Distributed Expertise

This area contains materials presented or gathered during the 2010 meeting of the CPATH Program Principal Investigators. 

Group: 
Resources derived from the CPATH project on Distributed Expertise.

Brainstorming - CSED Week

Breakout 1 : Crossing disciplinary boundaries, continuing fruitful collaborations

Breakout 2 : Sustainability, Making and Keeping Connections

Breakout 3: Potpourri

CPATH PI Meeting 2010 Booklet

Resparking Innovation in Computing Education (Naval Postgraduate School)

 

PI Details 

Denning Peter

pjd@nps.edu

Naval Postgraduate School

Computer Science / Innovation

http://cs.gmu.edu/cne/pjd/cpath/

 

Description:

 

This CPATH CISE Distinguished Education Fellow (CDEF) award to Dr. Peter Denning recognizes his role as an accomplished, creative, and innovative leader who serves the nation as a spokesperson and force for change in undergraduate computing education. CDEF awards are made to individuals who have achieved distinction in the computing profession, who are committed to transforming undergraduate computing education, and who have innovative ideas on how to do so. In his CPATH project, Dr. Denning articulates both a broad vision for revitalizing undergraduate computing education in the nation and an implementation plan for building community around those revitalization efforts. His project vision is to support U.S. competitiveness by stimulating a greater supply of talented, innovative people in computing. The objectives are to design a new operating model for computing education and, with support from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Education Board,involve computing departments in experiments with the model. The new model will be true to fundamental computing principles, emphasize innovation by individual faculty, students, and departments, and support faculty in their roles as mentors and coaches. The outcomes of this CPATH CDEF project are likely to have far-reaching and critical impacts on educational institutions in the nation. These outcomes address many of the current problems faced by the field and propose a sound solution.

 

Discipline:

 

Computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engineering, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Audience:

 

CS undergrads, K-12 teachers, all computing professionals

 

Pedagogic Approch:

We advocate the Great Principles of Computing framework for the field. http://greatprinciples.org

 

Challenges:

 

Since we are aiming for cultural change within the field, support for follow up activities after a brainstorming meeting like Rebooting is essential. The 19 action groups formed at the Rebooting summit had limited support from us. I created a team of Rebooting alumni and blended their projects into one, "Field Guide to the Science of Computing", applied to CPATH-2, and received an award.

field_vote: 

Exploring Studio: Based Instructional Models for Computing Education(Washington State University, University of Hawaii, Auburn University)

PI Details

Christopher D.Hundhausen

hundhaus@wsu.edu

Washington State University

School of Elec. Eng. and Comp. Sci.

Martha E. Crosby

crosby@hawaii.edu

University of Hawaii

Communication & Information Sciences

Hari Narayanan. N

naraynh@auburn.edu

Auburn University

Computer Science & Software Engineering

 

 

Description

This CPATH collaborative project between Washington State University, Auburn University, and the University of Hawaii extends and evaluates the use of studio-based instruction in undergraduate computing courses and builds regional communities of practice at universities geographically close to the three funded institutions. The studio method, adapted from standard pedagogy in architecture education, actively engages students in collaborative, design-oriented learning. The method emphasizes learning activities in which students construct personally-meaningful representations of computing concepts under study and present the representations to their instructors and peers for feedback using the concept of design criticisms.

 

Success Story:

Auburn University computing students have enthusiastically embraced studio-based learning in CS 2. Here are illustrative verbatim quotes from student emails: "When I took COMP 1210 [CS 1], I was excited going into it, but came out feeling like I was hit by a train. So I switched to hardware. Don't ask me how, but I ended up back in Software Eng, and I was really dreading taking COMP 2210 [CS 2]. I know I started out rough on the first test and GLA's. But I honestly feel like I learned a lot of information. I also want to Thank you for making me reach outside my limitation and to stretch my brain. But I know there is a lot more to learn, and after taking your class, I'm enthusiastic about learning it. So, I'll make this short and just say Thank You, for rekindling my enthusiasm about Java and software engineering in general." "I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to work on A5. It's really given me a respect for the studio program and some of my peers in the class. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, because in my last two CS classes at KSU, the assignments were not challenging or stimulating in the least. These [studio] assignments this semester have provided a great opportunity for growth and learning. I'm really glad that I came to Auburn this semester and that I had to take your class." Washington State University's approach to studio-based instruction for lower-division computing courses involves the "pedagogical code review" (PCR). Based on the formal code inspection process commonly used in the software industry, PCRs have small teams of students first review each other’s code individually, and then come together as a team both to log issues (defects and improvements) that they encountered, and to identify additional issues as a team. An empirical comparison of face-to-face PCRs conducted with an Online Studio-Based Learning Environment against face-to-face PCRs conducted with pen- and-paper found that technology support greatly improved the organization of the code reviews and access to pedagogically relevant information, sped up the code review process by 37%, and facilitated greater collaboration within student teams. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an introductory computing course for majors and non-majors offered in the studio format has seen significantly increased enrollment and improved student understanding and retention of computing concepts

 

Challenges

I wonder if other teachers who have agreed to adopt the approach will obtain adequate training. I wonder whether "the culture of review" advocated by the approach will be accepted by computer science students, who are not used to giving and receiving peer feedback.

 

Pedagogic Approach

Our current and future evaluations of the pedagogy will address four key questions: RQ1. Do students learn better in studio-based instruction than in traditional instruction? RQ2. Are students able to better transfer and apply the knowledge learned through the studio-based approach in future courses? RQ3. Are students more engaged, invested and motivated in studio-based classrooms? RQ4. What are the long term impacts of this approach in terms of persistence in the undergraduate program and future plans for computing careers? To address these questions, we are offering two or three consecutive courses from a set of four undergraduate computing courses (pre-CS1, CS1, CS2 and CS3) in alternating studio and traditional formats over the next two years at each participating university, and undertaking the following data collection, comparison and evaluation activities. To address RQ1, we have developed a common pre- and post-test instrument, specific to each course, to assess the learning of key computing concepts and skills in each course. We will also use course-specific assignment and exam scores to track student progress in each consecutive course sequence. Collection of these data will allow us to systematically compare student learning in traditional and studio-based courses within and across institutions. To address RQ2, we will compare the performance in subsequent courses of students who take previous courses in the traditional and studio-based formats. We will also compare failure and dropout rates in each course vis-à-vis current and previous exposure to studio-based and traditional formats. To address RQ3, we will track the attitudes, engagement, motivation and future plans of students in the consecutive courses at each university through both pre and post surveys (at the start and end of each course in each semester), and interviews of selected students. These data should reveal immediate and long-term affective impact of traditional vs. studio-based instruction. To address RQ4, we will track retention by looking at the number of students who take all courses in a sequence, and the number of students who subsequently remain in the computing program, at each of the participating institutions.

field_vote: 

Learning to Build Systems of Systems (Georgia State University)

PI Details

Vijay Vaishnavi

vvaishna@gsu.edu

Georgia State University

CIS Department

http://cpathmonitor.org/

Faye Borthick


borthick@gsu.edu

Richard Welke

rwelke@gsu.edu

Description:

 

This CPATH collaborative project develops the models for extending Penn State's successful institutional transformation based on building system of systems to other institutions of higher education. The first phase of the project is aimed at adoption of a strategy at Georgia State University. The second phase involves systemic programmatic evaluation of the strategy in both settings. The third phase targets extending the strategy to include an open source element. The Penn State transformation strategy, Augmenting Education of Systems-of- Systems Professionals (AESOP), prepares computing professionals who can build and support large and complex systems. The strategy contains five major elements including organizational, curricular, active learning, problem-based learning, and experiential learning components. The intellectual merit of this project stems from the strong research team, the soundness of the combined activities, and the timeliness of the systems of systems focus to address critical information systems education issues. The research team members have solid research records in both enterprise integration and in education. The strategy that is being adopted, evaluated, and extended has a sound research basis and offers the possibility of new research results that can be incorporated by others. The broader impacts of this project stem from the dissemination of the results and learning resources on a wide scale. The project extensions to both higher education and industry partners offers many unique models which may be of value as national models. Thus the project has the potential to impact the preparation of a cadre of computing professionals who can provide leadership in a wide range of application fields and thus enhance an area of significant national need.

 

Discipline :

Computing in business administration

 

Audience :

Computer Information Systems (CIS)undergraduates

 

Challenges:

My biggest concern is whether the pedagogical approach advocated by the project will be used in other courses by other faculty members after the project has ended. There is a mismatch between what the approach focuses upon - student learning - and what is measured through the student course evaluation forms at the end of each course. This plus the effort it takes to change the teaching style of the course may discourage other faculty from using the approach.

 

Pedagogic Approach:

The project advocates the use of the following approach to teaching:

a) Active-learning: implementing a repository of resources and a learning environment for active learning;

(b) Problem-based learning: delivering courses through team-based problems; and

(c) Experiential learning: learning through projects, sponsored by partners from industry and government, that student teams build integrated systems solutions.

field_vote: 

Can Humanitarian Open- Source Development Help Revitalize Undergraduate Computing Education? (Connecticut College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University)

PI Details

Parker Gary

parker@conncoll.edu

Connecticut College

CIS Department

 
 

Morelli Raph

                   ralph.morelli@trincoll.edu

  Trinity College

                         Computer Science Department

Krizanc Danny

dkrizanc@wesleyan.edu

Wesleyan University

Computer Science Department

 
 

Ozgur Izmirli

         oizm@conncoll.edu

         Connecticut College

                        Computer Science Department

Description:

This community building project creates a diverse community of individuals from academic computing departments, social service organizations, and computing and IT corporations, to test the hypothesis that humanitarian free and open-source software development (H- FOSS) can help revitalize undergraduate computing education. The project will capitalize on two contemporary interests that are under served in computing curricula: the open-source development model, as a way to teach software engineering; and, service- learning, as a means by which students and faculty can contribute to the surrounding community. A software development version of the Habitat for Humanity model will be investigated: instead of building houses, students and faculty will learn computing by building software systems that benefit humanity. To combat the computing-is-coding myth, community-based summer and academic year internships will demonstrate that computing is working together with other people to design and develop solutions to real problems.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Success

Software developed during last summer's Humanitarian FOSS Summer Institute was used by the Salvation Army of NYC to help coordinate the delivery of 10,000 Thanksgiving turkey dinners at distribution centers throughout the city. The Collabbit software (http://collabbit.hfoss.org) is a web-based communication tool that helps organizations coordinate and organize relief efforts during a disaster recovery scenario. It was designed and built by HFOSS students at the request of NYC's VOAD group (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster). The group wanted a light weight tool that could be used to coordinate activities among different individuals from different organizations working together in a disaster recovery effort. A rapid prototype of the system was used for a June 11, 2009 table top disaster recovery exercise conducted by the NYC VOAD community at the FEGS offices in Lower Manhattan. Collabbit is currently being tested by the Red Cross in NYC. A New Scientist news item about the Collabbit effort is available here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427286.000-aid-agencies-turn-to-opensource- software.htm

 

Challenges

• Sustainability - The ability to spread the model we've developed to other institutions

• Curriculum – The ability to incorporate the focus on FOSS principles and methodology into the undergraduate curriculum

• Scope – The ability to attract students to computing before they enroll in college.

 

Future Plan

Recruiting new schools to join the project

field_vote: 

Extending Contextualized Computing in Multiple Institutions Using Threads (Southern Polytechnic State University, CUNY Brooklyn College, Georgia Tech, Armstrong Atlantic State University)

PI Details

Andy Ju An Wang

jwang@spsu.edu

Southern Polytechnic State University

Computing and Software Engineering

Sklar Elizabeth

sklar@sci.brooklyn.cuny.edu

CUNY Brooklyn College

Computer and Information Science

Charles Isbell

charles.isbell@cc.gatech.edu

Georgia Tech

College of Computing

Ashraf Saad

ashraf.saad@armstrong.edu

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Computer Science Department

 

Description

This proposal centers around the notion that computing has evolved into an inter- and intra-disciplinary field of intertwined concepts that pervade society. The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and other schools in the University System of Georgia have defined and adopted a number of specialized degrees and contextualized computing courses. Last Fall, Georgia Tech extended this approach to create the Threads model includes a process for creating curricular change, an infrastructure for advising, and software to support administrators, advisors, educators and students.In parallel, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (BC-CUNY) has developed several context-based approaches to computing education with a focus on introductory courses and the high school to college continuum, as well as created two new interdisciplinary masters degrees. The team proposes to create an alliance that validates and extends the Threads model. The proposed work encompasses a methodical approach to understanding the process of defining broad, flexible paths through a computing curriculum, and to measuring and analyzing the outcomes of this process when applied to a variety of departments and interest groups. At the heart of this process is an emphasis on context-based instruction and targeted advising that helps students crystalize career paths and realize the short- and long-term relevance of their coursework. The project explores crucial research questions that arise out of adapting and applying Threads, and evaluating the effects on students, faculty and administrators through quantitative and qualitative studies. Under the work proposed here, they will measure the impact of Georgia Tech’s implementation of the Threads model and the supporting advising mechanisms; extend and adapt Threads to a broad range of computing departments; facilitate its adoption at such departments; and evaluate its efficacy under a variety of conditions. The goal is a validated, widely deployed and broadly-evaluated model of curricular reform that is applicable to small and large departments, students with a range of backgrounds and abilities, and faculty with a range of interests. The combination of diverse experiences brought together by the project team promises to produce results with the potential to serve as national models for both computing and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

 

Success Story

Southern Polytechnic State University is implementing three Threads-based tracks: Security, eDevices, and Intelligent and Scientific Computing.

 

Future Plan

Continue implementation and evaluation at each school, share lessons learned, and determine how to continue evaluation post-funding.

field_vote: 

Performamatics (University of Massachusetts Lowell)

 

PI Details

Jesse Heines

heines@cs.uml.edu

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Computer Science, Music, and Art

www.performamatics.com

 

CO-PIs

Fred Martin, fredm@cs.uml.edu

Gena Grehe, Gena_Greher@uml.edu

Jim Jeffers, James_Jeffers@uml.edu

Karen Roehr, Karen_Roehr@uml.edu

Sarah Kuhn, Sarah_Kuhn@uml.edu

 

Description

Performamatics is a series of courses intended to attract students to computer science (CS) by tapping their inherent interest in performance and the arts. Toward that end, two CS professors have teamed with five Music, Theater, and Art professors to offer both introductory and advanced courses where assignments designed to reinforce CS concepts center around applications in the Arts. These courses are in the spirit of pioneering work done by Cooper, Dann, & Pausch, Guzdial, and Yanco et al., and have been described in many papers and presentations. Readers are also referred to www.performamatics.com for links to online materials

Descipline

Computing in/and humanities

Audience

CS undergrads

Pedagogic Approach

All of our activities involve the development or interdisciplinary courses and programs.

Success

A student stated, "If you had told me at the beginning of the semester that I would produce what I produced by the end of the semester, I would not have believed you."

Challenges

Probably the most common one that everyone has to deal with sustainability.

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Microsoft Office document icon Performamatics.doc703.5 KB
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Computing Across Curricula (North Carolina State University)

PI Details

Rouskas George

rouskas@ncsu.edu

North Carolina State University

Computer Science Department

http://rouskas.csc.ncsu.edu/

 

 

Co PIs

Larry Silverberg

Eric Wiebe

Jeffrey Joines

Lisa Bullard

 

Description

This CPATH Community Building (CB) project addresses disjointed educational approaches to discipline-specific computing and generic computer literacy that do not reflect the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by engineers in the workplace. Computing in the workplace is pervasive, involving many complex tools, many approaches to problem solving, strategic decision making, and synthesis. To prepare students for pervasive computing in the workplace, educational institutions are evolving ways think in terms of pervasive computing in education. This project builds community to support the integration of computational thinking across the engineering curricula at this institution.

To accomplish the goal of building a computational thinking thread, this Computing Across Curricula (CAC) project will bring together an interdisciplinary mix of academic and industry stakeholders to:

(1) identify shortcomings in computing education within engineering disciplines, taking into account industry needs, and codify the high-order computational thinking outcomes graduates should possess for problem solving and decision making in the workplace;

(2) operationalize these outcomes as pedagogical strategies that address existing shortcomings and needs; and

(3) put in place an evaluative structure to determine if the pedagogical strategies have been effective at addressing the desired outcomes identified with industrial partners.

This three-year project is a first step towards identifying the elements of the computational thinking thread. Project leadership includes key members of existing academic computing units on campus as well as members of engineering faculty. Together they will implement reforms from inside of existing institutional structures. In addition, a primary thrust of this project is to establish a standing group on campus where faculty and industry leaders can come together and continue to effect change in academic computing after initial project funding has concluded. Results of the project will be communicated both locally on campus and nationally through regional and national meeting and journals. This project may serve as a national model for preparing students to work in pervasive computing workforce prepared with computational thinking integrated throughout their undergraduate education.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Desciplines

Computing in/and engineering

 

Pedagogic Approach

A pedagogic approach our grant activities advocate is the one can be applied vertically within a curriculum and horizontally across curricula and integrates active learning.

 

Challenges

Our biggest concern about the project is the sustainability of the fellow community after the project ends. It seems that once the project ends, there are not many professional development opportunities that would be provided from the project to these fellows.

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Microsoft Office document icon Computing Across Curiculla.doc786 KB
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Campus Wide Computation Initiative -A New Model for Computing Education (Union College, Lafayette College)

PI Details

Barr, Valerie

barrv@union.edu

Union College

Computer Science

Liew, Chun Wai

Lafayette College

liew@cs.lafayette.edu

 

Description

The goal of this project is to develop a model for a campus wide computation initiative that will transform undergraduate computing education in the institution and academic environment. The activities that make up this model will engage in computation students and faculty who are outside the typical computing community. The transformation is achieved through the involvement of (1) faculty leaders inside the computing community in teaching and research collaborations with faculty and students from outside the computing community, and (2) faculty and industrial partners who develop programs that highlight the increasingly important role of computation in their respective industries. The two colleges have developed and will implement a coordinated model for a computation initiative that will (1) attract non-traditional CS students to take introductory computing courses (not computer literacy courses) and (2) encourage faculty from non-CS departments to develop discipline specific courses that build on the introductory computation courses and incorporate higher level computation skills. The model is based on the framework of a curriculum in computational methods that includes a core of courses that addresses common applications of computation across disciplines, followed by additional discipline specific courses within other departments that focus on computation activities in those fields

 

Audience

non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engineering, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

We try to embed computational activities within the context of problem solving in other disciplines, i.e., it's not CS first/second/... but looking at another discipline's primary problems and developing computational approaches to those problems.We work with departments that are interested in that approach to build collaborative research efforts

 

Success

I funded an Economics faculty member who teaches a course in Contemporary Issues in MacroEconomics. He revamped his entire course so that the first two-thirds would build up to a computationally oriented final third. In this latter part of the course the students would work in the computer lab with a sophisticated model of the U.S. economy. After the first day in the lab, one of the students, an upper level Economics major, told me that the 90 minutes in the lab had made the entire course make sense!

 

Future Plan

Fund more faculty-student teams; roll out more courses that touch on interdisciplinary topics.

field_vote: 

Extending a Bottom-Up Education Model to Support Concurrency from the First Year (Purdue University)

PI Details

Vijay Pai

vpai@purdue.edu

Purdue University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

CO PIs

Cordelia Brown, brown83@purdue.edu

Yung-Hsiang Lu, yunglu@purdue.edu

Sam Midkiff, smidkiff@purdue.edu

T.N. Vijaykumar, vijay@purdue.edu

 

Description

This project responds to the multicore era by incorporating concurrency content into courses at the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior levels. Topics covered include hardware, software, and algorithms. Rather than treating concurrency as a special topic, it is woven into other existing courses to make it a more fundamental part of computational thinking. Courses are adapted whenever possible to include fundamental topics in concurrency, such as data parallelism, task parallelism, dependences, atomicity, communication, and concurrency control.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and engr

 

Pedagogic Approach

Integration of concurrency as a first-class citizen among topics in a wide spectrum of courses, starting from the first year.

 

Success

We have held a successful workshop bringing together leading parallel systems people from industry and academia to exchange ideas and plan for broader dissemination. We have also developed (and are currently refining) a Concurrency Concept Inventory (CCI) to gauge student understanding of parallelism.

 

Challenges

Challenges in disseminating this work outside our institution and involving other institutions in assessment

 

Future Plan

Detailed quasi-experimental study comparing student outcomes to a peer institution, incorporate more programming

field_vote: 

Computing Education in Science Context (Purdue University)

PI Details

Hambrusch, Susanne

seh@cs.purdue.edu

Purdue University

Computer Science

http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/seh/

 

CO PIs

Christoph Hoffmann

James Lehman

Aman Yadav

Anthony Rud

 

Description

Computer Science has become indispensable to scientific inquiry and is permeating science in a transformative manner. This project will develop a framework for a two- course sequence that introduces science majors to computational thinking, to the parallels between computational concepts and scientific models, and to the role of computation in exploring and understanding of physical phenomena. Annual workshops will be held at Purdue to facilitate interaction with other institutions striving for the same goal and to build a broader community developing the principles of a computing education for science undergraduates. The intellectual merit lies in the recognition of computing as a core activity of the sciences and the need for the next generation of scientists to have a deeper understanding of computational thought. This project will develop an expedient approach for accomplishing this goal by introducing into Purdue's science undergraduate curriculum a full exposition of the many parallels between computational and scientific models. The approach will provide multi-disciplinary exposure and will foster computational and algorithmic thinking. Broader implications of the work include scientists trained in the principles of computing and able to apply computational thinking, as well as having an appreciation of parallels between disciplines. Employing a visual, multi-disciplinary, and team- oriented approach will facilitate comprehension and interest.

 

Audience

Non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences

 

Challenges

That lessons we learned will indeed get implemented.

 

Future Plan

Implementing modules on computational thinking for education courses

field_vote: 

Computing and Undergraduate Engineering: A Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs (Michigan State University)

PI Details

Wolff, Thomas

wolff@egr.msu.edu

Michigan State University

College of Engineering

 

CO PIs

Jon Sticklen, sticklen@msu.edu

Daina Briedis, briedis@msu.edu

Mark Urban-Lurain, urban@msu.edu

Neeraj Buch, buch@egr.msu.edu

 

Description

CPATH CB - Computing and Undergraduate Engineering: A Collaborative Process to Align Computing Education with Engineering Workforce Needs PI: Thomas F. Wolff American industries require employees with strong computation-based problem solving skills. Traditionally, industry needs have been couched in terms of proficiency with specific applications rather than around functional capabilities. Also traditionally, academic institutions have developed curricula that address disciplinary principles without regard to industry needs. These two "traditions" have hindered industries from meeting their needs, and academic institutions from meeting their societal responsibilities. This CPATH Community Building (CB) project addresses these problems.Project investigators will develop, implement, and evaluate a process to create an academic/industry community as a lynchpin of curricular change. The specific project goal is to demonstrate the process in the context of meeting industrial needs for computational problem solving. Project participants are Michigan State University (lead institution), Lansing Community College, the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Western Michigan University, and representatives of ABET, Inc. The project team consists of academic representatives from MSU and LCC and representatives from technology-based companies in mid- Michigan via CSW and the Mid-Michigan Innovation Team (MMIT), lead group in the mid-Michigan US Department of Labor WIRED initiative. WMU will evaluate the development process. Generalization of the process for aligning curricular change and industry needs is expected

field_vote: 

Building Community via Robotics Innovations Competition and Conference (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

PI Details

Gennert, Michael

michaelg@cs.wpi.edu

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

 

CO PIs

David Cyganski

Gretar Tryggvason

 

Description

This CPATH CB project builds an intercollegiate and multi-disciplinary community of faculty promoting the education of entrepreneurially-oriented robotics engineering students through engagement in a Robotics Innovations Competition and Conference. This project will involve several community-building phases featuring workshops that will architect the competition, prepare the resource materials, provide a forum for participating university faculty and students and conclude with the first regional competition and conference.

The Robotics Innovations Competition and Conference will challenge students to design and build robots to perform useful and novel tasks through a university-level competition. Entrants will be judged primarily on the extent to which they meet existing needs or create new markets, and secondarily with respect to design and analysis, implementation skill, and business plans. While robotics competitions exist at the K12 and university levels, these are notably based on games with a fixed set of rules.

The competition planned in this project is different in that it emphasizes the engineering of solutions to open-ended real-world problems and invites creativity by an open competition based on the intellectual and commercial and/or humane aspects of the solutions. Students from all CISE disciplines would participate in the competition as well as in the preparatory workshops and concluding conference. The identification of new things for robots to do as the next logical step in the development of robotics requires actions to accelerate the process by inspiring more students to think about new applications.

The successful robotics innovation and invention team will likely comprise a multidisciplinary group of engineering and computer scientists spanning all CISE disciplines. Therefore, the project team plans to build a community focused on the fusion of CISE disciplines in the context of a single topic, robotics. The proposed suite of activities planned for this project will serve as a testing ground and a springboard for the dissemination.

The ultimate goals include not just a fundamental change in the packaging and delivery of multidisciplinary education centered on robotics, but also the creation of a pool of students with a demonstrably intense interest in a vocation that meets important national and economic needs.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engineering

 

Challenge

Our biggest concern is how to sustain it past the award period

field_vote: 

Living In the KnowlEdge Society (LIKES) (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Villanova University, Santa Clara University)

PI Details

Fox Edward

fox@vt.edu

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

CIS Department

Beck, Robert

robert.beck@villanova.edu

Villanova University

Computing Sciences

Chung, Wingyan


wchung@scu.edu

Santa Clara University

Operations and Management Information Systems

 

Description

The Living in the KnowlEdge Society (LIKES) Community Building project, led by four sites (Virginia Tech, Villanova, NC A&T, and U. Texas El Paso), is transforming computing education for the 21st Century. The LIKES community, in collaboration with those from other disciplines, is identifying key computing concepts in these disciplines, then developing and implementing tools and techniques that enable learning of both computing concepts and the concepts of the disciplines.

The Living in the KnowlEdge Society (LIKES) Community Building project, led by four sites (Virginia Tech, Villanova, NC A&T, and U. Texas El Paso), is transforming computing education for the 21st Century. The LIKES community, in collaboration with those from other disciplines, is identifying key computing concepts in these disciplines, then developing and implementing tools and techniques that enable learning of both computing concepts and the concepts of the disciplines.

 

Success Story


Each of the original LIKES sites has added courses or other initiatives to extend computational thinking on campuses, in suitable ways, and through 6 workshops has been collaborating around the emerging plan to start developing curricular guidelines and educational modules to connect computing with other disciplines, so students learn computing in context in a wide variety of fields

 

Future Plan

Preparing curricular guidelines for computing with other disciplines, preparing students for living in the knowledge society

field_vote: 

Revitalizing Computer Science Education through the Science of Digital Media (Wake Forest University)

PI Details

Burg, Jennifer

burg@cs.wfu.edu

Wake Forest University

Computer Science

 

CO PI

Conrad Gleber, cgleber@gmail.com

 

Description

While computers have become indispensable in communication, social networking, creativity, business, science, academics, and research, the number of students majoring in computer science has fallen dramatically in recent years. Clearly, computer science educators are not taking advantage of the exciting and relevant nature of their discipline. This project investigates ways to make computer science curriculum more interesting and relevant to today's students by linking it to the science of digital media. The interdisciplinary nature of digital media? With connections to the visual arts, engineering, music, scientific visualization, movies, television, and mobile media? Will be explored through workshops at seven colleges/universities throughout the United States. Representatives from business and industry and diverse academic fields will be asked to identify the knowledge and skills they would like to see in computer scientists involved with them in interdisciplinary collaborations. Over a three-year period, a proposal for college- level computer science curriculum changes will be made that reflects input from educators, industry representatives, artists, and practitioners in areas involving digital media. The resulting curriculum is intended to have a strong scientific base linked to practice in other disciplines in ways that motivate learning and take advantage of the centrality of digital media in modern-day life.

field_vote: 

Project Vision: Changing Computing Using Locally Meaningful Context (Kennesaw State University)

PI Details

Dembla, Pamila

pdembla@kennesaw.edu

Kennesaw State University

Computer Science and Information Systems

 

CO PI

Jose Garrido, jgarrido@kennesaw.edu

 

Description

This proposal centers around the notion that computing has evolved into an inter- and intra-disciplinary field of intertwined concepts that pervade society. The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and other schools in the University System of Georgia have defined and adopted a number of specialized degrees and contextualized computing courses. Last Fall, Georgia Tech extended this approach to create the Threads model includes a process for creating curricular change, an infrastructure for advising, and software to support administrators, advisors, educators and students. In parallel, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (BC-CUNY) has developed several context-based approaches to computing education with a focus on introductory courses and the high school to college continuum, as well as created two new interdisciplinary masters degrees.

The team proposes to create an alliance that validates and extends the Threads model. The proposed work encompasses a methodical approach to understanding the process of defining broad, flexible paths through a computing curriculum, and to measuring and analyzing the outcomes of this process when applied to a variety of departments and interest groups. At the heart of this process is an emphasis on context-based instruction and targeted advising that helps students crystalize career paths and realize the short- and long-term relevance of their coursework.

The project explores crucial research questions that arise out of adapting and applying Threads, and evaluating the effects on students, faculty and administrators through quantitative and qualitative studies. Under the work proposed here, they will measure the impact of Georgia Tech’s implementation of the Threads model and the supporting advising mechanisms; extend and adapt Threads to a broad range of computing departments; facilitate its adoption at such departments; and evaluate its efficacy under a variety of conditions. The goal is a validated, widely deployed and broadly-evaluated model of curricular reform that is applicable to small and large departments, students with a range of backgrounds and abilities, and faculty with a range of interests. The combination of diverse experiences brought together by the project team promises to produce results with the potential to serve as national models for both computing and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

field_vote: 

Interdisciplinary Problem- and Case-based Computer Science (Duke University)

PI Details

Astrachan, Owen

ola@cs.duke.edu

Duke University

Computer Science

http://www.cs.duke.edu/~ola/

 

Description

This CPATH CISE Distinguished Education Fellow (CDEF) award to Dr. Owen Astrachan recognizes his role as an accomplished, creative, and innovative leader who serves the nation as a spokesperson and force for change in undergraduate computing education. CDEF awards are made to individuals who have achieved distinction in the computing profession, who are committed to transforming undergraduate computing education, and who have innovative ideas on how to do so. Dr. Astrachan's CDEF project focuses on the development and deployment of instructional materials to introduce Computer Science to majors across many fields. The research and approach build on the successful models of Case-Based learning and Problem-Based learning which are standard practices in business and medical schools, respectively. This approach will relate new knowledge and techniques from computer science to what students already know, e.g., how to use iTunes, why humans are similar to chimpanzees, or why blogs and wikis have transformative effects.

The problems used in a Problem Based learning setting are authentic and are typically open-ended in that they can be approached, answered, and justified in more than one way. The model for Computer Science Education has remained largely unchanged in the past twenty years despite a thousand-fold increase in computing power and an unprecedented change in how society and science use technology. This project develops a process and materials to transform both what is taught and learned about computer science and how it is taught. The approach and materials are interdisciplinary as is the advisory board that has oversight for the project. The materials developed are aimed at both traditional computer science students and more broadly at students in other fields who remain largely unaware of the transformative tools, methods, and technologies that are part of the foundation of computer science. The extent to which Problem Based learning is made part of a course or curriculum and the type of Problem Based learning exercises developed depend on student population and experience, the goals of the course, the extent to which faculty are on board, and the resources committed to the process. An intrinsic aspect of the project is a cross-institution, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach combining faculty and undergraduates to develop, test, and widely disseminate the approach. Well-designed and implemented Problem-Based learning modules will attract and be effective with a group of students beyond those considering computer as software engineering or mathematics.

Using an approach with a track-record in medicine and business, but also with proven success in postsecondary biology and engineering courses will encourage new approaches and attract new audiences to computer science. The interdisciplinary character of the modules will necessarily have a broader impact than traditional, engineering and science approaches. The dimensions of effectiveness for Problem Based learning cut across learning style and gender as well as discipline

field_vote: 

Social Robotics (SUNY at Albany)

PI Details

Webb, Nicholas

nwebb@albany.edu

SUNY at Albany

Computer Science

http://www.socialrobotics.net

 

Description

The Team proposes to use Social Robotics as a mechanism to deliver a revitalized Computer Science (CS) education. Robots are a fantastic platform for students to learn key CS concepts, begin to program and get immediate feedback, and to learn about both hardware and software, and the interplay between the two. Robotics has a widespread base of appeal to students, academics and the general public alike. A Social Robot is one that interacts and communicates with humans by following the social rules attached to its role. The role and its rules are defined through society.

For example, a robotic waiter would have to comply with established rules of good service. It should be anticipating, reliable and most of all discreet. A social robot must be aware of these rules and comply with them. There are many aspects to the evolution of Social Robots, which need to draw on elements of Design, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Communication and Philosophy in addition to, and in harmony with, traditional Computer Science and Engineering principles. The multi-school team plans to use this proposal to build a community of stakeholders in Social Robotics in the Capital Region of upstate New York. On top of planned regular meetings, and the gathering and collection of information, they will hold four open workshops at a local public Museum, to bring together the stakeholders with academics, students, and representatives from industry and members of the public, to outline a program in Social Robotics.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engr, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Our award doesn't concentrate on an approach; rather it advocates a backbone of competencies and modules based around the core concept of social robotics. How schools use those modules is based on the composition of the individual schools.

 

Future Plan

Further expansion of our model to new institutions

AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon Social Robotics.doc688 KB
field_vote: 

Virtualized Gaming as a Pathway to Enhanced Understanding of Complex Networked Systems (Polytechnic University of New York)

PI Details:

Wein Joel

wein@mem.poly.edu

Polytechnic University of New York

Computer and Information Science

CO PIs

Nasir Memon

Mel Horwitch

Gavriel Yarmish

Carl Skelton

 

Description:

Virtualized Gaming as a Pathway to Enhanced Understanding of Complex Networked Systems the focus of this project is on building community around educating undergraduates in complex distributed networks and systems. The educational goal is to produce graduates who can design, implement, and manage networked distributed systems.

The community building goal is to involve project partners in defining best ways to accomplish the educational goals. Using multi-player, digital game immersion as a vehicle, a community of innovators (including educators from computer and information science, management science, digital media, gaming, and social sciences) will define learning experiences for students in computing. The goal of the community building effort is to create novel approaches to teaching computer science students to build distributed applications for a global economy.

A difficult educational hurdle, identified by this team of researchers, is providing students with a real hands-on experience. To address this, the project team will build essential components of a virtual environment and toolset in order to facilitate a gaming environment. In addition the team will leverage a small amount of internal funding to facilitate their effort to: 1. Produce two prototype gaming environments (one troubleshooting scenario and one system building scenario), 2. Conduct preliminary experiments with them at Polytechnic University and Brooklyn College, and, 3. Organize a regional workshop that will bring together a diverse group of educators to discuss applications of gaming in teaching about complex computer systems.

This project addresses an important area of national need, the education of future computing practitioners who are able to develop and manage large-scale distributed systems. The outcomes of the project will permit educators to expose their students to realistic platforms so that students may gain experience with complex, distributed and networked systems projects in a globally competitive market.

field_vote: 

NEWPATH: Nurturing, Through Entrepreneurship, IT World Leaders (Ohio State University Research Foundation)

PI Details:

Lee, David

lee@cse.ohio-state.edu

Ohio State University Research Foundation

Computer Science and Engineering

http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~lee/

CO-PIs

Bruce Weide

Neelam Soundarajan

Rajiv Ramnath

Stephen Camp

 

Description

This project, at Ohio State University, offers educational solutions to the serious challenges posed by global competition and the rapid pace of change in IT. Gaps exists between the skills needed by IT industries and those possessed by new hires. Education and experiences of graduates of typical U.S. undergraduate computing programs may be out of sync with national needs. While organizations today face an imperative to innovate in order to drive growth and remain competitive, most graduates lack the entrepreneurial skills to serve as change agents, understanding of such important business concepts as market needs, or a vision of future technology directions. This project, titled NEWPATH, is aimed at addressing these challenges. NEWPATH will produce graduates who have solid command of computing technologies, a vision of technology advancement directions, understanding of the needs of the market, and, perhaps most importantly, real entrepreneurial experiences in the IT world. Graduates will be ready to become key members of entrepreneurial teams in established IT companies or to lead their own IT start-ups. A key component of the program is an intense six-month immersion, immediately prior to graduation, in which students in the program form small entrepreneurial teams that attempt to create a model start-up through all phases of the process, including ideation, developing business plans, seeking venture capital, designing and building an IT product/service, marketing, etc. While the experience of creating and successfully running an IT start-up would be extremely valuable in preparing students for their future professional careers in the IT industry, the experience of going through the initial stages of setting up such a start-up, even the experience of creating a start-up that actually fails, can be of almost equal value in preparing students for IT industry leadership. This project has the potential to serve as a national undergraduate computing education model. Students will pursue technical educational mastery plus they will acquire knowledge and experience sufficient to: -Identify potential business opportunities in the IT industry, either in the form of new products, tools, and services, or innovative applications of existing products, tools, and services; -Evaluate the resources needed, the potential rewards, and the potential risks in pursuing new opportunities; -Perform realistic evaluations of competing products and the potential for success or failure against competitors; -Effectively persuade venture capital firms and other potential partners of the merits of an entrepreneurial vision. -Help organize and work with a multidisciplinary team that takes a potential product or service through market research; attracting venture capital; design and product development; and successfully marketing the product by use of effective, low-cost promotional tools. These are qualities that meet the needs of employers and also address issues of U. S. global competitiveness.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and engineering

 

Pedagogic Approach

Nurture engineering and business school students to start their own company.

 

Success Story

Forming of Two NEW IT Companies, Student Brainstorming Sessions, E- Practicum, Entrepreneurship Seminar, Student Internships, Women and Minority Students Leadership, NEWPATH Community, NEWPATH Evaluation

 

Challenge:

Nurture engineering and business school students to start their own company.

 

Future Plan:

Focusing on supporting more student start-ups

field_vote: 

Building Community via the Science of Networks (Duke University)

PI Details

Forbes Jeffrey

forbes@cs.duke.edu

Duke University

Computer Science

http://www.cs.duke.edu/~forbes/

 

CO-PIs

Susan Rodger, rodger@cs.duke.edu

 

Description

The HarambeeNet project's goal is to change courses and perceptions of introductory computer science. The incredible growth in statistics courses at all levels, in contrast with the decline of students taking computer science courses, points to the potential for introducing computer science in variety of venues without emphasizing the process of programming: leverage the expertise and role-models provided by educators from other fields by studying topics that arise from the science of networks and modeling to introduce computer science as an alternative to the traditional programming approach. The project team will develop modules that will be incorporated into existing courses in math, statistics, computer science, sociology, economics, and related fields. These modules will be developed and evaluated by faculty learning communities based at Duke. The work from these faculty learning communities will be supplemented by educators who will attend workshops at Duke and use a social network model to disseminate the modules to colleagues who will continue to assess and develop them. An advisory board with expertise in computer science and social networks will oversee module development which will ultimately lead to a new paradigm for introducing computer science at a wide variety of schools at all levels.

 

Audience

CS Undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Problem-based learning: Course modules are built around addressing specific problems rather than teaching a set of concepts or skills. Problem-based learning is an integrated, active learning strategy where students are presented a specific problem and then given the necessary resources from across disciplines to solve that specific problem.

 

Success

Bringing together faculty across disciplines and institutions to talk about teaching has been one of the surprising successes of this project. This interaction has fostered new collaborations and approaches.

 

Challenge

Sustaining momentum and evaluating preliminary results.

 

Future Plan

Package up and disseminate course materials.

field_vote: 

Concepts and Paradigms for the Knowledge Society Workshop (North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University)

PI Details

Edward Carr

corwith@ncat.edu

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Computer Science

http://redux.comp.ncat.edu/

Description

The Living In the KnowlEdge Society (LIKES) Community Building project, led by four sites (Virginia Tech, Villanova, NC A&T, and U. Texas El Paso), is transforming computing education for the 21st Century. The LIKES community, in collaboration with those from other disciplines, is identifying key computing concepts in these disciplines, then developing and implementing tools and techniques that enable learning of both computing concepts and the concepts of the disciplines. Through a series of four workshops, related online community discussions, and our own research, the LIKES community is discovering key computing related issues in core disciplines and engaging leaders nationwide in brainstorming about their computing (education) needs. This aids faculty members, in computing-related education programs, such as Computer Science and Information Systems Departments, and in core / liberal education courses, engage with each other to build the global Knowledge Society.Deliverables include

(1) new pedagogies in computing education;

(2) integration of computing concepts into non-computing disciplines;

(3) principles, guidelines, and techniques for integrating computing and non-computing curriculum; and

(4) formation of new communities for enhancing that integration.

This transforming of education in computing-related disciplines will yield a next generation of builders of the Knowledge Society.

field_vote: 

Content and Context: Building Collaborative Partnerships in Higher Education and Industry (Governors State University)

PI Details

D'Arcy, Karen

k-darcy@govst.edu

Governors State University

http://cointeg.cs.govst.edu/CBTeam/index.html

 

CO-PIs

Linda Phaire-Washington

Xueqing (Clare) Tang

Soon-Ok Park

 

Description

Undergraduate computer education will benefit from this project’s focus on the preparation of students for a computing and technology workplace that is increasingly diverse and trans-disciplinary. This project involves a partnership between Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), Joliet Junior College (JJC), and Governors State University (GSU). This group will also work with the Chicago metropolitan regional higher education community, computing professionals from across the regional industrial sectors, the research community, and the not-for-profit community. Together they will engage in a process of identifying the relevant knowledge, skills, and other qualities required for computing professionals in the Chicago metropolitan region as well as project future needs and trends.

 

The major goals of the project are:

1) establish partnerships and leaderships in the CISE community in the Chicago metropolitan region that focus on transforming computing education,

2) build an innovative, trans-disciplinary model for undergraduate computing education,

3) create student learning experiences especially accessible for the adult learner.

As a model for developing undergraduate computing education, the outcomes of this project may define a new focus on preparation for the diverse computing and technology workplace. This project pursues better preparation for computing careers by defining curricula that provide opportunities to develop an understanding of application domains from industrial experience, perhaps incorporating an application domain focus into courses, workshops, student practicum, and new types of student learning experiences. This “demand driven” strategy focuses on the requirements for success as a computing professional. The CBTeams will create a cadre of CISE faculty and students both within specific industry sectors and across application domains. The model of a regional CISE community recruited from higher education, research and industry sectors can be replicated in other metropolitan regions.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science, technology associates degree programs

 

Pedagogic Approach

We do not advocate a specific pedagogical approach

 

Challenge

The major events in our CPATH project were successful but securing continuing industry involvement is a challenge. The multiple institutions invovled in our project were also a challenge. The multiple grant offices had different procedures, indirects, etc. I encourage NSF to continue to fund the costs of support staff to manage the grant accounting and contracting.

field_vote: 

TEXNH - Evaluation, Adoption and Extension (Clemson University)

PI Details

Westall James

westall@clemson.edu

Clemson University

Computer Science

http://www.cs.clemson.edu/~westall/homepage.html

 

CO-PIs

Robert Geist

Andrew Duchowski

Timothy Davis

Zijun Wang

 

Description

The project ``Texnh: A New Approach to the B.A. Degree in Computer Science,'' was funded by the NSF (CISE/EIA) in 2003. Texnh is the Greek word for art. It is also the root of the Greek and English words for technology. The objective of the Texnh project is to establish a strong connection between arts and sciences in teaching computing. Based upon this work, the School of Computing at Clemson University has structured the first two years of its undergraduate curricula according to the Texnh approach, whose focus is problem-based instruction in the domain of computer- generated visual media. The objective of this project is to build upon the Texnh foundation in a manner consistent with the objectives of the EAE program. Partners at Western Carolina University and UNC Wilmington will employ the Texnh approach in selected courses for at least two years. The Texnh approach will be extended to senior division courses at Clemson University. A rigorous assessment mechanism incorporating environmental assessment, dynamic assessment, and other mechanisms identified by the project's external evaluator working with the CPATH evaluators will be used by all partners.

field_vote: 

CPATH EAE: iCUBED: Informatics and Computation throughout Undergraduate Baccalaureate Education (University 
of 
Illinois
 at 
Urbana‐Champaign)

PI Details

Leonard Pitt

pitt@illinois.edu

University 
of 
Illinois
 at 
Urbana‐Champaign

 

Deanna Raineri

raineri@illinois.edu

Lori Kendall

loriken@illinois.edu

 
 

Eric Jakobsson

jake@ncsa.illinois.edu

 

Description

iCUBED: Informatics and Education Ubiquitous through Baccalaureate Education aims to transform undergraduate computer science (CS) and informatics education at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) to prepare a more diverse and informatics-engaged workforce, including scientists, social scientists, artists, and educators. We are increasing engagement in informatics by institutionalizing new pathways to application-oriented computer science and informatics through

• an overhaul of our introductory CS programming course to be application- focused and student-centered;

• new discipline-based informatics infused courses such as Digital Earth, the Anthropology of Informatics, Musical Informatics, Data Analysis and Informatics for Biologists, and Writing for the Web.

• a cross-campus minor in Informatics, with core courses taught by faculty in multiple departments, but administered at the campus level.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engr, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Within CS courses, focus is on more active learning, some project work.

 

Success Story

The Illinois Informatics Initiative was established in 2007 as a campus-level unit, not inside any College or School, and was charged with developing an Informatics Minor. The minor was first offered in spring 2008 and now has more than 130 students enrolled, the 5th largest minor on campus. These students are majors in 7 different colleges and 44 different departments. A little more than half of those students are in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, and about 15% are in each of the Colleges of Engineering and Business. In terms of courses, the INFO minor has grown from three core courses offered in the spring of 2008 to six regular courses, five special topics courses, and several independent study projects. Enrollment in courses doubled after one year and now keeps pace at about 280 students per semester. In addition to the numerous informatics- related courses already being taught within departments across campus, iCUBED has helped to develop another 14 courses in four colleges and 10 departments, specifically designed for undergraduates in those disciplines. Perhaps the most significant success of the minor is that it has opened the door to information technology for women and underrepresented minorities. Women make up about 44% of Informatics minors, compared to only 10.7% women in Computer Science. Of underrepresented minorities, black students make up 10% and Hispanics 4%. In computer science, these percentages are 1.3 and 3.3, respectively.

 

Future Plan

We are planning to market the INFO minor to expand its reach. While we are confident we have reached the “early adopters” with the INFO minor, our target is to expand to the “early majority”. Because knowledge of computer science and computer programming is becoming a necessary skill for many, if not most, professions we believe this is a strategic direction critical to the success of any institution of higher education. We also plan to offer new CS degrees in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as opposed to the College of Engineering, where the current CS degree resides. The new degrees would require a much stronger CS foundation than the INFO minor, and would be coupled with the choice of an application area in some other discipline – comparable to a minor in that discipline. We are also developing new focused tracks within our traditional CS degree (for example, bioinformatics, and data sciences).

field_vote: 

I18n, Internationalization of Computer Science Education: The Pacific Rim Community Model (Portland State University, University of Oregon Eugene)

PI Details

Brown Cynthia

cbrown@cs.pdx.edu

Portland State University

Computer Science

 
 

Bryant York

york@cecs.pdx.edu

Portland State University

Computer Science

Proskurowski Andrzej

andrzej@cs.uoregon.edu

University of Oregon Eugene

Computer and Information Science

 

 

Description

The focus of this project is on transforming American undergraduate computer science education to prepare students to work and to lead in a global community of computing professionals. This project establishes a Pacific Rim Community of computer science departments, high tech industry and international programs to explore a new model of computer science education that focuses on the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary for professional success and leadership in a flat world. This project, involving collaboration between the University of Oregon and Portland State University, will help to revitalize computer science education by infusing it with international perspectives and provide a model for growing similar communities nationwide. The Pacific Rim was chosen because of the growing importance of this region in the high technology industry and because the PIs are situated in universities with exceptionally strong Pacific Rim ties and expertise. The core of this project is a series of community building workshops involving a diverse group of academic and industrial partners across the Pacific Rim. The workshops will address four key topics: assessing the needs, benefits and barriers to internationalization; cultural impacts on computer science courses and pedagogy; cultural awareness through international experiences; and community sustainability. In addition to the workshops, the project team will develop a globally available on-line resource repository for internationalization of computer science education. This repository will collect the results from the workshop series: seed ideas and recommendations for programmatic change, proposals for curricular innovation, new technologies for international pedagogy and collaboration, a database of international programs, key contacts, and bibliographic references. The repository will also include a video archive of the workshops. The primary intellectual merit of this project is the enrichment and refinement of the concept of internationalization for computer science education using the Pacific Rim as a model community. The project activities will contribute to better understanding of the nature, challenges, and successful approaches for this transformation to be truly international in scope. The broader impacts of this Pacific Rim community-building project will give students at the participating institutions a competitive advantage in a global world, whether in research or industry. Internationalization of computer science education will attract the best and brightest students and broaden the appeal of computer science to a much more diverse population.

 

Discipline

Computer science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Teaching CS undergraduates about the importance of learning to interact appropriately with people

field_vote: 

Active Learning for Transformation of the Undergraduate Experience (Washington University)

PI Details

Grimm Cindy

cmg@cs.wustl.edu

Washington University

Computer Science and Engineering

http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~cmg/

 

Description

Educational research provides strong evidence that active and collaborative learning result in a deeper and more integrated understanding of concepts, as well as significant improvement in student retention in degree programs. Engaged students remember concepts longer, enjoy the learning process more, and are more likely to continue. Collaborative learning builds important communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. In addition, active learning in the classroom provides an opportunity to teach the creative design process through discussion and critique of student work. The proposed transformation will serve as a tested for further study and development of active learning in the context of computer science and engineering.

Several forms of active learning (including inquiry-based, problem-based, and collaborative learning) will be applied and studied in partnership with educational experts. The proposed transformation will apply teaching methodology historically used in art and architecture design studios. Through an educational partnership with the College of Architecture, computer science and engineering faculty will learn these teaching techniques in order to adapt and apply them to computer science and engineering studios.

Finally, the process of making the curriculum more accessible to individuals outside the discipline will result in an unprecedented carefully interwoven framework of concepts that will support novel approaches to the study of computer science and engineering. Both the transformation process and the resulting program will serve as models for other institutional transformations to active learning. Tools, teaching practices, and other artifacts developed to support the transformation will be disseminated for adoption.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences

 

Pedagogic Approach

Active learning and studio-style teaching. Focus on less lecture and more interactive exercises in class

 

Challenge

Not clear how to maintain faculty interest/get new faculty to buy in.

field_vote: 

A Community Addressing Seamless Information Technology Education for Students (CSITES) (University of Massachusetts Boston)

PI Details

Deborah Boisvert

deborah.boisvert@umb.du

University of Massachusetts Boston

Information Technology

 

CO-PIs

Michael Puopolo

Irene Bruno

Maria Rynn

Charles Winer

 

Description

CSITES will build a community of practitioners from Massachusetts, Virginia and Indiana who are actively working to define and implement new models that provide for seamless advancement from 2-year to 4-year programs. Convening relevant administrators, faculty, and local business partners within each of the three regions, the CSITES team will research current transfer models (successful and unsuccessful), identify exemplary frameworks (such as common learning outcomes identified in SIGITE's model IT curriculum) and identify the variables that lead to enhanced upward progression. With information gathered during the investigative stage, the CSITES team will provide process documentation regarding the model 2 and 4-year curriculum implementation strategies in use. Efficient ways to deal with ongoing changes in the curricula will be researched and documented. Evaluative criteria to determine the effectiveness of the solutions associated with identified variables will be developed and applied to data collected on student advancement to measure the success of the models. Summits for stakeholders will be held in each of the three regions to disseminate information about identified effective transfer models. The compilation of attributes that contribute to seamless community college/university transfer will be assembled into a replicable model and made available to other schools around the country.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Pedagogic Approach

Scenarios developed in conjunction with industry to develop computational thinking in IT.

 

Challenge

Making sure that we understand and can better measure computational thinking attributes

field_vote: 

Health Computing: Integrating Computational Thinking into Health Science Education (University of Pittsburgh)

PI Details

Zhou Leming

lzhou1@pitt.edu

University of Pittsburgh

Department of Health Information Management

 

Audience

non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences

 

Pedagogic Approach

1. Jointly teaching one course by two instructors from different background, one is from computer science or information science and one is from health science

2. Recruiting undergraduate students to serve as teaching assistants and applying peer- instruction

3. Integrating research components into undergraduate teaching

4. Providing field trips or lab visits to students

5. Delivering the course contents at various levels: modules in introductory classes, intermediate classes, and full senior level courses.

 

Challenges

Our students are really heavily loaded by their current courses; therefore, newly created courses cannot get many students enrolled. We will integrate the proposed materials into various existing and required courses so that every student in the program can learn the materials without taking extra courses. We are working hard to figure out the balance between the required contents and newly created contents for these courses.

field_vote: 

Building a Platform for Learning - A Learner Centered Approach to Computer (Oregon State University)

PI Details

Jensen Carlos

cjensen@eecs.oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

 

CO-PIs

Timothy Budd

Michael Bailey 

Terri  Fiez

 

Description:

 

This CPATH project builds a community around integrating a Platform for learning model into the computing education of undergraduate students. The model is based on a successful similar paradigm used within electrical engineering education at the lead university. Curriculum revision is based on four major themes: multi-core programming, graphics and animation, software engineering fundamentals, and open-source contributions. A key element of the project is the continued development and evaluation of an open-source community of code repository to support software development and the student community of learners as well as the broader academic community at other institutions.

 

The project includes community outreach to university, community college, and industry partners within the state of Oregon as well as on a national scale. It also includes developing a community of practice involving students, faculty, and professionals from other disciplines engaging non-traditional interdisciplinary projects. National outreach takes place through organized activities at the National Center for Women and Information Technology alliance meeting and other national meetings.

 

The intellectual merit of this project lies in the expertise and experience of the project team in educational innovation and in the development of significant tools and resources to support that innovation. The main focus areas, particularly the multi- core programming aspects of the project are timely and clearly respond to national needs for research-based innovation in computing education. The project has clear potential for success and significant contribution to the computing education field.

 

The broader impacts of this project should emerge from the community building around the understanding of the needs of computing professionals and the development of resources that support the community. The community of code model is of current interest among computing educators. The combination of strong industry support and the involvement of the broader academic community points to the potential to impact the computing education of a large, diverse group of students and to better prepare them for the challenges of the modern computing professional workplace.

field_vote: 

Applied Computer Science for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Brown University)

PI Details

Reiss Steven

spr@cs.brown.edu

Brown University

Computer Science

CO-PIs

Thomas Doeppner

John Hughes

Jim Jeffers

Shriram Krishnamurthi

 

Description

 

Computation and computational thinking are increasingly needed in all fields, not just the sciences. Our project involves developing an integrated and rigorous sequence of courses that teach students in the humanities and social sciences the computational skills they will need to prosper in future jobs or research. Based on exploratory work involving mini-courses and a small set of students, we taught the first course in our proposed sequence last fall. This course had the students address three specific problems, the first involving politics, the second textual analysis, and the third sociology. The course covered topics such as data gathering, data validation, data analysis, statistics, and data presentation and taught skills such as the use of Excel, creating data-oriented web pages, python programming, and geographical information systems. Students identified and then addressed their own problems using the skills they learned in group final projects. Information about the course is available at http://www.cs.brown.edu/courses/ csci0931

 

Audience

non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Learning computational methods by addressing specific problems in the students' areas of interest.

 

Success

We taught the first course in our proposed sequence and felt it went reasonably well. The students were enthusiastic.

 

Challenge

"Getting commitments from the department to continue teaching the course or courses after the grant expires. Convincing students in the humanities and social sciences that the course is not a ""real"" computer science course, but one they might actually be interested in."

 

Future Plan

We will teach the first course again next fall and plan to follow it up with the second course in the sequence in the spring.

field_vote: 

A Field Guide to the Science of Computation (Naval Postgraduate School)

PI Details

Denning Peter

pjd@nps.edu

Naval Postgraduate School

University of Arizona

 
 

Snodgrass Richard

rts@cs.arizona.edu

Naval Postgraduate School

University of Arizona

 

Description:

 

This CPATH award supports a distinguished group of computer scientists to develop, implement, and test a Field Guide for computing. The Field Guide includes a body of content with deep insights to provide a scientific framework for computing. The content is then tested by a collaborative partnership network including the ACM Education Board, the Computer Science Teachers Association, CS Unplugged, and LabRats. Implementation will occur in a wide variety of settings, including the BASIS Middle School and High School in Tuscon, one of the top high schools in the United States, and the Hartnell College, a 2 year college in California.

The project includes a large team of experts broken into 4 working groups and distinguished scientific advisors. An external evaluator will measure the effectiveness of the content and field guide to attain the project goals. This project's long-range objective is to replace current views of computing with a new understanding, that computing is great domain of science, on par with the physical, life, and social sciences.

This project directly supports the three main CPATH goals.

(1) It contributes to US competitiveness by providing a scientific framework for computing, which will advance technology development and attract many          more bright students, including more women and underrepresented groups.

(2) It increases the number of students developing computational thinking by offering new learning possibilities, for undergraduates as well as for pre-college      students.

(3) It is transformative because it brings forward a science framework for computing, which has not been done before.

Intellectual Merit. The project brings to the fore an underappreciated side of Computing, that it is a great domain of science based on sound scientific theories and first principles. The ambitious project has amassed a stellar team of experts and organizational partners that span broad sectors of computing and the computing pipeline. It includes not only development of content, but deployment in real settings, and concrete plans for sustainability. Computation science offer deep insights and surprising predictions, and an experimental method to validate predictions and make discoveries. This project has the potential to substantially impact the fundamental nature of computing and its relationship to other disciplines and the way in which computing is taught. Broader Impacts. By reaching out from hard-core computer science to representatives of different age groups, the project will find ways to convey the science message to many generations.

field_vote: 

An Integrated, Multidisciplinary and Cross-Fertilizing Model for Computing Education (University of Texas at El Paso)

PI Details

Freudenthal Eric

efreudenthal@utep.edu

University of Texas at El Paso

Computer Science

http://robust.cs.utep.edu/freudent/homepage/index.html

CO-PIs

Vanessa Lougheed

Oscar Varela

 

Description

The project goal is to encourage undergraduate multi-disciplinary study including CS and other STEM disciplines including finance. The major outcome of the project has been the development of an accessible applied intro programming course that is designed to reinforce foundational math concepts. We are also examining accessible modules for integration into high school math/science programs.

 

Discipline

Preliminary data indicates that our course accelerates progress through concurrently attended courses in pre-calc. 75% of attendees from a variety of majors have positive attitudes towards continued study of computation. We also are detecting that upper-division students in math have surprisingly shallow understandings of math concepts.

 

Future Plan

Wider dissemination into high schools

field_vote: 

Broadening Studio-Based Learning in Computing Education (Washington State University, University of Hawaii, Auburn University)

PI Details

Christopher D.Hundhausen

hundhaus@wsu.edu

Washington State University

School of Elec. Eng. and Comp. Sci.

Martha E. Crosby

crosby@hawaii.edu

University of Hawaii

Communication & Information Sciences

Hari Narayanan. N

naraynh@auburn.edu

Auburn University

Computer Science & Software Engineering

 

 

Description:

 

This CPATH collaborative project between Washington State University, Auburn University, and the University of Hawaii extends and evaluates the use of studio-based instruction in undergraduate computing courses and builds regional communities of practice at universities geographically close to the three funded institutions. The studio method, adapted from standard pedagogy in architecture education, actively engages students in collaborative, design-oriented learning. The method emphasizes learning activities in which students construct personally-meaningful representations of computing concepts under study and present the representations to their instructors and peers for feedback using the concept of design criticisms.

Pedagogic Approach:

Our current and future evaluations of the pedagogy will address four key questions:

RQ1. Do students learn better in studio-based instruction than in traditional instruction?

RQ2. Are students able to better transfer and apply the knowledge learned through the studio-based approach in future courses?

RQ3. Are students more engaged, invested and motivated in studio-based classrooms?

RQ4. What are the long term impacts of this approach in terms of persistence in the undergraduate program and future plans for computing careers?

To address these questions, we are offering two or three consecutive courses from a set of four undergraduate computing courses (pre-CS1, CS1, CS2 and CS3) in alternating studio and traditional formats over the next two years at each participating university, and undertaking the following data collection, comparison and evaluation activities.

To address RQ1, we have developed a common pre- and post-test instrument, specific to each course, to assess the learning of key computing concepts and skills in each course. We will also use course-specific assignment and exam scores to track student progress in each consecutive course sequence. Collection of these data will allow us to systematically compare student learning in traditional and studio-based courses within and across institutions.

To address RQ2, we will compare the performance in subsequent courses of students who take previous courses in the traditional and studio-based formats. We will also compare failure and dropout rates in each course vis-à-vis current and previous exposure to studio-based and traditional formats.

To address RQ3, we will track the attitudes, engagement, motivation and future plans of students in the consecutive courses at each university through both pre and post surveys (at the start and end of each course in each semester), and interviews of selected students. These data should reveal immediate and long-term affective impact of traditional vs. studio-based instruction.

To address RQ4, we will track retention by looking at the number of students who take all courses in a sequence, and the number of students who subsequently remain in the computing program, at each of the participating institutions.

Success Story:

Auburn University computing students have enthusiastically embraced studio-based learning in CS 2. Here are illustrative verbatim quotes from student emails: "When I took COMP 1210 [CS 1], I was excited going into it, but came out feeling like I was hit by a train. So I switched to hardware. Don't ask me how, but I ended up back in Software Eng, and I was really dreading taking COMP 2210 [CS 2]. I know I started out rough on the first test and GLA's. But I honestly feel like I learned a lot of information. I also want to Thank you for making me reach outside my limitation and to stretch my brain. But I know there is a lot more to learn, and after taking your class, I'm enthusiastic about learning it. So, I'll make this short and just say Thank You, for rekindling my enthusiasm about Java and software engineering in general." "I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to work on A5. It's really given me a respect for the studio program and some of my peers in the class. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, because in my last two CS classes at KSU, the assignments were not challenging or stimulating in the least. These [studio] assignments this semester have provided a great opportunity for growth and learning. I'm really glad that I came to Auburn this semester and that I had to take your class." Washington State University's approach to studio-based instruction for lower-division computing courses involves the "pedagogical code review" (PCR). Based on the formal code inspection process commonly used in the software industry, PCRs have small teams of students first review each other’s code individually, and then come together as a team both to log issues (defects and improvements) that they encountered, and to identify additional issues as a team. An empirical comparison of face-to-face PCRs conducted with an Online Studio-Based Learning Environment against face-to-face PCRs conducted with pen- and-paper found that technology support greatly improved the organization of the code reviews and access to pedagogically relevant information, sped up the code review process by 37%, and facilitated greater collaboration within student teams. At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an introductory computing course for majors and non-majors offered in the studio format has seen significantly increased enrollment and improved student understanding and retention of computing concepts.

Challenge:

I wonder if other teachers who have agreed to adopt the approach will obtain adequate training. I wonder whether "the culture of review" advocated by the approach will be accepted by computer science students, who are not used to giving and receiving peer feedback.

field_vote: 

Building the Northwest Distributed Computer Science Department (Washington State University Vancouver)

PI Details

Scott Wallace

wallaces@vancouver.wsu.edu

Washington State University Vancouver

School of Engineering & Computer Science

http://ai.vancouver.wsu.edu/~wallaces/

 

CO-PIs

Robert Bryant, bryant@gonzaga.edu

Genevieve Orr, gorr@willamette.edu

 

Description

The Northwest Distributed Computer Science Department (NW-DCSD) Project seeks to develop a unique educational community within the Pacific Northwest region of the United States by uniting educators who are devoted to sharing knowledge, resources, and expertise to transform computing education across the region.

Together, this community will focus on:

• Enabling and fostering innovative change within the Computer Science (CS) curriculum

• Sharing knowledge and resources as innovation takes place

• Enabling heightened outreach to K-12 schools

• Integrating computational thinking into a variety of disciplines

• Enabling heightened ability to evaluate new educational strategies

The community we envision will initially be comprised of faculty from teaching-oriented institutions and will allow us to collectively overcome resource barriers to accomplish together what we cannot accomplish alone.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engr, computing in/and humanities

 

Success

Regional NWDCSD meetings have reached a community of 40 members representing 26 institutions that include higher education, secondary schools, and Computer Science advocacy groups. Since the beginning of our funding period, we've grown the active participant base from the 3 PIs and 5 Senior Personnel by more than a factor of two.

 

Pedagogic Approach

Creating and sharing innovative ideas that form the basis of a computing related curriculum

 

Challenge

My main concern going forward is maintaining momentum with a large, distributed, group of faculty. We have had very good recruiting and attendance results so far. However, as the group grows, it is also likely to get somewhat less cohesive, especially as we continue to recruit non-cs faculty from a variety of disciplines. This presents a challenge both from an organizational and cultural standpoint. At this point its not entirely clear what approach will best facility community growth.

 

Future Plan

Increase collaborative activities across the community, increase recruiting from non-CS related disciplines

field_vote: 

CPATH at Marietta College (Marietta College)

PI Details 

Van Camp Robert


Bob.Vancamp@marietta.edu

Marietta College

Math and Computer Science / Computer Science

CO-PIs

Scott Lewandowski

Mark Miller

Jeremy Wang

 

Description:

Cultural Shift: Bringing the JOY (Joint Organization to inspire Young people) back to computation Through this CPATH planning project, Marietta College is exploring effective means of introducing and/or revitalizing computational thinking across disciplines on its campus and among teachers and students in the surrounding K-12 educational community. Led by faculty in computer science, computer information systems, management information systems and mathematics, this project will create a cultural shift among faculty in multiple areas of study. Faculty from these varied departments are serving on the advisory committee for this planning project and have agreed to pilot threads that introduce computational thinking into their courses: physics, biology, education, graphic design, petroleum engineering and theater. Intellectual Merit of the Proposed Activities At a small liberal arts institution, the dependence of each discipline on another is perhaps more pronounced than at larger institutions. Rather than creating discipline-specific computer curricula, professors in most other disciplines rely on the computer science department to offer courses that provide a strong base for computational learning. The intellectual merit of this CPATH project stems from its focus on revising basic computer courses to emphasize computational thinking, and integrating computational thinking as a method that informs learning across many disciplines. Broader Impacts of the Proposed Activities The broader impact of this CPATH planning project is evident in three elements: campus-wide involvement, community outreach, and piloting threads of computational thinking (CT) in non-computer courses. Faculty and staff from any discipline are invited to explore the concept of computational thinking by participating in workshops, attending presentations and/or serving on a CT project advisory committee. Through creative road shows and summer learning opportunities, middle and high school students are being introduced to CT.

Discipline:

only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engr, computing in/and humanities, Education, Speech

Audience:

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads , K-12 teachers, K-12 students

Pedagogic Approach:

Hands-on learning as well as learning which is separate from using the computer (e.g. CS Unplugged).

Success:

Our Alice/Computational Thinking event this summer for Middle and High School students already has 4 enrolled after just a few days. In March and April we are working with Middle School teachers

Challenge:

Since this is the first grant like this for me, it has taken time to get a handle on the pieces and when things need to happen. Although the grant was awarded in October, we were only able to have meetings until the beginning of the year. We are now getting started in several areas.

One concern is about assessment for the different areas of the grant. Another is that we are having some personnel changes and I have questions about that as we progress to the second year of our grant.

Future Plan:

We will meet with the people doing assessment and with our instructors at Marietta College.

AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon CPATH at Marietta College .doc796 KB
field_vote: 

Computational Thinking Evolution to Studio-Based Active Learning (Florida Agricultural&Mechanical University)

PI Details

Jones Edward

edjones_phd@yahoo.com

Florida Agricultural&Mechanical University

Computer and Information Sciences

 

CO-PIs

Christy Chatmon

Hongmei Chi

Bobby Granville

 

Description:

This CPATH project revitalizes undergraduate computing education at Florida A&M University through integrating studio-based learning and active learning experiences into the early experiences of undergraduate computing students. Through collaboration with Auburn University, the project adapts the methodology of a successful CPATH project to the Florida A&M setting.

 

The approach is inspired by a human-language learning metaphor in which humans learn their natural language by a series of active immersions before writing. Active learning should increase the engagement of students and develop a community of learners that provides the social and academic support for students to turn the challenges of computer science into learning experiences instead of barriers.

 

The intellectual merit of the project lies in the strong conceptual basis for the project and the collaborative team of investigators. The project includes significant evaluation and dissemination that should provide significant insights into the learning of computing to the discipline of computing education.

 

The broader impacts include the production of approaches and artifacts that can be used widely. The project impacts two communities, computer science majors and non-majors taking a software-centric literacy course. This should broaden the pool of students in the undergraduate computing.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Use of active learning in CS1- CS3 courses. Shifting emphasis from writing code from scratch to other language experiences -- reading, speaking, writing -- connecting multiple "languages" of software -- specification, design, code, test/evaluation. Project to develop "lesson plan" templates for building a series of connected experiences that develop critical thinking. Required infrastructure includes drills to develop individual skill, repositories of sample student work to be used in lessons.

 

Challenge

Behavior change required by students (who are accustomed to passive learning), and by faculty (additional up-front effort will be required).

field_vote: 

Computational Thinking Showcase: Computing Concepts across the Curriculum (Utah State University)

PI Details

Allan Vicki

Vicki.Allan@usu.edu

Utah State University

http://digital.cs.usu.edu/~allanv/

 

 

CO-PIs

Donald Cooley

Chad Mano

Joel Duffin

 

Description

All recognize the pressing need for more computer science graduates, as well as the often unappealing nature of introductory classes. The goal of this project is to showcase and teach the skills necessary to thrive in computer science, while engaging a diverse student body at a variety of education levels. In order to revitalize undergraduate education in computer science and address the need for an increase in undergraduate majors, this project will use a novel three-fold approach. The community of college professors, high school teachers, and an industrial partner will plan and implement an exciting first exposure to computer science by engaging experiential learning.

Interactive Learning Modules, developed by the collaboration team members at different institutions, will serve as a vehicle for bringing innovation to the classroom. These collaboration-based experiences throughout the computer science curriculum are encouraged through a number of mechanisms, including multi-institution teams, games, and research into effective design of curricula and modules.

The modules themselves are expected to inspire creation of addition interactive modules, designed by students for students, identifying an aspect of computational thinking, a separate domain of its use and a variety of which in which the modules provides experiences

 

Audience

CS undergrads, K-12 teachers

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences

 

Pedagogic Approach

Hands on learning

 

Success

The majority of our effort to this point has been in designing and building the ILMs and associated lessons. As part of this development process we have engaged with university faculty members, high school teachers, and middle school teachers to obtain input and advice in all aspects of the design of the ILMs. We feel that the success of this project, in terms of the effect it has on students, depends on the community of educators that utilize the system in their classes. Thus, we view our building of a community of teachers and the support they have shown for this project as critical successes at this stage of the project.

 

Challenge

How to assess

 

Future Plan

The next phase of the project will focus on larger scale deployment of the ILMs into the room.

field_vote: 

Computational Thinking across the Curriculum (DePaul University)

PI Details

Amber Settle

asettle@cdm.depaul.edu

DePaul University

School of Computing

http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/asettle/

 

CO-PIs

Ljubomir Perkovic, lperkovic@cs.depaul.edu

 

Description:

The project’s goal is to build a consensus across disciplines toward incorporating computational thinking within liberal studies courses.

 

To achieve this consensus, the project leaders are developing a community of select faculty across different colleges and departments of DePaul University as well as several other Chicago-area institutions.

 

This community of faculty are working together to develop a framework that can be used by all faculty, including those without formal training in information technology, to understand and integrate computational thinking into Liberal Studies courses at DePaul and elsewhere.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science, computing in/and fine arts

 

Success

We have been happy with our success in coordinating a large number of team members across various disciplines. We have developed computational thinking assignments, activities, and assessments for 19 Liberal Studies courses across 13 different disciplines. Our DePaul team includes 18 faculty members in three different colleges. We are also working with people from 3 Chicago-area universities.

 

Challenge

Our biggest concern is that the changes we have worked to implement in the courses will become a formal part of the Liberal Studies program.

 

Future Plan

A workshop bringing together all of our participants and other interested parties

field_vote: 

Developing a Professional Community for Introducing the Principles of Enterprise Computing Technologies into the Undergraduate Curriculum (Marist College)

PI Details

Roger Norton

roger.norton@marist.edu

Marist College

School of Computer Science & Mathematics

 

Description

The main goal of our project is to develop a professional community to look at how colleges and universities can introduce the principles of enterprise computing technologies into the undergraduate curriculum. The community will bring together representatives from academe, industry, and non-profit sectors to develop a new curriculum that will reshape the undergraduate information technology, information systems, and computer science (ITS/CS) education. Our project team and academic and corporate partners recognize that this must be a cooperative undertaking that will require involvement from a wide range of experts. Our vision is to develop a cost effective undergraduate curriculum based on nonproprietary standards that addresses essential computing technology principles encountered predominantly in large system environments.

 

Discipline

The Enterprise Computing Community has grown from its initial 16 members to a community of over 600 members, representing colleges, universities and industries from around the nation. In fact, membership also includes representatives from international universities and industry. The community had a very successful 2009 national conference at Marist College with over 150 attendees. We have also conducted to online forums which attracted over 500 online attendees. The community has drafted its curriculum planning document which will be a primary topic at our 2010 National Conference.

 

Future Plan

The ECC will apply for NSF funding to support the development of the recommended enterprise computing curriculum.

field_vote: 

Distributed Expertise in Enhancing Computing Education with Connections to the Arts (Villanova University, The College of New Jersey, Virginia Tech)

PI Details

Lillian Cassel

cassel@acm.org

Villanova University

Computing Sciences

Thomas Way

thomas.way@villanova.edu

Villanova University

Computing Sciences

Kim Pearson

kpearson@tcnj.edu

The College of New Jersey

English Department

Deborah Tatar

dtatar@vt.edu

Virginia Tech

Computer Sciences

Ursula Wolz

wolz@tcnj.edu

The College of New Jersey

Computer Science

Steve Harrison

SHarrison@vt.edu

Virginia Tech

Computer Sciences

 

Description

Computing Education is essential not only for Computer Science and its many sibling disciplines(Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Information Systems, etc.) but for practically all other academic disciplines.

Computers are pervasive today and many professionals develop basic programming skills as a way to express ideas, problems and solutions in computational terms within their own disciplines. It is common to find curricula in the arts (music, graphical design), business (accounting, economics), sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), and social sciences with computational courses in their curriculum. In a way, computing is becoming a requirement of most professional degrees.

This project addresses both the separation between computing specialists and to widespread integration of computing concepts, not just the technology but computational thinking, in other disciplines.

The project uses technologies now commonly available to permit faculty to collaborate in offering courses that extend the potential reach of experts to a broader audience, as well as a collection of recorded expert lectures.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads , CS and non-CS faculty.

 

Discipline

computing in/and sciences, computing in/and humanities.

 

Success

Our first activity was a collaborative course in games programming between Villanova and The College of New Jersey. One of the students at Villanova, the only female in the class, was a psychology major with no prior computing experience. She accomplished a completed game using Scratch and was really excited about the fact that she could produce something of substance so soon after beginning, and that she was able to connect the game experience with her interest in Psychology. Her game is now on the Scratch website at http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/jfanci01/508558.

 

Pedagogic Approach

We are exploring effective techniques for collaborating across disciplines and across institutions, with courses that either offer majors experiences that are not currently available from their home departments, or offer majors and non-majors interdisciplinary and cross-institutional course experiences that would otherwise not be available nor practical. The overarching approach is that of "distributed expertise" where the expertise to offer a course is sought through collaboration of various forms with colleagues who might be at the home institution or any other institution.

 

Challenges

Making connections with educators who are willing and able to collaborate in the distributed expertise framework for offering courses. Often the stumbling block is administrative, so convincing deans and chairs that there is benefit is more of a concern than the nuts and bolts of organizing and running such a course, although those are concerns as well.

field_vote: 

Excellence in Computer Education with Entrepreneurship and Leadership Skills (EXCE2L) (SUNY at Stony Brook, Hofstra University)

PI Details

Tang K. Wendy

wendy.tang@stonybrook.edu

SUNY at Stony Brook

Electrical and Computer Engineering

 

Doboli Simona

cscszd@hofstra.edu

Hofstra University

 

CO-PIs

Serge Luryi, serge@ece.sunysb.edu

Ridha Kamoua, ridha@ece.sunysb.edu

Alex Doboli, adoboli@ece.sunysb.edu

Gerrit Wolf, gwolf@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

 

Description:

Project ExCE2L’s goal is to revitalize the undergraduate computing education by introducing and fully integrating several significant entrepreneurial activities throughout the four-year Computer Engineering (CE) curriculum at Stony Brook University and Computer Science (CS) curriculum at Hofstra University.

 

The overall goal of this pilot program is to produce an information technology workforce that possesses strong technical, entrepreneurial and leadership skills and can work effectively in the global market.

 

The project has three components: Education, Outreach/Dissemination and Assessment. The goal of the Education component is to integrate entrepreneurial skills into the CE/CS curriculum at the two institutions.

 

We propose to establish a community of academia, industrial sponsors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and global educators to promote the innovative use of the Technology Entrepreneurial-Team (E-Team) throughout the four-year of undergraduate computing curriculum.

 

The goal of the Outreach and Dissemination component is to promote the project’s achievements whereas the Assessment component is to provide feedback to improve the program.

 

Audience

Cs undergrads

 

Discipline

computing in/and engr

 

Success Story

A community of professionals consists of engineers, businessmen, IP lawyer and licensing expert, and engineering and business faculty is formed to advise and inspire engineering students working on their capstone design projects. About 10 students papers are accepted in an IEEE professional conference. An Engineering and Technology Entrepreneurship minor is established for all students in Stony Brook University. New Freshmen seminar courses on engineering management, intellectual property, and engineering risks and failures are introduced.

No November 9th, 2009, the activities in Project ExCE2L were featured in an article about Entrepreneurship education in colleges across Long Island. The article appeared in the local newspaper, Newsday.

 

Challenge

The evaluation takes a long time to come back and bring feedback into the program. Not sure, that the feedback will be informative enough to suggest changes to increase the impact.

 

Future Plan

Expand reach to non-engineering freshmen students Implement more Entrepreneurship modules. Evaluate modules, courses and programs.

field_vote: 

Globally Distributed Software Development: An Instructional Community Model (University of Oregon Eugene)

PI Details

Stuart Faulk

faulk@cs.uoregon.edu

University of Oregon Eugene

Computer and Information Science/Software Engineering

 

CO-PIs

Michal Young

 

Description

Project Studies show that "distance matters" in the sense that geographic, temporal, and cultural differences lead to software engineering coordination and control problems that differ qualitatively and quantitatively from those in co-located development. Nonetheless, while software development has become a global enterprise, computer science education so far remains largely parochial in course content and student experience.

This CPATH project is establishing a self-sustaining, international community of educators committed to teaching key computational thinking skills in the context of the human problems of communication, coordination, and interdisciplinary coordination in globally distributed software development. A key premise of this project is that the challenges of globally distributed projects are an ideal context for students to develop and value computational thinking skills such as abstraction, modularization, and formalization.

The project will gather and develop a common collection of relevant pedagogic materials, and assemble the necessary infrastructure for software engineering project courses in which students work in globally distributed teams. A set of community- building workshops will bring together parties from universities, industry, and professional organizations to foster collaboration, generate ideas, share experience, and improve common pedagogical assets. Revitalizing computer science education to encompass globally distributed software development is necessary to prepare the U.S. workforce and maintain leadership in the future of software engineering. This includes fostering cultural understanding and sensitivity in the practical exercise of internationally collaborative work. In addition to developing pedagogical materials and infrastructure, this CPATH project also addresses systematic dissemination, formation of teaching partnerships, and other collaboration between academic institutions and industry. By lowering barriers to adoption and participation it will grow the teaching community, educate more students, and include universities in underserved communities.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

only computer science

 

Pedagogic Approach

We are developing and deploying a collaborative teaching model for a Software Engineering project course. The course is teaching globally- distributed software development. The model has US universities partner with faculty in one or two non-US universities so students work with team members outside the US. We will be teaching a version of this course with Peking University in the Spring. Going forward, we will be developing a community of universities and faculty interested in teaching versions of this course.

 

Challenge

We are concerned about getting stable and consistent teaching partners abroad, particularly for the beginning.



Future Plan

Teaching first instance of the course, Spring quarter. Develop collaborative web site.

field_vote: 

Improving Computing Education by Developing Regional Communities of Computing Educators (Georgia Institute of Technology)

PI Details 

Mark Guzdial

guzdial@cc.gatech.edu

Georgia Institute of Technology

School of Interactive Computing

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~guzdial/

 

Description:

The Disciplinary Commons for Computing Educators (DCCE) is a cohort of about a dozen computer science teachers, half undergraduate faculty and half high school teachers, who meet monthly to reflect on their teaching. The goal is to improve their teaching and to create a supportive community of computer science teachers. We are using DCCE to explore the question of how high school teachers come to develop an identify of being a "Computer Science teacher."

 

field_vote: 

Incorporating Communication Outcomes into the Computer Science Curriculum (North Carolina State University, Miami University)

PI Details

Vouk Mladen

vouk@csc.ncsu.edu

North Carolina State University

Computer Science

 
 

Burge Janet

burgeje@muohio.edu

Miami University

Computer Science

 

CO-PIs

Gerald Gannod

Paul Anderson

 

Description

To be successful in their careers, computer science graduates need, in addition to in-depth technical knowledge, the ability to communicate and collaborate with a variety of audiences. To achieve this goal, it is important that students have instruction and practice in computational thinking and in communication skills throughout their curriculum.

This project, Incorporating Communication Outcomes into the Computer Science Curriculum, will build upon two earlier CPATH projects to create a transformative approach to fully integrate communication instruction and activities throughout the curriculum in ways that enhance rather than replace their learning of technical content. .

The outcomes of this project will include: model curricula and syllabi for computer science and software engineering programs that capture and assess student learning outcomes generated in collaboration with industry; comprehensive support materials, including communications learning activities to address the learning outcomes identified by this project; demonstration and evaluation at two institutions with two very different academic profiles; and dissemination of results to raise nationwide awareness of this innovative approach. .

This project will generate guiding concepts and disseminate resources that can be adapted by other institutions to meet nationwide needs for CS and SE graduates with better communication abilities while maintaining a mastery of technical content and computational thinking.

The new curricula will serve as models for similar programs at other schools, the development of which will be supported by a series of workshops involving partners from industry and academia. The industry involvement will ensure that our graduates have the skills to meet their communication needs and the involvement of our academic partners will both leverage their expertise and encourage their adoption of the outcomes, curricula, and activities developed during this project.

Graduating CS and SE students with effective computational thinking and communication skills will positively influence interactions and communications between practitioners in CS and other disciplines and thus enhance the benefits, impact and quality of CS upon society. We expect that an additional benefit may be that CS and SE will become more attractive to underrepresented groups, especially women, by making it clear that communication between people is an essential part of any computing career.

 

Success

We implemented a pilot project at Miami University that defined an initial set of communication-skills learning outcomes for five courses: CS1, CS2, Databases, Software Engineering, and Ethics. We piloted our activities during fall 2009.

 

Future Plan

We are recruiting participants from academia and industry for our first workshop at the start of June.

field_vote: 

Integrating Biology and Computing: Empowering Future Computer Professionals (Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park)

PI Details

Narayanan Vijaykrishnan 

vijay@cse.psu.edu

Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park

Computer Science and Engineering

www.cse.psu.edu/cpath

 

CO-PIs

Raj Acharya 

Arthur Lesk 

Mary Irwin 

Reka  Albert


Description:

This CPATH Conceptual Development and Planning project integrates concepts from biology and computer science to create a new track in biological computing. It includes 23 faculty members from 14 academic disciplines with a vision for nurturing future leaders in biological computing. The track recognizes the importance of computing concepts and practice to current thinking in biology as well as the potential for biological processes to inform the development of computer science. The project involves institutional transformation and includes outreach to secondary schools and broader communities.

 

The intellectual merit of the project lies in the importance and currency of the topic and clear need for such changes in computing education to prepare the upcoming generation of computing professionals. The project team includes researchers with significant expertise in both the computing discipline research that underlies the implementation and in educational innovation. The project has the potential for national impact and to provide new models for computing education of the future.

 

The broader impacts of the project lie in the potential to address changing demands on computing professionals and to attract a diverse audience of students. The project includes outreach to high school students and broader communities. The project has the potential to provide quality research-based resources for the preparation of undergraduates for careers in biological computing.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and sciences

 

Pedagogic Approach

To create future knowledge leaders with expertise at the interface of biology and computing and to serve as a role model for integrating research from research universities into the undergraduate curriculum not only at the home institution (Penn State in this case) but also at other four-year colleges in the region.

 

Challenge

The disruption in the CPATH program itself. We were hoping for an implementation award to help take our progress forward.

 

Future Plan

Implementation phase of our conceptual development

field_vote: 

Integrating Sustainability into Undergraduate Computing Education (Michigan Technological University)

PI Details

Cai Yu

cai@mtu.edu

Michigan Technological University

School of Technology

http://www.tech.mtu.edu/~cai/

 

CO-PIs

Linda Ott

Jindong Tan

Qiong Zhang

Kedmon Hungwe

 

Description:

This Conceptual Development and Planning project integrates sustainability concepts throughout undergraduate computing education. An interdisciplinary team of faculty from engineering, computer science, and cognitive science plans to test, develop, implement, and evaluate an educational model for sustainability integration into the curriculum.

 

The team plans to develop models, projects and courses for beginning and upper level students, including a new course in green computing. The group envisions a focus on the power consumption of large data centers aspects of sustainability. The goal is to prepare students with the computing competencies, multi- disciplinary knowledge, and computational thinking methodologies to create a sustainable future.

 

The intellectual merit of the project lies in the importance and currency of the topic and clear need for such changes in computing education to prepare the upcoming generation of computing professionals. The cross-disciplinary project team includes researchers with significant expertise in both the computing discipline research that underlies the implementation and in educational innovation. The project has the potential for providing new research models in an emerging field critical for future generations as well as the current one.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Computing in/and humanities

 

Pedagogic Approach

Training on computational thinking through discovery based learning & collaborative learning are featured in this project. We go beyond the traditional “take notes” scenarios to explore a collaborative learning model where students, mentors (usually professors or senior personnel), and assistants (usually graduate students) work as peers in research teams. Interaction and collaboration within a team and among teams are strongly encouraged. A discovery-based iterative approach is used to assist the computational thinking process. It usually involves steps like abstract, design, develop, test and further improvement. Students will work on cross-disciplinary “real-world” problems inspired by sustainability study. The combination of discovery based learning & collaborative learning allows students to gain a deeper understanding of computing concepts, and learn computational thinking skill.

 

Challenge

1) Finding partner universities for larger scale collaboration on green computing promotion. Finding the right partners is critical for the next stage of the project.

2) How to determine the advanced topics that should be covered in a green computing course to fit different needs? There are a set of core concepts and technologies that should be covered.

 

Future Plan

Presenting a paper in SIGCSE for project dissemination

field_vote: 

Modular CS1 from the Inside Out: Computational Thinking for all STEM Students (Harvey Mudd College)

PI Details

Alvarado Christine J

alvarado@cs.hmc.edu

Harvey Mudd College

Computer Science

 

 

CO-PIs

Zach Dodds, dodds@cs.hmc.edu

Geoff Kuenning, geoff@cs.hmc.edu

Ran Libeskind Hadas, hadas@cs.hmc.edu

Christian Shelton, cshelton@cs.ucr.edu

 

Description:

Harvey Mudd College (HMC) has recently designed, deployed, and evaluated a breadth-first introductory CS1 curriculum with a STEM- themed context. This project seeks to turn that course inside-out by developing a series of flexible modules that present core topics in computer science in a manner relevant and exciting to students in a variety of settings. Each module will cover one core computer science topic, and we will create several versions of each module targeting different context areas (e.g., biology, robotics, economics, etc). Schools can then choose the set or subset of modules that fit best with their students. Instead of “another CS1” the result will be resources that span STEM-serving computational- thinking courses and provide a compelling introduction to core computational thinking ideas and skills for students with a broad range of science and engineering interests. These resources will include: * A set of modules that can be used to assemble a customized course. Each module will include: o Slides and notes for the instructor o Homework problems and solutions o A textbook or book section for the students o Web infrastructure for the students and instructors * Several exemplar courses based on these modules. We will develop, implement and assess one course at in several different contexts including: o CE, CS, EE and other undergraduate science students at a large public university with a high minority population: University of California, Riverside (UCR) o Prospective STEM undergraduates at a large international research university: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) o Biology students at small liberal-arts colleges: Claremont Colleges and Swarthmore College o Public high school students: Claremont High School (CHS) o Information Sciences (IS) graduate students: Claremont Graduate University (CGU)

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads

 

Discipline

computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engr

 

Pedagogic Approach

This grant does not advocate a particular pedagogic approach.

 

Challenge

"My biggest concern is that there will be unanticipated difficulties in offering our course at our partner institutions that will cause the course not to be successful there. For example, there might not be enough staff to help run the course, or the instructors at the partner institutions might not feel comfortable continuing to offer the new course after our involvement ends.

 

Another concern is that we will not see positive results from this new course right away, and that partner institutions will give up and revert to their old courses rather than sticking with this new course."

field_vote: 

Piloting Pathways for Computational Thinking in a General Education (Towson University)

PI Details

Dierbach Charles

cdierbach@towson.edu

Towson University

Computer and Information Sciences

http://triton.towson.edu/~dierbach/

 

CO-PIs

Harry Hochheiser

 

Description

The goal of this project is to provide a model for incorporating computational thinking into the undergraduate general education curriculum. Four faculty members were selected to develop computational thinking courses in their discipline, including the areas of English, Sociology, Kinesiology, and Music. In addition, a non-discipline specific Everyday Computational Thinking course was also developed. All five courses are being piloted during the 2009-2010 academic year. Some of the concepts introduced in the Everyday Computational Thinking course are being infused into both a College Algebra and an Analytic Geometry high school course during the current school year.

 

Audience

non-CS undergrads , K-12 teachers, K-12 students

 

Discipline

Computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science, Potentially All Disciplines

 

Success

Tina Kelleher, a faculty fellow on the grant, brought seven undergraduate students from her "Computational Thinking in the Humanities" course from the Fall semester to present papers at the Undergraduate Creative Writing Conference at Susquehanna University in February. Dr. Kelleher is also presenting a paper on her experiences of teaching her computational thinking class at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) conference in Montreal in April. Her paper is part of a panel session called "Teaching the Connections" on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, emphasizing connections between the humanities and sciences.

 

Challenge

That the new GenEd curriciulum allow placement of the new computational thinking courses piloted into the new GenEd categories. The new GenEds are to be put in place starting Fall 2011.

 

Future Plan

To transfer our model and/or CT courses developed to other universities, community colleges, and high schools in Maryland.

field_vote: 

ProjectMT -- A Real-World, Project-Based Computer Science Curriculum (Middle Tennessee State University)

PI Details

Detmer Richard

rdetmer@mtsu.edu

Middle Tennessee State University

Computer Science

http://frank.mtsu.edu/~rdetmer/

 

CO-PIs

Cen Li, cli@mtsu.edu

Zhijiang Dong, dong@mtsu.edu

 

Description

The goal of ProjectMT is to enhance the CS teaching and learning experience with real-world projects woven into the entire CS curriculum. The process is further enriched with a stable and consistent local industrial connection that brings in innovative computing ideas, technologies, and real-world experiences. Bachelor's-level students will participate in the development of real-world applications, and engage in active learning of project and class-related materials.

 

Audience

CS undergrads

 

Discipline

Only computer science

 

Pedagogic Approach

Our goal in ProjectMT is to enhance the CS teaching and learning experience with real-world projects woven into the entire CS curriculum. We have attempted to establish a stable and consistent local industrial connection to bring in innovative computing ideas,technologies, and real-world experiences. Bachelor's-level students participate in the development of real-world applications, and engage in active learning of project and class-related materials.

 

Challenge

Without staff support, probably someone who worked nearly full-time on industry connections, it will be almost impossible to maintain the stream of real- world projects desirable for the project.

field_vote: 

Renaissance Computing (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

PI Details

Soh Leen-Kiat

lksoh@cse.unl.edu

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Computer Science and Engineering

http://cse.unl.edu/~lksoh/

 

CO-PIs

Ashok Samal

Duane Shell

Etsuko Moriyama

Stephen Ramsay

 

Description

With this Concept Development and Planning proposal, we seek funding to

(1) organize workshops and meetings to identify the needs of participating academic units and to clearly define the aspects of interdisciplinary problem solving, computational thinking, and collaborative learning that affect student learning irrespective of major

(2) create specifications for a cohesive Renaissance Computing curriculum

(3) carry out a pilot study with two CS1 interdisciplinary courses and collect student and instructor feedback on the course content, design and delivery, and

(4) assess the results of the pilot study to further refine the curriculum, garner further institutional support, and develop a highly–competitive Transformative Implementation proposal for submission to NSF CPATH.

We will also investigate the use of learning objects and computer– supported collaborative learning to help enrich the Renaissance Computing experience.

 

Success

We have successfully held a workshop and obtained important information about course design, and are currently building on the momentum of the courses designed and offered this past year collecting results for our pilot study as well as discussing in depth with additional partners to better institutionalize these renaissance computing courses.

AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon Renaissance Computing.doc698.5 KB
field_vote: 

Sacramento Regional CPATH Project II (Los Rios Community College District)

PI Details

Daniel Ross

rossd@flc.losrios.edu

Los Rios Community College District

Computer Science

http://wserver.flc.losrios.edu/~ross/

 

Description:

Through this three-year undertaking, the Sacramento Regional CPATH Team is producing knowledge about key computational thinking (CT) skills and competencies, developing strategies for measuring such skills, and innovating instructional strategies that are effective in developing these skills in students and preparing them for computing courses. Important aspects of this project is the identification of key CT skills and competencies critical at each point along the K through 14 education continuum; assessment tools for accurately measuring acquisition of CT skills; and the small-scale pilot of infusion strategies to test the promise of the model.

Intellectual Merit For over a decade, concern has continued to rise over the relative lack of enrollment and completion in STEM programs, particularly at the University level. All segments of education have tried in various ways to address the leaks in the STEM pipeline, but without significant success. This project is implementing a strategy that uses CT skills as both a solution for these long-standing problems and as a measure of the project's success, emphasizing the higher education success and output to industry. There are compelling challenges to address, including a cultural change rate that requires unprecedented agility on the part of education as it prepares for its input audience (students). At the earliest stages, education will need to adjust its curriculum, classroom pedagogy and pace to advance its students through this first section of the pipeline. With better prepared incoming students, the community college can do a more thorough job of moving STEM students into the course material and practical experiences which will help assure their sustained interest in the field. The interest of universities who receive inputs from community colleges is that students are prepared for the challenges of the next level of study, and are focused enough to complete their chosen program. Business and industry rightly expect candidates for their open positions who are work ready, and possess the CT skills (and others) that will make them a good investment. Another portion of the pipeline that has been somewhat neglected is the end, where these long-term investments drop off the STEM grid. Businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies work hard to create intellectual capital in their employees, only to see them disappear with many potential years of productive work life still ahead of them. This commodity is quite expensive to replace, and may require years to accomplish. Businesses and other employers who have been part of the Sacramento Regional CPATH Team meetings agree that they have serious challenges with losing out on these investments just when they need them most. A goal of this project is to assist employers, through interaction within the project team, to address their retention needs through innovative approaches to optimizing these investments.

Broader Impacts This project effectively engages CPATH partners in a collaborative development process that will endure long into the future as the technology landscape continues to change. The output of this collaboration will not only be a plan for infusion of CT skill to address the needs of an accelerating technological economy, but also to secure relationships which will support adaptation of this plan to address emerging needs. The project team is cooperating to be agile, effective and efficient in maintaining the integrity of the K through 14 pipeline for CT-skilled workers. This project has the potential to benefit a wide range of stakeholders to include the K-12, community college, and university systems within the greater Sacramento region as well as other portions of northern California (through dissemination strategies); information technology employers, and the residents of the region in general as broad transformation will lead to increased talent and economic competitiveness.

field_vote: 

Spreading Small Footprints (Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering)

PI Details

Stein Lynn

las@olin.edu

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Computing

 

Description:

This CPATH Project extends the Small Footprint model, successfully pioneered and developed at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, to four other institutions, Massachusetts Amherst, Harvard, Colby, and Rensselear Polytechnic. The principal investigator will work with other academic institutions to adapt the lessons learned at Olin to a broader set of schools, specifically addressing the diverse needs of different kinds of educational institutions. Among the virtues of the small footprint curriculum are: a reduced core that concentrates on the particular elements that are required in order to learn the rest of computing; an emphasis on teaching students to learn more on their own; room for and an emphasis on active, hands-on, project-based and inquiry-driven projects, often carried out in teams; opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines and to build genuinely joint curriculum; and contextualization of the core of computing education.

Diverse initial groups of pioneer collaborators have are committed to immediate curricular reform. A series of workshops and town hall meetings as well as an online consultation will be used to identify and recruit additional partner institutions and to create a national shift in understanding of what is necessary to the revitalization of computing education. Intellectual Merit: Widespread change in computing curricula requires careful construction of viable models. The approaches of this project should provide opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration as the core computing curriculum is refactored to emphasize computing's durable bones.

The PI brings a unique background including prior successes in growing curricula outwards from single institutions and extensive experience developing both a small footprint curriculum for computing and an engineering educational program. The first round partner schools have been carefully selected to provide diverse models from which to bootstrap a national conversation and community. Broader Impact: The primary focus of this project is the content and style of teaching, training, and learning in computing.

The project will engage many educators in active conversation and then transformation of undergraduate computing programs. In turn, these curricular reforms will change the educational experiences of students in traditional computing disciplines and create new opportunities for students through the development of interdisciplinary programs. Initially the project is geographically centered but over time the project will broaden its reach through workshops, town hall meetings, publications, electronic and in-person consultation by the PI, and hands-on curricular revision. Eventually, every university in the nation should be able to look to at least one successful adaptation of the small footprint curriculum at a peer institution, so that curricular reform moves from radical innovation to the easier processes of emulation and adoption.

 

Audience

CS undergrads, non-CS undergrads, CS faculty

 

Discipline

Only computer science, computing in/and sciences, computing in/and engineering, computing in/and humanities, computing in/and social science

 

Pedagogic Approach

The reduction in specific content coverage makes room for topics of student interest and contextualization of learning. Programs bridging multiple disciplines can use this extra space to introduce synergistic content. Project-based learning, freed of some of the requirements of specific content coverage, can include meaningful applications that meet real needs but may involve significant contextual issues beyond the traditional computer science curriculum. Such curricula also allow students within a single class to pursue different specific projects, leading to differential individual coverage of the course content but greater potential engagement and ownership of the learning process

 

Challenge

Varying timetables of partner schools.

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Microsoft Office document icon Spreading Small Footprints.doc753 KB
field_vote: 

Teaching Computational Thinking through Integration of Dynamic Systems Modeling (Oberlin College)

PI Details

Richard Salter

rms@cs.oberlin.edu

Oberlin College

Computer Science

 

 

Description:

Oberlin College will introduce dynamic systems modeling into introductory courses in 11 science disciplines, exposing the majority of its eventual science majors to these powerful techniques. We will be aided in this effort by faculty and graduate students from the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan.

By using dynamic systems modeling, the College will achieve its five goals for this project:

• integrating computational thinking into the science curriculum;

• developing a cohort of faculty experienced in teaching and using modeling techniques;

• developing a new tool for teaching computational modeling;

• providing cross-disciplinary teaching and curriculum development opportunities for graduate students and a postdoc;

• and assessing, revising, and disseminating the most successful components.

 

Success

1. Our project is only just starting up, but there are many faculty members interested in participating.

2. Our software development is way ahead of schedule, and a new modeling tool is being course- tested this semester.

3. The Shodor Foundation has been recruited to present a workshop in Oberlin this summer.

 

Future Plan

Recruiting faculty and graduate students to develop the first set of teaching modules

field_vote: 

Evaluation SRI

AttachmentSize
Office presentation icon SRI Evaluation484 KB

Jan Cuny - Activities in AP CS , 10K teachers project, and National Lab Day

Jeannette Wing talk about Computational Thinking

NSF Program Director Time

AttachmentSize
Office presentation icon Program Director presentation1.17 MB

Panel - K-12, RET

Publication and Dissemination options

 Ursula and Kim had suggestions that I missed --
 
NCTM -- for High School Teachers of Mathematcs
-- Research pre-session for teachers who are
 
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association)
Journals and magazines
AERJ (American Educational Research Journal)
International Sciety for Learning
Journal of Learning Sciences
Journal of Education in Computing Science (?)
Journal of Computing in Higher Education (Policy pieces)
EDUCAUSE -- Journal of position/reivew-type papers, wide audience,
IEEE Transactions on Education -- more on the engineering side.
Journal of Educational Resources in Computing (JERIC) -- Now known as The ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE).
Computer Science Education -- a journal that has been around for 20 years or so.
Social Science Computer Review
Government Information Quarterly
Digital Government Society of North America
IEEE Transactions on Learning Technology
From Harriet -- Need a focal point, someone to collect all these things.
As people publish, we need those papers gathered together.
Communications of the ACM
Journal of Excellence in College Teaching (Special issue coming)
ASEE and FIE for those with an Engineering component
Contact college and university alumni offices for dissemination in the alumni publications
Also, general public relations magazines and newsletters
Story of project activities onto the college or university website
Social networking might be more picked up by teachers at a cross disciplinary level.  Easy to pass link to others.
Kim is an editor for BlogHER.com  Routine discussion of education, computing, technology, women, policy and tech discussions.  Pass messages to Kim Pearson (kpearson@tcnj.edu)  Many women blog anonymously. 
Note to add:
www.citeulike.org