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Stern Computer Science Students Brave Winter’s Elements to Train in Mitrani Lab

On Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, fourteen dedicated computer science students braved a winter snowstorm to have some Raspberry Pi at the Mitrani Tech Lab at Stern College for Women.


raspberry pi mitrani stern


Though it sounds like a dessert, Raspberry Pi is a tiny and inexpensive yet powerful computer, and these students were hungry to learn from a professional trainer on how to use the Python programming language to code the Raspberry Pi for projects. The workshop was co-hosted by the computer science department and computer science club.

According to Prof. Alan Broder, chair of the computer science department, students usually write code in Python to run on PCs, Macs, and large servers. However, the Raspberry Pi, which is the size of a deck of cards and can run on batteries, can also be programmed in Python. The students worked at eight stations connecting and programming the devices, and had their code displayed on a large screen TV in full view of everyone.

“Seeing our code run to control sensors and devices was not only fascinating but showed us that the skills we learned in our computer science classes can really be used in so many different ways,” said Amanda Poupko ’24S. “I definitely feel that the exposure has made me think more about my own future career.”

The Mitrani Tech Lab, created in 2019 thanks to a gift from the Selma T. and Jacques H. Mitrani Foundation, provides Stern College’s computer science students a state-of-the-art facility where they can collaborate with other students on developing their coding and other important computer skills. Part of the lab includes a maker space with a 3D printer and other hardware components so students can apply their programming knowledge to building useful real-life devices.

“The Mitrani’s generous donation provided a space for my fellow students and me to experiment with a field new to all of us,” said Jennifer Peled ’24S, coordinator of the event. “The skills we learned in the workshop really aren’t offered at many places, so to be able to bring an instructor to our own campus was invaluable.”