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ACM Inroads

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00

Editors' message

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Mark Bailey, Laurie Smith King

News from the SIGs

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Ellen Walker, Amber Settle, Steve Zilora

In this issue of News from the SIGs, we present news from SIGCSE and SIGITE. Amber Settle, Chair of SIGCSE discusses the benefits of SIGCSE for practitioners and highlights some resources. Steven Zilora reflects on the growth and maturity of SIGITE as he completes his term as chair.

Chapter exercises

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Jeffrey L. Popyack

THINKING PROFESSIONALLY: The continual evolution of interest in computing ethics

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Don Gotterbarn, Marty J. Wolf, Catherine Flick, Keith Miller

HIGH SCHOOL PERSPECTIVES: High school CS competitions

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Amanda Lattimore

MATH COUNTS: A computer science educator visits

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
John P. Dougherty

CURRICULAR SYNCOPATIONS: Getting started with a program review

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Henry M. Walker

Apps for everyone: mobile accessibility learning modules

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Yasmine N. El-Glaly, Anthony Peruma, Daniel E. Krutz, J. Scott Hawker

Mobile applications (apps) should be accessible to everyone, yet many of even the most popular are not. To address the lack of accessibility problem, we created a set of educational modules. These modules may be used to teach students and developers about proper methods of creating accessible apps, and on the importance of accessibility guidelines. Each module contains a well-defined accessibility problem, provides details about the accessibility issue, and simulates the effects of the accessibility barrier. Information is provided on how to fix the accessibility issue. Additionally, each module includes augmenting educational materials (slides, instructional videos, etc.), and example apps.

The introductory computer programming course is first and foremost a

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Scott R. Portnoff

An fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) study published in 2014 established that comprehension of computer programs occurs in the same regions of the brain that process natural languages---not logic, not math. The unexpectedness of this result was primed in part by the widespread belief that the language aspects of learning how to program are trivial when compared to learning to use programming languages for engineering tasks. In fact, though, the fMRI data is compelling cognitive evidence for the argument that the reason students have been failing introductory programming courses in large numbers---for decades---is because CS educators have underestimated the importance of teaching programming languages as languages per se.

Evaluation of native and transfer students' success in a computer science course

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Helen Catanese, Carl Hauser, Assefaw H. Gebremedhin

This study is motivated by a practical question faced by a computer science curriculum committee at a major research university. And that question is, are students who transfer credits for the first two courses into the computer science program at a disadvantage in their likelihood for success in the third course compared to students who took all three courses locally at the university? A retrospective longitudinal study using data from 2012 to 2016 revealed that transfer students succeeded in the third course in just about the same way as native students.

The persistent effect of pre-college computing experience on college CS course grades

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Christine Alvarado, Gustavo Umbelino, Mia Minnes

Many college computer science majors have little or no pre-college computing experience. Previous work has shown that inexperienced students under-perform their experienced peers when placed in the same introductory courses and are more likely to drop out of the CS program. However, not much is known about what, if any, differences may persist beyond the introductory sequence for students who remain in the program. We conducted a study across all levels of a CS program at a large public university in the United States to determine whether grade differences exist between students with and without pre-college experience, and if so, for what types of experiences.

Computational thinking for all: an experience report on scaling up teaching computational thinking to all students in a major city in Sweden

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Fredrik Heintz, Linda Mannila

The Swedish government has recently introduced digital competence including programming in the Swedish K-9 curriculum starting no later than fall 2018. This means that 100 000 teachers need to learn programming and digital competence in less than a year. In this paper we report on our experience working with professional teacher training in Sweden's fifth largest city. The city has about 150 000 inhabitants and about 50 schools with about 14 000 students in primary education. The project has been carried out in close cooperation with the municipality.

Upward mobility for underrepresented students: a model for a cohort-based bachelor's degree in computer science

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Sathya Narayanan, Kathryn Cunningham, Sonia Arteaga, William J. Welch, Leslie Maxwell, Zechariah Chawinga, Bude Su

CSin3 is a cohort-based, three-year computer science bachelor's degree program that has increased graduation rates of traditionally underrepresented computer science students. A collaborative effort between a community college and a public university, CSin3 provides a clear pathway for upward socio-economic mobility into the high-paying technology industry. CSin3 students are 90% from traditionally underrepresented groups, 80% first-generation, 32% female, and have a three-year graduation rate of 71%, compared to a 22% four-year graduation rate for traditional computer science students. Upon graduation, CSin3 students score similarly on a standardized exam of computer science knowledge as compared to traditional students who graduate in 4 years or more.

Common acronyms

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Inroads Staff

Evolutionary huffman encoding

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 20:00
Marie desJardins, Michael Littman