HCS is the best thing since RFC 1035. Really.
For starters, we have pizza at every meeting. But more seriously, we run a ton of cool projects and services that help the Harvard community. Joined a mailing list at Harvard? That was us. Now, we're deploying over $20,000 of brand-new hardware and we're just itching to do all sorts of new things with it.
Last year, we:
-Received over $35,000 in grants to buy new hardware
-Ran events with famous computer scientists, the CTO of a Fortune 500 company, and even engineers from Facebook.
-Ran our annual Datamatch service, which matches people on Valentine's Day using complex and carefully-guarded algorithms.
-Discussed in-depth Harvard's old ID system, which helped lead to the introduction of the new system this year.
This semester, we're planning:
-To make our new machines more reliable, so that we can expect 99.99% uptime instead of the 99.4% or so we get now.
-To build out a cluster in our office so we can hand out virtual machines to members for interesting projects.
-To make better security and login systems so users of our systems can take advantage of Harvard's authentication systems when they build websites.
-To build a number of applications to make people's lives better at Harvard, like better course picking software or a system to allow people to subscribe to their favorite on-campus publications.
-Events on everything from patent law to working at Facebook.
-A giant celebration of HCS's 25th anniversary
Joining HCS is easy! If you come to two meetings, we'll give you an account. And if you complete a small project that advances our goal of promoting interest in computers and technology at Harvard and beyond, we'll make you a member for life, meaning (among other things) that you'll keep your account for life. Such a project might be as simple as helping us administer our systems more effectively or as complicated as writing your own piece of software to solve one of the problems we mentioned or a problem of your own!
In the meantime, you should join our mailing lists:
hcs-announce - Our announcement list, for hearing about our events. (<2 messages per week)
hcs-discuss - A discussion list where we debate everything from politics to programming languages (<10 messages per week)
hcs-jobs - A list where we advertise any job postings people send us. These are usually for paid contract work designing websites. (<5 messages per week).