CS^2 (CS Squared)

Connect and Support for Computer Science Students

The Problem Space
The Computer Science Department, like many other departments at Brandeis, is home to resources, events, and other helpful tools for their students. But alas, these resources and tools are scattered across various platforms making them inaccessible and unknown to many students, particularly certain underrepresented minority groups in Computer Science who find themselves on the margins of the CS population at Brandeis. These same underrepresented students begin to fall behind in their Computer Science courses as a result of this lack of resources and support that other students may have. This also serves as one factor responsible for the low retention rate for many of these students. We, as a team, wanted to create an effective technical solution to combat this important issue in the Computer Science department. And that is where CS2 comes into play.

The Role of Technology
Technology serves as an excellent mediator between users because it eliminates the physical barriers and boundaries associated with an in-person connection. Technology allows for users to connect and interact without needing to be in the same physical space, or even know the person. For students who may not feel comfortable with in-person interactions because of intimidation or language barriers, for example, having the option to still make these important connections using technology for assistance is extremely important and valuable. Another important advantage of technology is that solutions can exist multimodally for various types of users. Our target user population, as Computer Science students, tends to spend a large portion of their day behind the screen of their computer. But also existing as millennials, these students are constantly mobile and we want to accommodate those needs by allowing this to be accessed from as many different types of devices as possible.


Collaborators: Yixin (Venus) Sun and Xiaodong Qu

Project Proposal