Hour of Code 2014 Georgetown (TX) Independent School District

December 11, 2014
  1. Intro by Kim Garcia, Educational Technology Coordinator GISD (10  minutes)
    Video from Hour of Code
  1. Intro to Scratch by Barbara Boucher Owens retired CS Prof Southwestern University for CS Ed Week (created by Congress to coincide with the birthdays of Ada Augusta Lovelace and Grace Murray Hopper) 25 minutes
    Barbara Owens

    1. Video for Hour of Code Scratch
    2. Holiday Card
    3. Beyond Hour of Code (Dr. O. continued 15 minutes)
      1. Other things from code.org
      2. What my students are doing now  featuring Stephen Foster and Code Spells
      3. Questions, comments?
  1. Wrap up Kim Garcia (5 minutes)

Jane Prey Featured on Ada Lovelace Day 2014

October 13, 2014
Jane Prey

Jane Prey

Jane Prey is one of the most-respected members of the Computing Education Community.  Jane has served in many diverse roles ranging from her latest role — that of the Co-Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Education Board to her earliest position as a lecturer in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. Jane calls it like it is and has the widest range of professional friends of anyone I know.  Jane recently ended her second term as a rotator at the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education.  She was instrumental in bringing education to the forefront while a program director at  Microsoft Research. Jane recently completed serving on the Computing Education Board of the IEEE Computer Society.  She has been a powerful advocate of diversity in computing, serving in various capacities at the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) and an internationally in-demand speaker on women’s issues in computing. Jane has served on the Board of the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), as well as having chaired its flagship conference. Jane is the goto person when you want something done.

Jane is a role model for me and for countless others.  You can see an in-depth 2007 interview with Jane from the Computing Educators Oral History Project (CEOHP).

Suzanne Buchele Featured on Ada Lovelace 2013

October 14, 2013

ImageThis year for Ada Lovelace Day  I want to honor my colleague and friend, Suzanne Fox Buchele, PhD.  Suzanne claims me as a mentor.  In many ways it is the other way around.  She says (and I honestly didn’t remember) she met me when I was a professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin Texas and she was a PhD student in graphics at the University of Texas.  She had come to St. Ed’s as part of a “Shadow a Prof Day” in cooperation with UT where she followed me around that day.  She also claims that that experience was part of the reason she chose to teach at a small liberal arts college.  She serves as a role model for me and for many through the way she has led her life and shaped her career.

The rest of our relationship I remember clearly.  I came to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, in 1999 where she had been on the faculty for a year (and was on the committee that hired me there).  Suzanne has been a model young prof.  She works with students doing undergraduate research.  She has led the most important committees at the college through hard decision making.  She has led the student computer club and organized multiple excursions for those students.  She has cheerfully added new areas of expertise in order to teach a broader selection of courses, most recently in computer security.

Several years ago, she successfully applied for and won a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to Ashesi University in Ghana.  There she was pressed into staying an additional year as a Fulbright Scholar serving as both a professor and acting dean.  She also managed to complete a more gender neutral version of the classic book, Flatland.

Suzanne became an integral part of the ACM SIGCSE community by both presenting papers and by serving on its Symposium Program Committee.

All the while, she and her husband Steve, were rearing three children and hosting the occasional exchange student.

I consider Suzanne the consummate Computer Science Educator.

But there is more to the story.  This is her last semester at Southwestern University.  She and her husband have joined the Mission Society and will be moving  to Ghana for at least the next five years.  Suzanne will be joining the faculty of Ashesi University outside Accra, Ghana as well as serving as its associate provost.  Steve will be work with Campus ministry and church planting.

While I wish her well in her new endeavor, I will miss her.  She represents the best example of how being in Computer Science can change the world for better.




Judith Gal-Ezer featured on Ada Lovelace Day 2012

October 15, 2012


Watch short video on YouTube or as an AVI File (from CEOHP.org)

I would like to highlight Judith Gal-Ezer as one a role model woman in computing.  From the short introduction to a full interview  of Judith Gal-Ezer on the Computing Educators Oral History website:

“Judith Gal-Ezer is Professor of Computer Science at The Open University of Israel. Professor Gal-Ezer is an accomplished researcher in computer science education (CSE), whose work has had a widespread impact in the areas of high school curriculum, and research in advanced areas of computation. She was the 2007 recipient of the SIGCSE (ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education) Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education, with the citation “Outstanding researcher and curriculum designer who has carried out pioneering work involving teaching the essence of computer science on both the high school and university levels.”

I was extremely moved by Judith’s interview and I was the interviewer!  Her story was much the same as many in the collection and very different at the same time.  She always loved learning and wanted more homework, more challenge even as a very you child.  Her father, on the other hand, questioned even her desire to go to high school – “Why go to high school when all you’ll be is a housewife?”

Judith got into computing accidentally.  This is the story of many women in computing.  She studied mathematics and when she went into the required Israeli military service, she was assigned to a computing unit.  She continued to study mathematics but  used COBOL and FORTRAN in the army, eventually receiving a doctorate in applied mathematics but furthering her study to become a diplomate in computing.  She has spent her academic computing career focusing on using computer -integrated mathematics and on computer science education.  She approaches everything she does with passion and energy. Her graduate students have become some of the best known and respected researchers in computing education, providing a new generation dedicated to encouraging the study of computing and computing education.

Although she is now serving as a university vice-president, she maintains her passion for computing education.  She has been a stalwart volunteer, serving as an international representative and full participant in the Computer Science Teachers Association as well as most recently shepherding the 2012 SIGCSE international  computing education (ITiCSE conference ) in Haifa, Israel.

Judith is truly a role model for women in computing and most especially in Computer Science Education Research.

Grace Hopper 2011

November 16, 2011
Portland Convention Center

Hopper 2011 Portland Convention Center

I returned home Saturday  from the  very exciting 2011 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing held in Portland Oregon at the convention center.

The big words from the celebration seemed to be Brand and Sponsor (have both)!
Job Fair
The Wednesday evening event was a job fair in the exhibition hall (although the recruiters were there throughout until Friday at 2. It was clear by the large number of companies and the enthusiasm of the young women visiting with those recruiters that there are jobs and that the recruiters were VERY interested in finding women to fill them.

At the opening session on Thursday morning, I learned that there were in attendance 30 babies, and 24 toddlers using the free childcare service provided by NetApp!  There were 2908 attendees, 235 academics, from 34 countries which represented a 35% increase over last year. The program listed 419 speakers.  But most promising  was the fact that there were 1136 students.    I  applaud Harvey Mudd whose president, Maria Klawe, was instrumental in the grant that allowed Z Sweedyk to arrange for 46 young women from Mudd to attend this year!
Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

I will admit that I was not keen to hear the opening keynote by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.  Was I ever off base!  She was fantastic.  Tune into Facebook Live to watch Sheryl Sandberg’s keynote address live from the Grace Hopper Conference this Thursday, November 10 at 8:55 AM/PT!
RSVP to the Facebook Event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/125456260896830   You can watch the event on Facebook Live:  http://on.fb.me/techtalkslive

Sandberg used no visuals but very discretely used what was a remote for a probable  teleprompter.

I’ll  briefly summarize the talk which she prefaced by citing both the opportunities for women in tech careers and the abysmal stats regarding their numbers and salary gap.  One anecdote in this intro was that when Larry Summers’ (Harvard) mother got a high-level job at Standard Oil the CEO told her that they were getting twice the brains at half the money and she thought that it was a compliment!

She gave 5 pieces of advice.

  1. Believe in yourself – Peggy Macintosh (author of “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”) reported feeling like a fraud.  Sandberg said men attribute  success to themselves,  women don’t but attribute it to luck or being at the right place at the right time.
  2. Dream  big.  we have an ambition gap.  Success is positively correlated  with likability for men  and the opposite for women.  This is important because of stereotype threat –if there is a gender box on an exam,  women do worse on math tests than they do if there is no such box.
  3. Success relies on whether one has a life partner and how supportive that partner is.  “Even if you marry the right guy they need training.”
  4. Women make small decisions that lead to leaving career. She hinted that women worry too much about things way in the future (like would this job work is I had kids).  LEAN IN.   Lean all the way in until you have a real decision to make.  Note that CS jobs the most flexible there are
  5. Start talking about this.  Sandberg’s TED talk  hasn’t hurt career to talk about difference

She said that her generation not going to change this but the young women here (at Hopper) can .

There was much more about Hopper than the opening, but I wanted to get this out there

Andrea Lawrence featured on Ada Lovelace Day 2011

October 7, 2011

I am highlighting my dear friend, Andrea Lawrence, who has been on the faculty at Spelman College since 1983.  She is a pioneer, a perserverer, a dedicated educator and a super-mom/ super grandmom!

I interviewed Andrea as part of the Computing Educators Oral History Project in 2007.   She spoke of some of the difficulties she experienced as the only woman  of color in her graduate program at Georgia tech in this short video  you may view as an  AVI file in new window OR as a youtube video in new window

Andrea was also featured as part of the Computer Scientists of the African Diaspora pro.ject.

Archived version of Andrea Lawrence’s professional webpage at Spelman College [Note: http://www.spelman.edu/~compsci/lawrence.html, the original address, has been non-functional since 2009]

CS Education Week

December 8, 2010

By congressional action the week of December 5-12 is CS Education Week and the week of Grace Hopper’s birthday. As part of this celebration, the Computing Educators Oral History Project has launched a revamped website and a dedicated youtube channel.

The project has been supported by a generous grant from NSF. The Charles Babbage Institute will be archivists for the project. Additional interviews will be added and materials for classroom teachers will soon be included as well.

We hope that the stories of these dedicated teachers will serve as inspiration and role models for others.

Thanks go out to all our supporters and especially to Vicki Almstrum and Anne Applin for their hard work on this upgrade.

2011 SIGCSE Awards Announced

October 5, 2010

Each year SIGCSE (the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education, part of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery) gives two awards.

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education honors an individual or group whose work has had a long lasting impact on, and made a significant difference in, computing education. This award was initiated in 1981.  The 2011 winner is Matthias Felleisen, Trustee Professor at College of Computer Science, Northeastern University.  Matthias is best known for his work in promoting and facilitating the teaching of computing through the Scheme programming language.

Matthias will deliver a keynote address at the 42nd SIGCSE Symposium in Dallas on March 10, 2010.   To get a peek into Matthias and his philosophy you might take a look at this talk I found on youtube.

The award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community honors a person with a long history of volunteer service to that community.  This award was initiated in 1997.  The 2011 winner is Gordon Davies, Department of Computing, Open University (retired).

Gordon will talk to First Time attendees at the SIGCSE Symposium in Dallas as well.  Take a look at Gordon in this excerpt from an interview that is part of the Computing Educators Oral History Project.

SIGCSE has an incredible membership and the community of educators that surround it are phenomenal.  See the list of  past award winners for outstanding contribution and for lifetime service.  Join me in congratulating the newest awardees!

Ada Lovelace Day — blogging Nell Dale

March 24, 2010

Today is Ada Lovelace Day.  I somehow neglected to sign the pledge to blog about a woman in computing today. However, that isn’t stopping me from doing so. I want to talk about a teacher, author, researcher, mentor, inspirational leader and professional volunteer, Nell Dale.

Nell Dale

Nell Dale is the consummate role model.   Nell retired from a long, illustrious career as a senior lecturer in Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.  That doesn’t mean she is retired.  She is still writing and revising several series of computer science texts.

It was Nell who pioneered texts in introductory programming and data structures usable by both high school and undergraduate students.  Her over 40 texts emphasized just in time concepts with problem solving as the basis for instruction.

Nell has been a champion for women in computing and was the lead many years ago on an NSF grant to retrain unemployed and underemployed women for careers in computing in the Women in Science Program.  Even after retirement, Nell participated in a summer working group to collect stories of women computing educators.

Foremost in my mind is the seminal role she played in Computer Science Education Research.  She insisted that “my students liked it” and “everybody knows to be true” as flawed arguments.  She insisted that her graduate students partake in evidence based computer science education research at a time when this type of work was rare.  At an early SIGCSE Symposium I remember her exhorting the audience to test their ideas be willing to refute common beliefs about what works when faced with data.

Nell is a tireless volunteer.  She is past chair of the foremost educational computing organization, the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education, ACM/SIGCSE.  She has served as a leader in the Advanced Placement readings, as a force in keeping high school teachers current in computing by holding summer workshops, and the list goes on.

Nell has been honored as an ACM Fellow, with the ACM Karlstrom educator award, and the ACM/SIGCSE outstanding educator award to name a few.

I am honored to consider Nell a friend and even more honored to have the opportunity to blog about her.

Listen to an interview with Nell at CEOHP.org and read about her latest award.

Computer Science Education Week

November 5, 2009

Last month Congress by passing a resolution External Link designating the week of December 7 (in honor of Grace Hopper’s  External Linkbirthday) as Computer Science Education Week.

It is being lauded as a week to focus on CS Education in the K-12 demographic.  As chair of ACM’s Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), I would like to exhort my colleagues in the university sector to consider ways to promote and celebrate Computer Science Education.

We in the field do have much to celebrate.  A substantive revision of the ACM/IEEE Computing Curriculum for Computer Science focuses more on relevant computing, computing security and parallel computing than in the past.  NCWIT and others are producing wonderful materials to aid in attracting more females and underrepresented groups to computing.

Universities are beginning to report a turnaround in the numbers of students enrolling in computer science courses.  We need to capitalize on this rising tide.

Let others know what is happening at your institution.  Computer Science Education week can provide a great opportunity for faculty and students in Computer Science to arrange to tell the story of computer science and its amazing potential for careers and contributions to society.  Contact your local school district and volunteer to make a presentation.  Write an article for your newspaper.  Blog about computer science.