Local business ECRS establishes new scholarship program for Computer Science students

ECR Software Corporation (ECRS), a locally owned business in Boone, N.C. has announced the establishment of a Computer Science High Achievers Scholarship for students in the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University. Over the next four years, ECRS will award this scholarship to eight computer science undergraduates and two graduate students to conduct research totaling $176,000 in support. The first cohort will join the current seven ECRS Computer Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship scholars in fall 2019.

These scholarships and the fellowship will provide opportunities aimed at students interested in pursuing degrees in computer science that have expressed an interest in the development of innovative, and/or entrepreneurial ideas. Students who are residents of western North Carolina, and those who have demonstrated a desire and interest to stay and make contributions to Boone and the local community are especially encouraged to apply.

“ECRS has consistently supported our students and the university. This is a great example of their leadership in our community that helps our students grow to serve the region. This unique and ongoing collaboration will provide our graduate students an opportunity to conduct cutting edge research at ECRS,” said Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, Chair of Computer Science and Director of this program.

Accepted incoming freshman recipients will receive a $4,000 scholarship per year for four years upon meeting the program requirements and the accepted incoming graduate students will each receive a $12,000 fellowship in their first and second years of study. ECRS scholars will work closely together in academics, research and collectively participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) seminars. The undergraduate seminars will be a part of the interdisciplinary cohort of S-STEM scholars.

All recipients will have opportunities to collaborate and share research with each other, as well as, work closely with faculty members and report on their research during the STEM seminars. Scholars may have the opportunity to participate in internships and part-time or full-time employment provided by ECRS and other technology related companies.

In addition, the graduate fellow will work closely with a faculty member in the department and a mentor at ECRS to conduct both general and specific research, such as computer vision and machine learning.

Through the years, ECRS has worked closely with faculty and students in the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian on various research projects, student programs, scholarship opportunities and other activities. In 2016, the company donated a computer with a powerful GPU that allowed students to solve highly parallelizable problems in a hands-on course around computer architecture. ECRS also employs many graduates from the program in its development, distribution and support of world class retail automation systems. This new opportunity for students is a community model on collaborative mentoring and research.

“We are very excited about this ECRS funded mentoring program in our department. The ECRS scholarships will provide an opportunity to Computer Science students to experience mentoring and collaborative learning as they work with their peers in other programs,” said Tashakkori.


About ECRS
ECRS was started in 1989 by young entrepreneur and Appalachian alumnus, Pete Catoe and the current headquarters is located in Boone, N.C. ECRS is an award-winning, innovative company bringing together retail software, hardware and services to create solutions in retail automation. Since inception, ECRS has grown into a leading provider of retail automation systems to merchants in North America and beyond. The company was ranked in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies for the second year in a row; ranked in the top five of the 20 most promising retail solution providers of 2018 and has several rankings on the prestigious RIS Software LeaderBoard which ranks 99-leading technology providers. For more information, visit: https://www.ecrs.com.

About the Department of Computer Science
Appalachian’s Department of Computer Science provides a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares students for the computing industry or graduate education. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and a Master of Science degree in computer science. Learn more at https://compsci.appstate.edu.

Feb. 21, 2019
By Ellen Gwin Burnette

Pictured left to right: Mark Noble, Vice President of Development, ECRS; Dr. Randy Edwards, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement, ASU; Dr. Neva J. Specht, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, ASU; Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, Chair of Computer Science, ASU and Pete Catoe, Founder, CEO and President, ECRS. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette
Published: Feb 21, 2019 2:07pm