Archive for October 15, 2010

DARPA wants your kids — to major in CS

$14.2M is over half of the budget of NSF’s CE21, so this is a considerable investment in trying to get more kids to consider CS as a career.

The Defense Department’s research and development agency has started an initiative to increase the number of computer science graduates in the United States. The three-year, $14.2 million dollar program will use a variety of online tools and educational approaches to guide interested middle and high school students into pursuing computer science careers.

Managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the computer science-science, technology, engineering and mathematics (CS-STEM) program’s goal is to expand the talent pool of applicants available for jobs to support secure DOD networks and to accelerate computer science innovation.

The interest in increasing the number of CS graduates has national security implications, DARPA officials said. According to the agency, since 2002, the number of U.S. college graduates with computer science or related degrees has dropped by 58.5 percent. To reverse these numbers, CS-STEM will focus on creating interesting activities and opportunities for middle and high school students that will increase in complexity as they progress through their education.

CS-STEM is built around three components: a distributed online community, an online robotics academy, and an extracurricular online community for students.

via DARPA educational program targets grade-school students — Government Computer News.

October 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm 4 comments

Common Misconceptions About Software Engineering | News | Communications of the ACM

Leigh Ann Sudol’s and Ciera Jaspan’s paper from ICER 2010 (that I blogged about) got a special write-up on the CACM website, and included a quote from Yours Truly.

Software engineering is increasingly recognized as a separate discipline from computer science, but it is often learned on the job. Universities are creating programs to prepare students for jobs developing large-scale software, but many students have misconceptions that hinder their transition to the workplace.

To systematically probe what software engineering undergraduates think will matter in their jobs, computer science graduate students Leigh Ann Sudol  and Ciera Jaspan  surveyed undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon University. Their results, “Analyzing the Strength of Undergraduate Misconceptions About Software Engineering,”  explore both the students’ misconceptions and how their views evolve as they gain experience. Their paper was presented at the 2010 International Workshop on Computing Education Research .

via Common Misconceptions About Software Engineering | News | Communications of the ACM.

October 15, 2010 at 11:01 am 1 comment

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