Special Projects 2015

Since 2003 SIGCSE has awarded a limited number of Special Projects Grants each year. These grants help SIGCSE members investigate and introduce new ideas in the learning and teaching of computing. Projects must provide some clear benefit to the wider disciplinary community in the form of new knowledge, developing or sharing of a resource, or good practice in learning, teaching, or assessment.

Here is a list of the awards given in 2015:

Git for People Who Actually Want to Learn Git
David Musicant
Carleton College
Award: $4,737
Award date: November, 2015

The version control system Git (https://git-scm.com/) has become popular for developers who track and share code. Accordingly, Git has been making its way into computer science classrooms as well. Students are often challenged by the complexity of using Git. This project will result in a new Git client, Elegit. Elegit will provide a subset of Git commands and will help students understand Git’s organizational structure at a deep level. Elegit will also support features necessary to for instructors to organize projects and submissions.

Supporting Education Using a Public Oracle of Vulnerable Mobile Apps
Daniel Krutz
Rochester Institute of Technology
Award: $2,400
Award date: November, 2015

Dr. Krutz will create a publicly accessible oracle of mobile apps which contains well defined vulnerabilities, information about the vulnerabilities, and steps on how to exploit each vulnerability to demonstrate its negative ramifications. He will also provide steps to repair each vulnerability and the process to demonstrate the vulnerability has been repaired. This project will result in an oracle which can be used for educational activities at other institutions in a variety of mobile and security related courses.

Development of a Software Engineering Process Improvement Game
Bruce Maxim
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Award: $3,200
Award date: November, 2015

Serious games are gaining popularity as a means of instruction in higher education. Dr. Maxim will create a serious game that allows students to create agile process models and to experiment with process improvement practices. As a result of playing the game, students will discover the importance of engineering process improvement activities through the creation of virtual software products. The game tutorial level can be used as a lab activity and will provide motivation for studying software quality. Software engineering students will also use this game to gain practical project management experience.

OnRamp: An Interactive Learning Portal for Parallel Computing Environments
Samantha Foley, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (sfoley@uwlax.edu)
Joshua Hursey, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (jhursey@uwlax.edu)
Award: $3,777
Award date: May, 2015

OnRamp to Parallel Computing, will provide a web-based portal designed to coach users through the often unfamiliar and complex system software, programming interfaces, and tools to roll out parallel computing environments. Interactive tutorials will teach faculty and students about the software ecosystem and parallel computing while allowing them to launch parallel applications from day one. As users become more comfortable with running parallel applications in parallel computing environments, the OnRamp portal will transform into a reference guide.

Low-cost Adaptation of Lego Serious Play to Teach Software Engineering
Stanislav Kurkovsky, Central Connecticut State University (kurkovsky@ccsu.edu)
Award: $4,500
Award date: May, 2015

Dr. Stanislav Kurkovsky will adapt the principles of Lego Serious Play for easy and cost-effective application in software engineering and related courses to promote active learning, boost creativity, and improve student engagement with the course material. Low cost Lego alternatives will be investigated. New and existing software engineering case studies will be tested with the alternative Lego set. Resulting curricular materials will be posted online, accompanied by detailed scripts, worksheets, grading rubrics, timing guidelines, practical tips and photos. Workshops will be offered to train faculty interesting in adopting these materials.