Category Archives: Stories

I’ve got a POSSE

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).

Continue reading

Prospective students and pre-registration

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.

Continue reading

How I spent my time at SIGCSE 2016

Each year in March, the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) hosts the Annual Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE for short. SIGCSE is a medium-sized conference; the final registration count for SIGCSE 2016 was 1243. It’s usually in a medium sized city big enough to have a convention center, but not too expensive for the high school and community college teachers who often don’t have institutional support to attend. This year it was in Memphis. Don’t ask me about Memphis: As usual, I didn’t see much beyond the convention center.

Continue reading

On independent study

Some readers have expressed interest in hearing about differences between Whitman and Grinnell. I recently encountered and responded to one such difference.

On Thursday, I met with a student to discuss possible independent study projects for the spring semester. At the end of our discussion, we talked about next steps. I asked, “How does one register for an independent study at Whitman?” The student didn’t know; he hadn’t done one before. Being resourceful people, we checked the college catalog online and discovered there was an independent study course in Mathematics, but not in Computer Science.

Continue reading