Computer Science cant get no respect in High School

November 5th, 2009

This post on the CACM Blog caught my eye and shows that we still have a long way to go before computing is taken seriously in US secondary education, let alone K-12.

AP CS no Longer Counts for High School Graduation in Georgia (for now)

“Up until September, Georgia and Texas were the (only) two states in the US that accepted a computer science course as fulfilling high school graduation requirements. In Texas, the Advanced Placement Computer Science (AP CS) course fulfilled a mathematics requirement. In Georgia, it fulfilled a fourth science course requirement. As of October, however, Georgia has rescinded that decision. … ”

I wonder how other countries treat computing and informatics in primary and secondary education.

Five college majors on the rise, three in Information Technology

September 1st, 2009

Yesterday’s Chronicle of Education had an article on 5 College Majors On the Rise. It’s gratifying to see that three of them are relevant to IT and computing: service science, health informatics, and computational science. Of course, now is a difficult time for universities and Departments to mount new majors or even tracks. Most schools in the US have had two years of budget cuts due to the recession and/or decline in their endowments. But this is a positive sign for the computing disciplines, which had suffered declines in enrollments after the dot com bubble burst seven years ago.

The Python Challenge

November 6th, 2008

Python Challenge A student in my programming languages class pointed me to the Python Challenge site. It looks like a great way for someone new to Python to test her skills and learn new ones.

It’s a riddle site in the style of notpron, but one where solving each riddle requires a little bit of Python programming. The solutions are entered by changing the URL of the current page to take you to the next riddle page. The problems are “designed to be solvable by Python newcomers and yet challenging even for Python experts.”

This type of site could be a good educational tool for many subjects.