As Cornell CS prepares to launch its inaugural Pre-Sophomore Summer Program in Computer Science, it awaits applications from interested Freshman majors (due by January 31, 2020). In particular, the program aims to increase diversity in the field by encouraging underrepresented minorities to apply. The brief transition period between Freshman and Sophomore years can be a daunting one, so the Pre-Sophomore Summer Program is designed to support, inspire, and guide students as they navigate to success.

In her article for the Cornell Chronicle, Melanie Lefkowitz, picks up the story:

"[...] For many underrepresented minorities – who in spring 2019 comprised nearly 13% of computer science majors – a dearth of fellow students who look like them, combined with subject matter they may not have encountered in high school, can be discouraging.

"The Pre-Sophomore Summer Program in Computer Science, taking applications for this summer until Jan. 31, aims to help support students [address these specific issues]. The all-expenses-paid four-week course will provide rising Cornell sophomores with instruction in discrete structures, computer system organization, programming and data structures – all with the goal of better preparing them for challenging sophomore-level computing classes.

"[...] The pre-sophomore course will join existing Computing and Information Science programs aimed at diversifying the field. The SoNIC Summer Research Workshop, now in its 10th year, teaches undergraduate and master’s students state-of-the-art methodologies in cloud computing and data analytics; and the Summer School on Designing Technology for Social Impact explores designing technologies to promote positive social impact and alternative perspectives. Both programs seek to encourage diverse computer science students to pursue graduate-level research.

"[...] A lack of diversity in computer science is a national problem, in both academia and industry. Although African American and Latino students are still underrepresented in Cornell’s computer science majors, the numbers are steadily growing: In 2018, nearly 11% of Cornell’s computer science majors were underrepresented minorities, compared with 7% in 2017."

Read the complete article in the Cornell Chronicle.