Pi Society (PiSoc)
British Computer Society Student Chapter
- A unique community of University of Bradford Computer Science students
- Members work together on real-life client projects
- Open to all students, from first-year to postgraduate
The first of its kind
In 2014, a small group of University of Bradford computing students formed the first ever British Computer Society (BCS) Student Chapter.
Named Pi Society (or PiSoc for short), the group now boasts around 30 members. They hold regular meetings to share knowledge, skills and support.
The society is open to all students who want to improve their computing skills and work on projects for real-life clients.
Real-world client experience
Founding member Rob Norville set up the society to help fellow students. Members can gain real-world client experience through project work.
Rob said: "We invite people and organisations to come to us with ideas; other student societies, for example, might ask us to create a mobile app for them.
"This gives members valuable industry experience, and compliments the skills they pick up on the course."
An example of this was an interactive periodic table app, developed for Bradford's Chemical Forensic Society.
We use every opportunity to talk about PiSoc. It's a unique asset that this university has. Thomas Green, PiSoc member
As well as regular meetings, the society runs annual and one-off events. The Linux Install Party is a support event for new students. They can set Linux up together, under the guidance of longer-term members of the group.
Society President Tom Mitchell said: "A lot of first-year developing is done in Linux.
"It's difficult to install on your own, so to have the support of PiSoc is really handy."
Hack-a-thons and data-diving
The society is always active at University open days, experience days and fresher's fairs.
Tom said: "We use every opportunity to talk to students, and we usually lead a demo in one of the labs.
"At the last fresher's fair, we even hosted a game-a-thon."
The society has also been involved in organised hack-a-thons and data-dives and hopes to feature in more of these in the future.
It's not all about computers
Socialising is an important aspect of PiSoc.
Tom said: "Earlier this year we went on a trip to the Cambridge Computing History museum, which has loads of old technology ranging from the 60s to the 90s.
"The trips aren't always computer-related though. A group of us recently went to Flamingo Land for the day, and we have socials at member's houses or in the pub."