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Molecular Separations

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:38

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Document Number: PD 19-1417

This is an NSF Program Announcements and Information item.

Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:38

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Document Number: PD 18-5342

This is an NSF Program Announcements and Information item.

Cellular and Biochemical Engineering

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:38

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Document Number: PD 18-1491

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Fluid Dynamics

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:38

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Document Number: PD 18-1443

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GeoPRISMS Program

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:26

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HTML: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18559/nsf18559.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click
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Document Number: nsf18559

This is an NSF Program Announcements and Information item.

GeoPRISMS Program

News From NSF - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:26

Scale or Fail: Making national CS education work in Switzerland

ComputingEd - Mon, 05/14/2018 - 07:00

Alex Repenning has the CACM Viewpoints Education column this month where he sets out a bold challenge — scale CS education to a national scale, or fail at making CS education work for all.

K–12 computer science Education (CSed) is an international challenge with different countries engaging in diverse strategies to reach systemic impact by broadening participation among students, teachers and the general population. For instance, the CS4All initiative in the U.S. and the Computing at School movement in the U.K. have scaled up CSed remarkably. While large successes with these kinds of initiatives have resulted in significant impact, it remains unclear how early impact becomes truly systemic. The main challenge preventing K–12 CSed to advance from teachers who are technology enthusiasts to pragmatists is perhaps best characterized by Crossing the Chasm, a notion anchored in the diffusion of innovation literature. This chasm appears to exist for CSed. It suggests it is difficult to move beyond early adopters of a new idea, such as K–12 CSed, to the early majority. Switzerland, a highly affluent, but in terms of K–12 CSed somewhat conservative country, is radically shifting its strategy to cross this chasm by introducing mandatory pre-service teacher computer science education starting at the elementary school level.

Three fundamental CSed stages are characterized by permutations of self-selected/all and students/teachers combinations. It took approximately 20 years to transition through these stages. Each stage is described here from a more general CSed perspective as well as my personal perspective.

Source: Scale or Fail

Feeling disadvantaged in CS courses at University of XXX

ComputingEd - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 07:00

Even at Berkeley, the home of the great course emphasizing CS teaching for everyone, The Beauty and Joy of Computing, there are students who don’t feel that they belong in CS.  See the post quoted and linked below.

Of course, the story below is not about Berkeley.  This is about the slow pace of change, and how difficult it is to get whole CS departments to buy into the vision of “CS for All.”

CS 61A was a completely different story.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to work as a lab assistant for Data 8: “Foundations of Data Science,” and I couldn’t help but notice the difference in atmosphere between the students in Data 8 and my own experience in CS 61A.

Data 8 is one of the alternative courses offered for UC Berkeley students who are new programmers. Data 8 and CS 10: “The Beauty and Joy of Computing” are offered to students who want to test the waters of programming before jumping into 61A.

Data 8 uses Python, just like 61A. But the concepts are taught more slowly so new programmers can really understand how to use these concepts properly in their code.

Source: Column | Feeling disadvantaged in CS courses at UC Berkeley

Statement on Artificial Intelligence for American Industry

News From NSF - Thu, 05/10/2018 - 13:00

On May 10, 2018, the White House convened academic researchers, industry experts and federal leaders at an event on Artificial Intelligence for American Industry. National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova participated in the event and issued the following statement.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every segment of American industry. It is making agriculture more precise and efficient, giving us new medical diagnostics that save lives, and ...
More at https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=245418&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

This is an NSF News item.

USAF and NSF announce partnership in science and engineering research

News From NSF - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 13:30

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova signed a Letter of Intent May 9, 2018, creating a new partnership for collaboration on scientific and engineering research to bolster national security.

The Letter of Intent initiates a strategic partnership focused on research in four areas of common interest: space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and data sciences, and workforce and ...
More at https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=245420&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

This is an NSF News item.

Statement on Teacher Appreciation Week 2018

News From NSF - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:00

William J. (Jim) Lewis, the acting assistant director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), issued the following statement on Teacher Appreciation Week:

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources want to acknowledge and celebrate the nation's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers for their dedicated ...
More at https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=245406&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

This is an NSF News item.

Why are CS students so hard to nudge? A theory for why it’s so hard to promote a growth mindset in CS1

ComputingEd - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 07:00

Pearson took a lot of heat recently for trying to improve students’ mindset in My Programming Lab.  I’m slightly worried about the ethics of their “embedded experiment.” I’m more worried that it didn’t work.

Titled “Embedding Research-Inspired Innovations in EdTech: An RCT of Social-Psychological Interventions, at Scale,” the study placed 9,000 students using MyLab Programming into three groups, each receiving different messages from the software as they attempted to solve questions. Some students received “growth-mindset messages,” while others received “anchoring of effect” messages. (A third control group received no messaging at all.) The intent was to see if such messages encouraged students to solve more problems. Neither the students nor the professors were ever informed of the experiment, raising concerns of consent.

The “growth mindset messages” emphasized that learning a skill is a lengthy process, cautioning students offering wrong answers not to expect immediate success. One example: “No one is born a great programmer. Success takes hours and hours of practice.” “Anchoring of effect” messages told students how much effort is required to solve problems, such as: “Some students tried this question 26 times! Don’t worry if it takes you a few tries to get it right.”

As Education Week reports, the interventions offered seemingly no benefit to the students. Students who received no special messages attempted to solve more problems (212) than students in either the growth-mindset (174) or anchoring groups (156). The researchers emphasized this could have been due any of a variety of factors, as the software is used differently in different schools.

Source: Pearson Embedded a ‘Social-Psychological’ Experiment in Students’ Educational Software [Updated]

Beth Simon and her colleagues tried a similar experiment, reported at ICER 2008.  They did get informed consent.  They tried a similar kind of “nudge” to get students to adopt a growth mindset.  It didn’t work for Beth et al., either.

I advised Kantwon Rogers’ MS in HCI project, where he tried to nudge CS1 students (both on-line and off-line) to have a greater sense of “belongingness” in CS.  Similar to these previous studies, he sent email prompts to students — some just encouraged study skills, and others promoted a sense that they belongs and could succeed in CS.  In almost all of his conditions, belongingness dropped.

What’s going on here?  Why are CS students so impervious to these prompts that have been successful in other settings?

I have a theory.  There’s a notion in the behavioral sciences literature that you get more success changing behavior or promoting attitudes by reducing barriers than by prompting for desired behavior or attitudes.  The analogy is to a large boulder that you want to move: You can push it and push it, or you can just dig away the dirt from the bottom.  The latter is likely to get the boulder rolling without as much effort.

Here’s my theory: Introductory CS classes have systemic issues that encourage a fixed mindset and discourage a sense of belongingThere are too many signals to students that they can’t succeed, that they can’t get better, and that they don’t belong — perhaps especially in times of rising enrollment. Mere nudges are not going to move the boulder.  We’re going to have to remove the barriers to belonging, self-efficacy, and the sense that students can succeed at CS.


The genetic path to biodiversity

News From NSF - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 00:00

Genome editing tool CRISPR helps reveal genetic regulation behind colors and patterns in butterfly wings
Full story at https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/butterflywings.jsp?WT.mc_id=USNSF_51

This is an NSF News item.

NSF FastStart Direct Deposit Form

News From NSF - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:15

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DOC: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/forms/nsf1379.doc?WT.mc_id=USNSF_179

Document Number: nsf1379

This is an NSF Publications item.

Ever so slowly, diversity in computing jobs is improving: It’ll be equitable in a century

ComputingEd - Fri, 05/04/2018 - 07:00

A great but sobering blog post from Code.org. Yes, computing is becoming more diverse, but at a disappointingly slow rate. Is it possible to go faster? Or is this just the pace at which we can change a field?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yes, but very slowly. We’ve analyzed the Current Population Survey data from the past few years to see how many people are employed in computing occupations, and the percentage of women, Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latino employees.

What did we find? There are about 5 million people employed in computing occupations, 24% of whom are women, and 15% of whom are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino.

Since 2014, the trends in representation, although small, have been moving in the right direction — all three groups showed a tiny increase in representation. However, changes would need to accelerate significantly to reach meaningful societal balance in our lifetimes. If the current pace of increases continue, it would take over a century* until we saw balanced representation in computing careers.

Source: Is diversity in computing jobs improving? – Code.org – Medium

Air Force, NSF to create research partnership to enhance national security

News From NSF - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 13:48

Members of the media are invited to join Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova as they sign a Letter of Intent to create a new partnership for collaboration on scientific research to bolster national security.

What: Letter of Intent signing between the Air Force and NSF.

When: May 9, 2018, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: The 20 F Street NW ...
More at https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=245314&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

This is an NSF News item.


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