Archive for March 11, 2013

CSAB and ABET/CAC Criteria Committee Survey

At the ACM Education Council meeting this last weekend, I heard about changes in the accreditation criteria being considered for computing disciplines (e.g., Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology).  The committee has asked for feedback on several issues that they’re considering, e.g., how much mathematics do students really need in computing?

That question, in particular, is one that I’m reading about in The Computer Boys Take Over by Nathan Ensmenger.  Ensmenger tells the story of how mathematics got associated with preparation of programmers (not computer scientists).  Mathematics showed up on the early aptitude tests that industry created as a way of figuring out who might be a good programmer.  But Ensmenger points out that mathematic ability only correlated with performance in academic courses, and did not correlated with performance as a programmer.  It’s not really clear how much math is really useful (let alone necessary) for being a programming.  Mathematics got associated with programming decades ago, and it remains there today.

The Committee is inviting feedback on this and other issues that they’re considering:

This survey was developed by a joint committee from CSAB and the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission, and is designed to obtain feedback on potential changes on the ABET Computing Accreditation Criteria.  We are looking for opinions about some of the existing ideas under discussion for change, as well as other input regarding opportunities to improve the existing criteria.

Respondents to the survey may be computing education stakeholders in any computing sub discipline, including computer science, information systems, information technology, and many others. Stakeholders may include professionals in the discipline, educators, and/or employers of graduates from computing degree programs.

The survey may be completed online:

Please send inquiries to

Thank you for your participation.

March 11, 2013 at 1:48 am 1 comment

MOOCmania: The State pays Twice

Nice essay, but particularly interesting with the commentary that follows.  Siva Vaidhyanathan raises issue of the role of government in education and in supporting the agendas of education start-ups.

This is a very helpful essay that does a good job working through many of the issues surrounding MOOCs. I wish you had considered, however, the problem raised by the political economy of MOOCs-via-corporation: UC makes MOOCs at a high cost per MOOC (and no faculty compensation); UC donates them to Udacity or Coursera; Udacity charges Cal State for their use in courses meant for those who need and deserve the best teaching, not just the latest experimental teaching. The state pays twice. Udacity walks away laughing.

via MOOCmania | DMLcentral.

March 11, 2013 at 1:40 am Leave a comment

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