California State University, Long Beach
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Professor Leads Computer Engineering, Computer Science Students to Study in Switzerland

A group of 10 computer engineering and computer science students from CSULB is currently in Switzerland as part of an American contingent of students and professors participating in the Swiss Computer Science Summer Program.

Taking place from July 14-Aug. 1 at the School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, the program is aimed at providing an opportunity for international collaboration and cultural exchange between American and Swiss students and faculty.

Led by Alvaro Monge, professor of computer engineering and computer science, the CSULB group will include graduate students Audrey DiFiore, Meenu Gupta, Yanjun Hu and Naveen Roperia; seniors Tiffany Gee, Abel Gray, Paul Nguyen, Jun Takahashi and Mark Tokutomi; and junior Michael Neisius.

The three-week study abroad program will have students from CSULB, San Jose State University and Arizona State University joining Swiss classmates at HEIG-VD in attending courses taught in English by lecturers from all participating schools. Topics include computer networks, ubiquitous computing, Web technologies, bioinformatics, software engineering and artificial intelligence.

Activities may include trips to the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival, the Paléo Festival and a visit to either the UN office or the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.

“I love Switzerland; it’s a great country,” said Monge, who led the first group of 10 CSULB students on the study abroad program in summer 2007. “The people there are just wonderful. The faculty who have organized this program are just amazing. This is the perfect opportunity for our students to get that experience of going abroad, getting an education and stepping into a culture they don’t see all the time.”

HEIG-VD and the local government of the Switzerland State of Vaud are funding each student with $2,000 to help with expenses for airfare, ground transportation in Switzerland and accommodations in a university dorm.

“I am interested in participating in this program to study computer science topics in Switzerland because it provides me with the opportunity to broaden my world view and my knowledge of computing topics, which are both essential to survival in this fast-paced and ever-changing field,” explained Nguyen, a computer science major.

“This opportunity to go to Switzerland is amazing. This is a rare occasion where education, travel, and technology are merged together,” Gee, a computer engineering major, added. “If given the chance, I will be expanding my knowledge in fields that I find intriguing.”

HEIG-VD is a member of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO) network and participates actively in regional and national industry and business in all areas covered by its teaching. The school trains engineers and managers to meet the challenges of theoretical research as well as practical workplace tasks.