SIGCSE TS 2021 Keynotes

The 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education is honored to have an amazing group of keynote speakers this year!

Juan E. Gilbert

University of Florida

Opening Keynote - Monday, March 15 / 1:00 PM (ET)

Expanding Opportunities through Research for Societal Impacts

According to the U.S. Census, the United States of America will become a majority-minority country by 2045. As the U.S. experiences this demographic shift, what will happen to computer science? Will our discipline become more inclusive? What shifts will occur in computer science? Computer science does not have a good record addressing its diversity challenges. A simple Google search for ''Silicon Valley's Diversity Problem,'' really makes this clear. Further exploration into data from the Computing Research Association (CRA), shows how underrepresented minority groups are in computing at the Bachelor, Masters, Doctoral, and faculty levels. Can computer science improve its diversity during the demographic shift? Dr. Gilbert believes it is possible to change the demographics in computer science, but it will require a cultural shift in computing along with institutional change, starting with computer science education.

Cary Laxer

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community Keynote - Monday, March 15 / 2:00 PM (ET)

A Lifetime of Learning, A Lifetime of Educating

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher? Apparently for me it was second grade. Teachers were goddesses (I have to use the female noun here since I did not encounter a male teacher until I was in algebra in junior high school.) You respected them, and they knew it all. I wanted to be like that! Nineteen years later, after finishing high school, college, and graduate school, my wish came true. Come with me on a lifetime journey, always learning, always educating. I will share a variety of experiences that helped shape me personally and professionally. Hopefully they will help expand your horizons, offering you insights as to how to become an even better educator.

Stephen H. Edwards

Virginia Tech

SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education Keynote - Wednesday, March 17 / 8:00 PM (ET)

Automated Feedback, the Next Generation: Designing Learning Experiences

Beginning in the 1960s, the first generation of automated pro gram grading tools focused on workflow automation. Automating the processing of student work to increase the speed and accuracy of mechanical steps would reduce the time human graders spend on these tasks, allowing them to be more effective at the more meaningful aspects of grading. After mastering automation, the second generation of autograders focused on assessment—specifically, increasingly better strategies for evaluating the quality and correctness of student work. The last two decades have seen significant work in this area, resulting in a change in terms to ''automated program assessment tools.''

Now, we are beginning to see a new focus emerge, which will lead to a new generation of tools for teaching and learning. While assessing the final product that a student creates is the essence of the ''grading'' task, our goal as educators is not to grade, but to teach. One great benefit of automated program assessment tools is that they provide feedback to students with the aim of helping students to improve their work and to learn. Indeed, the assessment tool and the student form a closed-loop feedback system, and we should not ignore the role the human plays in that system. It is not enough to objectively and accurately assess the work product we must consider how the feedback itself and the way it is delivered affect the student's experience, with the goal of contributing to student learning. The student's experience in receiving feedback can affect their beliefs, their motivation, and their behavior.

Valerie E. Taylor


Closing Keynote - Saturday, March 20 / 1:00 PM (ET)

Increasing Diversity in Computing Education: Lesson Learned

It is recognized that diversity of perspectives results in solutions that serve a broad base. This is critical to the area of computing, which has applications to many areas including science, humanities, finance, as well as foundational work to advance the field of computing. Cultivating an environment that values and promotes diversity, however, is not an easy task. This is especially the case in higher education, with a focus on undergraduate and graduate computing education. In this talk, I will discuss lessons learned from the following CMD-IT programs: University Award, FLIP Alliance, and Academic Careers Workshops. The focus will be on effective strategies and challenges that require community engagement.