State Farm Coding Competition 10/17 #MillikinIS

 Coding Competition postcard

I just learned that the State Farm Coding Competition is returning this fall.The Coding Competition is an opportunity for full-time college students to showcase their Java coding language proficiency, creativity and overall technical ingenuity, while competing for prizes. The event is sponsored by State Farm and hosted by Systems Workforce. The annual competition began in 2008. State Farm utilizes this event to promote itself as an IT company, while gaining an additional recruitment advantage at our target universities.

106 students have already signed up across 14 universities. This is a great opportunity to build your programming skills and compete against students from other schools.


  • Registration is LIVE now at
  • The Coding Competition is being advertised during fall campus recruiting events at our target universities.
  • The first round is an online coding competition scheduled Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8:00PM CST – 11:59PM CST. During this round, students are tested on their Java programming language skills.
  • The top four submissions that meet the criteria advance to the finals and win $800 prize.
  • In addition to their $800 prize from the first round, the finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Dallas, Texas and a chance to compete in the finals.
  • The final round, scheduled Friday, November 13, 2015 @ CityLine in Dallas, gives the finalists a chance to engage with State Farm and compete in another coding challenge for the grand prize of $1,500.

#Millikin hosting Tech adVentures #RaspberryPi Camp for High Schoolers

raspberrypi logoMillikin’s Center of Entrepreneurship is holding a new, innovative entrepreneurship/technology camp this summer! Tech adVentures will take place from June 22 – July 2nd, Mondays-Thursdays from 9am-3pm (lunch is provided). Campers will use Raspberry Pi computers to create and build a new product and then learn how to market it to potential customers. Students entering 8th – 12th grade are eligible.
Here’s the BEST PART! If you register by Monday, June 8th, you can bring a friend for FREE!
2 Weeks, 2 Raspberry Pi computers for 2 friends for just $349! See the flier for more details!
millikinGo online to and sign up today!
Contact Bethany Wetherholt at 217.424.6296 for more information.

Getting Ready for Raspberry Pi

I’m getting ready to start tinkering again. It’s been a slower summer than I thought due to a last minute class to teach, vacation, and all the other summer outdoor temptations. Earlier this spring, I started looking into Raspberry Pi. The prospect of a credit card size motherboard that has been mass produced inexpensively is intriguing to me. Not just because of its size and proof that Moore’s Law still lives on, but because of the foundations’s mission. The goal of the Raspberry Pi is primarily to teach basic computer science in schools. This has historically been difficult due to the cost of technology. With a sticker price of $35 per motherboard (Revision B), one big barrier has been lifted. The other thought was that these motherboards could be used in developing countries as a low-cost way of introducing technology into their cultures. Plus, with a name like Raspberry Pi, what’s not to like? 

So, I started doing some research and figuring out just what all I needed to get started with a “Pi.” (Mmm, Pi! Oh, different Pie). I digress. It turns out that $35 gets you just that, a Raspberry Pi motherboard. No power supply… No storage… nada. The newer revision (Rev B) contains 512MB RAM (not expandable), onboard Ethernet, 2 USB ports, SD card slot, and HDMI (also video composite and audio out). It’s $35 for a reason — it’s bare bones. I now felt what it was like to “accessorize.” It was time to do some serious peripheral shopping on Amazon without breaking the bank. After going through their site’s helpful list of FAQs, here is the starter kit I have on order and should be here next week. For a total price of $127.23, I’m still pretty impressed how lost cost you can build a machine like this.

  1. Raspberry Pi Motherboard (Revision B)
  2. Raspberry Pi Clear Case (that’s right — just a motherboad. No enclosure)
  3. 8 GB Flash Memory SD Card
  4. Micro USB Power Supply
  5. HDMI to DVI Adapter
  6. Audio Cable
  7. Nano USB WiFi USB Adapter
  8. Mini Keyboard with additional USB Port
  9. Mini Mouse
  10. Carrying Sleeve
My goal here was to make sure I had enough components that made the kit portable and fit a variety of scenarios based on who was going to use the kit. I’m likely to get started by installing the recommended Linux distribution and putting it through its paces. After I’ve had my tinkering, I’d like to see some students take charge and see how they can innovate and use the hardware to learn Python, build a multimedia PC, or a model desktop platform with basic functions for low-income individuals. Others have been really creative in the gadgets they have built.
Regardless, I’m excited to see how this tinkering exercise works out for me and even more excited to see what students can do. But first, I have to wait for all these parts to arrive.