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Transforming K-12 Computer Science: The Beauty and Joy of Computing, Oct 31


The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) was chosen as one of the initial pilots for a new “AP CS: Principles” exam to be introduced in 2015. The purpose of this course is to attract nontraditional computing students (especially women and minorities, but also English majors) to the breadth and depth of ideas in modern computer science. The National Science Foundation wants to prepare 10,000 new high school computer science teachers to teach the new AP course by 2015 (the “CS10K” effort). Under their CE21 (Computing Education for the 21st Century) initiative, we were funded to provide paid intensive six-week summer workshops for high school teachers, including two weeks of face-to-face training, one before and one after four weeks of our online course. This talk will review the status of all of these projects, the development of “Snap!” (Build Your Own Blocks), a graphical programming environment based on MIT’s Scratch that is used in the curriculum, and how we’re working with the UC Online Instruction Pilot Project to bring BJC to the world.


Dr. Dan Garcia received dual B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT, 1990; and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1995 and 2000, respectively. He joined the CS faculty at UC Berkeley in the Fall of 2000, won the departmental Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002, the departmental Information Technology Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004 and was chosen as a UC Berkeley “Unsung Hero” in 2005. He has taught (or co-taught as a GSI, where he won both departmental and campus outstanding GSI awards) courses in teaching techniques, computer graphics, virtual reality, computer animation, self-paced programming as well as the lower-division introductory CS curriculum. He is active in SIGCSE, is a member of the ACM Education Board, and is the faculty co-advisor for BFOIT, a wonderful Berkeley outreach effort. He is currently mentoring over seventy undergraduates, spread across four groups that he founded in 2001, centered around his research and development interests in computer graphics, Macintosh OS X programming, combinatorial game theory and computer science education.


All talks may be viewed on our

The schedule for the semester can be found on the

Webviewing at UC Davis: 1003 Kemper Hall

Webviewing at UC Merced: SE1 100

Webviewing at UC Santa Cruz: SOE E2 Building, Room 595B