Archive for May 24, 2013

Announcing the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences

Congratulations to Juan Gilbert and his colleagues (see list) who have just launched a new NSF Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance, Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences.  This new alliance extends the work of multiple NSF BPC Alliances (A4RC, ARTSI, EL Alliance) and Demonstration Projects (AARCS) that utilized different strategies toward broadening the participation of African-Americans in computing sciences.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Clemson University a $5 million grant to launch the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences.

The institute will serve as a national resource and emphasize mentoring as the primary strategy for increasing African-American participation in computing under the direction of Juan Gilbert, Presidential Endowed Professor and chairman of the Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson, and Shaundra Daily, assistant professor in the School of Computing.

“African-Americans represent about 1 percent of the computer science faculty and researchers in the U.S.,” Gilbert said. “We formed this institute to increase the number of underrepresented groups earning computing science doctoral degrees and researchers in the academy, government and private sector.”

via Clemson receives $5M for alliance to increase African-Americans in computer sciences | Clemson University, South Carolina.

May 24, 2013 at 1:52 am 2 comments

Why your 8-year-old should be coding | VentureBeat

It’s an interesting idea, that 8 year olds should be coding, but I don’t buy this argument.  Computing will be everywhere, and new jobs will be created that need computing.  But doesn’t it really mean that 8 year olds should be taught job skills?  Will they remember those job skills by the time they hit the job market?  What can we teach an 8 year old in computing that will still be relevant 9 years later?  I do buy the importance of influencing students’ opinions and dreams early on.

Vedati, on the other hand, is planning for the long term by working with kids much younger, much earlier, trying to educate them about those options when they still have years to form opinions and create and live their own dreams.

“If you close your eyes and think about the world 10 years from now, it will be completely different,” Vedati said.

“Kids will have computing everywhere. Doctors will be using computing to make decisions. Jobs will require more technology. … The new jobs that will be created won’t be just programming jobs. But can you think about organizing data? Information and computation is coming to every field.”

And that, dear readers, is why your eight-year-old should be coding.

via Why your 8-year-old should be coding | VentureBeat.

May 24, 2013 at 1:31 am 4 comments

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