshops and company tours. Started an ACM Speaker Series (first speaker was Leonard Kleinrock, second speakers were Tim Ford and James Anhalt). Held a Women in CS Speaker Series. Started a mentorship program to help lower division women in CS. Started the UCLA Chapter of ACM-W, with Prof. Miryung Kim as the Faculty Advisor. ACM and UPE collaborated with HKN and IEEE on two career fairs for start-up companies this fall and winter. Approximately 30 companies and 500 students attended the fall career fair.
UPE: Inducted 37 new members this quarter. Focused heavily on mentorship, career preparation, and tutoring. Held workshops to introduce younger students, many of which aren’t in HSSEAS, to what the CS major is like, as well as guided these students to creating their resumes and finding their first internships. Career development chairs have held many interview prep sessions, where they have gone through typical problems found in software engineering interviews, and as always, the tutoring chairs have been doing a fantastic job preparing students for the lower division midterms. Created a new position of Alumni Outreach Chair, and looking to build connections with alumni next year, hopefully through a dinner or panel.
The Honors-Affiliate Mixer was held on the evening of October 12, which was the same day as the CS Affiliate Internship/Career Fair (afternoon). The afternoon career fair filled the CNSI lobby to capacity. The Honors-Affiliate Mixer was also well attended in the CNSI board room. This was the first time that this event was held during fall quarter; and we plan to continue this arrangement.
The Entrepreneur Panel will be held during winter quarter. Eytan Elbaz will again be invited to organize the panel and serve as moderator.
Phone calls to admitted high school students will again be conducted in late March and early April. Alumni and current students will try to reach as many as time permits. More than 20 alumni and nearly all ACM and UPE officers made the calls last year.
Open House will be held on Sunday, April 17; and we encourage every board member to participate, and help us convince the admitted students to choose UCLA. The morning event for all admitted engineering students and their parents will again be held in Pauley Pavilion.
We believe that the calls to the seniors and the presentations at Open House help to increase the number of seniors who accepted their offer to attend UCLA this fall.
Alfonso Cardenas asked each Board member to make sure that his or her information on the website is correct, https://www.cs.ucla.edu/alumni-advisory-board-members/
Due to recent resignations from the Board, we are seeking new members. Several of our guests expressed interest in joining the board.