2017-2018 projects are under way

The projects for the 2017-2018 academic year are now underway! There are 105 students working on 15 projects. You can see a list of the projects here. Applications will open again in the spring of 2018; you can see more about that on the applications page.

Service Learning Practicum: Vision

How best can a computer scientist contribute to the community? This is the question that drives the existence of the Service Learning Practicum (SLP) in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. The purpose of the SLP is two-fold:

  1. To give students experience with the development of large software projects. This is something that is taught in many courses, but due to the nature of collegiate classes (and the necessity for grades!), few courses allow for the development of large projects in large groups. In the SLP, students work in groups of 6 along with a mentor. The students develop a project in the same manner as a professional development company. All the skills, knowledge, and concepts that they learned in their various classes can be put to use, while learning aspects of teamwork, customer interaction, and management skills.

  2. Developing a project with no purpose is not only boring for all involved, but also a waste of everybody's time. This begets the second purpose of the SLP: to write quality software for nonprofits in our community. This allows the students to interact with a real customer, developing real software with a real purpose. Furthermore, the software will have a real and positive impact on our community.

The SLP has run continuously since the spring of 2012; information on the previous projects can be found here. For the current 2015-2016 academic year, there are 66 students working on 9 different projects. As of the end of the spring 2015 semester, there have been 30 deployed projects; this does not count the 9 projects from 2015-2016 that are currently in development.

 

Get involved!

Are you interested in becoming involved with the service learning practicum? There are a number of different roles, depending on who you are.

Students would enroll in CS 4970 (Capstone Practicum I) in the fall, and CS 4971 (Capstone Practicum II) in the spring. Note that, because they are year-long projects, CS 4970 is a STRICT pre-requisite for CS 4971. As this is now one of the two ways to complete the new BS CS capstone requirement (see here for more details on the capstone requirement), all rising 4th year BS CS majors will be allowed to enroll. All others (BS CS majors below their 4th year, as well as BA CS and BS CpE majors) will be allowed in by instructor permission if there is enough room and enough projects. For more information, see the SLP: students page.

Nonprofits are who we develop the software for. If you are a nonprofit in the local area, and have a need for some quality software, please see the SLP: nonprofits page.

 

Current projects

In the current 2017-2018 academic year, there are 105 students working on 15 projects. Detailed descriptions of the projects can be found here.

  • Amazon Aid: a web portal that allows the nonprofit to share their multimedia assets with users, and allows users to upload assets as well.
  • Cavalier Robotics: A communication management system for the non-profit to organize and keep track of its meeting and team activities.
  • Cville Pride: a site to manage event creation and volunteer sign-up.
  • Housing Virginia: a system to help manage the ArcGIS data, and allow the public to create map visualizations.
  • JAUNT: an operations dashboard to display real-time data gleaned from existing databases.
  • Gordie center: A system to manage the surveys and coordination for registration for a conference on preventing substance abuse.
  • Madison House: the BIG event: to provide a website for users to manage this particular Madison House program.
  • Meals on Wheels: an extension to an existing GPL meals on wheels route organizer. This is an open source project.
  • Piedmont Master Gardeners: a knowledge base, client management, and ticketed response system for the various horticultural questions asked of them. This is an open source project.
  • Service Dogs of VA: a system to keep track of the training of the various dogs that are under their care.
  • Sexual Assault Resource Agency: a system to manage the hours worked by the various employees, and to manage financial information related thereto.
  • UVa ACM: HSPC: a registration system for UVa's high school programming contest (although it is generalizable to any such contest). This is an open source project.
  • UVa CS department: a quiz taking tool for university students. This is an open source project.
  • UVa VP of IT: A UVA initiative to offer state-of-the-art cybersecurity training to all employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is an open source project.
  • Wildrock: a contact management system to keep track of the various individuals involved with, or visiting, the nonprofit.

 

Press Coverage