A three-person Google team was on campus to conduct a one-week intensive in Applied Computer Science (ACS). Sponsored by the Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center (LILAC), the course gave students interested in developing their computer science skills the chance to create games and apps with AppEngine and Android.
“The first couple of days, we learned the basics of the Android student platform,” explains Kellie Dinh ’19, a computer science major and Cities minor who participated in the intensive. “The last portion we formed groups, came up with a project idea, and then saw it through to create a sample project that we can use on our resumes and in our portfolios.”
The Google engineers, who present the course on campuses around the country, teach students how to apply important concepts from data structures and algorithms through simple Android programming.
The program helps students practice for real-time work, to connect the dots between what they're learning in academics to what they might do in a software engineering career.
Many of the imaginative apps designed by the students drew on College themes—Bryn Mawr lingo, the owl, the Blue Bus.
For their project, Dinh and her collaborators—Elizabeth Chan ’19, Nanda Bhushan ’19, and Mikal Hayden-Gates ’19—created an app to facilitate conversations around Bryn Mawr and the Bi-Co community.
“It is similar to a truth-or-dare style,” she explains, “where you choose either truth or dare and it gives you either a question or some prompt that you can use to facilitate discussions and get to know each other—just break the ice.”
Dinh gives the workshop high marks: “Many employers don’t think of liberal arts colleges as producing many software engineers or tech-minded people. To have a company like Google come to campus and put these resources in front of us really helped show where we could go with a computer science degree from Bryn Mawr."
Plus, she appreciated the chance “to make a project that we can show off to potential employers, our family and our friends—to show something I made myself using the skills I learned at Bryn Mawr.”