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Programming as a tool for learning everything

Mark Guzdial (University of Michigan)

Event Details

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
3-4 p.m.

The inventors of the term “computer science” meant for it to be something that was taught to everyone, to facilitate learning other subjects. Today, we mostly teach computer science to people who want to become professional software developers or computer scientists. If we wanted to reach the original and more general goal, we would have to change how we teach computer science. In this talk, we consider the history of “computer science” and its earlier purpose, describe new kinds of dynamic media for learning computer science, and demonstrate how teaching computer science can look more like a liberal art.

Bio: Mark Guzdial is a Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Engineering Education Research at the University of Michigan. He studies how people learn computing and how to improve that process, with a particular focus on students using programming for purposes other than software development. He was one of the founders of the International Computing Education Research conference. He was one of the leads on the NSF alliance “Expanding Computing Education Pathways" which helped US states improve and broaden their computing education. With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award for the development and assessment of the Media Computation curriculum.  He is an ACM Distinguished Educator and a Fellow of the ACM. His most recent book is Learner-Centered Design of Computing Education: Research on Computing for Everyone (Morgan & Claypool, 2015). He was the recipient of the 2019 ACM SIGCSE Outstanding Contributions to Education award.