CS Enrollment and CS Major Numbers Are Up
Computer Science enrollment at the University level is up. This is consistant with what I have heard from friends that teach at Universities. It also appears that those choosing CS as a major is up as well. That is good news.
It looks like the new Computer Engineer Barbie has inspired everyone to go into Computer Science.
AP CS Principles Website The AP CS Principles course website is now up and running. Information regarding the work of the commission has been posted as well as some general information on the AP Computer Science Principles course.
As as member of the commission, I think the course is coming along nicely and that it will be a course that will convey to everyone the coolness, power, and relevance of Computer Science.
The course will include programming as programming is a very fundamental component of Computer Science, but not focus only on programming.
Alfred Thompson has some cool reflections on his blog about the AP CS Principles course. His blog is a very good one to check out for all sorts of Computer Science information.
It does seem much more likely for a war to take place in cyber space than anywhere else. Cyber crime is up as are cyber attacks and many of these are very organized attacks. Hopefully, we will continue to fund cyber security and put efforts into recruiting quality people in these areas.
High School Computer Science season is just about to officially begin here in Texas as the UIL District Academic Meet is about to kick off. Computer Science Education in the state of Texas owes quite a bit of gratitute to UIL and the UIL Academic Contents. UIL Academic Competitions provide the venue for academic areas to compete and without them, Computer Science in Texas might likely be about as dead as it is in most other states. As UIL has a Computer Science contest, many schools have classes or at least teams in order to be a part of the UIL contest and to ensure that their respective school has entries in all events. This is very important as many Computer Science programs have grown from these seeds of competition.
The UIL Computer Science contest is a great contest and one that other states could model. The contest consists of a 40 question multiple choice test and a 12 problem two-hour programming contest. Teams compete and consist of 4 members. 3 members of the team program and all 4 take the written test.
I have been the sponsor of the Computer Science team and club at every high school at which I have taught. The Computer Science program has grown at every school at which I have taught and part of that can be attributed to the fact that we take teams to contests in Texas all year long as well as hosting our own contest. Students love to compete and want to belong to a winning tradition. Once the tradition is established, students start to pour in. Currently, there are over 450 students in Computer Science at my school and many of them are in the program as they want to compete and be the best.
Most of the Texas high school programming contests use PC^2 as their contest system.
Lego Robot Set to Take Over Twitter
This is a funny and cool article if you like robots and web 2.0 tools like Twitter and such. The Lego NXT kits can do some amazing things. I use the NXT kits in my Computer Science classes and the results are phenomenal and will use them some at my AP Computer Science Summer Institute this year in Houston.
The following site has great Lego Robotics Projects - NXT Programs I have had several students build electric guitars using the Lego NXT kit. The projects on the NXT Programs site are pretty nice. Try out the Forklift project as my students really had fun with that.
The Broadband Wars Have Begun
Yoda knew this was coming. This will be interesting to watch over the next few years. The Broadband issue seems to be quite important to lots of folks, especially some very big companies.
Humanoid Robot Safety Concerns
Is iRobot that far off? What is it going to be like when a robot gets your newspaper instead of your dog? What am I saying? Who actually reads a printed newspaper these days? Robots are actually getting my electronic newspaper as we speak. Go Robots! Autobots – Roll Out! We have nothing to worry about as long as Optimus Prime is here.
The Female Perspective of Computer Science
This blog looks pretty cool and provides a different view of Computer Science education. I like the fact that there are some very interesting and hard questions being asked as well.
Learning Computer Science does not have to be hard and painful for the teacher or the student, but it often is painful for both. Something is going wrong if this is the norm.
Tech Industry Searching for Girls Gone Geek
The title of this article is the whole reason girls are running the other way. The term Geek and Nerd just does not resonate with girls. Who wants to be a stereotypical Geek or Nerd? The truth is that today we are all Geeks and Nerds as we all use computers, iPhones, smartPhones, and gadgets galore. Nerds and Geeks of ten or twenty years ago were the only people using computers and gadgets. The days of the classical Nerds and Geeks are gone as the ones that still exist in that sense are locked away in the basement drinking Jolt Cola eating cold pizza. Today’s Geeks and Nerds look just like everyone else and prefer to not be lumped in with the stereotypical Nerds and Geeks of yesteryear. If you have a phone or a laptop, you my friend are a big fat Nerd! Admit this to yourself, go pop a can of Jolt, and kick back and Nerd out on Facebook! Oh, by the way, Nerds and Geeks made Facebook!
Data, data everywhere
Big Data and the abundance of data is quite a popular topic these days.
The topic of big data overlaps many different disciplines and affects much more than just Computer Science.
Companies like Walmart and Google examine and create lots of data.