Tag Archives: Department of Computer Science

TSU, Google partner to help prepare computer science students for the workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Google have partnered to help prepare students for a competitive workforce.

TSU is one of 10 historically black colleges and universities participating in the Google in Residence Program, which uses the technology giant’s engineers to teach introductory computer science classes, as well as help students further develop soft and technical skills.

ali-sekmen
Dr. Ali Sekmen, chair of the Department of Computer Science

“The Department of Computer Science students are in high demand with strong technical and soft skills,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, who chair’s the department. “The GIR program will further make our program and students stronger with understanding of state-of-the-art technical skills and intense interview processes of top software engineering companies.”

Google said in a statement that it’s pleased to be at TSU “as part of our commitment to encouraging greater diversity in the tech sector.”

“We’ve been impressed with Dr. Sekmen’s commitment to his students and look forward to our continued partnership with the TSU CS faculty through the Google in Residence Program,” the company said.

The Google team at TSU consists of a tech programs specialist and an instructor who teaches an introduction to computer science course, which Google helped develop. The Google instructor and a computer science faculty teach three sections of the course together.

While the introductory class is mainly for freshmen, both Google team members provide assistance to all students to help prepare them for opportunities in the tech field. TSU officials say they hope the prep will increase internship and employment opportunities for TSU computer science students not only with Google, but companies like IBM and Microsoft.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove is dean of TSU’s College of Engineering, which includes the Computer Science Department. He lauded the Google-TSU partnership, saying it could help fill the nearly 1,300 IT-related job openings in the Nashville metropolitan area.

“The growth of the IT field here has been phenomenal,” Hargrove said. “We have an opportunity with our computer science program that offers to help fill that workforce need here in Middle Tennessee and contribute to the growth in the city.”

TSU computer science major Ryan Stubbs of Newark, New Jersey, said mock interviews he’s had with the Google instructor have been particularly helpful.

“I know what to prepare for,” said Stubbs, a senior. “The instructor is a great resource.”

Timothy Darrah of Hutchinson, Kansas, agreed. The senior computer science major believes the insight and real-world experience provided by the Google team at TSU is especially beneficial to freshmen.

“When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t know what the end of the road looked like,” he said. “Seeing what they (freshmen) can do, what they can become, it provides a lot of motivation for them to exceed and do better than what they normally would.”

Google is a multinational, publicly traded organization built around the company’s hugely popular search engine. Google’s other enterprises include Internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and Web app, browser and operating system development.

To learn more about TSU’s Department of Computer Science, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/computer_science/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

TSU Students Travel the World for Cultural Experiences, Academic Enhancements

Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)
Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they traveled nearly 6,000 miles and immersed themselves in a foreign culture to gain a unique perspective of the world around them.

For three weeks in May, students from the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities during a study abroad program in Turkey.

“We want this to be a part of a student’s TSU educational experience,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor of Computer Science, who traveled with the students. “This was a very different type of academic program for our students with a lot of flexibility.”

While the classes took place on university campuses throughout the country, Sekmen said student assignments and programming practices were done in the hotels and coffee shops while they interacted with their Turkish counterparts.

“It truly was a global experience,” he added.

The students visited Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir, and were hosted by Bilkent University (the top university in Turkey, ranking 98 in the world), Antalya International University, and Izmir University of Economics. Sekmen pointed out that the students were required to satisfy the requirements of a MayMester course, specifically Java Programming.

“Its important to remember that even though this was a cultural immersion, there is also the academic requirement,” added Sekmen. “We conducted 37.5 hours of teaching while the students took a midterm and final just as if they were back in the states.”

While students earned credits in programming, they also received the cultural experience that study abroad offers, said Sekmen. The group visited Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Topkapi Palace, Thermoses and other cultural sites.

“In each city, our students had Turkish student ‘buddies’ with whom they developed a close friendship,” he said. “The group visited university administrators, the vice governor of Antalya, and some Turkish families.

That was an important aspect of the trip for Maggie Fitts, a junior Health Science major. Studying abroad, she said, was an adventure and learning experience all in one that allowed her to gain new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.

“This opportunity allowed me to study issues more in-depth from a cultural perspective,” Fitts said. “Outside the classroom, my personal education was enhanced through the daily interaction in Turkey’s culture with our host families. I can honestly say this was an experience that helped me grow personally and mentally.”

The TSU study abroad program, in conjunction with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, or TnCIS, offers a range of initiatives to broaden the University’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Combined, more than 30 programs are offered to destinations across the globe.

In the past year, more than 100 students from TSU have traveled across the world, studying in, among other countries, Costa Rica, China, Colombia, India, Germany, Italy and France.

According to Mark Brinkley, director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, students gain real-life experience on the global stage through the study abroad program.

“This is very consistent with the University’s position on enhancing global educational opportunities for our students,” said Brinkley. “This is a transformational experience for most students. It gives them an opportunity to expand their critical-thinking skills, and to look at the world a little differently through the lens of someone else from another country.”

For more information on education abroad, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at 615.963.7660.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.