Short-term summer programs offer technology and innovation courses

By Brian Lee 

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Strong FGV at Google’s campus
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KAIST participants visiting Nasa
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KAIST participants at Stanford University

This past summer, UC Santa Cruz spread its innovative spirit with two short term international programs. the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a UCSC partner, sent 20 undergraduate students to enroll in engineering courses during summer session one. Students were selected for the program by KAIST and received a government scholarship from South Korea to participate. Supported by the Division of Global Engagement which hosts the program, students enrolled in CMPS80K: Foundations of Interactive Game Design and CMPS115: Introduction to Software Engineering.

In addition to attending courses, the students lived with U.S. roommates in the dormitories with a meal plan, were offered a variety of events and activities in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Francisco, and were hosted by KAIST alumni at a variety of tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Google, SAP, NVIDIA, and NASA. The connection and continued relationship with KAIST was initiated by Dr. Steve Kang, BSOE Distinguished Chair Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, former President of KAIST and Chancellor Emeritus of UC Merced. Recently, an exchange agreement was established to allow UC Santa Cruz students to study at KAIST, regarded widely as one of the best universities for science and technology in the world.

Global Engagement also collaborated with UC Irvine extension to deliver a two-week, joint program in July focused on innovation and entrepreneurship for Strong Educacional (Strong FGV), part of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (abbreviated FGV), which is a group of private universities in Brazil focused on higher education in business, social sciences, law, public administration, and international relations. Strong FGV develops short-term seminar programs for FGV’s MBA students in partnership with top higher education institutions in the U.S and around the world.

“Strong FGV initially approached us through UCI extension, which has worked with them for several years. They wanted to expand the program to a two-week offering and they wanted to be close to Silicon Valley, so naturally UCI reached out to us,” Director of Global Initiatives, George Sabo said.

Thirteen working professionals from Brazil pursuing their Executive MBAs with FGV, as well as four staff and faculty from FGV stayed in Santa Cruz for one week where they learned about innovative business practices in Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley. The students engaged in a series of workshops focused on the Lean startup method, an approach to building new businesses based on the belief that entrepreneurs must investigate, experiment, test, and iterate as they develop products. These workshops were led by UCSC’s Nada Miljkovic, who teaches the summer entrepreneurship academy course for Crown College.

After the workshops, students toured nearby companies such as Santa Cruz-based data analytics company, Looker as well as the audiovisual technology company, Poly (formerly Plantronics). The group also traveled over the hill to tour Intel and Google, and to visit the UCSC Silicon Valley campus to learn more about the efforts there to foster an entrepreneurial culture and increase industry partnerships and connections with the Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem. The group then spent their final week at UC Irvine.

“It was a great opportunity to showcase UCSC’s innovative spirit, our proximity to Silicon Valley, and everything we have to offer here in Santa Cruz.” Director of Global Initiatives, George Sabo said.

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