On March 15th, Chris Schultz posted, “I want a computer science department at Tulane in New Orleans,” on Neighborland.com.
Neighborland, created by Candy Chang, Dan Parham, and Tee Parham, is a platform for civic engagement that launched in New Orleans last summer. The idea behind the site is that anyone can post what they want to see changed in their neighborhood, start or join a discussion around an idea, and eventually have a direct way of impacting their government officials.
Chris’ post was a great example of how the platform can be used to spark offline interactions and real change. He wrote, “Tulane takes pride in its civic engagement and I believe there is no more important way for Tulane to impact the continued growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic development of New Orleans then by fast-tracking the revival of its Computer Science program.”
Movement hit the conversation when Ramgopal Mettu commented that he has recently been hired as a computer science faculty member at Tulane. Ramgopal let the group know that Tulane is currently offering several CS courses, plans to coordinate a minor in the next 2-3 years, a major shortly after, and is currently hiring two additional CS faculty members. More information about the program is available at cs.tulane.edu.
Several members of the ecosystem chimed in to voice their support in the comments, including business owners Patrick Comer, Robbie Vitrano, Andrew Larimer, and Gerard Ramos.
Chris and Ramgopal eventually agreed that an in-person meeting at Launch Pad between members of the tech community, the current CS faculty, and Dean Altiero of Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering would help create stronger bonds and a symbiotic growth strategy.
Not only is it great to see the growth of Tulane’s computer science presence, it’s impressive to see how quickly Neighborland was able to open the door for a conversation and engaged community. Other popular topics currently on Neighborland in New Orleans include:
- “I want Car-Free Sundays on Magazine Street in New Orleans.”
- “I want the street car to go to Poland Avenue at St. Claude Avenue.”
- “I want the ability to recycle glass in New Orleans.”
- “I want a Charter High School for Software Engineering in New Orleans.”
Neighborland has also recently expanded to serve Boulder, Colorado, and Houston, Texas.