Archive for the ‘CS education’ category


New School Year Brings New Round of “CS Bits & Bytes”

September 11th, 2012

The first issue of NSF's CS Bits & Bytes for the 2012-13 academic year, published yesterday [image courtesy NSF].With the start of the 2012-13 school year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) yesterday released the first issue of the second volume of CS Bits & Bytes, focusing on biomimetic robotics, relating optimal control to the 2012 Summer Olympics. The issue highlights the work of Emanuel Todorov’s Movement Control Laboratory at the University of Washington, includes links to related videos, and contains a culminating activity that asks students to define performance metrics for sports, helping them realize all that must go into optimal control and performance.

CS Bits & Bytes is a biweekly newsletter developed to make computer science more accessible to educators and learners around the world. Each issue of CS Bits & Bytes highlights innovative computer science research, often at the intersection with other disciplines, and includes profiles of the individuals who do this exciting work, links for further exploration, and interactive activities. During the first year of production, over 1000 subscribers from more than 17 countries used the newsletter to enhance computer science education.

» Read more: New School Year Brings New Round of “CS Bits & Bytes”

Computer Science Course Now Online at the Khan Academy

August 15th, 2012

An example of Khan Academy's new web portal, teaching computer science through interactive drawing [image courtesy Khan Academy via TechCrunch].Last month at the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) biennial Snowbird Conference, a session titled “Reflections on Teaching Massive Online Open Courses” featured Peter Norvig from Google and Salman Khan (via Skype) from the Khan Academy discussing the recent transformation taking place in education.

Well, yesterday, the Khan Academy launched a brand new portal that aims to teach computer science through interactive drawing. The tutorials on the new Khan website are focused on computing for today’s youth, beginning prior to high school and concluding just before a college-level introductory computer science course.

Check out a video describing the new CS education portal after the jump:

» Read more: Computer Science Course Now Online at the Khan Academy

First Person: Margo Seltzer on Women in CS

July 5th, 2012

Harvard computer scientist and CCC Council member Margo Seltzer was interviewed last week about her thoughts on women in computer science:

Txchnologist: Although women make up nearly half of the workforce in the U.S., the Department of Commerce reports that only one out of four employed computer scientists is female. Does this fit with what you see?


Margo Seltzer, Harvard University and CCC [image courtesy Harvard].Margo Seltzer: It’s stunning. The numbers are bad, and they’re not particularly getting better globally. The only place that I’ve encountered worse numbers is actually finance and entrepreneurism. Those are the only events that I’ve ever gone to where I’ve felt that I was even more outnumbered.


Txch: What do you think accounts for the disparity? [more following the link]


» Read more: First Person: Margo Seltzer on Women in CS

CS URGE: A Resource for Undergraduates

May 21st, 2012

CS URGE, a resource for computer science undergraduates.The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) has developed a new website for undergraduates seeking summer research opportunities as well as advice and tips on applying for graduate school. The website is called CS URGE (CS Undergraduate Research and Graduate Education), and the URL is

We URGE you to promote CS URGE with your students and place a link to the site from your departmental website. In addition to sections on “What is CS Research” and “Why Go to Graduate School?”, the site contains links to many undergraduate summer research programs (e.g., NSF REU, CRA-W, and many others) as well as a free service where researchers can post summer research opportunities and students can search those opportunities by disciplinary area. In addition, there is a page with candid advice on how to navigate through the graduate admissions process and what makes for a good application. Finally, there is a blog in which three current CS Ph.D. students share the joys and challenges of being a graduate student.

» Read more: CS URGE: A Resource for Undergraduates

Computing at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

May 1st, 2012

USA Science and Engineering Festival [image courtesy NSF].Computing was among the excitement this past weekend at the 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The festival is the largest celebration of science and engineering in the U.S. and featured over 500 exhibits and 75 performances and shows on multiple stages.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was an Einstenium sponsor of the Festival and supported a performance stage and the participation of 16 projects, including the SpelBots. The SpelBots are a team of students with an interest in robotics from Spelman College, a female historically black college, and were formed to inspire and encourage young women and underrepresented students to study computer science, engineering, and robotics. In addition to participating in outreach activities, the SpelBots compete in robotics competitions around the world and have qualified for RoboCup 2012, to be held in Mexico City in late June (continued following the link…).

» Read more: Computing at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

CRA’s Taulbee Survey: Undergraduate CS Enrollments Up for Fourth Straight Year

April 9th, 2012

The Computing Research Association (CRA) today released a report — Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends, 2010-2011 – providing summary data from its annual Taulbee survey of Ph.D.-granting departments in computer science and allied fields in the U.S. and Canada.

As posted on CRA’s Policy Blog:

Figure 1. Average CS majors per U.S. CS department.Enrollments in undergraduate computer science programs rose 9.6 percent in the 2011-12 school year, the fourth straight year of increase…


» Read more: CRA’s Taulbee Survey: Undergraduate CS Enrollments Up for Fourth Straight Year