About

Are you a high school student interested in learning more about Computer Science and Engineering, or a high school teacher interested in providing your students with challenging opportunities? The Los Angeles Computing Circle is an outreach program organized, supervised, and mentored by faculty members and graduate student volunteers from UCLA's Electrical Engineering Department. With an objective of engaging and mentoring younger students for careers in computing and engineering, LACC provides incoming Grade 10-12 students an opportunity to learn advanced concepts in computing via lectures and hands-on design and programming laboratories. LACC participants become a part of a close-knit community of UCLA research faculty and graduate students who have volunteered their time to create and run LACC.

Program Description

LACC is a summer program organized as a sequence of self-contained modules on various computing topics and consisting of lectures followed by a hands-on design or programming mini-project, and occasional guest lectures on various topics by researchers from local universities and laboratories. 

The inaugural offering of the LACC summer program took place from June 27 to August 19, 2011 with a group of eight students. A second offering took place from June 26 to August 18, 2012 with a group of thirteen students. A third edition took place from July 7 to August 1st, 2014. The most recent fourth edition took place during July 2015.

LACC 2016 will start on Monday July 11 and run until Thursday, August 4. Classes will be held Monday-Thursday from 9:30AM until 4:30PM. See you there!

The Philosophy behind LACC

LACC is designed to complement and go beyond the more abstract exposure to computing that the traditional high school computer science curriculum offers by way of AP Computer Science and related courses. Instead of an abstract focus on a specific programming language such as Java, LACC seeks to put computing in context of its real-world applications, its algorithmic foundations, and the relationship of software to the underlying computing hardware substrate. As such, instead of focusing on language features, LACC modules and projects expose students to topics such how algorithms and programming come together to create systems, such as: search engines and social networks that mine and analyze relationships among data and people on the Internet; cyber-physical systems such as robots that interact with the environment via sensors, actuators, and real-time software; networked computing systems such as mobile phones that communicate with other nodes on the internet; and, signal processing systems that process, manipulate, and make inferences from audio, video, and other types of physical  data.

How to apply?

Applications for the 2016 LACC Summer program are now closed. The deadline was May 25, 2016.

Given the nature of LACC program requiring laboratory and graduate student resources, we are able to accept only a limited number of participants. To be considered for participation in LACC, you should be in 11th or 12th grades (or will be entering these grades the next Fall if you are applying for the summer program), have a GPA of at least 3.0, and have an excellent record in science and mathematics. 10th graders' applications will also be considered. LACC challenges students beyond what most high schools offer and is not a remedial program. Applicants should have a strong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), particularly computing, in order to benefit from LACC. Some prior experience in programming and/or electronics is beneficial but is not required.

The program is open to all eligible students. We especially encourage participation by students from LAUSD schools, female students, and students from backgrounds under-represented in STEM.

We do not charge any fees from program participants, but we are also unable to provide financial assistance for travel, lodging, and other personal costs that you may incur for participation in LACC.

LACC Organizers

The UCLA faculty behind LACC are Professors Puneet GuptaMani Srivastava, and Lara Dolecek.  LACC is organized under the umbrella of the Variability Expedition, a large five-year multi-university research project funded by the National Science Foundation and co-led by UCLA. As part of the Variability Expedition, Professor Dolecek, Gupta, and Srivastava's research groups are developing new types of computing machines architected to cope with challenges of high cost, energy inefficiency, and low reliability that occur as the semiconductor devices using which computers are made shrink into the nanoscale regime. Critical to LACC are also the many graduate and undergraduate student volunteers who have helped develop and deliver the lecture material and design exercises for various modules, and supervised the research projects.