Student computer chapter to provide vital links

11 November 2002
A THIRD year information technology student is hoping a newly-established computer chapter will act as a forum for fellow students to share their knowledge, nurture their potential and provide a platform for discussion, both locally and internationally.

Daniel Acton's vision has resulted in the formation of a UCT student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), described by Computer Science's Student Adviser, Donald Cook, as the “premier society” for computer scientists.

The ACM was founded back in 1947 when IBM was a fledgling company and accounting machines used punch cards for memory.

With a huge student membership, the ACM is a force in advancing the skills of information technology professionals and students. The Association produces a dedicated magazine for undergraduates in the field, providing important links to international developments. There are also opportunities to apply for scholarships through the ACM Student Chapter Scholarship Award.

In fact, this is the very first student ACM chapter in South Africa and only the fourth in Africa. “We're hoping to get as many students to join as possible, even establish the chapter as a student society, which makes organisation easier,” Acton commented.

Acton, who confesses a penchant for new technologies (especially those that “improve people's lot in life”), plans to embark on an Honours course in computer science next year.

Importantly, involvement in an ACM student chapter provides opportunities to take part in the IBM-sponsored ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, the company's main drive to advance the next generation of computer scientists.

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