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Cultural Simulations in Computing Education

Ron Eglash

April 21, 2011
JEC 3117- 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


African American, Native American, and Latino students are under-represented in computing, and have lower rates of college admission in general. Simulations of artistic and craft practices from their heritage cultures-architecture, sculpture, divination, textiles, etc.-can be used as a basis for increasing their scholastic interests. Preliminary work with Culturally Situated Design Tools, a suite of web applets, shows statistically significant increases in both the engagement and performance of these students in math and computing. A new version of these tools, adopting the drag-and-drop scripting interface from MIT's Scratch, allows students to create their own algorithms, and broaden the activities to include gaming and other practices.

Hosted by: Dr. Martin Hardwick

Last updated: March 3, 2011