Shining the Spotlight on ACM

Clubs and organizations are great assets to any student attending college these days. They give you a chance to explore your interests while making some new friends in the process. Being active in extracurricular activities also shows how involved and outgoing you are to any employers out there that you may want to work with in the future. By giving up a few measly hours every week or so, you can involve yourself in an organization that will help foster your desire to learn new and exciting things with supportive and friendly folks with similar interests. A great example of this atmosphere is the Association of Computing Machinery here on campus.

The mission of ACM is to help expose and explore new technologies with students while connecting members of the organization with companies near Northwest Missouri State University. What ACM does as a whole is investigates interesting advances in today’s electronics while also helping members get connected with companies for future employment.

The point of the technology-related events is to familiarize students with technology they haven’t seen before or have students further investigate technologies they are interested in. In the past, ACM has had video game design sessions and even LAN parties. A recent example would be the event that was recently held by ACM where students got to delve into some strange tech called Scribbler Bots. Scribbler Bots are small robots that move around on two wheels in any pattern given to them through specific instructions delivered by a programming language. A marker can be attached to the robots so as to trace the path the robots take. Students were divided into teams and given different designs to make the robots draw with the use of a block-like programming language. The students enjoyed learning a new way to program while hanging out and mingling with different people.

Another other aspect of ACM is to connect students with surrounding companies (Cerner, American Century, Garmin, etc.) ACM helps students maintain a relationship with potential employers for students looking for both internships and full-time employment. The organization also holds events for students to see what everyday work is like for computer science majors out in the field. For example, a tech talk was held on November 1st where a software engineer and college recruiter from Cerner came to campus and talked about their line of work and what Cerner is all about. After the presentation, they held a Q & A where students were able to ask anything they wanted about being in the computer science field. ACM is also going to be hosting a field trip to American Century sometime in the Spring of 2014 for students to see the work atmosphere of a software development institution.

It may seem that ACM is for only computer science majors, but that isn’t true. No matter your major, if you’re interested in technology, you should definitely consider an ACM membership. ACM typically holds monthly events, publicized on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/NwmsuAcm. To learn more about what ACM is all about or to request membership, please email acm@nwmissouri.edu.

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