The University of Arizona

Events & News

CS Colloquium

DateTuesday, April 12, 2016
Time11:00 am
Concludes12:15 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
DetailsPlease join us for coffee and light refreshments at 10:45am, Gould-Simpson, 9th Floor Atrium

Faculty Host: Dr. Michelle Strout
SpeakerChris Wilcox
AffiliationColorado State University

Redesigning Our Introductory CS1 and CS2 Courses

Computer Science departments must continually revisit curriculum to ensure that content is up to date. In addition to teaching current languages and techniques, we should strive to incorporate the most effective pedagogic techniques available. As a further challenge, these concerns must be addressed in the context of rapidly growing enrollments in undergraduate Computer Science courses. My presentation focuses on an ongoing redesign of our introductory CS1 and CS2 courses. Topics include course format (language selection, lab activities, programming assignments, textbook usage), organizational concerns (handling rapid growth, staffing of adjuncts, partnering with tenured faculty), automated processes (automated grading, course websites, online resources), pedagogic techniques (inverted classroom, peer instruction, pair programming), and promoting diversity (K-12 outreach, coding clubs and summer camps, redesigning projects for relevance, creating community).


Chris worked in industry for more than 25 years at companies including Evans and Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, 3dfx, and nVidia Corporation before returning to school at CSU in 2006. After finishing his doctorate in 2012 he moved into a teaching position at CSU, where he teaches primarily freshman and sophomore level courses. His current research interests are in Computer Science education, with an emphasis on automated grading.