University of Sydney IT summer school teaches students to code like a ninja
A University of Sydney national summer school created to provide a fresh environment for bright young high school students wanting to learn about computer-programming celebrated its twentieth anniversary at the beginning of January with predictions it will grow even stronger.
The national computer summer school (NCSS), the brainchild of two University of Sydney information technologies specialists, Professor Judy Kay and Dr Bob Kummerfield, has attracted literally thousands of students over the past two decades. Professor Kay says the school has given young female students in particular an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of computer science, learn how to write or improve their programming skills for software design and development.
“Initially our aim was to attract students into considering a career choice offered by studying ICT-related subjects at university,” Professor Kay said.
“Many of our graduates have gone on to work with tech giants such as Google, Atlassian and IBM.
“Over the years students have told us that the NCSS gave them a completely new experience, was a lot of fun, even when they were spending a slab of their summer holidays in really intensive learning about programming.”
Since its inception, NCSS has increased its scope and reach now includes two other programs: The NCSS Challenge a 5-week online programming competition for secondary school students held in annually in August; and The Girls’ Programming Network (GPN) a program developed and run by girls and for girls. GPN is managed by female IT students mainly from the University of Sydney. Professor David Lowe, Associate Dean (Education) in the Sydney School of Information Technologies, predicts an even bigger future for the computer-programming outreach programs.
“In the next few years as the new Australian Curriculum is adopted, digital technologies will be implemented by every primary and high school in Australia” Professor Lowe said.
“This will see students from Years 3 to 8 being required to learn to code in school, which will be a massive step forward.
“We can see the NCSS Challenge, our online programming competition, becoming even more widely adopted, with many thousands of students participating around the country. Who knows what Year 12 students will be capable of doing during the NCSS summer school—the sky is really the limit!
“We do know that we’ll be able to do much more sophisticated and complex projects because the students will know so much more before they arrive. I can’t wait to see what we could do then.”
Master of Information Technology
The Master of Information Technology has been developed for IT professionals seeking to extend and update their knowledge on advanced computing subjects. The course also provides an excellent retraining opportunity for professionals who wish to move to a new IT specialty. As part of the course students will choose a major from a number of related areas such as digital media technology, software engineering, data management and analytics, biomedical and health informatics, networks and distributed systems, and telecommunications engineering.
The degree also offers a research pathway to eligible candidates planning to pursue a higher degree by research.
Graduates of the Master of Information Technology are IT specialists who possess an excellent combination of knowledge and practical, hands-on expertise to influence and reinforce an organisations technology infrastructure and to support the people who use it. They will often be responsible for selecting and deploying software products appropriate for an organisation. They may also be involved in creating and managing business applications, web sites, systems and the IT environment in all types of industries.
Program: Master of Information Technology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intakes: March and July
Duration: 1.5 years
Application deadline: January 31, 2015 and June 30, 2015; however, it is recommended that students apply a minimum of three months prior to the program start date.