In late July, nearly one hundred Chicago Public high school students visited the John Crerar Library building and spent the morning exploring computing concepts. This visit was part of the larger departmental Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) effort which strives for sustained engagement of these students, working with them for multiple years. The group included rising juniors and sophomores drawn from two college readiness and access programs, the Collegiate Scholars and the Office of Special Programs-College Prep, which are run by University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement.

During their visit, students were playfully introduced to core quantum computing concepts via the Quander video games: Queuebits, Qupcakes, Circuits, and Twintanglement codesigned by groups led by Diana Franklin, Associate Professor at UChicago CS, Danielle Harlow, Associate Professor at UC Santa Barbara, and Emily Edwards, Executive Director of IQUIST at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

When not testing the Qaunder games the students interacted with a number of other departmental research groups. They had the opportunity to tour AxLab, the Actuated Experience lab, directed by Assistant Professor Ken Nakagaki. AxLab and DSI Summer Lab researchers demonstrated their tangible creations, including a “smart” gavel, a robot claw that plays catch, and an assistive soccer goalkeeper glove. During an informational session, students learned about Data Science Institute programs including Data4All and Summer Lab from fellow high-school student and Summer Lab participant Jaleel Drones-Akins.

UChicago faculty also offered the students interactive computer graphics and cryptography activities. Assistant Professor Rana Hanocka demonstrated the DALL-E AI model that automatically generates images based on a text prompt, which produced student suggestions such as “a red dragon wearing sunglasses flying over New York City.” Associate Professor David Cash used code-breaking games to get the students thinking about the importance of cryptography for daily online activities such as email and shopping, as well as the need for new encryption standards which anticipate more powerful quantum computers.

The event was part of UChicago Department of Computer Science Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) effort led by Randall Landsberg, which strives to create an inclusive environment where students from all backgrounds can achieve their highest potential. It was a teaser for future ways that the high schoolers might connect with the department. The goal is to see many of them back in Crerar more often and for more in-depth experiences like the four courses and workshops offered this summer that forty of their peers attended.

These three-week offerings included a workshop on HCI, and classes on internet policy, AI, and hacking respectively taught by faculty members Marshini Chetty, Nick Feamster, and Blase Ur. These courses were supported by a grant from the Successful Pathways from School to Work initiative of the University of Chicago, funded by the Hymen Milgrom Supporting Organization.

Related News

More UChicago CS stories from this research area.
UChicago CS News

Fred Chong Receives Quantrell Award for Excellence in Teaching

May 16, 2024
UChicago CS News

Non-Unital Noise Adds a New Wrinkle to the Quantum Supremacy Debate

Apr 05, 2024
UChicago CS News

Argonne scientists use AI to identify new materials for carbon capture

Feb 19, 2024
UChicago CS News

NeurIPS 2023 Award-winning paper by DSI Faculty Bo Li, DecodingTrust, provides a comprehensive framework for assessing trustworthiness of GPT models

Feb 01, 2024
In the News

New research unites quantum engineering and artificial intelligence

Jan 29, 2024

Nightshade: Data Poisoning to Fight Generative AI with Ben Zhao

Jan 23, 2024
UChicago CS News

Group From UChicago CS To Present Four Papers at Most Prestigious International Quantum Conference

Jan 09, 2024
UChicago CS News

UChicago Undergrad Analyzes Machine Learning Models Used By CPD, Uncovers Lack of Transparency About Data Usage

Oct 31, 2023
UChicago CS News

Research Suggests That Privacy and Security Protection Fell To The Wayside During Remote Learning

A qualitative research study conducted by faculty and students at the University of Chicago and University of Maryland revealed key...
Oct 18, 2023
UChicago CS News

Five UChicago CS students named to Siebel Scholars Class of 2024

Oct 02, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Computer Scientists Design Small Backpack That Mimics Big Sensations

Sep 11, 2023
UChicago CS News

UChicago Researchers Win Internet Defense Prize and Distinguished Paper Awards at USENIX Security

Sep 05, 2023
arrow-down-largearrow-left-largearrow-right-large-greyarrow-right-large-yellowarrow-right-largearrow-right-smallbutton-arrowclosedocumentfacebookfacet-arrow-down-whitefacet-arrow-downPage 1CheckedCheckedicon-apple-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-google-t5icon-office365-t5icon-outlook-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-outlookcom-t5backgroundLayer 1icon-yahoo-t5backgroundLayer 1internal-yellowinternalintranetlinkedinlinkoutpauseplaypresentationsearch-bluesearchshareslider-arrow-nextslider-arrow-prevtwittervideoyoutube