October 30, 2017

CofC Opens New Computer Science Center

Charleston Regional Business Journal

The Department of Computer Science at the College of Charleston has opened a new facility for computer science students at the college's Harbor Walk campus in the Aquarium Wharf area.

The Computer Science Innovation Center includes a rapid prototyping space, where students can gather to create and invent projects; a virtual reality room; a conference room; and a large collaboration space. Students can access technologies such as a 3-D scanner, a resin 3-D printer, a filament 3-D printer, a robotic arm, robotics builder kits, drones and virtual reality headsets, according to a news release.

The center is open to all majors within the department.

"The space is mainly for students to experiment on their own, build up acumen on the technology, and then 'graduate up' to one of our research labs to work on more serious projects," department head Sebastian van Delden said in a statement. "We have student workers on staff to help our students get started, but then the sky is the limit on where they can go from there."

The center also has a "co-location space" called Computing Professionals and Student Scholars –- known as Compass –- where employees from area companies such as Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Benefitfocus will work alongside students and professors.

"The companies have complete freedom to use their space however they choose," van Delden said. "The intent is that this effort will lead to more collaborative projects between our students, faculty and industry professionals."

Funding for the space came from a special appropriation from the S.C. General Assembly aimed at growing the Lowcountry's computing pipeline and supporting the local tech community.