Students in the Class of 2016 will be the first to experience Ware 2.0.
In addition to hosting the PennApps hackathon, the college house will also offer computer science classes and house students in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology.
“We’re a very technology-oriented society right now,” Ware College House Dean Utsav Schurmans said. “For people to be familiar with [technology] and be able to interact effectively with … people who are using it is very necessary.”
In line with Ware’s digital revamping this year is the addition of 42 M&T students from the Class of 2016. M&T students in the freshman class were guaranteed housing in Ware if they designated it as their first choice. Thirty-four students live in Ware through this new option, six are in a Ware residential program and two entered through the regular lottery.
Wharton and Engineering junior Charu Jangid — a resident adviser in Ware — said even prior to the new housing policy, the residential program Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship typically attracted a large number of M&T students “because it’s an intersection of technology and entrepreneurship.”
Unlike students in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, who reside with one another on the third floor of Kings Court/English House, M&T students in Ware are not concentrated in the same hall. The separation, Schurmans said, encourages them to interact with their peers in different disciplines and also live in close proximity with each other.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Wharton and Engineering junior Ethan Aaron, who first suggested the idea of housing M&T students in Ware. “You’re still in the vicinity of other M&T students … while at the same time you’re not being forced to live anywhere,” he added.
According to Aaron, an RA in Ware, the addition of M&T students will allow for more tech-related projects to be facilitated in the college house.
“The M&T students as well as the Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship students bring in a solid core of students who are interested in technology,” he said. “Around that we can start to build programs, we can host events, we can do a lot of cool things.”
The RIE residential program is also collaborating with Ware Information Technology Advisors to offer seminars and workshops on tech topics such as computer programming.
“We want to ultimately not only train students to use Ruby on Rails or Python … but also use that to build an actual web application that we can hone our skills on and then launch for some wider use, whether that be for residents, or the Penn community or the internet as a whole,” said Engineering sophomore Frederick Ding, who is an ITA manager in Ware.
While organizers are clear on their intentions for the seminars, what classes will actually be taught is still up for debate. “The limitation is that we have to cater to very diverse interests. Using Excel is a very different topic from doing social network application,” Ding said. “We need to get more students involved in planning before we decide on topics and who’s going to teach them.”
Ding hopes to see ITAs across the college houses take on more roles. “We still want Ware to be the leader in all of this, but we want to see if other ITAs want to expand to their houses.”
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