Highlights from the Founding of CSMore through 2020

The CSMore program provides "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." “There’s a big step up from the introductory freshman courses,” notes √Čva Tardos, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Science, outgoing CIS Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and current Chair of the department. 

With Hakim Weatherspoon, associate professor of computer science and newly appointed CIS Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and senior lecturer Anne Bracy, Tardos "began developing the program after noticing that disproportionate numbers of underrepresented minorities were dropping sophomore computing courses. In addition to providing an academic boost, she said, the pre-sophomore program will help build a community of diverse students who can support each other."

The pre-sophomore course joins existing Computing and Information Science programs aimed at diversifying the field. The SoNIC Summer Research Workshop, now in its eleventh 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.

“This program was amazing,” notes Oluwatise Alatise, a Cornell Engineering student who after experiencing CSMore plans to continue pursuing a computer science degree. “Especially for underrepresented minorities," she remarks, "CS is more about exposure and experience than knowing theory. The more time and exposure you have to the content, the more comfortable you are with it, and the better people can do. So this program is definitely breaking barriers in that it’s trying to level the playing field for those who didn’t always have that exposure.” Moreover, “Cornell is a big campus full of resources, and we get overwhelmed by all the opportunities sometimes,” she said. “So it was really nice to have it condensed in three weeks, and focused and narrowed.”

Testimonial

"The CSMore program was a very informative and unique program to be apart of. In this program, I was able to explore my field of interest in more depth and also form close connections with my peers and the faculty. This program helped me feel more comfortable in my chosen path of study and solidify my careers goals." —Eaveryll Henriquez