Successful AACCD Meeting
Representatives from 21 University System of Georgia Schools hear about robotics, Threads, and media computation at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech hosted computing discipline representatives from 21 of the 35 University System of Georgia (USG) institutions February 8 and 9, 2007, at the annual meeting of the Academic Advisory Committee on the Computing Disicplines (AACCD). This was an opportunity to share with faculty from around the state the plans for project "Georgia Computes!" and involve them in our projects.
The meeting started Thursday with a welcome from Dean Rich DeMillo. Rich told the representatives about our success with the BS in Computational Media (almost 200 students in three years, and 25% female) and our Threads program.
Mark Guzdial told the representatives about project "Georgia Computes!" and the workshops that they and their faculty were welcome to attend. Several of the representatives approached us about holding workshops in their area for local faculty.
Tucker Balch, Director of the Institute for Personal Robotics in Education, gave an exciting talk about Georgia Tech's use of robotics to motivate and engage students. He demonstrated the modified Scribbler robot that we and Bryn Mawr are using in a trial of a new introductory computing course this semester. He showed videos of RoboCup which will be held here at Tech this summer.
Charles Isbell got the representatives excited about Threads. In particular, he answered the key question, "What do Threads mean for smaller schools?" He talked about the need for schools to differentiate their degrees to make their graduates competitive in a flat world.
After the business meeting on Friday, Mark Guzdial hosted a 3 hour mini-workshop for faculty interested in learning about Media Computation. 19 faculty attended from 14 schools. Since not all USG schools offer computing, that one workshop had representatives from 2/3 of all the units offering computing degrees in the system. Albany State University (the largest HBCU in the state of Georgia) sent four faculty, in addition to their AACCD representative, which was an enormous committment of resources and much appreciated! Many of the attendees started to make plans to attend our May and summer workshops, and to send some of their colleagues as well.
This wasn't our first "Georgia Computes!" workshop for USG faculty. That distinction belongs to the "Summer Camp Logistics" workshop that Barb Ericson ran on January 20, where 9 faculty from 6 different institutions attended and learned how to advertise and get their summer camps started. Several faculty at the AACCD meeting said that they were unable to make the January workshop, but they plan to make some of the future workshops and to start their own summer camp programs to recruit local students.
Between the two events, we are well on our way to reach out to every computing program in the state this year.