Club Profile: Association for Computing Machinery is Back on the Grid

By, Jocelyn Visnov, Web Editor & Asst. Production Editor 

The Association of Computing Machinery is a pre-professional organization for all things computer technology. Open to anyone interested in computer science technology, the club offers unique opportunities to enrich students’ experience and understanding of the field beyond the classroom. 

Also known as ACM, this club is open to all majors interested in learning about various types of technology and programming related to computer science. While the club has kept a relatively low-profile recently, newly elected ACM chair Lauren Kaweki hopes to get the club back on the grid. 

“ACM really hasn’t been all that advertised to CS [Computer Science] students in the past.” Kaweki said. “A lot of our focus this semester and for the club, really, is to get CS students more engaged in campus events.” 

In the past, the club has held various workshops and guest speaker events to broaden students’ understanding of the field and prepare them for successful careers in the field of computer science and technology. 

“It’s pretty open ended as to what we can do.” Kaweki said. “In the past they’ve had GitHub workshops, they’ve hosted coding competitions, if I’m not mistaken. They’ve had guest speakers from Google come in and talk about what it’s like to be a software engineer.”

Kaweki is currently guiding the club’s eBoard in planning events for the upcoming semester. 

“I do meetings, and I try to at least prompt the conversation to everyone.” Kaweki said. “I’m like, ‘Okay, we have this shared mission’ of you know, getting computer science students to really interact with one another and want to collaborate with one another, do our events.” 

The club was previously led by Raziel BenReuben, a senior computer science major. BenReuben is currently helping with the transition of new leadership within the club. 

“We want to provide a space for students to pursue projects, create events, and conduct activities centered around these interests,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, due to our school environment being thrown into flux due to the pandemic, we haven’t been able to meet in person prior to now. We are super excited for the opportunity to engage with our student body about the wonders of computing. I’m especially excited for the upcoming E-Board to execute their vision and hopefully, conduct some cool activities on campus/ in person.”

As his time as a Jasper and member of the ACM comes to an end, BenReuben reflects fondly on his time working with the organization. 

“If you’re interested in computing or tech in general, you shouldn’t hesitate to join,” he wrote. “You will have a voice every step of the way. This club is truly student run and built with our student members in mind. You have leadership in the club that will welcome you with open arms and a listening ear. Additionally, having fun is a key part of the DNA of our club. Whatever you are interested in, we will do our best to offer that for you, because odds are if you are interested, someone else might be. The ACM Club here at Manhattan is the place for you to not only learning about computing but building great connections with like-minded students.”

While the club centers around students and their involvement, several faculty members are involved as well. Professor Ankur Agrawal is the faculty point of contact for the club, and guides them through their different events. BenReuben mentions that the club would not be in the state that it is now without Agrawal’s guidance.

“We all volunteer our time, but it takes a community for our club to grow and still exist,” he wrote. “I would like to especially thank Professor Agrawal for providing an opportunity for me to be in a leadership role in a field I’m truly passionate about.”

Kieran OGara, a member of ACM, describes why he enjoys being part of this organization. 

“As this is my first full school year studying computer science after switching my major, this club became the perfect opportunity to get to know other students in a new setting,” OGara wrote. “I met and became friends with people that I now have classes with and older students who are more than welcome to offer any type of advice to someone new.”

If you’re a computer science major or a student looking to learn more about the field, consider joining ACM and getting involved with their events. Reach out to Lauren Kaweki or Professor Agrawal for more information.