CSMore: The Rising Sophomore Summer Program in Computer Science

The primary goal of the rising sophomore summer program (CSMore) is to increase computer science (CS) preparation and exposure to research for participants, especially underrepresented minorities and/or first generation college students, supporting the computer science department’s commitment to access, equity, and inclusion and to enhance the diversity of Cornell's undergraduate student population. 

1. In the News
2. Testimonials
3. Program Structure
4. Program Schedule
5. Applying to the Program
1. In the News

The CSMore program provides "rising Cornell sophomores with instruction in discrete structures, computer system organization, programming and data structures—all with the goal of better preparing them for challenging sophomore-level computing classes." “There’s a big step up from the introductory freshman courses,” notes Éva Tardos, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Computer Science, outgoing CIS Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and current Chair of the department. 

With Hakim Weatherspoon, associate professor of computer science and newly appointed CIS Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and senior lecturer Anne Bracy, Tardos "began developing the program after noticing that disproportionate numbers of underrepresented minorities were dropping sophomore computing courses. In addition to providing an academic boost, she said, the pre-sophomore program will help build a community of diverse students who can support each other."

The pre-sophomore course joins existing Computing and Information Science programs aimed at diversifying the field. The SoNIC Summer Research Workshop, now in its eleventh year, "teaches undergraduate and master’s students state-of-the-art methodologies in cloud computing and data analytics"; and the Summer School on Designing Technology for Social Impact explores "designing technologies to promote positive social impact and alternative perspectives." Both programs seek to encourage diverse computer science students to pursue graduate-level research.

“This program was amazing,” notes Oluwatise Alatise, a Cornell Engineering student who after experiencing CSMore plans to continue pursuing a computer science degree. “Especially for underrepresented minorities," she remarks, "CS is more about exposure and experience than knowing theory. The more time and exposure you have to the content, the more comfortable you are with it, and the better people can do. So this program is definitely breaking barriers in that it’s trying to level the playing field for those who didn’t always have that exposure.” Moreover, “Cornell is a big campus full of resources, and we get overwhelmed by all the opportunities sometimes,” she said. “So it was really nice to have it condensed in three weeks, and focused and narrowed.”

2. Testimonials
"The CSMore program was a very informative and unique program to be apart of. In this program, I was able to explore my field of interest in more depth and also form close connections with my peers and the faculty. This program helped me feel more comfortable in my chosen path of study and solidify my careers goals." —Eaveryll Henriquez
3. Program Structure

Invitation to participate in the workshop will be available on a competitive basis to students who are:

Cornell freshmen intending to major in computer science
Priority will be given to students who have taken the course CS 2110

Coursework (no course credit)

  • Topics include Discrete Structures, Computer System Organization, Programming, Data Structures: all in preparation for Cornell’s Sophomore-level courses (2800, 3110, 3410)
  • Focus on increasing confidence in problem-solving

Research Exposure

  • Introduce and build awareness of research pathways, including information on graduate schools, how to accomplish research as an undergraduate, and career paths in research
  • Exposure to how CS research can benefit communities, solve local and global problems
  • Provide pathway to future REU experiences through research skills training

Career Exploration Trip to New York

  • Expose students to the vast career opportunities available for CS majors
  • Visits to tech companies (including Google and Amazon). At these company visits, students might tour the workplace and hear from a panel of professionals who have diverse roles and backgrounds in the tech industry.
4. Program Schedule

When: June 1-26th 2020

Where: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cost: Fully covered (On-campus Housing and Meals, Course Materials, and Instruction, etc.)

Stipend: $1,000 stipend provided to each participant

5. Applying to the Program
ELIGIBILITY: Invitation to participate in the workshop will be available on a competitive basis to students who are Cornell freshmen intending to major in computer science.  Priority will be given to students who have taken the course CS 2110.


APPLICATION ESSAY REQUIREMENT: Applicants who wish to be considered for the summer program must submit their first year Cornell transcript along with a diversity essay (max 400 words) that details how the program would benefit them and how they meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Being a member of an ethnic or racial group historically underrepresented in higher education (African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, or other Hispanic American; permanent residents whose ethnicity corresponds to these groups also meet this criterion)

2. Participant in one of the following programs: McNair Scholar, Mellon Mays Scholar, Posse Program, LSAMP Scholars, Ryan Scholars, NACME Scholars, Pre-Professional Programs (P3), HEOP/EOP, Gates Millennium Scholars

3. Experiences overcoming any significant challenges in your path toward college (examples include, but are not limited to, being a first generation college student, being a Veteran, being a single parent, holding DACA status, and/or managing a disability)

Because success in education requires significant persistence and resilience, you should use your supplemental essay to address how your personal, academic, and/or experiences demonstrate your ability to be both persistent and resilient, especially when navigating challenging circumstances.



QUESTIONS: Professor Éva Tardos, Chair of Computer Science, eva.tardos@cornell.edu

MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF: Jeff Dean and Heidi Hopper, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Goldman Sachs