TITLE: Weekend Shorts AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 10, 2019 10:53 AM DESC: ----- BODY: Andy Ko, in SIGCSE 2019 report:
I always have to warn my students before they attend SIGCSE that it's not a place for deep and nuanced discussions about learning, nor is it a place to get critical feedback about their ideas.
It is, however, a wonderful place to be immersed in the concerns of CS teachers and their perceptions of evidence.I'm not sure I agree that one can't have deep, nuanced discussions about learning at SIGCSE, but it certainly is not a research conference. It is a great place to talk to and learn from people in the trenches teaching CS courses, with a strong emphasis on the early courses. I have picked up a lot of effective, creative, and inspiring ideas at SIGCSE over the years. Putting them onto sure scientific footing is part of my job when I get back. ~~~~~ Stephen Kell, in Some Were Meant for C (PDF), an Onward! 2017 essay:
Unless we can understand the real reasons why programmers continue to use C, we risk researchers continuing to solve a set of problems that is incomplete and/or irrelevant, while practitioners continue to use flawed tools.For example,
... "faster safe languages" is seen as the Important Research Problem, not better integration.... whereas Kell believes that C's superiority in the realm of integration is one of the main reasons that C remains a dominant, essential systems language. Even with the freedom granted by tenure, academic culture tends to restrict what research gets done. One cause is a desire to publish in the best venues, which encourages work that is valued by certain communities. Another reason is that academic research tends to attract people who are interested in a certain kind of clean problem. CS isn't exactly "round, spherical chickens in a vacuum" territory, but... Language support for system integration, interop, and migration can seem like a grungier sort of work than most researchers envisioned when they went to grad school. "Some Were Meant for C" is an elegant paper, just the sort of work, I imagine, that Richard Gabriel had when envisioned the essays track at Onward. Well worth a read. -----