You guys and gals are really great!  What a super summary and  
constructive discussion.

I assume you're okay with faculty on this list.  I wouldn't even  
presume to forward this to csfac because it's your initiative and  
you'll share what and when you see fit.  I am very much interested in  
your thoughts, and glad to have joined the list.

Our CS community is really enhanced by CSSA efforts, and I thank you  
all for caring and doing.

Sorry I missed last evening with John Cohn - I hope you had a great time.

Best wishes,


Quoting Alex Munkelwitz <[log in to unmask]>:

> A short summary for those folks that didn't stay for the full chat.
> There was a sizable majority on the following topics:
> 1) More Interdisciplinary Courses
> -- Most of us thought that offering more interaction in hands on projects
> working with the students from other colleges would give graduates much more
> experience in both software engineering and computer assisted science...
> furthermore being forced to teach non computer people at least moderate
> computer skills is something wise to develop, as you'll need to do it all
> the time.
> 2) More Structured Lead-in Courses
> Specifically, Programming 1 then Programming 2, then Data Structures, then
> Algorithm Analysis, forced to be in that order, with all four requisite for
> the higher level classes
> -- By forcing students to take these course sin this order and before any
> others we are guaranteeing a certain level of understanding to the
> professors of higher levels courses, one of the common complaints is that
> courses overlap heavily with poor communication between professors, this
> would allow professors to have a firm grasp on what students will come into
> their classes understanding, and, from my prospective, Algorithm Analysis
> should be a much earlier class than 222, it provides a basic understanding
> of how to approach complex problems that should be utilized in more applied
> SE classes.
> 3) CS 1XX Programming Paradigms
> -- Like Actually, I think everyone in the CSSA understands the utter lack of
> functional programming, while I personally don't weep quite so heavily over
> it I do find the fact that my comrades have never had any programming
> experience in a language that requires manual memory management rather
> disturbing, so yes, this isn't just LISP.  Toss in a more mathematical lang
> (like haskell) a lower level lang (like C++) and a few others that might
> interest you while you're there (PHP, ASP.NET, Javascript) the course
> wouldn't be a run through on the languages it would just give students
> enough to get their hands dirty in each paradigm before moving on.
> 4) More diverse CS Requirements
> -- In this case we spoke on requiring a bit more SE explicitly and a course
> on webprogramming, I've taken two web dev courses with bob erickson, one on
> php/mysql and the other on css.  They were incredibly informative, but... I
> took the second because I learned so much in the first, and I took the first
> because it fit my schedule in a coincidental way.  Students need webdev
> experience, if someone got their CS degree without any bit of formal
> training in building even the simplest website it'd be quite embarrassing to
> the university.
> And some more junk
> - Possibly encouraging work study more, it is something that people don't
> talk about much but could supply the hands on experience that most people
> find is missing in the current degree program
> - Better math, specfically the mathematicians were all over this, our math
> is rather un-computersciency, specifically the math course on logic isn't in
> our quadruple of doom (Diff EQ, Lin Alg, Combinatorics,and Calc 3).
> - To add, better CS specific courses, I <3 stat, it's my minor, and stat 153
> is a pretty sorry course right now, introducing more CS specfic topics would
> be a great thing for this
> Keep in mind, the biggest problem with designing a CS degree is that
> graduating students are held to know such a wide variety of topics,
> Specialization is a must.
> - alex munkelwitz