The first Computer Engineering Bootcamp was held July 24-28 virtually. The program engaged incoming Computer Engineering freshmen and gave them a glimpse of the exciting opportunities in the field of computing and engineering. The program was organized by Computer Science and Computer Engineering Graduate students with help from Professor Mani Srivastava and Professor Puneet Gupta. The lead student organizer was Ph.D. student Saptadeep Pal. The program was completely voluntary for the incoming undergraduate students and the graduate student instructors also volunteered their time.
The Bootcamp week was designed to complement and go beyond the more abstract exposure to computing that the traditional high school computer science curriculum offers. The Bootcamp put computing in the context of its real-world applications, its algorithmic foundations, and the relationship of software to the underlying computing hardware substrate. As such, the lectures and exercises exposed students to topics such how algorithms and programming come together to create systems, such as search engines and social networks that mine and analyze relationships among data and people on the Internet; machine learning which is used in systems such as voice assistants (e.g., Siri), recommendation systems; computing systems that processes information; and, cryptography which allows us to build secure systems.
Since this year was unusual because of the pandemic and most of the classes being held online, we this program helped engage the incoming undergraduate students and get a closer look at the exciting research work we do at UCLA and the large number of opportunities in this field.