Friday, October 26, 2007
Since the dot-com bust in 2000, many colleges and universities nationwide have seen a decline (oftentimes quite dramatic) in computer science program enrollments. Many factors have been cited as possible causes including economic troubles in the high-tech sector, job off-shoring, the perceived image of computer science, and the growing complexity of programming. Recently, there's been a more critical examination of this crisis in computing, and stakeholders have proposed many targeted programs and curriculum changes to help stem the tide of students choosing not to pursue computing as a discipline.
In this vein, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently launched the CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH) program aimed at transforming undergraduate computing education. NSF has taken a multi-pronged approach, including what it describes as "community-building efforts that bring stakeholders together to discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in transforming undergraduate computing education."
After conversations with some of our colleagues at NSF, we organized the Google Education Summit this summer, held in conjunction with our annual Faculty Summit. Its aim was to bring together a group of leaders in computer science education for presentations and discussions centering on how we can promote greater participation in computer science.
The Google Education Summit was attended by representatives from academia, NSF, CRA (Computing Research Association), and industry, including IBM, Intel, and Microsoft. This broad range of participants helped to foster a real discussion that showcased academic initiatives already in the works to address enrollment declines, as well as explore ways that industry and academia can work more cooperatively on the issue.
Many attendees reported that they enjoyed having an open dialog -- and sometimes heated debate -- with a variety of stakeholders. To share some of the ideas more broadly, all our Education Summit presenters have agreed to distribute their presentations under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. All of these files are in the PDF format.
- Mehran Sahami (Google) — Welcome and Overview
- Hal Abelson (MIT) — MIT's curriculum revision in EE and CS
- Lenore Blum (CMU) — The Crisis in Computer Science (Image and Education)
- Judy Cushing (Evergreen) — Broadening CS at the entry level interdisciplinary science & CS
- Ed Fox (Virginia Tech)— LIKES: Living In the KnowlEdge Society
- Lillian "Boots" Cassel (Villanova) — Industry and the Academy
- Phokion Kolaitis (IBM) — How can academia and industry work together to address educational issues?
- Jane Prey (Microsoft) — Academic & industry collaboration to improve education
- Alan Eustace (Google) — Discussant (no formal presentation)