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Summer Institute for Humanitarian Computing

Program Details

Please find critical information about the Summer Institute for Humanitarian Computing program below!

Important Dates:
March 15 - EXTENDED Application Deadline
May 2 - Acceptance Notifications Sent
May 16 - Registration Fee Deadline
May 18 - Acceptance from Waitlist Sent

Recruitment and Selection of Participants

The SIHC pilot will accept a maximum of 20 high school students who have completed their junior or senior year.  

Applicants are required to submit an application letter, a resume, one letter of recommendation, an unofficial copy of their high school transcript, and either their SAT, PSAT or ACT scores.  The letter of recommendation must be submitted from someone who can evaluate the applicant's programming ability.  

Participants are selected according to their academic performance and programming experience, with preference given to applicants from socioeconomic groups underrepresented in computing who have demonstrated an interest and ability in programming.  Those selected are encouraged to bring their own laptop computer to use, although laptop computers will be provided if needed.

Project Selection

The program will begin with two days of morning presentations with installation, configuration and testing of software tools in the afternoons.  Invited speakers from organizations such as SCU's Frugal Innovation Lab and the Global Social Benefit Institute of SCU's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Community Technology Alliance (CTA), and the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) will present examples of mobile applications that have been developed to benefit underserved populations, and offer ideas for mobile applications that could be developed to solve current needs.  

Participants will work in groups of 3 or 4 on 5-7 different projects.  They may select one of the suggested applications, or may submit their own ideas for approval by the program managers (Dr. Lewis and Dr. Figueira).

Instruction and Project Implementation

Participants will receive three days of instruction on how to develop mobile applications for the Android platform, including a walk-through implementation of a simple example application.  Participants will then have two days to complete a top-level design of their project and present it to the group in a design review.  Actual project implementation will be completed over the next eight days with assistance of the teaching assistant and oversight by the program managers.

Preparation of Conference Papers and Posters

With help from a technical writing instructor from the English department, the teaching assistant and program managers, participants will then have five days to prepare a poster and a conference paper about their project.  Templates, sample posters, and sample conference papers will be provided as guidance regarding content, organization, and style.

Tentative Schedule

  • July 11-12: Examples of Mobile Applications, Installation of Software Tools
  • July 13-15: Instruction, Mobile Application Development
  • July 18-19: Project Design and Review
  • July 20-29: Project Implementation
  • August 1-5: Preparation of Posters and Conference Papers


Each participant is required to submit a $250 non-refundable registration fee.  

However, students from low-income families may submit a letter from their principal stating that they are on a free or reduced price lunch program to apply for one of six $200 registration fee discounts.  Failure to submit the registration fee by the deadline will disqualify the student who will be replaced by another applicant on the waitlist.