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Computing is a growing and continuously evolving discipline that provides ongoing opportunity for its graduates.  Businesses and other organizations increasingly depend on computer-based data collection, organization and analysis to inform their decisions and computing professionals are in high demand worldwide.

ACT offers the opportunity to students to obtain a well-rounded degree in Computer Science or an applied degree in Business Computing.

The computing curriculum is both rigorous and challenging and provides students with both theoretical background but also the practical skills needed by organizations and companies across the board.  The program allows students to readily combine Computing studies with other disciplines such as Business, etc., and the school's IT labs, Electronics-Robotics lab and Fabrication Lab in the Niarchos Technology Center make state-of-the-art IT facilities easily accessible to students in the program.

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Introduction to Electronics & Robotics Programming (CS130)

robot astaras act 2016Spend a few weeks this summer to learn to program, design and test electronics circuits, while building robots! No prior experience is required in either programming or electronics.

  • Design your own robot and compete in challenges
  • Learn to program in 2 computing languages (C, QB64)
  • Build your knowledge and improve your skills in Coding, Electronics, Mechanics and the English language
  • Design, build and troubleshoot electronic circuits
  • Learn to program the popular Arduino microcontroller
  • Design, troubleshoot & compete individually and as teams
  • Transferrable US College & University credit option

This fast-paced course is taught in English over a period of one month (June 13 - July 13, 2018 running 9:00-11:30 Monday-Thursday) and involves lectures, laboratory sessions and design challenges. It is instructed by a member of the ACT Computer Science faculty with a PhD in Electronics Engineering and Artificial Intelligence.

Who can sign up for this course?

EV3lego robotCS130The course is open to College students as well as to selected, top performing high school juniors and seniors who can gain valuable early experience with a US College curriculum taught in English (attendance certificate supplied). CS130 is a 1st year university level course. Strong performing Lyceum & IDBP students with a solid background in high school Physics and English may be accepted after a brief interview with the course instructor. No prior knowledge of programming is required.

Upon completion of the course, students will study and practice:

  • the fundamental principles of programming using the C and QB64 programming languages
  • the basics of mixed signal electronics, performing experiments with the Arduino microcontroller board
  • the fundamentals of robotics: sensors, actuators and mobile robotics programming, using Mindstorms EV3 robotics experimentation kits
  • integration of all aforementioned skills and components into their robotic designs, including the skills to troubleshoot, evaluate and improve their mechatronics creations

cs act 2016 2

The course in detail: 

The primary difference between robots and other types of computing devices is their ability to have a physical effect on their environment, rather than to simply gather, process and communicate data. In this summer course we explore sensors, microcontrollers and actuators, which are the electronic components that help robots perceive and physically interact with their surroundings. We gradually build our understanding of electronic components and programming from the ground up, with no previous coding experience required.

The course employs experiential learning, iterative design and challenge-oriented teaching to encourage students to hone their critical, analytical, creativity and teamwork design skills. During programming training all students will produce an interactive computer game which includes graphics. The course concludes with a team design competition based on a series of robotics challenges, as well as a scientific slide presentation by each team explaining their design choices to their classmates. Students are encouraged to be creative and original in designing their hardware and programming code.

They are also instructed to find, understand, modify and repurpose code from the internet, combine it with their own and optimize it for their hardware. They study and evaluate designs from other robotics teams and combine the most desirable features with their own hardware design ideas. Proper acknowledgement and citation of original work which has been integrated in the robotic designs is demonstrated by the instructor and required by all teams.

Most of instruction involves experiential learning within a team, multiple design improvement cycles and a series of increasingly challenging targets set by the instructor. Each team prepares a final slide presentation to the rest of the class, listing their achievements, inviting questions and constructive criticism of their designs. Each team subsequently participates in a final robotics challenge competition.

More about the professor:

alexander astaras professor photo 2016Dr. Alexander Astaras is Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) and a Research Associate in the Lab of Medical Physics, Dept. of Medicine (AUTH), Greece. He obtained his BA in Physics from Oberlin College, Ohio, USA and his PhD in Electronics and Artificial Intelligence from the Electrical Engineering Dept. of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. He is an Electronics and Biomedical Engineer, the author of more than 35 peer-reviewed publications in these fields. He has designed and tested several prototype electronic chips & supervised numerous undergraduate and MSc theses in biomedical engineering and electronics. He is an active member of the IEEE and the Hellenic Biomedical Engineering Society (ELEVIT). He works in analogue and mixed-signal integrated circuits, system-on-chip and lab-on-chip integration as well as mapping artificial neural networks on silicon. His research interests include biomedical micro-electro-mechanical data acquisition sensors, low power mixed-signal VLSI electronics design, machine learning and medical robotics. He is also interested in using robotics to promote science and engineering in secondary and university level education.

Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enrollment for Summer 2018 has started.

For more information, contact the Admissions Office at +30 2310 398 398 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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17 Sevenidi St.
55535, Pylaia
Thessaloniki, Greece
Tel. +30 2310 398398
P.O.Box 21021

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