UMBC partnership inspires new CSEE advising website

Published: Nov 2, 2015

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) is piloting a new advising website, supporting students in computer engineering, computer science, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering. The new site was developed by students through the spring 2015 course “Principles of Programming Languages,” taught by CSEE lecturer Shawn Lupoli.

Searching for a real-world project to focus on, the students identified a need to update the CSEE department’s advising sign-up process. Lupoli oversaw the development of the project and coordinated the implementation of the new advising sign-up system. Joe Popoloski of Next Century, a technology development company in Baltimore, provided feedback throughout the course on the development of the tool, and the site was recently tested by a group of freshmen and sophomore students, who offered feedback on the user experience. UMBC students Jeanice Hwang ‘15, biological studies, and Jeremy Suon ‘17, computer science, developed the application model that is being used during the fall 2015 semester.

Cathy Bielawski, director, undergraduate student services, provided support and guidance to the students, many of whom had not previously programmed web-based applications or used databases in other computer science classes. The project allowed students to get useful HTML coding experience, and to benefit from the results of their work. More than 200 students signed up for advising during the first week of the site pilot.

Lupoli shares that in addition to gaining familiarity with “different programming paradigms” and employing programming languages in a project-based setting, students also benefit from the opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively in a group.

CSEE has a history of exciting collaborations with Next Century. The company previously supported a UMBC course that enabled students learn the fundamentals of software engineering through developing a student alert system. The students in that software engineering course presented their work to clients in an industry setting.

To explore a collaboration opportunity with “Principles of Programming Languages” or to learn more about this course and the advising system, email Shawn Lupoli at To learn more about broader opportunities for companies to partner with faculty and departments to provide enriching, real-world learning opportunities for students, contact Allison Jones, associate director of corporate relations at

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