Skip to content Skip to navigation
Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Vaughan House: The Digital Abacus

Vaughan House: The Digital Abacus is a community of scholars interested in learning how to use computers to simulate scenarios and solve problems in math and science. Students participating in this Living-Learning Community will use MATLAB, Mathematica, and Python to explore concepts in their biology, earth systems, chemistry, math and physics courses, as well as tackle interesting problems written by faculty. Community activities include hack-a-thons with the resident teaching assistant, presentations by faculty who use computers in their research and organized study sessions.

Why Vaughan House?

  • Learn more about computers as a useful tool for math and science.
  • Engage in algorithmic thinking as it relates to STEM fields.
  • Learn the basics of computer coding and functionality.

Highlights from 2019-2020

Living Learning Communities during COVID

With the news of the COVID-19 pandemic and the announcement that residence halls would only be open to select students, the Living Learning Communities were met with the challenge of maintaining a community of like-minded scholars through a virtual learning environment. To meet the challenge, House Fellows, Den Assistants (Student Leaders) and School of Natural Sciences Staff worked together to create a sense of belonging at UC Merced by:

Weekly Classes/Seminars

Every Friday, Vaughan House students met during their required Friday course. In addition to guest speakers, reflection activities and larger group check-ins, these seminars provided a space for students to decompress and reconnect at the end of a long week.

Weekly Events

Outside of the classroom space, virtual social events were held to cater to those students who wanted to meet and get to know their fellow Bobcats:

  • Game nights (Jackbox games and Among Us)
  • Evening social chats

How to Join

To join Vaughan House, participants must indicate Vaughan House as one of your top preferences during your housing selection.

Please note, you do not have to have prior computer coding experience. This LLC is meant for anyone who is interested in exploring computers in STEM.

For more information about Vaughan House, please contact us at

If you have specific questions regarding housing, including the cost of housing and meal plans, please visit the housing website.