Hackathon 2019

Students spent the weekend of April 5th to 7th working on projects that brought Diversity and Inclusion to the forefront. Implementing what they have learned in the classroom to take on real-world problems and present their working solutions to a panel of judges for prizes.

The hackathon included workshops and panels to help students refine their ideas while growing as programmers and team members.

We had an amazing turnout of 49 attendees with 35% of participants identifying as female.

Categories in which students were competing in were beginner best website, beginner best app, advanced best website, advanced best app, top algorithm.

This year’s winners were:

Beginner App:

Zachary Dougherty, Colette Conway, Mark Chandler, Kassy Pak

Beginner Website:

Isha Singh, My Nguyen, Tawny Andrews, Rhea Arora

Advanced App:

Andrew Egly, Olivia Kumar, Faaz Arshad, Alex Wang

Advanced Website:

Razan Said, Peter Chuong, Tuo Sun, Andrew Nguyen

Top Algorithm:

Ziling Wang, Xuanwei Wang, Hao Shen, Edmund Wong, Simon (Mingxin) Lu


Huge thanks to our student organizations that made the Hackathon possible

Thank you all for your amazing support in sending students. Special shout out to Dave Wolber, Matthew Malensek, and Alark Joshi for their support! E-boards of WiT, Diversineers, ACM student chapter and DSA who all made this happen!



Student Profile: Hassan Chadad

CS Graduate Student
Hassan Chadad, MSCS ’19

Hassan Chadad is a graduating Master’s student from Lebanon. As a tutor in the CS Labs, Hassan helps students at all levels to master key CS topics and help them grow as programmers. Hassan has web development experience and is passionate about the education sector, building games and systems that help educate others.

What was the deciding factor to pursue your MSCS at USF?

Pursuing my masters degree in computer science was my top goal but I wasn’t sure where should I do it. First, I chose the United States as my target destination because it is the mother of technology, then I chose the bay area because it is the capital of technology in the United States. But the main reason why I chose USF to pursue my MSCS was because the CS faculty consists of distinguished researchers and accomplished experts that brings real world computing experience into the classroom. Meeting distinguished researchers and experts was enough to motivate me and inspire me to get my degree and change the world.

Tell us a bit about your current role. What is the favorite part of your job or program?

Both my roles are teaching roles. My favorite part of my jobs is seeing how stressed and lost the students are when they come for help and how confident and happy they become after helping them. I chose those jobs because I really love my major and I want every student to love it. I want to help every student overcome the fear of programming and writing algorithms because when they do, they will see how interesting and exciting the major is.

What has been the most surprising part of your career/ studies since starting at USF?

When I started my studies at USF, I was surprised how modest the professors are. I still remember the first day when Professor David Wolber came and sit next to me and we started talking, I didn’t know he was the Department Chair so I was surprised and impressed how modest he is. I know this would seem normal but in my country that doesn’t happen, that’s why it really meant to me. I also was surprised how the professors allow the students to work with them on research. I really liked the idea because it helps students work on fields that interest them; also, it breaks the routine that the student is living in and builds a strong relationship between the professor and the student, so that the student would feel more confident and free to do what s/he feels more interested into.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

My dream is to erase discrimination from the whole world. It really irritates me how people discriminate by gender, skin color, or physical appearance. I have a physical disability and I got bullied a lot when I was a child, it really hurts to feel that you are bullied and discriminated. Bullying and discrimination are very correlated and I think if we raised the new generations wisely, we can at least control the discrimination and decrease the bullying incidents.

What is one piece of advice you would give a current CS student?

My advice to CS students is to stay close to the professors and try to learn from them as much as you can. Each professor has his/her own life experience that would help you make wise decisions and build your future. Work hard and don’t give up. Computer science is a challenging major but it is not hard. Challenge yourself and don’t limit your goals because your major is unlimited.

CS Alumni Mentorship Opportunity

This semester, the Department of Computer Science is partnering with the Alumni Mentor Program (AMP) to help graduating seniors leverage the power of the USF alumni network. AMP is built to connect you to alumni mentors for career advancement, community building, and to share with you the unwritten rules of the workplace. Computer Science alumni are eager to connect with you to help you achieve your goals and build your network.
Here are the details:
  • Use the link below to register for the Alumni Mentor Program
  • Select a mentor from the “Computer Science Department” option on the first page
  • Review the available mentors in the directory, and choose the mentor who is right for you. Space fills up quickly as it is first-come, first-serve
  • Watch the AMP orientation recording to finalize the registration process
  • The Alumni Office will then introduce you to your mentor via email
  • From there, you will connect with your mentor once per month (March – May)
Build your network and connect with a mentor. Sign up today!

Apply Now! Undergrad Newmark WiT Scholarships

The Department of Computer Science is now taking applications for the Fall 2019 Undergraduate Newmark Women in Tech Scholarships! These scholarships will cover at least $5,000 in tuition for Fall 2019.
Female undergraduate students in good academic standing majoring in Computer Science or Data Science with sophomore standing or above are eligible to apply.

We will primarily consider financial need, as well as scholarship, service, and diversity when selecting scholarship recipients. The application will ask for:

  • Name, email, student ID, overall GPA, and major GPA
  • Current financial aid information
  • Details about work outside of class
You will be asked to answer the following essays:

  • If awarded, how will receiving this scholarship contribute to your academic success at USF next year? Please keep your response under 300 words.
  • Please describe your scholarship and service, including concrete evidence where possible. This can include a mix of your GPA, individual class grades, class projects, side projects, research projects, internships, community service and volunteer work, and more. Please keep your response under 500 words.
  • How would receiving the undergraduate Newmark Women in Tech scholarship contribute to your career goals after you graduate? Please keep your response under 300 words.

You will also be asked for the contact information of two faculty advocates. Please be sure to reach out to these faculty members BEFORE submitting this application!

For full consideration, applications must be submitted by March 29, 2019. See http://bit.ly/newmark2019 for details.

Craig Newmark Gives $230,000 to Support USF Women in Tech Initiative

The University of San Francisco’s (USF) Department of Computer Science is thrilled to announce a $230,000 gift from Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, to help fuel the department’s Women in Tech initiative. This extraordinary gift is a continuation of Newmark’s longstanding commitment to supporting gender equality in technology. His goal is to help more women become interested in coding early on in their educational careers and to aid in the fostering of an inclusive environment for all women in tech.

Newmark’s donation will directly impact five areas in Computer Science at USF: the Women in Tech Student Club, a summer girls coding workshop (Girl Tech Power), research opportunities for women in technical disciplines, the sending of students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Tech and the Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Tech, as well as two new scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate women. The primary goal of this initiative is to increase the number of women in the Computer Science and Data Science majors and minors, thereby helping to provide more women with opportunities to thrive in the tech sector. Nationally, about 16 percent of computer science undergraduates are women, while at USF women represent more than 30 percent of Computer and Data Science students. The department has the long-term mission of helping to achieve gender parity in tech.

BSCS Alumni Profile: Marilyn Cruz ’18

BSCS AlumThe University of San Francisco’s Department of Computer Science is a diverse community that welcomes students from all over the world and from many different backgrounds, going on to do incredible things in the world. One such recent alumni is Marilyn Cruz (BSCS ‘18)  and she is making a impact at Snapchat. Continue reading “BSCS Alumni Profile: Marilyn Cruz ’18”

Professor Matthew Malensek Awarded 2018 Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award

This winter, USF Computer Science wants to congratulate assistant faculty member, Matthew Malensek. Matthew was recently awarded the the 2018 Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award from the IEEE technical committee on scalable computing! See photos from the event below. Continue reading “Professor Matthew Malensek Awarded 2018 Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award”

Craig Newmark Thank You Celebration

During the holidays, it is important to give thanks to those that help make USF Computer Science the wonderful place that it is. This year, we were able to send over 30 students to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, engage in a wide-range of research projects, and provide mentorship for many students thanks to the generosity of Craig Newmark. Continue reading “Craig Newmark Thank You Celebration”

17th Annual Computer Science Night

Come join us for the 17th Annual Computer Science Night celebration on Thursday, December 6. Enjoy refreshments while you check out the CS senior and masters projects, and listen to a panel of CS Alumni as they discuss their experiences in the tech industry and current trends in the field. All alumni, students, and friends of USF Computer Science are invited, so please spread the word!

5:30 pm: CS Alumni Reception | Faculty and Staff Lounge (UC 222)
6:30 pm: Student Poster Session, Networking and Refreshments | LoSchiavo Center, Ground Floor
7:30 pm: CS Alumni Panel | McLaren 250

We look forward to seeing you December 6th!

Register now!