Outstanding Chapter Website Award 2006

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo ACM Student Chapter

ACM Cal Poly, SLO website: http://acm.calpoly.edu

Webmaster: Manh Do (mdo@calpoly.edu)

The ACM website serves as a hub of communication for the club, connecting members with each other, the community, and some of the leading companies in our industry. Members can find in one place the newest club news, information about upcoming events, and research job opportunities in their field. The site also serves as a forum for visiting companies, allowing them to inform students about their newest promotions and presentations, as well as allowing them to post job openings. Finally it allows community members to spread information about upcoming community service opportunities, such as food drives and environmental cleanup days. To accomplish these tasks, the site has two main priorities: to always keep its information fresh, and to display it in an attractive and easy to navigate fashion.


To accomplish the first, a combination of XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Flash were used to provide a dynamically updating webpage geared towards providing the most current information to our members. The site uses simple, easily updatable data files containing events, announcements, officer information and more to store the information, while the web page dynamically renders it in the format seen by the end user. This prevents duplication of data, and allows several sections of the web page containing the same information to be updated simultaneously, simply by changing a single data file. In addition, the scripts used to render the data ensure that the site maintains a single overall look and feel. Finally the site updates itself by removing old events and prioritizing which announcements should be displayed on the main page.


To accomplish the second goal, of being attractive and easy to navigate, a combination of Flash and Photoshop were used to provide the graphics. In addition, the main page was designed to quickly display the most important information, saving the user the trouble of having to search for it. Finally to further extend its functionality, the webpage provides a list of useful links at the top of every page allowing members to quickly navigate to sites most frequently used by Cal Poly students.


Overall the site is simple to navigate on the user’s end, allowing them to easily get the information that they came for, and simple to update on the maintainer’s end, allowing them to quickly update data with minimal effort. This is achieved by a robust and flexible layer in between the two that transforms the plain text data files that the maintainer works with, into the graphical representation that the user sees.

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