SIGCSE 2011 Keynote Speakers
Northeastern University, Winner of the 2011 SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education
Thursday, March 10, 2011, 8:30-10:00AM
In 1995, my research team and I decided to create TeachScheme!, an
educational outreach project, with the hope that our work on programming
languages could effect a dramatic change in K-12 computer science.
Specifically, we envisioned a virtuous cycle of two mutually reinforcing
ideas. On the one hand, we would create a design-oriented curriculum path
from middle school through college. On the other hand, our approach would
help kids with learning school mathematics. Hence a course on programming
would benefit every student, not just those who end up choosing computer
science as a college major. At this point, we have a new design-oriented
curriculum; a pedagogic program development environment to make it fun;
and a series of matching programming languages. After focusing at the
overlap between high schools and colleges at first, we now use
after-school programs to move upstream, and we are working on two major
downstream courses for the second semester in college: one on
object-oriented design and another on logic in program design.
My talk will focus on just one aspect of the project: the design-oriented curriculum and its smooth path from middle school to college. I will first demonstrate how to teach an intellectually interesting and fun course on programming with something that looks like plain school mathematics. For the rest of the talk, I will sketch the path from there through college.
Bio: Matthias Felleisen obtained his PhD ('87) from Daniel P. Friedman who also pointed him in the direction of a professorial career. He then spent the next 15 years at Rice University in Houston, including long and short sabbaticals at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh) and Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris). In 2001, he took on a position at Northeastern University in Boston and moved his entire team there. Felleisen and his distributed PLT team conduct research on all aspects of programming languages: design, implementations, and applications. On the side, they also run TeachScheme!, an educational outreach project. Over his 25-year career, Felleisen co-authored six books. As a PhD student, he revised his adviser's "Little LISPer" (MIT Press), which is still in print in its 35th year of existence. The two of them also wrote "A Little Java, A Few Patterns". With some of his own PhD students, Felleisen produced "How to Design Programs" (MITP, 2001) and "Semantics Engineering" (MITP, 2009).
A Computer Scientist Goes to Washington: How to be Effective in a World Where Facts are 10% of the Equation
Friday, March 11, 2011, 8:30-10:00AM
Government's role in computer science is much larger than funding agencies. Digital rights management, net neutrality and cybersecurity are hot topics in Washington, hot topics where regulation or legislation may have major impact on the computer systems we develop and enjoy. Yet the rules governing DC are very different than the rules that govern science and engineering, and learning how to operate in a world where facts are only ten percent of the equation can be a challenging experience for someone more accustomed to proving theorems and building systems. I'll describe what it takes for a nerd to be effective in the world of government, and give some specific examples in the hot area of cyberwar.
Susan Landau's book "Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies" (MIT Press) will be appearing in spring 2011, and she will be spending 2010-2011 as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. From 1999-2010 Landau was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, where she worked on security, cryptography, and policy, including surveillance and digital-rights management issues. Landau is coauthor, with Whitfield Diffie, of "Privacy on the Line: the Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption"" (MIT Press, original edition: 1998; rev. 2007), and author of numerous computer science and public policy papers, as well as op-eds on cybersecurity and encryption policy. She is a member of the National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, serves on the advisory committee for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and on the CSIS Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency. She received her PhD from MIT, her MS from Cornell, and her BA from Princeton.
Three Human Computation Projects
Saturday, March 12, 2011, 12:30-2:30PM
At the height of its construction, 44,733 people worked on the Panama
Canal. The Great Pyramid of Giza required 50,000 workers and the
Apollo Project 400,000. No matter what you put on this list,
humanity’s largest achievements have been accomplished with less than
a few hundred thousand workers because it has been impossible to
assemble (let alone pay!) more people to work together--until now.
With the Internet, we can coordinate the efforts of billions of
humans. If 400,000 people put a man on the moon, what can we do with
100 million? My research aims to develop theories and build computer
systems that enable massive collaborations between humans and
computers for the benefit of humanity. I am working to develop a new
area of computer science called human computation, which studies how
to harness the combined power of humans and computers to solve
problems that would be impossible for either to solve alone.
In this talk I will discuss several examples of my work in human computation, including reCAPTCHA, The ESP Game, and Duolingo. I have used these projects in many of my courses to illustrate state of the art concepts in computer science.
Bio: Professor Luis von Ahn works in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. He also works for Google after the acquisition of his company reCAPTCHA. His current research interests include encouraging people to do work for free, as well as catching and thwarting cheaters in online environments. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship, and a Sloan Research Fellowship. He has been named one of the 50 Best Minds in Science by Discover Magazine, one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business of 2010 by Fast Company Magazine, one of the "Brilliant 10" scientists of 2006 by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 50 most influential people in technology by Silicon.com, and one of the Top Innovators in the Arts and Sciences by Smithsonian Magazine.