Harvey Mudd’s Breadth Intro Course presented at NCWIT

May 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm 1 comment

The National Center for Women and IT (NCWIT) is having their annual meeting this week in Portland, OR.  Barb’s there, as co-chair of the K-12 Alliance. I’m normally there, representing Georgia Tech in the Academic Alliance, but it’s also the last week of school for our kids, so I’m here in Atlanta doing things like chaperoning kids end-of-year parties.

One of the activities for the Academic Alliance this week is a roll-out of a new case study on the success that Harvey Mudd has had in increasing the enrollment of women in Computer Science.  Harvey Mudd’s approach has several parts, not all of which is curricular.  For example, they take a bunch of female students out to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, which is a huge boost to motivation and engagement with the field.

Harvey Mudd is also developing a new introductory course that aims at covering a broad range of concepts in computer science.  Their goal is to create a “CS for Scientists” course, that emphasizes the role of CS in science, and the study of computing as a science.  They are working from automata and assembly language, up through robotics and Python.  There’s a meta-site for the course that describes the content, publications on the course and its assessment, and links to some of the websites for instantiations of the course.  (Thanks to Christine Alvarado for providing the URL to the meta-site.)

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Being in charge of education at a research university Albion College eliminates Computer Science

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