Friday, December 9, 2011

CS Ed Week: Reflections on a busy week

Once again, we've reached the end of CSEdWeek, and I'm pushing to get this post in before it's over.

I attended two blogworthy public events this week. On Monday, I went to the Indiana Historical Society's Annual Founders Day Dinner and Awards celebration, along with my collaborator Ronald Morris and our Dean, Michael Maggiotto. The College of Sciences and Humanities at Ball State University was awarded the Outstanding Project of the Year award for Morgan's Raid.

Among the other recognized individuals and organizations were eight Centennial Businesses, Indiana companies celebrating 100 years of operation. Not surprisingly, none of these were software development companies. However, I'm willing to wager that all of them now rely upon software for their daily operations. In 2111, will they be looking back at 100-year-old software development shops?

Wednesday was the BSU Building Better Communities Project Showcase, where about twenty student teams showed how they worked with faculty mentors and community partners. Several of my students were there to demonstrate the Digital Archaeology Simulation project. A poster provided the background and rationale for the project, and the software is still under development by Emerging Technologies. A prototype was available, and while I didn't take the opportunity to run the latest build, several passers-by told me that they were quite impressed. Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora spent a few minutes with members of the team to talk to them about their work—a great opportunity for the students to show some of their best work (even if the photo is rather poor).

This week was also the final project presentations in CS222: Advanced Programming. Each team of four had to pitch a project and complete it in six weeks, with two three-week milestones. Several of the teams impressed me with their hard work and dedication, investing significant amounts of their own free time in order to create the most impressive systems they could.

Rather than make any grand conclusions, I think the best way to close this post is to say that I have a great job. My students rise to the challenges I set before them. They appreciate learning how to learn, and they respect the fact that I respect them. We all get a bit stressed this time of year, but it feels good at the end of a busy week to reflect on all the great learning experiences I have had with my students this year. Thanks to my students for sticking with me, for trusting me even when my methods are unconventional.

Happy CS Ed Week.

No comments:

Post a Comment