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UNM Partners with Santa Fe Institute on New Project

October 16, 2012

nm-cs-for-all-button10-16-12 – Two UNM faculty members are co-principal investigators on a new grant to teach computer science at a mid and high school level to teachers.    The million dollar grant will allow the Santa Fe Institute to conduct a course in the spring semester to thirty teachers.  The teachers will learn about complex systems (SFI’s primary research area), model and analyze them using specific modeling techniques.  Next summer UNM will conduct a workshop to teach the teachers simulation and complexity as well as instruction techniques.  They will also learn how to recruit students for the classes.  

The teachers will offer dual credit courses with UNM for students in fall 2013.  UNM computer science professor emeritus Ed Angel says, “These courses will not be the normal entry level courses in computer science because they will use simulation to explore the range of activities that computer science can address.”  Angel says the course curriculum will be constructed to appeal to young women and students who have not been drawn to computer science in the past.

The project is part of a National Science Foundation effort to draw middle and high school students into the area of computer science.  NSF program managers are concerned because universities are graduating a declining number of students in computer science.  This grant is designed to test a new method for attracting students to the discipline.