How can I join HCS?

Interested in joining Harvard’s largest community of CS enthusiasts? Comping HCS is a great way to hone your skills, make new friends, receive funding for personal projects, and connect with our industry sponsors!

What is HCS?

HCS is a student organization at Harvard devoted to promoting community around computers, technology, good technology policy, and the study of computer science. We've been around since at least 1983, which gives us the fine distinction of being older than our average member. HCS members come from all fields, from History to Biology to Computer Science, and from many different parts of Harvard, from Harvard College to many different graduate schools, prominently the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

What services does HCS provide?

Harvard Computer Society (HCS) offers two free web services available to Harvard affiliates: mailing lists and web accounts.

Mailing lists provide an efficient way to facilitate announcements to or discussion among student groups, houses, study groups, blockmates, or groups of friends. It is easy to add any number of Harvard and non-Harvard addresses to a mailing list, and administering them is simple and requires little technical expertise. They have the form, and can be created here.

I have this really cool idea for a project - will you guys help me?

We're usually very willing to listen to your idea, particularly if it's really crazy and will change the lives of people at Harvard and beyond. If you've got an interesting idea for a project, you should come up with a pitch and contact the HCS board. We regularly help out or take on interesting projects and give them computing resources, people resources, connections to the Harvard administration, etc. We're particularly good at absorbing projects and turning them into things that live perpetually, rather than things that die when their founder/author graduates.

I would like to donate money/hardware/time to support HCS. How do I do this?

You should probably contact the board and someone can help you. We gladly accept donations (for a long time, we ran entirely on donated hardware) to support our various projects. If you're donating something of value, like money or computer hardware, we can arrange for the donation to be tax-deductible, but we need to know in advance so that we can channel it through the right part of the university.

I'm interested in computers but I don't know very much about them. Can I still join HCS?

Absolutely! Most of us didn't know very much when we joined either. In fact, some of our most successful members had never programmed before joining HCS. We're happy to teach you everything we know, just as we learned it from the HCS members before us. So don't be afraid to join without experience and ask a lot of questions. All we ask is that you're interested and excited by technology, just like we are.

What sorts of projects does HCS work on?

At HCS projects nights, we provide our members with the resources, mentorship, and training to pursue their interest in computer science. Each event consists of a hands-on workshop working with cool technologies, office hours with upperclassmen to ask about CS at Harvard and beyond, a space to hack with friends on a favorite project, and, of course, the best dinners Harvard Square has to offer. Towards the end of the semester, member teams will be given funding and mentors to work on a final project which they will present at the end of the year.

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