An Awesome Start!

Nigeria Summer 2012 Blog

Written by: Dibia Victor

July 15, 2012

This week has been great! I got the chance to meet with all key stakeholders before class start – the Google team, the other MIT AITI team members (Teju and Bolu), the Head of Computer Science department, and some of the Unilag Students (300 level Computer Science)!

Unilag is quite picturesque – tall trees on the sidewalks, organized road structure, pedestrian sidewalks and  for the most part it does live up to its hype as one of the leading Federal Institutions of Higher Learning in Nigeria! We have been graciously allocated Lab 102 on the first floor of the CITS building, and it’s a great lab! 3 synchonized projectors (we are still trying to get two to work), air conditioning, 55 desktop workstation all hooked up to the internet with decent connection speeds!

Thus far, I have had two technical sessions with the students and I am convinced we have an awesome mix of people this year! In the very first class, we had  a meet and greet session and quickly discovered an interesting array of hobbies J - singers, dancers, avid sports fans, footballers, professional photographers (you’ll be seeing some flicks soon, hopefully), *gingerers , comedians , outspoken folks .. and more! A mix like this would go a long way in ensuring the ideas generated are creative, rigorous, well-examined, criticized, refined and polished .. leading to successful products! Awesome! Class participation has also been wonderful , everyone has put in substantial effort to follow all the activities during the in-class code lab walk through with over 70% completion rates and some extra credit work done.  It was also very encouraging to watch the students work enthusiastically through the initial assessment test/code lab on the first day of class! (aimed at assessing their current technical capabilities) .. and with great results too!
All of these being said, I can’t wait to see all the ideas take shape and gradually come to life!


Other events worthy of note are ..

  • On day 1, Teju and I discussed with the students on possible ground rules they thought would ensure we have a successful program. I was delighted with a student requested for  “No Overly theoretical class” .. a rule which we readily agreed to ! We are going hands-on full steam! I also hope they keep their own part of the rule by ensuring they turn in all their labs/assignments on time!
  •  Today, while going through the homeworks submitted , we found the following comment from a student ..

                   “I thoroughly enjoyed doing this assignment. Looking forward to the next class already!

what can we say? We feel really encouraged, excited and are committed to giving our best! Thanks guys!


To sum up, power conditions have been good, no hitches and we hope it continues like this! J If you ask me .. I think it’s an awesome start!