News

The following news items were featured on the SIGCSE site's front page:

2011

  • February 20th: SIGCSE Board Endorses AP Effort
    The SIGCSE board encourages SIGCSE members to learn about the new AP effort at http://csprinciples.org and to explore the details of the effort and offer their attestation at http://www.collegeboard.com/html/computerscience/index.html.
    Why?
    The enrollment of students studying computing today is dramatically lower than needed to drive our information society. Current undergraduate computing enrollment is less than 50% of what’s needed to meet the expected computing jobs in the United States according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computing is critical to innovation in today’s economy as the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report describes, but we have too few students learning computing to support innovation. We have an enormous need for more and more diverse students to meet the growing computing needs of our 21st century economy.
    A key part of the problem is the lack of good and broadly accessible computing education at the primary and secondary school level. Research suggests that students emerge from high school without really understanding what computer science is. No wonder that students don’t choose to pursue studies in the discipline! We desperately need good computer science education available in many schools.
    The ACM’s Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) is fully supportive of the efforts of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the College Board to develop, pilot, and deploy a new Advanced Placement exam, Computer Science: Principles. We agree with the goal to create a new AP exam that attracts a diverse range of students and introduces important computer science concepts, beyond the basic syntactic and semantic structures of a programming language. We are pleased to hear that the development methodology is based on the National Research Council’s framework to avoid the “mile wide and inch deep” problem of classes that have too much content and no real depth. We are confident that the resulting curriculum will meet the desired aims.
    Thank you very much.
    Renee
    SIGCSE Chair
  • February 20th: SIGCSE Board Endorses SIGBP Formation
    The Executive Board of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) supports the formation of a new ACM Special Interest Group on Broadening Participation (SIGBP).
    SIGCSE provides a forum for educators to discuss issues related to the development,implementation, and/or evaluation of computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy. SIGCSE is the premier organization for computing education. It serves computer science teaching and education research faculty at all levels, and several of its activities focus on making introductory computing effective. SIGCSE collaborates with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and with other teaching-oriented organizations in working to shape and improve computing education at all levels worldwide...
    SIGCSE is interested in extending the reach and influence of computing and promoting computing education. SIGCSE leaders serve on various ACM Education committees. SIGCSE collaborates with CSTA, and has worked with CSTA on an NSF grant. SIGCSE has held a conference (ITiCSE) outside of the US annually since 1996. Our ICER workshop is held outside of the US every other year; in 2010 it was held in Denmark; in 2012 it will be held in New Zealand. SIGCSE grants in-cooperation status to numerous conferences, including the CCSC conferences, Koli Calling, and AAAI. Broadening participation efforts are in line with our goals of promoting and improving computing education broadly.
    We are happy to write this letter to support the formation of the ACM SIGBP. As an organization of computing educators, we realize that there is need for a broad population engaged and educated in computing. Our conferences, including the SIGCSE Symposium, ITiCSE, and ICER, often include papers on broadening participation in computing. Our members hold leadership roles in NCWIT, NSF BPC and CPATH projects.
    Although we feel very connected and committed to broadening participation in education, there are important communities that we do not serve and issues that we do not consider. There are issues of broadening participation in the workforce, for example, changing cultures to make it more appealing for people of all backgrounds to work and stay in computing fields. Raising interest in computing for people of all ages, from children to retirees, is not just a computing education effort. Researching methods for broadening participation in computing requires an understanding of a broader base of social science and computing research that overlaps with computing education research but has a different focus.
    Related to these issues, we believe that there will be great benefit in creating a community of computing researchers that can advance the field of broadening participation through research. There is a need to establish rigor in this research area. There is a need for a community within which those interested in broadening participation can collaborate. The existence of SIGBP will bring respect to this research area and encourage others to pursue this area of study. Its existence will add credibility to the field. We support the formation of an ACM SIGBP and look forward to working together in the future.
    Renée McCauley, on behalf of the SIGCSE Board
    SIGCSE Chair, 2010-2013
  • November 2nd: SIGCSE 2012 Award Winners
    We are pleased to announce the 2012 SIGCSE award winners.
    The SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community has been awarded to Jane Prey, most recently employed by Microsoft Research as Senior Program Manager.
    The SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education has been awarded to Harold (Hal) Abelson, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.
    Professor Abelson will give a plenary address at the Technical Symposium.
    Professor Prey will address the First Timer's luncheon at the Technical Symposium.
    These awards will be presented at the 43rd SIGCSE Technical Symposium being held in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, Feb 29 - March 3, 2012.
    I am sure you will join me in congratulating these outstanding educators.
    For more information about these awards, including lists of previous winners, please see SIGCSE Awards.

2010

  • February 17th: Nell B. Dale ACM Fellow and UPE Abacus award winner
    Nell Dale, former SIGCSE Chair, recently received two honors -- ACM Fellow designation and Upsilon Pi Epsilon Abacus award recipient. Dr. Dale was named ACM Fellow "For distinguished service to the ACM and her impact on computing education" and will be honored at ACM's annual awards banquet on June 26, 2010. Nell will also be receiving Upsilon Pi Epsilon's ABACUS award which is, "presented to an individual who has gained international renown in the profession, and over a period of several years has provided extensive support and leadership for student-related activities in the computing and information disciplines.” The full citation can be seen here. Dr. Dale will be giving a short address at the 2010 UPE Convention held at SIGCSE on Friday March 11.
  • March 8th: SIGCSE Bulletin inroads Promoted to a Magazine
    The former SIGCSE Bulletin inroads has been promoted from a SIGCSE newsletter to a magazine, ACM Inroads! Over the years, SIGCSE's quarterly publication evolved from an informal gathering of news and ideas to a venue for columns, articles, research announcements, editorials, etc. However, the former SIGCSE Bulletin inroads was not identified as having an established review process (beyond the editor) and thus was classified as a newsletter. Under the insightful guidance of current Editor-in-Chief, John Impagliazzo, the new ACM Inroads will offer somewhat expanded content and a new reviewing process. Altogether, ACM and SIGCSE will now be supporting at least 3 levels of publications for computing education:
    • ACM Transactions on Computing Education (formerly JERIC): all articles formally refereed following a feedback process.
    • ACM Inroads (formerly the SIGCSE Bulletin inroads): all articles reviewed or formally reviewed --- a step up from the expectations for a SIG newsletter.
    • SIGCSE Bulletin: a new newsletter intended to bring members SIG news, together with SIGCSE conference proceedings on CD.
  • March 10th: Wanted: SIGCSE Bulletin Editor
    With the SIGCSE Bulletin becoming an electronic newsletter separate from ACM Inroads, the electronic Bulletin needs an editor. General Duties:
    • Determine and generate content, within the broad parameters that the SIGCSE Bulletin is an electronic newsletter for SIGCSE members (scholarly work should be directed to one of the SIGCSE conferences, ACM Inroads, or ACM Transactions on Computing Education). ?Determine and generate content? may include soliciting contributions from others as well as writing pieces directly.
    • Ensure that the Bulletin is distributed electronically to SIGCSE members and posted on the SIGCSE official Web site at the beginning of every quarter.
    • Determine the format and appearance of the Bulletin.
    • Report regularly to the SIGCSE Board on the status of the Bulletin, including any need for funds; oversee expenditures of any funds authorized.
    • Respond to or forward, as appropriate, any Bulletin correspondence.
    • Ensure that publication of the Bulletin complies with any applicable ACM policies and SIGCSE Board directions.
    • Recruit or dismiss other volunteers to assist in producing the Bulletin as needed.

    Term of Appointment - The SIGCSE Bulletin editor is appointed by the SIGCSE Board, and serves a three-year renewable term. In order to allow start-up time, and to synchronize the editors' terms with the Board election cycle, the first editor will have an initial term of approximately four years, extending from date of appointment until June 30, 2014.To volunteer yourself or suggest someone else, please contact Barbara Boucher Owens, SIGCSE Chair, at chair@sigcse.org.

  • April 15th: ACM Announces Awards
    ACM has announced their 2009 Awards and several SIGCSE contributors are on the list. Congratulations go to Matthias Felleisen, Northeastern University for the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, Edward Lazowska, University of Washington for the ACM Distinguished Service Award and Gregory Abowd, Georgia Institute of Technology, for the Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics.
  • April 15th: SIGCSE Bulletin -- inroads, Promoted to Magazine Status
    ACM has promoted the former SIGCSE Bulletin -- "inroads" from a SIG newsletter to a new magazine called, ACM Inroads!

    Over the decades, SIGCSE's quarterly publication evolved from an informal gathering of news and ideas to a venue for columns, articles, research announcements, editorials, and other interesting content. As with all Special Interest Groups, ACM has classified the SIGCSE Bulletin as a SIG newsletter. Under the insightful guidance of current Editor-in-Chief, John Impagliazzo, ACM launched a new magazine called ACM Inroads as a publication with somewhat expanded content and a different reviewing process than the former SIGCSE Bulletin - inroads.

    Altogether, ACM and SIGCSE will now be supporting at least three levels of publications for computing education:

    • ACM Transactions on Computing Education (formerly JERIC): all articles formally refereed following a feedback process.
    • ACM Inroads: a magazine where articles follow a formal peer-review process, which is a step up from the expectations for a SIG newsletter.
    • SIGCSE Bulletin: a real newsletter intended to bring members SIGCSE news, together with other member benefits.
  • May 11th: SIGCSE Bulletin Editors Appointed
    With the SIGCSE Bulletin becoming an electronic newsletter separate from ACM Inroads, the electronic Bulletin now has a new editorial team: Z Sweedyk from Harvey Mudd College and Henry Walker from Grinnell College. The next issue of the Bulletin will appear in June.
  • June 14th: SIGCSE Board Election Results
    Dear SIGCSE Members,

    It is my privilege to announce the results of the SIGCSE election that ended on Friday, 4 June.

    We had a wonderful group of people who were willing to work for the future of SIGCSE, and I know that voting decisions were difficult.

    The SIGCSE Board for 1 July 2010 through 30 June 2013 will be ...

    Chair: Renee McCauley
    Vice Chair: Dan Joyce
    Secretary: Susan Rodger
    Treasurer: Doug Baldwin

    At-large Members:
    Tiffany Barnes
    Mark Guzdial
    Amber Settle

    Immediate Past Chair: Barbara Boucher Owens

    Please join me in welcoming our new Board!

    Henry Walker
    Chair, SIGCSE Nominating Committee

  • September 22nd: SIGCSE Viability Report - by Barbara Boucher Owens
    This news item is taken from the June 2010 SIGCSE Bulletin.

    SIGCSE recently underwent its Viability Review, an exercise that each ACM Special Interest Group must go through every four years. The SIG Chair presents a status report at the ACMSIG Governing Board meeting. Cutting to the chase – SIGCSE is viable for the next four years!

    The downturn in the economy did affect SIGCSE, but listening to the reports of other SIGs and reflecting on all that SIGCSE does, we are a very healthy SIG and we have much to be proud of.

    FINANCES: SIGCSE has a $470,000 fund balance that is comfortably better than the minimum required by ACM. However, it was down almost $50,000 from the year before.

    Some of the specific reasons for our shortfall were due to quirks in accounting, a one-time cost for moving to the new high quality ACM magazine, Inroads, and increasing expense of volunteer travel.

    MEMBER BENEFITS: Our 2600 members receive the quarterly ACM magazine Inroads, the quarterly newsletter, and proceedings of our three conference on CD. SIGCSE members are eligible to apply for small research grants in learning and teaching. And our able volunteers oversee our very active member listservs.

    GOALS: SIGCSE’s mission is to provide a “forum for educators to discuss issues related to the development, implementation, and/or evaluation of computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy."

    SIGCSE continues to be perceived as the premier organization for computing education. It serves post-secondary Computer Science teaching and education research faculty with many activities focused in making CS1 and CS2 effective. It also serves pre-college faculty through our relationship with the CSTA and with other post-secondary teaching faculty in related computing disciplines.

    SIGCSE is active in extending the reach and influence of Computing Education. SIGCSE leadership serves on various ACM Education committees. SIGCSE collaborates with CSTA on an NSF grant. And SIGCSE has a growing international presence through its ITiCSE conference and ICER workshop. SIGCSE also has in cooperation status for numerous conferences, including the CCSC conferences, Koli Calling, and AAAI.

    SIGCSE continues to be a major player in the NSF funded Computing Education Summit. SIGCSE conferences include a Broadening Participation in Computing thread, with the goal to increase interest in computing. Some of those activities include a Kids Camp at Symposium, and a Doctoral Symposium. Our members have leadership roles in NCWIT, NSF BPC projects, and CPATH.

    SIGCSE provides continuing education for members through a growing number of Symposia workshops (39 at SIGCS 2010). SIGCSE also sponsors workshops for both new faculty and for department chairs.

    Bottom line – SIGCSE is not only viable, it is vibrant. My hope for the new Board is that the next viability study will show exciting new endeavors for a community of Computing Educators and their students in a field that has achieved the widespread recognition that it decidedly deserves. Rock on SIGCSE! Thank you for allowing me to serve as your chair and thank you to all the volunteers that makes this position so rewarding.

  • October 6th: SIGCSE Award Winners
    We are pleased to announce the 2011 SIGCSE award winners.

    The SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community has been awarded to Gordon Davies, Department of Computing, Open University (retired).

    The SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education has been awarded to Matthias Felleisen, Trustee Professor at College of Computer Science, Northeastern University.

    These awards will be presented at the 42nd SIGCSE Technical Symposium (aka SIGCSE) being held in Dallas, Texas, USA, March 9-12, 2011. Professor Felleisen will give a plenary address and Professor Davies will address the First Timer's luncheon at the Symposium.

    For more information about these awards, including lists of previous winners, please see http://sigcse.org/programs/awards

  • October 18th: USA CS Education Week is December 5 to 11
    Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), designated by the U.S. House of Representatives as the week of Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday, recognizes the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. Please see http://www.csedweek.org for detailed information including background information, resources, suggestions on how to participate, and more.

    SIGCSE would like to know what you are doing to celebrate. If you have a short description of your plans, or even better a short description plus a link to a web page/site with information about your CS Ed week activities, send the information to webmaster@sigcse.org and we will post your information/link on our CS Ed Week page.

2009

  • June 9th: Bylaws Approved
    SIGCSE Bylaws were approved by the membership April 16th, 2009.
  • November 6th: SIGCSE Award Winners
    We are pleased to announce the 2010 SIGCSE award winners. The SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community has been awarded to Distinguished Professor Peter Denning, Post Graduate Naval School, Monterey. The SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education has been awarded to Professor Sally Fincher, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. Professor Fincher will give the keynote address at the Technical Symposium. These awards will be presented at the 41st SIGCSE Technical Symposium being held in Milwaukee, WI, USA, March 10 - 13, 2010. I am sure you will join us in congratulating these outstanding educators.