Regular readers might remember that I am the newest member of the Liberal Arts Computer Science (LACS) Consortium. (An earlier post responded to the 2016 annual meeting.) As the newest member, I was invited to host this year’s meeting. Some joked with me that this is hazing, but more accurately it’s paying my dues to an organization that truly depends on the contributions of all its members. It is also the host’s privilege to invite guests of her choosing from both her own institution and others. Finally, I’ve also been invited to host other professional meetings at Whitman in years to come. My experience hosting LACS—a small group who I know fairly well—makes me more confident I can do so. Continue reading
This is the first summer in three years that I haven’t had to move offices. Nonetheless, this summer has its own disruptive events that have made planning difficult. Continue reading
David Allen’s Getting Things Done is no small part of what got me through my dissertation, and I’ve been using it ever since. I was introduced to the system and philosophy by the postdoc I shared my office with. (A.J. Brush, who has continued to get things done—if you are reading this, thanks again!)
However, I won’t say I apply it perfectly. I experience breakdowns pretty regularly, which means reflecting on my tools or routines to figure out what to change to make it work again. Continue reading
In what has become a tradition, I report on pre-registration for next semester. The highlights:
- Enrollments blew up at the 200-level.
- Enrollments in CS 167 and two out of three 300-level courses are strong but not overwhelming.
- Enrollments in Algorithms are underwhelming, but we’re not worried about it.
In academia, at least, it’s a rare privilege to write the criteria by which your work will be evaluated. That was, in fact, one of my major tasks for the 2015-16 academic year, and part of my backlog of blog topics. Why is it on my mind right now? While I am being reviewed for tenure at Whitman, I also just submitted my first letter as an external reviewer for a tenure case at another institution. That other institution’s departmental evaluation guidelines look quite different from the ones I wrote for Whitman, and that got me thinking back on the process of developing guidelines.
Last week I traveled to Austin, Texas with seven students for the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing. My job was to moderate a panel on teaching-oriented faculty careers—my fifth such panel, but the first at Tapia. CS program funding allowed me to bring along several students. To maximize impact, I recruited from amongst this fall’s class mentors and the leadership of the CS@W student club. Students are expected to share or apply what they learn on campus.
I’ll start out with a diary of my experience, and conclude with my students’ reflections on their experiences. Continue reading
In addition to three faculty lines and and an operating budget, our founding donors funded the creation of two teaching laboratories. This post concerns the design of Whitman’s CS lab classrooms; a later post will address lessons learned from their first year of use.
When Grinnell College announced that its relationship with the Posse Foundation would end, many folks at Whitman asked me what I thought or if I had any inside information. This post is not about that Posse.
Rather, it’s about my experiences with the Professor’s Open Source Software Experience (POSSE), an NSF-funded project that engages faculty from across the US in developing and deploying learning activities that engage computing students with humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS).
Gentle readers, last time I left you with a cliffhanger:
Will Whitman CS be overwhelmed by students in Fall 2016, underwhelmed, or both at the same time?
The answer is both—though not too badly in either direction. Here are the numbers as of the conclusion of pre-registration for rising second-year students:
I’ve heard colleagues describe April as “the month of a thousand nights” because of all the senior recitals, shows, celebrations, and so on. April is also the month of admitted student visits and fall pre-registration. Next year I need to account for all the time in April I’ll spend just talking with current and prospective students.