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CSE Seminar – Rob Rutenbar, PhD, Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Pittsburgh
September 20 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Rob Rutenbar, PhD
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research University of Pittsburgh
“Taking Computing+Data Wide Across the Curriculum:
The Illinois CS+X Degree Programs”
Abstract: Computer Science has become the most popular major and largest teaching unit on many campuses. This is focusing welcome attention on CS curriculum design: what do we teach, and to whom. The first response to “rising-tide” demand is to go “deep”: more majors, courses, more classroom seats, etc. I will argue this is necessary, but not sufficient. Many students need a solid base of computing+data to address challenges in social science, humanities, policy, business, and the like. But they do not aspire to be computer (or even data) scientists. We need a systematic middle way to take CS “wide” into these diverse disciplines. The University of Illinois CS+X program is a portfolio of novel B.S. degrees, launched in 2014, architected as (Half-CS + Half-X), delivered as a degree in the Dept. of X. Several degrees are now on offer, ranging from CS+Anthropology to CS+Astronomy. The program has surprising traction – for example, one quarter of our Astronomy Dept. is now CS+X, and a dozen more +X degrees are in various stages of design/approval. I’ll talk about how we built the Illinois CS+X program, and where it’s going next. I’ll also briefly summarize a related initiative, the Illinois CS Data Science MS degree, now being delivered on the Coursera MOOC platform.