Pre-Sophomore Summer Program in Computer Science

The primary goal of the rising sophomore program is to increase computer science (CS) preparation and exposure to research for participants, especially underrepresented minorities and/or first generation college students, supporting the computer science department’s commitment to access, equity, and inclusion and to enhance the diversity of Cornell's undergraduate student population. Invitation to participate in the workshop will be available on a competitive basis to students who are:

  • Cornell freshmen intending to major in computer science
  • Priority will be given to students who have taken the course CS 2110
Program Structure

Coursework (no course credit)

  • Topics include Discrete Structures, Computer System Organization, Programming, Data Structures: all in preparation for Cornell’s Sophomore-level courses (2800, 3110, 3410)
  • Focus on increasing confidence in problem-solving

Research Exposure

  • Introduce and build awareness of research pathways, including information on graduate schools, how to accomplish research as an undergraduate, and career paths in research
  • Exposure to how CS research can benefit communities, solve local and global problems
  • Provide pathway to future REU experiences through research skills training

Career Exploration Trip to New York

  • Expose students to the vast career opportunities available for CS majors
  • Visits to tech companies (including Google and Amazon). At these company visits, students might tour the workplace and hear from a panel of professionals who have diverse roles and backgrounds in the tech industry.
Program Schedule

When: June 1-26th 2020

Where: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cost: Fully covered (On-campus Housing and Meals, Course Materials, and Instruction, etc.)

Stipend: $1,000 stipend provided to each participant


ELIGIBILITY: Invitation to participate in the workshop will be available on a competitive basis to students who are Cornell freshmen intending to major in computer science.  Priority will be given to students who have taken the course CS 2110.


APPLICATION ESSAY REQUIREMENT: Applicants who wish to be considered for the summer program must submit their first year Cornell transcript along with a diversity essay (max 400 words) that details how the program would benefit them and how they meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Being a member of an ethnic or racial group historically underrepresented in higher education (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic American; permanent residents whose ethnicity corresponds to these groups also meet this criterion)

2. Participant in one of the following programs: McNair Scholar, Mellon Mays Scholar, Posse Program, LSAMP Scholars, Ryan Scholars, NACME Scholars, Pre-Professional Programs (P3), HEOP/EOP, Gates Millennium Scholars

3. Experiences overcoming any significant challenges in your path toward college (examples include, but are not limited to, being a first generation college student, being a Veteran, being a single parent, holding DACA status, and/or managing a disability)

Because success in education requires significant persistence and resilience, you should use your supplemental essay to address how your personal, academic, and/or experiences demonstrate your ability to be both persistent and resilient, especially when navigating challenging circumstances.



QUESTIONS: Professor Eva Tardos, Computer Science,

MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF: Jeff Dean and Heidi Hopper, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs