Calling all high school student interested in engaging in cutting-edge computer science research while making new friends on a college campus!
UC Irvine is now accepting applications for the ICS Summer Academy, housed in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). Apply by March 17th and register for one or two of the following four course offerings:
- Data Analytics,
- Cryptography & Security,
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, and
- Software Engineering.
The first two course are offered during Session I, which runs from July 8 – July 19, while the latter two courses are offered during Session II, which runs from July 22 – August 2. Each two-week session will take place Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building at UCI. Students can register for one course per session.
“Programs like the ICS Summer Academy leave a lasting impact on participants, shaping their higher education aspirations,” says Julie Lindo, Director of Outreach for the ICS Office of Outreach, Access & Inclusion. “This unique opportunity allows participants to network with UCI ICS faculty and Ph.D. candidates, undergraduate students, staff, and fellow high school students sharing similar goals.”
Building on Success
The motivation behind the ICS Summer Academy, which first launched in 2022 with the “Data Analytics” course, was to expose high school students to the ever-growing field of computing and its wide variety of topics and practical applications. In its second year, the academy expanded to cover AI and ML.
“The 2023 ICS Summer Academy achieved remarkable success,” says Lindo. “Participants in both courses made practical use of an Alzheimer’s research database, applying skills and methods acquired during lectures.” Each course culminated in a group capstone project, wherein participants explored various database areas, analyzing their hypotheses while integrating lecture and lab topics.
“Feedback from participants and their parents/guardians underscored the demand for additional courses to deepen understanding across the vast spectrum of information and computer sciences,” says Lindo. “In response, we are pleased to introduce two new offerings.” Now it its third year, the Academy is again expanding to cover cryptography and security, as well as software engineering.
Interested students (incoming 9th graders through graduating 12th graders) must apply online by March 17, 2024. The application is short but does require the name, title and email address of a teacher, principal or school administrator who (when contacted) can submit a letter of recommendation (due March 20, 2024).
There is no application fee, and the $2,500/session cost covers lunches and snacks, and all materials required, including a laptops with all software needed for the course (need-based scholarships are also available). Each cohort should be around 30 students, and students will get to tour the UCI campus; visit research labs in the School’s Departments of Computer Science, Informatics, and Statistics; and explore career pathways in the many related fields of computing.
“Participants bond over shared experiences, from their lunches at Brandywine and campus tours, to engaging visits to the UCI FIBRE Lab, the Bonney Research Lab, and the Esports arena, and attendance at workshops focusing on majors and UC admissions,” says Lindo. “I eagerly anticipate meeting the new cohort of students and learning about their future aspirations and goals.”
— Shani Murray