SIGCSE Preview: Variations, Influence, and the Future

March 4, 2010 at 11:31 am 2 comments

I’ll finish up my  SIGCSE Previews with three quickie mentions of panels and special sessions.

  • Media Computation was originally developed as an approach to engage non-computing majors in computing.  Since then, it’s gone in a wide variety of directions: From Beth Simon’s use with majors, to the Luther College crew’s CS1 using of PIL (Python Imaging Library), to Barb’s use as a special-effects studio for Alice, to Sam Rebelsky’s Scheme-based image manipulation, and to the Bryn-Mawr folks’ use of Media Computation with robots and Processing.  The session Thursday at 10:45 will be five-minute madness of several of these approaches, and an art gallery of some of the students’ work with these approaches. We call it “Variations on a Theme.”
  • David Kay has an interesting idea — the best way to figure out what were the most influential papers of a field are 10 years later.  He’s gathered a panel of opinionated, er, thoughtful computing educators to try to identify what papers before 2000 have been the most influential in the SIGCSE community.  Yours Truly will be one of those recommending papers, Thursday at 3:45.  Come see the debate!
  • Last June, the ACM Education Board hosted a meeting of about a dozen professional IT-related organizations concerned with computing education, including IEEE, AIS, and NCWIT.  We called it the Future of Computing Education Summit.  A report on that meeting and what’s happening as a result will be Friday at 10:30 am.

Okay, now I’ll get back to my normal ranting and raving.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Greg Wilson  |  March 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Is “influential” going to be judged by “most cited”, or by “most impact on actual teaching”? If the latter, how will it be gauged?

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  March 4, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      That’s explicitly part of our directions, Greg — to define what we mean. Sneak peek on my argument (just to push one end of the spectrum): At one point in his piece, David talks about these papers being “important.” Important isn’t the same as influential. I’m going to aim for the most important papers (defined in terms of potential impact, if adopted), even if they had little influence on actual practice.


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