Our graduate programs aim to prepare students to embrace top-notch research and development in their theses and in their future careers.

We have carefully designed our academic programs to include qualifying units that cover areas of study of relevance to each program’s goals. We have created a new unit, the V-Unit, to enable our students and faculty "to grow a Vision" of what computer science and technology can concretely do for society in non-traditional and under-funded areas. Poverty, the environment, cultural differences, health care, energy are just a few examples of areas of great concern to society in general. We want to encourage our graduate students and faculty to grow a vision of how computer science and technology can make a difference and contribute to solving these problems of society.

The V-Unit is implemented as an optional elective unit that students can take for credit. The V-unit corresponds to an effort equivalent to one full course over a semester or summer. Graduate students work with the V-Unit coordinators and other relevant faculty advisors to design their V-Unit effort. We currently envision four types of V-Units:

Survey: students gather information of what is being done elsewhere for studying computing for society
Project: study a specific problem
Course: take a non-traditional course relevant to computing for serving society
Summer: do a summer internship in this country or abroad

Each student will need to write a comprehensive paper and make at least one final oral presentation of the work. Any software or hardware produced through the V-Unit must be made available at the completion of the project.

We hope that the V-Unit will enable all of us to better understand how computing can make a concrete difference to society.

Students can register for the V-Unit under course number 15-891 or 16-891.