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Glenn Booker <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 15 Jun 2001 13:05:16 -0400
text/plain (66 lines)
Nicely said!

Is the CSAB curriculum completely separate from the IEEE/ACM Computing Curricula 2001 (  Do these organizations at least talk to each other?

Glenn Booker

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:         Fri, 15 Jun 2001 12:49:56 -0400

>Mike Stark et al,
>> My opinion is that change is needed in how computer science is taught -- it
>> is at least as important to understand how an event-driven interface such
>> as Java Swing works as how indexed indirect addressing works -- a lot more
>> people will be develoing user interfaces than OS kernels or device drivers.
>> I think UI design is good to introduce as early as possible, as it gives
>> the added benefit of teaching how to read and understand a library such as
>> Swing.  But the choice of language should follow from educational goals,
>> and I didn't see much about what the goals of CS1 should be in that thread.
>> Perhaps Mike Feldman can enlighten us all ;)
>> Mike
>Well, since Mike S. invited me to jump in...
>CS education has always been fraught with debate over what to teach,
>and - more to the point - in what order to teach it. After 26 years of
>teaching courses ranging from freshman level to doctoral level and
>just about everything in between, and nearly as many years of going
>to SIGCSE conferences and suchlike, I observe that:
>- there is reasonably good consensus - in the respectable departments -
>  on what we should teach over 4 years.
>- there is _no_ good consensus - and, IMHO, unlikely to be much in
>  the forseeable future - on the propr order.
>The main difference between full-scale undergraduate programs, on one
>hand, and "training" programs like commercial certifications, 2-year
>community-college things, etc., on the other hand. is that the former
>focuses more on fundamentals - those things that _don't_ change
>from year to year, while the latter focuses more on short-term
>concerns - products, "technologies", and skills.
>Obviously there is a lot of "skill" stuff mixed into an undergrad
>program, but there is much more than that also.
>If you're interested in reading about the nearest approximation to
>a consensus view of a good undergrad structure, see the accreditation
>standards published by CSAB, which is a creature of ACM and the IEEE
>Computer Society. Visit for this. Click on "Criteria 2000"
>for details; click on "Comp. Sci. Profession" for the underlying
>philosophical basis.
*** lots of stuff removed ***
>Sigh... you asked for it.:-)
>Mike Feldman