During W WII breaking the Enigma ciphers gave the Allies a
key advantage, which, according to historians, shortened
the war by two years thus saving many lives.
Approximation of the number of possible keys the Enigma
I have a confession to make; I
am not a member of an ACM
Student Chapter, no such
chapter exists at my university.
That said, it is an excellent
benefit to any student who has
the opportunity to join one.
Student chapters bring
together all students in a given
location (usually a university)
who are interested in computer
science. And the purpose?
That will vary depending on
where you are. The best ones
will organize social activities
and guest lectures, travel to
events, and try to close the gap
bet ween study and profession.
ACM student chapters also have
access to the Distinguished
Speakers Program whereby
top names in the field can be
scheduled to speak at your
event around the globe.
Many chapters are also
involved in community service,
which varies by chapter.
Some offer workshops or
lectures to high schools as well
programming courses or career
guidance to students.
As well as “standard”
chapters, some student
chapters are part of ACM-W.
These chapters offer students
activities and projects that
aim to improve the working
and learning environments for
women in computing.
To find out more take a
look at: http://www.acm.org/
chapters/students. And if
you institution does not have
chapter you can always start
Public Relations for
Computer Science Students
Your life as an undergraduate or postgraduate student is perhaps one of the first steps toward a successful professional or academic career. This is when
you will have the first opportunity to
meet important people regarding your
future and a unique opportunity to let
these people know about you. Since
many students are not equipped with
skills in marketing and promotion,
here are some easy tips that can help
you build your personal brand:
1. Network yourself. You never know
how useful the guy sitting next to you
at a conference dinner or business presentation might be in the future. He
can be your next advisor, employer, colleague. or even the next Turing Award
winner. Take some time to shake his
hand and have a (at least short) discussion with him. Business cards can be
very useful for these cases so prepare
and keep some of them in one of these
what-should-I-put-in-here pockets of
3. Attend communication skills seminars.
Even though many universities offer
seminars and workshops that can help
students improve their so-called communication skills for free, it is very
common for students to view them
as worthless activities. Nevertheless,
some instructors are experts on the
topic and can really help you make a
difference in presenting your work,
joining an interview or even chatting
with somebody. It is a fact that firms
spend significant amounts of money
on similar seminars for their employees so why not trying attending one of
them while in college?
2. Use human language. I think you’ll
agree that CS students usually communicate better with computers rather
than with people. However, although
our PC or Mac may be one of our best
and closest friends in the cyber world,
we still live in the physical one where
people have real bodies and senses and
they use them to communicate with
each other. You may not find words
like “thank you” and “please” in a programming language but believe me,
humans do appreciate them. Moreover, your body is not just a tool to carry
4. Build your professional Web profile.
Take a moment to think about the
tools you use to find information about
things that interest you and you will
soon realize the importance of having
a well-designed and up-to-date personal Web profile. If you manage to compel someone to Google you, you better
give them something more than crazy
pictures of your last vacations. You can
either create a personal website (
helpful for an academic career) or choose
one of the professional social net works
5. Don’t overdo it. Always remember that
you want to promote yourself for a reason. And I guess this reason is not just
being popular on the net!
— Vaggelis Giannikas