The Turing Scholars program is an academic honors program within UTCS directed by professor Calvin Lin, who established the program in 2006. Turing Scholars consists of about 200 UTCS students and accepts about 50 freshmen per year, creating a tight-knit community focused on research and academic challenges. The program culminates in an honors thesis during the students' senior year.
“Our goals from the beginning have been to create the very best CS undergraduate program in the country,” Lin said. “I think we’ve done a great job towards that goal, but if we look to the future, we want to keep adding to the program.”
Currently the Turing Scholars program lacks funding for staff support, recruitment efforts, and student activities, but the Calvin Lin Turing Scholars Endowment will provide the money needed to sustain these efforts.
The Turing Scholars program is its own community within UTCS and combines the small class size and the opportunity for faculty interaction of a small college with the advantages of a large research university. Throughout their time at UTCS, the students take 10 of their core classes together.
“We all know each other on a first-name basis,” said UTCS student and Turing Scholar Ariel Szekely. “A large portion of my friend group all come from Turing, and we really grow together through all of these classes that we take together and all of the different projects that we work on together. It has given me a place where I feel like I really belong.”
Last year, the Calvin Lin Turing Scholars Endowment was created in order to give financial support to the Turing Scholars program and help take the program to the next level. In November and December, over $188,000 was raised through HornRaiser, 753 percent of the campaign’s original $25,000 goal. The endowment was used to improve upper-division classes for Turing scholars and fund recruitment of new students into the program.
This winter, the Turing Scholars program is again raising money for the endowment with a goal of $25,000. Contributions will be accepted through January 12 through HornRaiser. The endowment will help improve classes for upperclassmen and aid in the recruitment of high school students.
“I would hope that the alums would look back fondly at their time here and realize that it was a great experience, and I would hope they would want to help us provide the same types of experiences, and maybe better experiences, for future generations of students,” Lin said.