Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Traveling ‘roadshow’ ignites students’ curiosity in computer science

Champers Fu
CS Roadshow officers (clockwise from top left) Allen Ting, David Tang, Kunal Mody, Peyton Ausburn, Sujitha Seenivasan, Faiza Rahman, Taara Bhaskaruni and Letizia Fazzini stand in front of the Gates-Dell Complex on Tuesday.

Light boards spring to life with vibrant patterns, igniting the curiosity of a group of middle schoolers and immersing them in a captivating demonstration. Prior to this display, the students discovered the world of computer science through an engaging presentation. 

CS Roadshow, a student organization that visits Austin schools, teaches students how to get involved in computer science. The traveling show involves informational slideshows, interactive coding demonstrations and insightful Q&A sessions. William Bulko, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and club sponsor, spoke to the importance of exposing students to computer science early.

“One of the biggest weaknesses I’ve seen (is that) students don’t come into college very well prepared,” Bulko said. “I’m hoping that by doing (shows), we get people interested (in computer science) early enough so if they think (they) want to be in that same field, they say, ‘I know I need to learn this, (and) I need to take this seriously.’”

Faiza Rahman, a computer science senior and club president, said she works to increase activity within the organization, which was formed in 2015.

“Last year, we had maybe a total of seven events for the whole year,” Rahman said. “Compared to this year, … just last semester alone we had 17 events and, this semester, we have 10 more planned.”

As a member of CS Roadshow since she was a freshman, Rahman said she pushes for more active involvement because she hopes to continue seeing the organization grow.

“I’m really proud of how far it’s come and it’s been really energizing to see more and more people come to the meetings,” Rahman said. “We regularly get at least 30 plus people coming up to us at the meetings (who are) really excited about volunteering with us — I wanted to leave the organization in a good place.”

While the club offers advice for students in Austin, computer science freshman Helen Gordon said the members within the club also receive support.

“(The) officers are really nice, so they’re mentors to us as well,” Gordon said. “We talk about pathways that you can take within computer science, and … they also like giving us advice on (which) upper division classes can be best or which other CS organizations have been helpful.”

Bulko said Rahman has big plans to implement in the club’s future.

“(Rahman) said she wanted to introduce a mentoring role in the future where we have some of our students connect with incoming students and serve as a mentor,” Bulko said. “We had never done that before — I think it’s a wonderful idea.”

Rahman said she loves encouraging students to explore computer science.

“We’re trying to spread this information to as many people as we can because the access to that knowledge can change one kid’s life,” Rahman said. “If we were able to inspire one person to major in CS, … it means the organization has been successful in accomplishing what it wants to do.”

More to Discover