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High school students learn basics of AI and machine learning at AUS computing camp
High school students from around the UAE explored artificial intelligence, machine learning and programming at the 10th edition of AUS’ popular High School Computing Camp, held online during the recent spring holidays.
Out of more than 260 applicants, 50 outstanding students studying in grades 10 to 12 from 32 schools from across the UAE were selected to participate in the bi-annual camp. Divided into two groups of 25 students each, participants attended daily sessions and worked with seven computer science lab instructors. All participating students received certificates of attendance at the end of the camp.
Students learned about a wide range of subjects including algorithms, variables, control and conditional statements and loops in programming in Python; programming Internet of Things (IoT) devices and basics of building smart homes; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) using practical examples; basics of building mobile apps; basics of game development using the programming language Scratch; building and configuring a computer network; and Boolean logic principles and basics of building a computer in digital systems design.
The camp also encouraged students to think about computer science as a career option.
“The computer camp definitely broadened my perspective about the wide field of computer science and engineering. It made me more aware of a career path I did not think of or even consider before,” said Zaynab Mahmoud, a grade 10 student at Al Salam Community School.
The diversity of the topics at the computing camp proved to be popular with many students.
“It was clear that the subjects taught in the camp were carefully considered and prepared by the instructors. It was prepared taking into consideration the needs of students from all educational backgrounds, minimizing the amount of context and experience needed to understand the material while maximizing the benefits gained. The diversity of topics will surely help interested students in selecting the branch of computer science and engineering that intrigues them the most,” said Mohammad Khalid Alshaikh, a grade 10 student at Dubai International School.
The camp was also successful in changing any misconceptions students may have had about computer science. “I used to see computers as very complicated and confusing, but this camp totally changed my mind. I realized that working with computers can be a beautiful thing if one understands how they work,” said Assad Khafz, a grade 12 student at Dubai International School.
Speaking about the importance of the AUS School Computing Camp, Dr. Fadi Aloul, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science at AUS, said: “The camp is very educational for school students. It introduces them to a new field, shows them the unlimited opportunities it offers and its various areas of specialization, allows them to make an informed decision about computer science or engineering should they want to consider it as a career option. The camp also helps develop their soft skills to become innovative entrepreneurs.”
AUS offers bachelor’s degree programs in both computer science and computer engineering, along with a master’s degree in computer engineering. For more information about these programs, please visit www.aus.edu/cen/department-of-computer-science-and-engineering.