SIGCSE Annual Report 2005

July 2004 - June 2005
Submitted by: Henry M. Walker, SIGCSE Chair

SIGCSE continues in its on-going mission to help address the needs computing educators at all levels throughout the world. Thus, SIGCSE is working to promote, strengthen, and expand its own programs and projects; and SIGCSE seeks to collaborate with other organizations on areas of common interest. For example, SIGCSE has continued its interactions with SIGITE, ACM's Special Interest Group for Information Technology Education, as both SIGs focus on separate, but overlapping, areas of technical education.

Also, in January, ACM launched the Computer Science Teachers' Association (CSTA) with an emphasis on issues related to secondary education. In working to establish new ties, the SIGCSE Board has named its Vice Chair, Barbara Owens, as SIGCSE's formal liaison to CSTA, and SIGCSE hopes that this will lead to creative avenues of collaboration.

This year, SIGCSE is planning for a new conference for International Computing Education Research. The first conference, ICER 2005, will be held on October 1-2 at the University of Washington under the leadership of Sally Fincher, Richard Anderson, and Mark Guzdial. Details of this conference may be found at . SIGCSE also sponsors two other, well-established, annual conferences:

  • The 2005 SIGCSE Technical Symposium (SIGCSE 2005) was held on February 23-27, 2005, in St. Louis, MO USA. The conference set two significant SIGCSE records: 335 papers were submitted (up from about 225 the previous several years), and attendance reached just over 1200. Much credit is due Symposium Co-chairs, Wanda Dann from Ithaca College and Tom Naps from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.
  • The 2005 Innovations and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference (ITiCSE 2005) was held June 27-29, 2005, at the Universidade de Nova Lisboa in Portugal. This conference set similar records for this European conference: 225 papers submitted (up from150) and attendance reached 212. Many thanks to Conference and Program Co-Chairs, Jose Cunha from Universidade de Nova Lisboa,William Fleishman from Villanova University, Joao Lourenco from Universidade de Nova Lisboa, and Viera Proulx from Northeastern University.

Next year's conferences take place as follows:

  • SIGCSE 2006, March 1-5, Houston, TX USA under the leadership of Douglas Baldwin from SUNY Geneseo and Paul Tymann from the Rochester Institute of Technology. More about this conference may be found at
  • ITiCSE 2006, June 26-28, University of Bologna, Italy under the leadership of Renzo Devoli and Paola Salomoni from the University of Bologna and Michael Goldweber from Xavier University. For more information, see

In planning for the future, Robert Beck from Villanova University and Scott Grissom from Grand Valley State University continue to provide outstanding service as SIGCSE Symposium Site Coordinators, working with ACM Headquarters in preparing materials for site bids, tabulating proposals, and reviewing potential contracts. In recent years, Bruce Klein from Grand Valley State University has served as a marvelous resource in a similar role for advising for sites for ITiCSE. Looking ahead, the SIGCSE Board has appointed Mats Daniels from Uppsala University as ITiCSE Site Coordinator to complement Bruce's ongoing efforts.

Following past tradition, SIGCSE presented two awards this past year at its Symposium in St. Louis.

  • Kim Bruce from Williams College, Williamstown, MA, USA, received SIGCSE's 2005 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education.
  • Andrew McGettrick from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, SIGCSE's 2005 Award for Lifetime Service.

Bulletin, inroads
SIGCSE publishes inroads the SIGCSE Bulletin, quarterly. Two issues, in March and September, distribute the Proceedings of its two major conferences, its Symposium and its Conference on Innovation and Integrating Technology in Computer Science Education, respectively.

The June and December issues provide a wonderful and diverse collection of columns, editorials, and articles on computing education through the insightful and dedicated leadership of Editor-in-Chief, John Impagliazzo. In addition, John has coordinated the development of SIGCSE's first CD, called Pathways: Women and Computing. This project includes SIGCSE's special issue on the subject from June 2002, two issues of related articles from the IEEE Annals on the History of Computing, two papers on the subject from the Communications of the ACM, and several additional materials. This CD is being distributed with the June 2005 issue of the SIGCSE Bulletin -- inroads. The SIGCSE community is most grateful to John for his vision and efforts in guiding inroads and for his remarkable dedication and development of this new CD!

Special Project Grants
SIGCSE has established a program to fund a limited number of special projects to help its members investigate and introduce new ideas in the learning and teaching of computing. SIGCSE invites its members to apply for funds for this new endeavor. The maximum funding is $5,000 USD per proposal and the level of funding is subject to the quality of proposals received and the availability of funds targeted for such projects.

Between March 2004 and February 2005, SIGCSE received thirteen proposals and made five "special project" awards, to a total sum of $17,967. In 2003-2004 (the first year) we received seventeen proposals and made seven Special Project awards, to a total sum of $20,800. Between March 2005 and July 2005, SIGCSE received nine proposals and made four Special Project awards to a total sum of $14,935. This is broadly comparable to previous years.

Additional information on SIGCSE Special Project Grants may be found on the SIGCSE website.

Committee Initiative
SIGCSE continues to involve its membership in discussions of significance to the computing-education community through its Committee Initiative. Currently, three committees have been formed, each with a specific focus:

  • The SIGCSE Committee on the Implementation of a One-Semester Course in Discrete Mathematics, with facilitators Douglas Baldwin from the State University of New York at Geneseo and William Marion from Valpariso State University. This committee has circulated several draft course syllabi, and is moving ahead in receiving feedback from committee members and the SIGCSE community.
  • The SIGCSE Committee on Expanding the Women-in-Computing Community, with facilitators Gloria Childress Townsend, DePauw University and Paula Gabbert, Furman University. This committee engages interested individuals, particularly at conferences. Projects include identifying "recruiting and retaining women (R&R) in computing" and highlighting success stories regarding R&R, and fostering communication with interested computing educators related to expanding the community of women in computing.
  • The SIGCSE Committee on the Teaching of Computer Science Research Methods, with facilitators Hillary Holz from California State University, East Bay and Anne Applin, Ithaca College. The short-term product of the committee is an ITiCSE Working Group proposal, which in turn will lead to the working group report.

Discussions continue with several individuals and groups regarding possible new SIGCSE Committees. When dialog yields a subject of general community interest, a clear focus, and 2-4 facilitators, a proposal can go forward to the SIGCSE Board for the creation of a new SIGCSE Committee. More information may be found through the SIGCSE Committee Initiative links.

Doctoral Consortium
SIGCSE continues to support its Doctoral Consortium, held each year on the Wednesday before the SIGCSE Symposium in February or March. The Doctoral Consortium provides a forum for graduate students to refine directions for their research, receive feedback on their research ideas, and develop a network of contacts for on-going discussions.

Outreach Project
The SIGCSE Outreach Project supports the dissemination of outstanding SIGCSE/ITiCSE presentations to other venues. The program is open to any non-ACM conference holding "In-Cooperation" status with SIGCSE. Funds are for travel support only (transportation, accommodation, meals), not for registrations or honorariums. The level of funding is subject to the quality of proposals received and the availability of funds. During the 2004-2005 academic year we were pleased to fund two proposals.

Additional information can be found through a link to the SIGCSE Outreach Project.

Workshop for Department Chairs
Through the past year, the SIGCSE Board has worked with Frank Young of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in developing the outline for a workshop for department chairs. Initial plans call for a session to be held on the Wednesday before the SIGCSE Symposium in March, just before SIGCSE 2006. For the first workshop, Frank, Sue Fitzgerald from Metropolitan State University and Sandra DeLoatch from Norfolk State University will provide additional leadership for discussions and sessions that will help chairs, particularly new department chairs, consider organizational matters, planning, and the addressing of common problems. SIGCSE hopes this workshop may become a regular event, paralleling the ongoing Doctoral Consortium in providing ideas, brainstorming, and developing contacts.

Web Site/Internet Presence
SIGCSE has been privileged to have Eric Roberts from Stanford University serve as moderator of its member listservs since 1997. Eric has been particularly effective in this role, showing great insight, tact, and wisdom in interacting with many individual groups in this capacity. With Eric's shift in responsibilities to become the Co-Chair of ACM's Education Board, he has stepped down as SIGCSE's listserv moderator. The SIGCSE community expresses its great appreciation and thanks to Eric for his wonderful work in this capacity over the past eight years. Looking ahead, SIGCSE has appointed Jesse Heines from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and Frank Young from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as its new listserv moderators.

Continuing in an on-going capacity, SIGCSE is fortunate that Scott Grissom from Grand Valley State University is serving as Web master. Scott has been a primary guide in the design and on-going maintenance of the SIGCSE Web site at, and he deserves many thanks for his service, guidance, and insights in this endeavor.