TITLE: Dog Days of Summer
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: July 23, 2005 4:45 PM
DESC: I haven't been doing much interesting these days, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been thinking about OOPSLA 2005...
Busy, busy, busy.
As I mentioned in my
the more interesting thoughts I have, the more I tend
to blog. The last few weeks have been more about the
clutter of meetings and preparing for some new tasks
than about interesting thoughts. That's a little sad,
but true. I did manage to spend a little more time at
home with my wife this week, while my daughters were
away at camp. That isn't sad at all.
I have been working a bit on the
My program committee and I are working on a panel
session to close the symposium, one that we hope will
spark the minds of attendees as they head out into
the conference proper. The rough theme draws on what
some of us see as a sea change in computing. Without
a corresponding change in CS education, we may doom
ourselves to a future in which biologists, economists,
chemists, political scientists, and most everyone else
teach courses that involve computers and modeling and
simulation -- and we will teach only theory and
perceived esoterica to a small but hardy minority of
students. Maybe that is where CS education should
go, but if so I'd rather go there because we intend
to, not because we all behave as if we were
Chance the Gardener
During our discussion of this panel, members of my
program committee directed me to two classics I had
not read in a while,
On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science
and Tony Hoare's 1980 Turing Award lecture,
The Emperor's Old Clothes.
Reading these gems again will likely get my mind
An unusual note regarding the Educators' Symposium...
For many years now, OOPSLA's primary sponsor -- ACM's
Special Interest Group on Programming Languages
-- has offered
scholarships for educators
to attend the conference and the Educators' Symposium.
A few years ago, when OOP was especially hot, the
symposium offered in the neighborhood of fifty
scholarships, and the number of applicants was larger.
This year, we have received only nineteen
applications for scholarships. Is OOP now so mainstream
that educators don't feel they need to learn any more
about it or how to teach it? Did I not advertise the
availability of scholarships widely enough? As an OOP
educator with some experience, I can honestly say that
I have a lot yet to learn about OOP and how to teach
it effectively. I think we are only scratching the
what is possible.
I wonder why more educators haven't taken advantage
of the opportunity to apply for a great deal to
come to OOPSLA. If nothing else, a few days in San
Diego is worth the time of applying!
I have had my opportunity to encounter some interesting
CS thoughts the last few weeks, through meetings with
grad students. But I've had a couple of weeks off from
those as well. Maybe that's just as well... my mind may
have been wandering a bit. Perhaps that would explain
one of my M.S. students