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Discussion list for the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in Liberal Arts Colleges. The committee will conduct most of its business via this list.
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Janet Davis
Tue, 10 Dec 2019 09:16:07 -0800
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tl;dr: The submission deadline for this event is January 10, one month from
today. Please submit your innovative curricular models, challenges, and
opportunities, as described below, via email to me or via GitHub pull
request. You can also email me without a submission to indicate your
interest in attending. We look forward to a lively and inspiring discussion!

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Janet Davis
Mon, 4 Nov 2019 10:33:37 -0800
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Liberal Arts Computing Curricula: Innovations, Challenges, and Opportunities

Organized by members of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in
Liberal Arts Colleges, this pre-Symposium event will let us share and learn
about curricular innovations, challenges, and opportunities particular to
our liberal arts settings.

The event will include participant presentations, group discussions and
breakout sessions organized around submitted topics (See Call for
Participation below). A short business meeting will provide opportunity to
shape future Committee activity in support of the liberal arts computing
education community. Optional dinner groups will be organized to provide
opportunity for further networking.

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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:09:09 -0400
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Hello, members of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in the
Liberal Arts. Things have been quiet on this mailing list since we
published our "final" report, but the committee leadership has been working
with the SIGCSE board to realize the recommendation that there be a
permanent interest group for liberal arts computing educators.

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Braught, Grant
Tue, 2 Jul 2019 13:01:04 +0000
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Hi all,

This is a quick update on the activities of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in Liberal Arts Colleges and a heads up for a (hopefully) upcoming event that will (hopefully) be of interest to many of you.

As noted in a previous e-mail to this list the Report of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in the Liberal Arts<https://doi.org/10.1145/3314027> (https://doi.org/10.1145/3314027) appeared in the June edition of Inroads. That report is the culmination of the first several years of this committee's work and has firmly established the need for an on-going organization with two broad purposes:
1. Providing

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Amanda Holland-Minkley
Fri, 24 May 2019 14:36:00 +0000
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As Doug mentioned in his last email to this group, there have been conversations with the SIGCSE Board about how to move forward with transitioning this group into a permanent organization. Short term, their recommendation is that we continue to exist as a committee while we work through that process. At the same time, as a committee we could continue to sponsor events at the technical symposium and work on other activities that our recently published report indicates the community would like to see. 

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Douglas Baldwin
Mon, 13 May 2019 15:48:08 -0400
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Our SIGCSE committee on computing education in liberal arts colleges has
its report officially published, in the June Inroads. Check it out in
Inroads or the ACM digital library. Thank you all for your work on this,
and congratulations on a job well done.

By the way, some of the committee leaders have been in conversations with
SIGCSE about following up the report's recommendation to create some sort
of permanent body to represent and support computing educators in liberal
arts institutions. Stay tuned for more on that shortly....
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Douglas Baldwin
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:47:39 -0500
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Good news, SIGCSE liberal arts committee members! Inroads magazine has
accepted our report for publication. So it will appear in an upcoming issue
(not sure which one yet), as well as being available through the SIGCSE web
site.

There have been some discussions with the SIGCSE board about how SIGCSE and
the proposed permanent liberal arts group might relate -- SIGCSE seems
interested in helping, but more on that as it happens.

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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 28 Dec 2018 12:25:55 -0500
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Hello, and happy holidays, SIGCSE liberal arts committee.

While finishing our report has maybe been slower than hoped, it has been
happening. It's now ready for submission to Inroads, and I'm happy to share
with you the version that's about to be submitted. The authors are
anonymized for submission, but if you're wondering, they are me, Amanda
Holland-Minkley, and Grant Braught.

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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:14:28 -0400
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Hello again, SIGCSE liberal arts committee. As I mentioned over the summer,
we are moving towards submitting our report for publication. Current
thinking is to send it to ACM Inroads. They want submissions in Word files,
so this morning I downloaded the draft report as it exists in Google docs
to my computer to put it into Inroads' Word template. You can see the
document as I downloaded it at

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Douglas Baldwin
Wed, 11 Jul 2018 10:28:17 -0400
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I (along with Amanda Holland-Minkley and Grant Braught) am happy to say
that there's now a draft report from the SIGCSE Committee on Computing
Education in the Liberal Arts. Since that's also you, I'd like to invite
you to take a look at the draft and share your thoughts.

The draft is available at

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Douglas Baldwin
Thu, 7 Jun 2018 08:57:25 -0400
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Hello, SIGCSE liberal arts committee!

One of my jobs this summer is to put our discussions over the past 2 years
into the form of a committee report, ultimately to appear in something like
ACM Inroads. You're all welcome to watch the progress (so far pretty
tentative), and even more welcome to comment on it, at

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Douglas Baldwin
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:38:42 -0400
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I have this embarrassed feeling that I wrote up the notes from the liberal
arts committee session at SIGCSE 2018 and then forgot to tell anyone they
were done. So for any of you who have been waiting to see them, my
apologies, and take a look at

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hU-t9R_ZyXdVnF1eRRL_o_YQ_eeRtxX2a95AS6tgTPw/edit?usp=sharing

Comments and discussion welcome, of course. Expect a further push this
summer to build a committee report from these and our other work. Thanks,
as always, for your interest.
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Darakhshan Mir
Wed, 4 Apr 2018 20:41:36 -0400
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Dear All,
I am writing to find out if any of your institutions use inclusive teaching
practices as criteria to evaluate candidates for tenure or promotion. If
so, are these departmental or institutional criteria?

At my institution (Bucknell University - a liberal arts institution with an
engineering college), retention, tenure, and promotion criteria are laid
out broadly by the University, and then detailed by the department. The
University Review Committee evaluates candidates' materials in reference to
a document crafted by the department (the so-called Departmental Review
Criteria document).

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Douglas Baldwin
Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:33:45 -0500
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A last-minute reminder for members of the SIGCSE liberal arts committee
going to the Symposium, our special session is

Saturday, 10:45 - 12:00, room 309

Safe travels, and looking forward to seeing some of you there!
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Amanda Holland-Minkley
Sun, 11 Feb 2018 00:25:37 +0000
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Responses to the survey seem to have trailed off so in the interest in having some time to reflect on the results before SIGCSE, I have prepared the attached summary of results. I go into more detail and have specific data/quotes in the summary document, but in general, the survey seems to indicate the following: 

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Amanda Holland-Minkley
Sun, 4 Feb 2018 17:34:02 +0000
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Hopefully you all saw the email on the SIGCSE mailing list last week announcing this committee's survey about providing a voice for liberal arts computing. So far, we have 60 responses, mostly from those identifying as being involved in liberal arts computing education.

I wanted to send a reminder out to this group in particular that if you haven't completed the survey yet and are willing, it is available at: https://washjeff.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3rASQI6L2M6UB1P

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Joshua Gross
Thu, 1 Feb 2018 15:16:28 -0600
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It's not for another two months, but is anyone else on this list attending
CCSC Central Plains?

Josh
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Amanda Holland-Minkley
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:58:30 +0000
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Following on Doug's recent distribution of the final document for the SIGCSE 2018 special session, we discussed as a group over the summer that one of the places we could use some more information is about the type of voice a permanent group might provide for liberal arts computing so we can better understand that need. 

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Douglas Baldwin
Mon, 4 Dec 2017 15:09:44 -0500
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For those of you breathlessly counting down the days until the deadline for
submitting camera-ready copy to SIGCSE 2018, and wondering when I would get
around to doing it for the liberal arts committee's special session (yeah
right, something everyone's been waiting for...), I've just finished doing
it. I've attached the final version if anyone's interested. It's almost
identical to the version submitted back in August, except that I added a
sentence to the description of session activities that suggested a little
more specifically what kinds of questions we'd like audience feedback on.
This was what I saw as the

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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 1 Sep 2017 15:00:25 -0400
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I just submitted a SIGCSE 2018 special session proposal for the SIGCSE
liberal arts committee -- it's attached for anyone who wants to see it.
Special thanks to Amanda Holland-Minkley for proofreading and making
suggestions, and Grant Braught for carrying out and analyzing the survey
that figures prominently in the proposal. Thanks to everyone, of course,
for helping with the committee's discussions.
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Douglas Baldwin
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:02:35 -0400
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Hello, liberal arts committee. It's time to talk about plans for SIGCSE
2018....

I'd like to use it to unveil and get feedback on a draft committee report.
While we can certainly use more data, discussion, etc., I feel that a
fairly clear sense of some findings has emerged, enough so to form the
nucleus of a report. This can be much more definite by next February, and
so I suggest that we propose another special session devoted to verbally
presenting our findings and getting community reactions to them,
preparatory to finalizing a written report for publication in Inroads or


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Keith O'Hara
Tue, 8 Aug 2017 19:08:15 -0400
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I'm considering proposing a panel about interdisciplinary team teaching in
the CS classroom.

In my case, I'd be discussing an eight-credit games course for first &
second year students co-taught with a professor in Film & Electronic Arts.
Another colleague will be talking about teaching an introductory computing
class with a Literature professor where they used Python to create natural
language tools that were used to analyze changing language patterns in
literary texts.

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Douglas Baldwin
Mon, 17 Jul 2017 11:12:12 -0400
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The liberal arts computer science consortium (LACS) had its summer meeting
last week, and asked me to give a report on our committee's progress. The
format was short report followed by discussion. For those interested, I've
attached my slides from the "short report" part; you can also get them from
Google drive at

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5sz1b6oYhEWWS00cHR6SDRMRWs/view?usp=sharing

The discussion suggested that LACS is very supportive of this committee
spinning off a larger permanent group of liberal arts computing educators,
which group would probably have many LACS members in it.

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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 7 Jul 2017 08:55:18 -0400
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The minute I clicked "send" on my update re SIGCSE liberal arts committee
plans, I saw that I referenced but didn't include a link to the SIGCSE 2017
notes. If anyone wants it, here's the missing link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BIvw0w7vryA1qA-TwJ1TK_fWjDHH7H7H6LyXVPObKhc/edit?usp=sharing
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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 7 Jul 2017 08:52:18 -0400
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Based on feedback I've gotten since circulating notes on the liberal arts
committee's SIGCSE 2017 activities, the sense seems to be that we should
work towards a report focused on the core questions from our charge (is
there a need for a voice for liberal arts computing programs, and is there
a need for an ongoing group of liberal arts computing educators). We have
quite a bit of evidence for a "yes" answer to the second of these just from
our discussions so far. We might also want to do a "characteristics of
liberal arts CS programs" survey, similar to

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Douglas Baldwin
Tue, 6 Jun 2017 09:51:04 -0400
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Seems to me it's time to start talking about whether the SIGCSE liberal
arts committee wants to do another survey, and if so what should be in it.

Grant's survey last summer mainly concentrated on what computing programs
look like at liberal arts colleges represented on this committee. The notes
from SIGCSE 2017 suggest that there is a lot of interest in program
profiles, so we might want to expand that study to a larger population.

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Douglas Baldwin
Tue, 23 May 2017 10:48:07 -0400
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Well, when I said "stay tuned" for more on the SIGCSE liberal arts
committee's next steps I didn't think I'd have more so soon, but....

I realized that one of the things that came out of the notes from SIGCSE
was a suggestion about a short paper we might find helpful, and I decided
to use that as the start of a bibliography of things we might want to read.
It's in another Google doc (as far as I can tell ACM mailing lists don't
come with anything other than email for storing a group's work, but my
institution uses

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Douglas Baldwin
Tue, 23 May 2017 10:24:31 -0400
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Hello, SIGCSE liberal arts committee members. Many of us got back from
SIGCSE in March and discovered that our semesters or quarters will still
going and needed our attention. But through that some of us have been
slowly collating notes from the sessions at SIGCSE, and finally have a set
to share. I decided that the easiest way to share was through a public
Google doc, so you should be able to simply follow this link to see the
notes:

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Douglas Baldwin
Sun, 5 Mar 2017 22:52:48 -0500
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Hello, liberal arts committee members. Hopefully I'll get to see lots of
you at SIGCSE this week, particularly at some of the sessions we've
planned. As far as I know, we have...

- The special session "Computing Education in Liberal Arts Colleges: A
Status Report of the SIGCSE Committee" Friday at 10:45 in room 607.

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Douglas Baldwin
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 16:10:37 -0400
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Good news! I just got notice that the liberal arts committee special
session (status report and audience discussion of issues) has been
accepted. I'll be in touch, especially with those of you listed as
presenters or helpers, as I prepare camera-ready copy and work out the
details of the session itself. Thanks to everyone who helped shape the
proposal. And thanks to all of you who are working on BoF proposals, too.
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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:33:23 -0400
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The liberal arts committee special session proposal has been submitted.
I've attached the final version, which has a few small but helpful (thank
you, commenters) changes from yesterday's draft. Thank you to everyone who
helped with this, and with the committee's work in general.
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Douglas Baldwin
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:17:02 -0400
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Here is one more look at the liberal arts committee special session
proposal for anyone who wants it. Many of you made suggestions, and I've
incorporated most of them as small changes here and there in the text. (The
one suggestion least incorporated was the very good observation that
"Report of...." is not the most exciting way to start a title, yet I think
SIGCSE program committees generally try hard to give special sessions to
committees wanting to report, so I wanted it to be abundantly clear that
this is such a report -- I changed the title to put

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Douglas Baldwin
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:59:17 -0400
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Following discussions over the past few weeks, here is a draft proposal for
a SIGCSE liberal arts committee special session at SIGCSE 2017. I certainly
welcome suggestions on it from anyone, but most of you can be as much or as
little involved in making such suggestions as you want. A few of you though
(specifically, Grant, Henry, Alyce, Andrea, and Amanda) have talked with me
in more detail about parts of it or otherwise got named as participants, so
you might want to look at it more carefully.

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Douglas Baldwin
Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:50:07 -0400
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Hello, SIGCSE liberal arts committee. I hope you've been having good
summers, in whatever form they've taken.

Following Grant Braught's survey earlier this summer, he and I have been
having some conversations, as have Henry, Alyce, Andrea, and I. Some ideas
about things this committee could or should do around SIGCSE 2017 have come
out of those conversations, and I want to see what you all think of them.

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Jessen T. Havill
Fri, 1 Jul 2016 14:08:51 -0400
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Hi everyone,

I have been thinking about proposing a panel at SIGCSE related to something I posted here in March: How can CS1 courses better convey the fundamental ideas of CS (e.g., abstraction, algorithm efficiency and design, representing information, etc.) and connections to other disciplines in meaningful, compelling, and sustained ways (without sacrificing programming depth)? As I and a few others articulated, I think this is something that liberal arts colleges do especially well, and a panel might be a good opportunity for a few from this group to share examples with a wider audience.

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Douglas Baldwin
Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:59:08 -0400
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I saw the following from a LACS member on the LACS mailing list this
morning. I think it's a good example of why the CS education community
needs some identified group that can provide knowledgeable voices on issues
touching liberal arts CS programs. LACS plays that role now, mostly by
default of being the only liberal arts CS group around, not because it
necessarily wants the job. And the account below sounds like Jason, the
person looking for advice, sort of stumbled on LACS by accident. So do we
the SIGCSE liberal arts committee think there needs to be a

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Braught, Grant
Tue, 7 Jun 2016 15:20:12 +0000
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Hi All,

Thank you to everyone who completed the Computing Majors in the Liberal Arts survey that I had sent out a few months ago.

Now that the semester has ended I have had time to process the results and produce a summary. Below are links to a document summarizing the responses and an excel workbook.

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Braught, Grant
Tue, 3 May 2016 13:22:05 +0000
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Hi All,

Thanks to everyone who has completed the Computing Majors in the Liberal Arts survey. If you haven’t had a chance to do that yet, here is the link again:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1iFBAb8vK5bRIaHoA1FDnL8ejiExKTeZpnrcrQ0j6lxU/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

I will plan to leave the survey open for another few weeks, then crunch the data and generate a quick summary report at the middle to end of May.

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Braught, Grant
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:34:54 +0000
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you to everyone that sent along helpful feedback on the survey draft that I circulated a few weeks back. I have finally incorporated all of the feedback that I received and have put the survey together with Google Forms.

It became very clear, very quickly that we have a wide diversity of programs organized in all sorts of creative and exciting ways. Which is great, unless you are trying to create a survey! So, I ask that though some questions may not fit your program exactly, please give the best answer that you can to each question,

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Douglas Baldwin
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:40:47 -0400
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Hello again, SIGCSE liberal arts committee. We've had some time now to get
used to being a SIGCSE committee, and some ideas have gotten tossed around
and are maybe being worked on. Hopefully we'll at some point (not
necessarily now, I realize it's still early) hear more about things like
the surveys that a couple of you talked about. Meanwhile, I'd also like us
to think a bit about what our overarching goal(s) might be.

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Bruce A. Maxwell
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 21:43:51 -0400
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Hi all--

Grant's survey request reminded me to pass this along to the larger group.

I mentioned in the BOF meeting that as part of our external reviewers visit at Colby last fall I contacted a number of small liberal arts institutions to collect comparative information on enrollments, majors, staffing, and course loads. The purpose of this survey was to get a sense for how our institution compared relative to our peers in terms of all of these issues.

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Cathy Bareiss
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 13:50:18 +0000
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I think we need to be very careful in the things that we do as a group. There are many things that concern those involved in liberal arts! However, a good number of those things are not unique to liberal arts degrees. A simple example would be what language to use in CS1. Some things are concerns of small departments (which include a good number of liberal arts degrees), some things concern computing general education requirements, etc. However these things are not unique to liberal arts programs. 

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Braught, Grant
Fri, 18 Mar 2016 12:39:02 +0000
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Hi Everyone,

The discussion earlier this week regarding the size of our majors and students having space in their courses of study to explore, connect, combine other areas and interests caught my attention. It got me to wondering just how similar or different programs are amongst this group who has self-identified as teaching Computing in the Liberal Arts? So being on spring break and thus feeling flush with time, I put together a small list of questions that I would like to turn into a survey for the group. In discussing this with Doug, he suggested that I send it

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Douglas Baldwin
Thu, 17 Mar 2016 09:04:35 -0400
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There was some really good discussion about what "liberal arts" means that
now seems to have died down, so I'll try to summarize:

One key idea was that a liberal arts education has broad goals, i.e., it's
for a career but also for membership in community, civic life, etc. Another
take on breadth, from the perspective of curricula or student experiences,
is that a liberal arts program provides room for second majors, minors, and
interdisciplinary interests. Within computing programs, breadth is
reflected in early exposure to the variety of computing topics and
cross-disciplinary connections. What makes something a "liberal arts"


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Douglas Baldwin
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 12:30:51 -0400
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Greetings, and welcome (if you haven't already been welcomed) to the SIGCSE
committee on computing education in liberal arts colleges. Thanks to
everyone who came to our gathering at SIGCSE. I was pleasantly surprised at
how big that was (35 - 40 people), and at the enthusiasm the folks there
showed for the committee's job. Alyce Brady took some good notes on the
conversation, which are the basis for this message.

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Douglas Baldwin
Sat, 27 Feb 2016 10:37:52 -0500
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Welcome to the SIGCSE computing in liberal arts colleges mailing list.
Thanks for joining; I and the other organizers are looking forward to
productive discussions with you.

For those who will be at the SIGCE Symposium next week, we'll have a chance
to meet each other face-to-face. We'll be in room 203 at 9:30 PM on
Thursday, right after the reception. This will mostly be a chance for some
of us to meet each other in person rather than a working meeting, so stop
by or not as you are able. We have the room until 11:00, although how long


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Douglas Baldwin
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 09:06:22 -0500
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This is a test, specifically to verify that messages reach subscribers and
the list archives.
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