In 2013, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department conceived of a project to help incoming students excel in their early computer science courses and beyond, even if they have no background in computer science or programming. The CSE Department is motivated by the goals of providing the best education to its students and to helping them realize their individual potential. The Summer Program for Incoming Students (SPIS, pronounced "spice") is a first step towards these goals.
SPIS will give students college-level exposure to computer science, emphasizing problem-solving, communication skills, and mathematical modeling. Students will be exposed to project-based learning as well as research in computer science and engineering. In addition to academics, SPIS will introduce participants to the social, cultural, and broader intellectual experiences open to university students. Those accepted to the SPIS program will also receive career mentoring, and enjoy a series of lectures and demonstrations illustrating the exciting and varied career opportunities available in computer science and engineering.
SPIS is a 5-week summer program on the UC San Diego campus for students accepted into CSE majors as well as for other UC San Diego admitted students who want to explore computer science as a career option. SPIS courses are taught by the very best faculty at UCSD. Students in the program interact with a wide range of CSE faculty and learn about computer science and engineering research. They also have opportunities to connect with engineers from the computer industry. SPIS provides an excellent student experience with individual meetings with faculty, tutoring from experienced CSE undergraduate students, collaborations with fellow students, individual advising to smooth the transition to UC San Diego, and living on campus.
The low fee of this program has been possible due to generous contributions from the Qualcomm Institute and the CSE Department. The actual value of the program exceeds $4,000.