CSC News

June 02, 2015

Boyer, NC State Receive Google Computer Science Capacity Award

Together with Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC State’s Computer Science Department is the recipient of a Google Computer Science Capacity Award.  The award supports the project titled “Research Triangle Peer Teaching Fellows:  Scalable Evidence-Based Peer Teaching for Improving CS Capacity and Diversity.”
The project hopes to increase computer science retention and diversity by developing a highly scalable, effective, evidence-based peer training program across three universities in the North Carolina Research Triangle.  Dr. Kristy Boyer, assistant professor in the computer science department (pictured at right), is the principal investigator at NC State.  She will be collaborating with Dr. Jeffrey Forbes, associate professor of the practice of computer science at Duke University who is PI of the overall project, and Dr. Ketan Mayer-Patel, associate professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At NC State, Boyer and others will be researching how collaborative dialogue unfolds as students are learning computer science, and they will be using some of the substantial resources provided by Google to better prepare teaching assistants, as Peer Teaching Fellows, for CSC 216 (Programming Concepts-Java).  NC State’s portion of the award for the first year will be approximately $208,000.
One of Google’s goals is to reinforce strategies that support the expansion of high-quality undergraduate computer science programs.  Innovations in teaching and technologies, along with ensuring inclusion and better engagement of women and underrepresented minority students, are necessary in creating inclusive, sustainable educational programs.
To address issues arising from the dramatic increase in undergraduate computer science enrollment, Google launched the Computer Science Capacity Awards program.  For this three-year program, select educational institutions were invited to contribute proposals for innovative, inclusive, and sustainable approaches to address current scaling issues in university computer science programs.
In addition to NC State, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill, the following universities (PI in parentheses) are also recipients of the Google Computer Science Capacity Awards:  Carnegie Mellon University (Dr. Jacobo Carrasquel), Mount Holyoke College (Dr. Heather Pon-Barry), George Mason University (Dr. Jeff Offutt), Rutgers University (Dr. Andrew Tjang), and University of California, Berkeley (Dr. John DeNero).
For more information on the Google Computer Science Capacity Awards, click here.


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