XSEDE13 National Computing Conference

UCSD Invites High School and Undergraduate Students to a National Computing Conference
XSEDE13 National High Performance Computing Conference Student Day

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 – San Diego Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina

The San Diego Supercomputer Center, the University of California, San Diego, XSEDE and the National Science Foundation is inviting high school and undergraduate students to participate in one of the premier high performance computing conferences in the country as part of XSEDE13 Student Day. This exciting opportunity provides students with a chance to immerse themselves in the field of computational science research. Student participants will have a chance to meet peers with similar interests from across the country during a day filled with hands-on science, a bioinformatics panel discussion with national leaders in the field, student focused talks, a luncheon where you will share a table with a researcher of your choice, a student poster session, highlighted internships and a visualization showcase. Hurry and sign up today for this great opportunity! Space is limited.
Registration fee: $25.00 

The complete registration fee is being subsidized by the National Science Foundation.
Application Deadline: May 15, 2013

For complete conference information and to download the Student Day application, please visit http://education.sdsc.edu/teachertech.

UC Davis C-STEM Opportunities

The C-STEM Center at UC Davis is offering a number of exciting opportunities for professional development and student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, the C-STEM Center is working with districts and schools on integrated computing and STEM education to help close the achievement gap in math and science. Students are engaged through relevant and fun robotics and programming activities. Find additional details and links below.

Activity Dates:

  • Application for CREST and Robotics Fellowships are due April 5, 2013.
  • RoboPlay and Math Programming Competitions are being held on May 4, 2013
  • The 3rd Annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education will be held on May 18, 2013.
  • The 2013 UC Davis Summer Institute on Integrated Computing and STEM Education, for K-12 STEM and CS teachers, will be held on June 24 – July 5.

CREST and Robotics Fellowships

Two fellowship opportunities for STEM teachers are extended with revised application guidelines. The C-STEM Center is recruiting 8 motivated STEM teachers as Robotics Fellows to work with a dedicated team of UC Davis faculty and graduate/undergraduate students in the project “Co- Robotics for STEM Education in the 21st Century” funded by the National Robotics Initiative of the National Science Foundation. Robotics Fellows will be trained to leverage innovative modular robotics technology to promote student engagement and academic success especially in Algebra.

The C-STEM Center is recruiting 15 pre-service and in-service STEM teachers as CREST Fellows to participate in the NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site project “Computing Research Experiences for STEM Teachers (CREST)”. The CREST project will create an enduring partnership between secondary school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers, UC Davis faculty mentors and C-STEM Center staff. This unique professional development opportunity will support teachers in creating a teaching “infrastructure” that inspires them to guide their students towards computing and STEM related careers and post-secondary study.

Applications for CREST Fellowships are extended
New Application Due Date: April 5, 2013
More Information: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/training/CREST/

Applications for Robotics Fellowships are extended
New Application Due Date: April 5, 2013
More Information: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/training/co-robots/

RoboPlay and Math Programming Competitions

UC Davis C-STEM Day RoboPlay Competitions and Math Programming Competition are being held on May 4, 2013. The C-STEM Day is organized to build public awareness and advocate for Computing and STEM education. RoboPlay Competitions are open-ended design challenges using robots. The goal of the RoboPlay Competitions is to broaden student participation in computing, science, technology, engineering, and math (C-STEM) education with positive youth development for all students. More than seventy teams will showcase integrated computing and STEM education in action.

More information: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/activities/c-stem_day/

Integrated Computing and STEM Education

The 3rd Annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education will be held on May 18, 2013. The C-STEM Center has been actively engaged in developing computing and robotics technology and curricula as well as in professional development and implementation in K-12 schools guided by two key objectives:

  • Close the achievement gap by broadening participation of students traditionally underrepresented in computing and STEM related careers and post-secondary study.
  • Develop students’s 21st century problem-solving skills to tackle real world concerns through integrated computing and STEM education.

In this conference, you will learn more about the C-STEM Center, its research work to date and the rich set of resources available to educators and students. Presenters in the breakout sessions are representatives of C-STEM partner teachers. The conference offers a first-hand opportunity to examine the groundbreaking work of the C-STEM Center on Integrated Computing and STEM Education in formal, after-school, and informal settings; and review the evidence for their impact on increasing student motivation and achievement in STEM subjects, closing the achievement gap, and improving college and career-readiness skills. The conference provides a forum for a dedicated cohort of C-STEM partner teachers, K-14 researchers, educators, policy makers, and industrial partners to discuss and influence the future direction of integrated computing and STEM education. As schools in California are implementing the Common Core Standards and adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, you will learn how to implement C-STEM project-based hands-on integrated learning for solving real-world problems in your classroom and after-school programs.

The highlights of the conference include a keynote address by Dr. Ralph J. Hexter, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Davis. Jonathan Raymond, Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District will give a plenary speech. A panel of principal and STEM teachers from the School of Engineering and Sciences of the Sacramento City Unified School District, chaired by Karen Shores, STEM Administrator of the California Department of Education, will share their best practice on integrated computing and STEM education with computer programming starting in 7th grade all the way through 12th grade. Dr. Debra Richardson, Professor of Informatics and founding dean of Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine will give a lunch speech.

Early deadline for registration: May 2, 2013.
Final deadline for registration: May 14, 2013.
Register: http://cstemconference.eventbrite.com/
More Information: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/activities/conference/

2013 UC Davis Summer Institute on Integrated Computing and STEM Education

The C-STEM Center will host the 2013 UC Davis Summer Institute on Integrated Computing and STEM Education on June 24 – July 5 for K-12 STEM and CS teachers. The two-week long Summer Institute will offer two one-week courses. The first week is on “Robotic Technologies and Computer Programming” and the second week is on “Pre-Algebra and Algebra Support with Computing and Robotics — Using 21st Century Skills To Strengthen Logical Thinking”.

This intensive summer institute is designed to train teachers on the principles of robotics and computing, their teaching pedagogy, how to teach computer programming and computer science with robotics, how to integrate computing and robotics activities into science and engineering curricula, how to teach Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and math labs using interactive computing, programming, and robotics.

Early deadline for registration: May 24, 2013.
Final deadline for registration: June 17, 2013.
Register: http://c-stem.ucdavis.edu/training/summer_institute/register.php


For additional information contact Professor Harry H. Cheng, C-STEM Director, by email at: hhcheng@ucdavis.edu or by phone: (530)752-5020.

Lost Interview of Steve Jobs

The Lost Interview of Steve Jobs finds him at a moment in 1995 when he was fired from Apple and had not yet returned to lead the company to become one of the greatest companies in history. The movie is an extremely captivating glimpse of the man’s raw intelligence and perspectives on life and business. This is an hour-long interview of Steve Jobs in his younger years, long before the iPhone, and a great movie to show to high school students interested in art, science, advanced manufacturing or business.

When asked about programming, Steve remarks that using a computer is an enriching experience that teaches you how to think in a different way: “Using them to be a mirror of your thought process, to actually learn how to think. In other words I think the greatest value of learning how to …I think everybody in the country should learn how to program a computer… because learning a computer language… teaches you how to think.” “I view computer science as a liberal art, it should be something that everybody learns, you know takes a year in their life, one of the courses they take, you know, is to learn how to program.”

CMU High School Security Competition

Carnegie Mellon University’s hacking team is designing and hosting picoCTF, an online nationwide high school computer security competition. From April 26th 2013 to May 6th 2013, picoCTF will invite high school students to learn and practice authentic hacking techniques in the context of a story-driven game created by Team Osiris from Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center. The competition consists of a series of challenges where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the task. Students, with experience ranging anywhere from the somewhat computer savvy to well-versed programmers, will learn how to identify security vulnerabilities and perform real-world attacks.

By organizing a competition that presents computer science from this exciting and topical perspective, we hope to encourage students to become involved in the areas of computer science and computer security. For more information on the competition, a preview with sample problems, and registration please visit our website at http://picoctf.com .

We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have regarding the competition.

David Brumley
Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Microsoft Technology Associate

As part of the Microsoft Certification Exams team’s efforts to ensure that the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams are relevant and reflective of the fundamental knowledge and skills being taught in classrooms, we would like to review syllabi for courses that cover the following content areas:

  • IT infrastructure (Windows operating systems, Windows Server, networking, security, cloud computing, etc.)
  • Database (design, administration, etc.)
  • Software development (C#, HTML, Windows, web, Microsoft .NET, mobile devices, developer fundamentals, gaming, etc.)
  • Software testing

If you’d like to help Microsoft define the knowledge and skills that will be measured on MTA exams in these content areas, please send your syllabi to mslcd@microsoft.com.

MTA exams are designed to test foundational knowledge and skills in a variety of technology areas. They are a recommended entry point into IT certification and are designed for those who are just starting their IT career path or are looking to enhance their understanding of IT fundamentals.  If you’d like to learn more about MTA exams, please visit: MTA-Certification.

With your help, we can ensure that MTA exams continue to be a valuable assessment of the foundational knowledge and skills in these core IT areas.


Dave Hansen
Director, Product Operations – Microsoft
Certiport, Inc.
Toll Free: 888.999.9830 x167
Email: dhansen@certiport.com

AP Computer Science Principles @ UCSD for Teachers

High School Educators are invited to attend a special seven-part TeacherTECH workshop series focused on AP Computer Science Principles. Be on the cutting edge and learn the skills you need to engage your students in computing as you bring computer science principles into your classroom.
Tuesdays, April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2013 4:30pm- 6:30pm
San Diego Supercomputer Center Training Room
University of California, San Diego

Parking will be provided free of charge.

Course Description 

Nationwide, the CS10K movement seeks to increase the technology preparedness of all high school students, and engage more students in an interesting, relevant, and rigorous computing course, which will both prepare them for college in any major and give them an idea of how fun, exciting, and relevant studying computing can be.

The proposed AP CS Principles course has been designed to meet these needs and in 2010-2011 was piloted with 1,000 students at UCSD and at 4 other universities.  We have grant funding to support San Diego area high schools in developing teachers of all disciplines to teach this course.  Prior experience teaching computing or programming is not a requirement, though it’s certainly fine.  We are seeking to train teachers who can teach this course at their school this fall or the following year – and we can work with your principal to figure out the scheduling. Already, we have support from San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union to help teachers teach this course, even if it isn’t in the upcoming master schedule.

You should take this 7-week TeacherTECH series if you want to teach the course next year. 

How much work will it be?  That depends on your computing background.  If you teaching programming courses like C, Java, Python, then you may not need to spend more than 30 minutes per week beyond class time.  If you have never programmed before, you will need to “do homework” to prepare between each class, which is estimated at a few hours.  The meetings will model the actual design used in the course – it is based in active learning and supported by initial pre-class preparation.

Those completing the course will be eligible both to attend the summer pedagogical content knowledge training week, to “guest teach” in a summer program for high school students, and to apply to be a sponsored pilot teacher next year.  Pilot teachers receive a stipend, textbooks, clickers, and UCSD-tutor support for their classrooms.

Course Outline 

  1. Session 1:  Welcomes and getting to know you.  Overview of learning goals of the course. Introduction to Alice on the computer – setting up worlds, DoTogether and DoInOrder control structures, how to engage with peer instruction questions.
  2. Session 2: Methods and Parameters.  How to use methods to organize and abstract complex programs, how to use parameters to make methods more flexible and useful.
  3. Session 3: Events.  How to make programs interactive (ala video games).  Reprise of methods and parameters as needed.  Introduction to Technology and Society assignments (explorations and written reflections by students).
  4. Session 4: If statements.  How to support programs that sometimes do one thing and sometimes do another.  If statements are used in website signup pages to check if your passwords are the same.   They are also used in ATM machines – the bank won’t let you withdraw money from an account with insufficient funds.
  5. Session 5: Loops.  How to gain power over the computer by getting it to do things repeatedly.  Loops which repeat until a specific condition is true (You earn 100 points) or a specific number of times (3 chances to win in Angry Birds).
  6. Session 6: Lists in Alice and Excel.  How computers organize data to enable us to write programs manipulating large amounts of data.  Connections between Alice concepts and functions and capabilities in Excel.
  7. Session 7: Alice project, review of course components, discussion of concerns, review of sample exams.
  8. Session 8: Reflections, fun and camaraderie at an offsite location 

Note: Each week will involve both hands-on time at the computer and “peer instruction” based lecture – where participants develop their understanding through engagement with a set of questions and through discussion with each other.  Preparation before session will be required to the extent that it is needed to allow one to engage during the class session.

Please join us for eight exciting and informative sessions of hands-on learning presented by Tasha Frankie, Computer Science Lecturer, UCSD.

Registration is free. Please contact Ange Mason at amason@ucsd.edu to reserve your space. When responding by email, please indicate your school affiliation.

For information on other TeacherTECH workshops, please see http://education.sdsc.edu/teachertech.

NEW CSTA listserv

The Computer Science Teachers Association is pleased to announce the launch of a new member benefit –  a listserv to foster communication about all issues related to computing education.

We recognize that other electronic communities for computing educators exist, but ours strives to be different.  Instead of focusing on one particular topic (AP, Scratch, Alice, App Inventor,etc.), we wish to create the first place you visit to ask the overarching questions that transcend one particular tool, language, or course.

Consider this a place for our 13,000+ members to ask questions and share ideas about recruiting techniques, project-based learning, best practices for inspiring students in computing courses, best practices for teaching college-level work in the high school, textbooks, languages, etc.

Let’s use the power of our membership to work together to broaden participation in computing and to have loads of fun along the way!

The listserv is by subscription only. To subscribe, please click here.

If you have already subscribed, you will receive appropriate information from Listserv letting you know this. If you are subscribing for the first time, the Listserv will send an email to you subscription address that you will need to confirm before being added to the list.

If you are already subscribed, but want to switch to receiving a digest version, you can also do this by clicking here and changing your options. Be sure to save your changes before quitting.

Chris Stephenson
CSTA Executive Director

CSAW Summer Research and Training for College Faculty

The NYU-Poly CSAW Cybersecurity Summer Research and Training Program provides a unique opportunity for computer science faculty at two- and four-year colleges to receive instruction in the fundamental concepts of cybersecurity, engage in cutting-edge research projects, and learn to mentor cybersecurity competition teams. The effort is part of a three-year program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, in conjunction with NYU-Poly.
Ten qualified college faculty members will be selected for two weeks of intensive instruction in the basic concepts of cybersecurity followed by four weeks of research engagement at NYU-Poly. The program takes place daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. All evenings and weekends are free for faculty to explore New York City and the surrounding Downtown Brooklyn area. Over the remaining academic year, faculty and their students will engage in research projects with NYU-Poly professors.
The accepted faculty will also establish a student teams to participate in the national CSAW Capture the Flag challenge. This event, which is conducted annually by NYU-Poly, attracts thousands of students and builds a community that is passionate about cybersecurity.
Funding: Faculty will receive a $5,000 stipend for participating in the CSAW Cybersecurity Summer Research and Training Program. NYU-Poly will provide up to $500 in travel vouchers as well as housing for those who need it.

March 12 San Diego CSTA Quarterly Meeting

The San Diego CSTA meets quarterly at the UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center. Our next meeting is

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 (4:00pm- 6:00pm)
UCSD San Diego Supercomputer Center Auditorium 9
University of California, San Diego

The agenda includes:

  •  Welcome
  •  Edward Abeyta – Director K-16 Programs, UC San Diego Extension is considering developing a series of undergraduate credit courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields for high-achieving high school juniors and seniors. We are seeking your thoughts about this initiative to ensure our effort meets the needs of the community we serve.
  • Tom Lauwers – owner of BirdBrain Technologies LLC, the company that makes the Finch Robot and Hummingbird Robotics Kit would like to meet with the San Diego CSTA group and demo one of the robots.
  • Summer course and internship offerings in computing at SDSC
  • Great videos to share with your students
  • Around the table

If  you would like to be apprised of future meetings and activities, you can subscribe at the top right of this page.

Membership in the CSTA is free for individuals. You can register online here.