Computer lab helps simulate real world working environment


Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion's Roar

Students work in the new computer science lab that opened on Jan. 29. The construction was paid for through donations by Envoc, a web and mobile software design, development and application-hosting firm based in Baton Rouge.

A new computer science lab has opened in the university to prepare students for the real world working environment.

Located in the Computer Science and Technology Building, the Envoc Innovation Lab officially opened on Jan. 29 after a yearlong construction process. The technically equipped lab was constructed with the donations from Envoc, a web and mobile software design, development and application-hosting firm based in Baton Rouge.

The lab is equipped with free Wi-Fi, white boards, stations for students to work individually or in groups, a lounge area, two rows of modern workstations, two futuristic privacy chairs and a section where students can virtually sit in during Envoc’s developer meetings.

Dr. Quoc-Nam Tran, head of the Department of Computer Science, expressed that the lab is designed to simulate a real world working environment for students.

“Actually, the current employers like Envoc, Apple or Google, they want to create an environment for the employees working so that they can have more innovation,” stated Tran. “They don’t have to sit next by other and work in the computer. Here, we concentrate on the innovation.”

The computer lab, however, does not have computers. Tran shared that students can bring their own laptops, and have discussions among their group members to come up with a solution for any computer science related problems.

“You don’t see any computers, but actually it is constructed with the newest technology,” stated Tran. “We have the wireless connection there. We have everything for a group to work on their innovative ideas.”

In a press release from the university, Calvin Fabre, CEO of Envoc, expressed that the lab will help create opportunities for future developers.

“Many of our Envoceans at our Hammond office are Southeastern graduates, as am I, and we like to stay involved and create learning opportunities for future developers,” commented Fabre. “We personally help develop the computer science curriculum at Southeastern, and some of our Envoceans even facilitate project classes, offering students an opportunity to work side-by-side with thriving professionals on innovative projects. The innovation lab enhances that experience on campus.”

The facility will mainly be useful for students in project classes.

“We have a special class we call the capstone class,” explained Tran. “Capstone project is when students start working with real-world problems. The main point here is that we want to prepare students for their future career. This lab, it’s very well into what we are training our students.”

Collin Cashio, a senior computer science major, works as a mentor in the Envoc Innovation Lab, and he feels students have profited from the facility.

“It’s benefited not only me, but the other students that want to come in here and take a break, or study, work on computer science related things, or if they have issues with computer science 161, 280, 290 and 390,” said Cashio.

The innovation lab is different from the other computer lab in the building.

“It’s nicer,” shared Cashio. “We have a lot of white boards and a lot of room to think. It’s colored particularly well. I do like the design of this, and it also feels really relaxing coming in here.”

The computer lab is open to students from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The room can also be booked for use after 5 p.m.