[SIGCIS-Members] Computer Science in Higher Education

Roger Johnson rgj at dcs.bbk.ac.uk
Fri Oct 5 14:28:52 PDT 2012

Excuse me if I missed an earlier email but the British Computer Society has published criteria on curriculum content which it applies when accrediting courses. See www.bcs.org<http://www.bcs.org>

Roger Johnson

From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Pierre Mounier
Sent: 05 October 2012 16:43
To: Janet Abbate
Cc: sigcis
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Computer Science in Higher Education

Hello  Janet,
In turn, I am very interested to know about your project. The ACM Curriculum '68, discussed in IFIP committees, contributed to shape computer science curricula in France and certainly in other countries.

Regarding a session at next year's SHOT/ SIGCIS, in addition to Ulf Hashagen and Irina Nikiforova, you might contact these German authors:
- Reuse, B. & Vollmar, R. (ed.) : Informatikforschung in Deutschland. Springer, 2008
- Pieper, C.: Hochschulinformatik in der Bundesrepublik und der DDR bis 1989/1990. Steiner, 2009
- Wolfgang Coy: "Was ist Informatik? Zur Entstehung des Faches an den deutschen Universitäten". In: Hellige, H.-D. (ed.): Geschichten der Informatik, Springer, 2004, 473-497.
[a title which predated "Histories of Computing"!]
There is also a growing scholarship in Italy, yet they are still much concerned with hardware development or business history.
All the best,
Le 5 oct. 12 à 15:52, Janet Abbate a écrit :

Hello Pierre,
I will be very interested to read your article. I am myself beginning a project on computer science in higher education, focusing initially on the ACM computer science Curriculum '68 and Curriculum '78 as efforts to define and standardize computer science in universities.

Unfortunately I will not be at SHOT this year, but I would like to organize a session at next year's SHOT (either SIGCIS or the SHOT conference itself) on academic computer science. I will contact you in the spring after the call for papers comes out to ask if you might be interested in such a session. I believe there are several us working in this area (for example, Ulf Hashagen and Irina Nikiforova) and it would be useful to have a discussion of common themes--as well as culturally specific variants--in the development of university computer science.

best regards,

Dr. Janet Abbate
Associate Professor
Science & Technology in Society
Virginia Tech

On Oct 5, 2012, at 7:07 AM, Pierre Mounier wrote:

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

This is just to inform SIGCIS members, particularly those working on Computer Science in Higher Education, of a paper about to appear :

"Computer Science in French Universities: Early Entrants and Latecomers"

This paper stems from my book *, but goes further to define models of development in an international comparaison perspective.

With cordial salutations, looking forward to meet some of you in Copenhagen,
Pierre Mounier-Kuhn

CNRS & Université Paris-Sorbonne
* http://pups.paris-sorbonne.fr/pages/aff_livre.php?Id=838

Abstract - MOUNIER-KUHN Pierre, 2012, "Computer Science in French Universities: Early Entrants and Latecomers", Information & Culture: A Journal of History, vol. 47, n° 4.

How do new disciplines develop in certain universities, not in others ? What factors shape the geography of science ? The history of computer science in French higher education suggests a model to describe this development and differenciation process.

Computer science stemmed from local configurations associating a school of electrical engineering and a professor of numerical analysis. In the early 1950s, a few professors, who may be characterized as "science entrepreneurs", created three-fold structures, associating courses in applied mathematics and programming, a computing facility and a research laboratory. This initiated a cumulative development process, attracting students, researchers, contracts, funding and powerful machines, and opening the field to novel applications or theoretical investigations. In other universities, these configurations were not completed - typically, they were limited to an assistant and a small computer, so that computing remained confined to technical training.

In the 1960s, the pioneers became the leaders of the new informatics field, hold power positions in learned societies and in science policy committees, and controlled the definition of computer science curricula. As the computing institutes they had created reached considerable size, they began to spin off their junior professors toward other universities, thus still increasing their « radiance ». These centers, like Grenoble, Nancy or Toulouse, remain major academic centers in the discipline today.

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