Doug et al -
I think your plan for another special session is great. I've gone into the Google Doc and added a couple of things/made some comments.
Looking at the report overall, should there be a section between "Core Questions" and "Conclusions" that is "Proposal"? Right now, there's a bullet list of the types of things a group might do, but if we would like action taken on this by SIGCSE/ACM, would it be appropriate for us to propose a structure and charge for the group? In part, I'm thinking that for the special session, much of what is in the report now was discussed at SIGCSE 2017. Discussing more of the details of how we think a permanent group could work, including possibly a priority list for first activities, could build on that nicely.
I also don't know how long we want the report to be or how much supporting data we feel like we need to supply to make our case. But the two places I thought we could elaborate if we wanted to were:
* Under "What Is The Liberal Arts" perhaps giving a couple of sample definitions in a second paragraph to demonstrate how this has been written about elsewhere (citable in the bibliography)
* Under Characteristics of Liberal Arts Computing Programs there are two types of illustrative data that I could imagine finding useful: either a snapshot describing a couple of programs in more detail to show their differences, or at attempt to look at the subscribers of this mailing list and use that as a base to get a bit more data on the types of programs our current committee membership is coming from
If any of the above would be helpful, I'm happy to take a stab at it, but I didn't want to start going off on a tangent if it's not going to be helpful.
For the session proposal, I've got some College deadlines that would make it challenging for me to take on writing the whole thing in the next two weeks but I'd be happy to be assigned a section or to take a rough draft and do a revising pass.
Dr. Amanda M. Holland-Minkley
Professor, Computing and Information Studies
Washington & Jefferson College
From: SIGCSE-LIBARTS-COMM [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Douglas Baldwin
Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 11:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: SIGCSE Liberal Arts Committee and SIGCSE 2018
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 something similar. Barring cries of "no, stop!" or "yes, and I'll write the proposal" from you, I will take the lead in writing and submitting a special session proposal (due date is Sept. 1).
Partly to help me decide if we will really be ready to say something at SIGCSE, and partly to produce something concrete that you will hopefully react to, change, etc., I've written down what I think the "fairly clear sense of some findings" is in a Google doc at
While it's grandly titled "Report of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in the Liberal Arts," it's really very much just my rough thoughts on where we've come so far, laid out in a report-like organization. You can all edit it, and I encourage you to do so, or make comments on it, or share thoughts through this mailing list. I expect this document will change massively before it really counts as a final report, if it ever does at all.
Of particular note, there's a section on "Characteristics of Liberal Arts Computing Programs" that I see as the place to discuss Grant's survey results plus anything else anyone feels like adding based on the literature, additional data you might have, etc. Right now the text is mostly what we had in last year's special session proposal, plus a few more thoughts that have occurred to me since. If Grant or anyone else wanted to completely replace that section with their own interpretations it would be just fine (and would remove a small risk of self-plagiarism).
Let us all know what you think, and thanks!