Paul Stamatiou @Stammy

Universities Combat Decline of CS Majors

Georgia Tech was in the news today, along with other universities, regarding the national decline of students who pick computer science as their major. Georgia Tech was given 1 million by Microsoft to jump-start a new initiative to get students involved with computer science. One such way this is being done is with newer introductory-level classes that teach programming principles with a robot that students buy along with their textbooks.

The key to the class is the design of the robot. It weighs about a pound and is slightly smaller than a Frisbee, sporting three light-detecting sensors and a speaker that can chirp. And at about 75, it's roughly the price of a science textbook.

That sounds a lot more fun than the introductory computer science course I took at Georgia Tech my freshman year, which involved programming in MATLAB (egh) and Java. From my experience, Georgia Tech has always been on the cutting-edge of new curriculum to keep things interesting. As an example, one my CS courses last year involved C programming for the GameBoy Advance as well as an upcoming course that my academic advisor has hinted at being taught with Ruby on Rails.

My current major, Computational Media, has only been around for about 2 years and it's a program no other university currently offers. It's comprised of classes from both the College of Computing and the College of Literature, Communication and Culture to cover everything from straight programming to design, video, web, animation, etcetera. I'm sure other universities will begin to offer such programs in the near future to get students interested in the growing tech field.

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"Universities Combat Decline of CS Majors" by @Stammy