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Teaching Public Interest Tech

Teaching Public Interest Tech
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Teaching Public Interest Tech

A campuswide initiative, VIP organizes undergraduate and graduate students into teams that work on ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary projects.

Member Institution

Georgia Institute of Technology

Case Study Lead(s)

Ellen Zegura, Professor of Computer Science

Executive Summary

Georgia Tech Bits of Good/Vertical Integration

The Bits of Good – Vertical Integration Project (BoG-VIP) is a multisemester curricular offering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Taught by Ellen Zegura, professor of computer science, the course focuses on software development for nonprofits and is an instance of the Vertically Integrated Projects Program at Georgia Tech.  A campuswide initiative, VIP organizes undergraduate and graduate students into teams that work on ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary projects (see vip.gatech.edu).

Students typically enroll in BoG-VIP over multiple semesters, with some participating from early in their time as undergrads through graduation. An important contributor to the course’s success is that students can work on a single project from its inception to its completion over the course of several semesters.

Bits of Good, the Georgia Tech Hack4Impact chapter, is a student-run organization. It selects the collaborating organizations and projects, trains participating students in the relevant technical and other skills, organizes teams, and coordinates between teams and organizations.  Professor Zegura focuses on the ethics of building tech for non-profits and invites students to reflect on their experiences throughout the semester.