Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities

Student Projects

Note:  There are no deliverables expected from any student projects. 

Capstone Project

  • A company representative comes to campus for the capstone course presentation session (held at the start of each term) to make a five-minute “pitch” of their project concept and to meet with students. 
  • Company mentors work with 1-2 students to develop a coursework project that is of interest to the company.
    • For example, a capstone project could encompass research and development of QR codes information and marketing for different customer demographics.
  • The projects should cover at least two advanced areas of computer science.
    •  For example, databases and web programming.
  • Each term-long project lasts for approximately 14 weeks.
  • Company mentors are expected to meet with students at least one hour per week.
  • The students are required to give two presentations and write a final paper.

Project Studio

  • A group of students (up to 7 students) work on a project of significant technical difficulty posed to them by a company.
  • Students will work closely with a faculty advisor, who will act as a liaison between the company and the students.
    • The faculty advisor discusses the project with the company before the project starts and guides/works with the students in the project.
  • The companies participating in Project Studio may desire to contribute to the mission of the department with an unrestricted gift. 

Sponsoring a MS Student for a Thesis/Project

Companies can sponsor a graduate student, typically at the MS level, to collaborate on a project that would be of mutual interest to the company and Pitt. 

  • The student would typically be sponsored to work on the project about 20 hours per week (full time) or 10 hours per week (half-time).  Sponsorships typically last one or two terms. 
  • The companies guide the project with the student and faculty advisor in an area of mutual interest. 

Diversity

Technology Leadership Initiative (TLI)

The mission of the Technology Leadership Initiative (TLI) is to provide underrepresented students in grades 6-12 with opportunities, tools and motivation needed to pursue Computer Science related degrees and excel academically, socially and professionally.

  • Pitt seeks funding, as well as volunteer instructors and speakers to spend time with middle and high school students. 
  • TLI offers a middle school girls program and a high school program:
    • Tech Divaz TECH DIVAZ℠ Workshop is a programming and computer science workshop for girls in 6th -9th grade.
      • The program focuses on introduction to operating systems, web design with Weebly, programming with Alice and Scratch, as well as principles of Big Data.
    • High School Academy The program focuses on introducing students in 9th-12th grade to computer science. 
      • There are two levels: beginner and advanced (for returning students or those with experience).
      • The Academy will include topics in Big Data, Mobile Applications, programming with Python, and robotics.

WiCStart

This is a week-long program to increase female participation in the STEM disciplines, in particular Computer Science.  WiCStart introduces female incoming undeclared students to CS, both in terms of programming and in demystifying what CS is all about.

She Innovates

The first all-women’s hackathon at the University of Pittsburgh. 

  • The hackathon is co-hosted by the Department of Computer Science, Innovation Institute, Pitt WiCS, and Pitt SWE.
  • This event encourages the participation of all female Pitt students, including but not limited to computer science, business, engineering, and law. 
  • We have mentors on-site to help guide students through the hacking process.

*This event prides itself on providing a safe place for women to come together to learn, grow, hack, and empower each other. 

Throughout the weekend She Innovates features keynote speakers and talks about business and tech.  Each team pitches their idea to a panel of judges, and there is an awards ceremony to announce the winners and award the prizes.

Conference Sponsorship for Underrepresented Students

Companies can sponsor undergraduate or graduate students to attend conferences that are geared towards specific under-represented groups. These opportunities further support and grow the goals of the department’s diversity initiatives.

Three examples of such conferences are:

The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC):  The world’s largest gathering of technical women in computing, where technical women gather to network, find or be mentors, create collaborative proposals, and increase the visibility of women’s contributions to computing.

  • Beginning and mid-career students profit the most from listening to presenters from industry, academia and government.
  • Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today’s technology fields, including CS, IT, and Engineering.

The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing:  The goal is to bring together students, faculty, researchers, and professionals in computing from all backgrounds and ethnicities to celebrate the diversity that exists in computing. 

  • The conference allows everyone to connect with others with common backgrounds, ethnicities, disabilities, and gender to create communities that extend beyond the conference, and to inspire underrepresented groups through role models to become leaders.

The Summit of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT):  This conference revolves around practices and ideas to revolutionize computing and is the preeminent destination for learning about leading-edge research on curriculum, outreach, and recruitment, retention, and advocacy efforts across the entire CS and IT pipeline.

  • This annual event brings together leaders, change agents, and stakeholders to focus on practices that strengthen the computing workforce and promote technology innovation by increasing the participation of girls and women.

CS DAY

Each year, the Computer Science Department has its main public event, called CS Day, hosting members of industry, alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff to come together and celebrate the world of Computer Science.

  • CS Day offers several student competitions, research exhibitions, and a networking social, as well as the “Industry Marketplace.”

CS Day Marketplace Exhibitor

The Industry Marketplace is a forum for members of industry to talk with our students about their companies, job opportunities, and internships.  Research posters are staffed by eager graduate students, and conversations on shared areas of interest and potential collaborations fill the marketplace. 

Companies can sponsor CS Day at four different levels, with different benefits.

CS Day  Competitions

Business Idea Competition

During the Business Idea Competition a panel of CS Industry Board members will judge the business idea entries and the winner will be announced on CS Day and awarded a $250 prize. To enter the competition, a student (or group of students) need to submit a business idea. The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Students must submit business plans for consideration.

  • Title Sponsor: $250 – Premier Underwriter of the competition
    • Logo on all promotional materials
    • Exclusive branding opportunity
    • Invitation to the CS Day Social and Student Showcase

Research Competition

Graduate Students compete for the honor of the best research award.  $250 in prizes are awarded to the winners.  The research is judged and presented at the Computer Science Day Student Showcase.

  • Title Sponsor: $250 – Premier Underwriter of the competition
    • Logo on all promotional materials
    • Exclusive branding opportunity
    • Invitation to the CS Day Social and Student Showcase

Poster Competition

Posters of undergraduate projects and graduate research compete for $250 in prizes.  The winners are presented at the Computer Science Day Student Showcase.

  • Title Sponsor: $250 – Premier Underwriter of the competition
    • Logo on all promotional materials
    • Exclusive branding opportunity
    • Invitation to the CS Day Social and Student Showcase

Digital Media Competition

Undergraduates and graduates submit videos, images, or interactive graphic works that showcase computer science, life in Pitt’s CS Department, or coursework and compete for $250 in prizes.  The winners are presented at the Computer Science Day Student Showcase.

  • Title Sponsor: $250 – Premier Underwriter of the competition
    • Logo on all promotional materials
    • Exclusive branding opportunity
    • Invitation to the CS Day Social and Student Showcase

CS Day Networking Social

The CS Day Networking Social is a reception (with wine and hors d'oeuvres), providing a great opportunity to mingle with Pitt faculty, graduate students, and other members of industry. 

CS Day Hackathon: SteelHacks

The Pitt Computer Science Club, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Computer Science, is proud to announce its first public hackathon: SteelHacks. The University of Pittsburgh, Department of Computer Science hosts 150 students from Greater Pittsburgh for a weekend-long celebration of invention. New and experienced programmers work together to demonstrate the work ethic that built Pittsburgh and the creative spirit that is transforming our city into one of America's technical powerhouses.

  • SteelHacks will host some of the brightest young developers from Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, and Duquesne.

As a sponsor, you can publicize job openings, promote your products, and help teams use your company’s API.

Outreach/Mentoring

Mentoring Chats

An informal round table discussion where professional females can talk with our Women in Computer Science (WiCS) group. 

  • Companies can also sponsor informal luncheons/lunches of professionals with female students (typically one professional to 3-5 students) to enhance interactions, serve as role models, and discuss potential careers.

Hot-Metal Bridge Program (HMBP) Sponsorship

The Hot Metal Bridge Program (HMBP) is a relatively new, two-semester, post-baccalaureate fellowship program to help enhance diversity in the School. 

  • A two-term fellowship is given for fall and spring term (including tuition and stipend) for up to nine fellows.  
  • The point of the HMBP is to bridge the gap between an undergraduate degree and a graduate program in a different or more specialized field, and to help individuals prepare themselves for a successful program of doctoral studies.

There is opportunity to sponsor a particular student or offer additional funds so more students can be included and accepted under this initiative.

Lecture

Undergraduate Technical Talks: Tech Talks

A Technical Talk is an opportunity for companies to get involved and expose their brands to the undergraduate population (mostly seniors, approx. 40-50 students).

  • The Tech Talk takes place during the Capstone Class, and as a result of Tech Talks, students can get a better idea of what to expect once they obtain a job in industry.
  • The talk is 50-minutes and has the following structure: five minutes spent on an introduction of the company, 30 minutes describing detailed technical content, 10 minutes reserved for a technical Q&A session, and finally five minutes devoted to exposing the students to the recruiting opportunities, as desired by the company.
  • In order to attract more students to attend the technical talks, companies usually provide pizza/refreshments and branded ‘swag’ to give to the students.

Sponsoring a Distinguished Lecture Series

Companies have the option of sponsoring a named Distinguished Lecture Series featuring 4-6 talks annually given by prominent members of the Computer Science community.

  • Lectures in this series are either research-oriented or a description of state-of-the-art in the field, geared towards graduate students. 
  • Company sponsorship of the talks provides funds to cover travel expenses of the lecturer, administrative, and advertising costs, and consumables during the talks. 
    • The company’s logo is displayed in all marketing materials and advertisement about the distinguished lecture series.
    • Company representatives have the opportunity to introduce the speaker and speak about their company to the audience.

Sponsoring a Practitioners Lecture Series

Companies have the option of sponsoring a named Practitioners Lecture Series featuring 8-10 talks annually given by prominent Computer Science practitioners. 

  • Lectures in this series are geared towards undergraduate and MS students, and are of a technical nature, including the state-of-the-art in the field. 
  • Activities after the talk, especially with hands-on experiences are welcome. 
  • The sponsoring company’s representatives are welcome to present 2-3 of the talks. 
  • Company sponsorship of the talks provides funds to cover travel expenses of the lecturer, administrative and advertising costs, and consumables during the talks. 
    • The company’s logo is displayed in all marketing materials and advertisement about the Practitioners Lecture Series.
    • Company representatives have the opportunity to introduce the speaker and speak about their company to the audience.

Info Sessions

  • Host a talk that is geared specifically for showcasing their companies, advertising and recruiting.
    • Students are not required to attend but are encouraged to.  
  • Companies that provide food and ‘swag’ for the students tend to attract more students.

Graduation

Graduate Recognition Reception

The CS department holds a graduation event for undergraduates to compliment the Commencement activities of the University.

  • Held the evening before commencement in the spring and fall term, graduates and their families are invited to celebrate each graduate's accomplishments during their undergraduate career.
  • Each graduating student is individually recognized and given a gift from the department and a class picture is taken to commemorate the event.

Sponsorship of graduation allows our department to host a nice reception for our students. 

  • Company logo will be featured on our graduation program along with your company’s website information. 
  • You are able to have an insert placed in the graduation gift bags listing any job openings.

We are also seeking in-kind donations of swag items for our graduate gift bags.


For Questions Regarding Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities Contact:

Mackenzie Ball | Outreach Coordinator | mackenzie@cs.pitt.edu