[SIGCIS-Members] History courses in CS departments

Eric Gade eric.gade at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 10:11:51 PST 2023

Hi Evan,

Unfortunate as it may be, sometimes a good bureaucracy hack is to make an
argument from authority. In this case, Alan Kay has many talks in which he
laments the lack of history in CS education -- to the point where he calls
computing a "pop culture."

Alan is quite passionate about these issues, so it might be the case that
if you reach out to him he'd have some advice or maybe even provide an
endorsement (then your dept would have to argue against the stamp of a
Turing awardee)

On Wed, Feb 15, 2023 at 12:42 PM Evan Koblentz via Members <
members at lists.sigcis.org> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I've been teaching a special topics course in computer history for three
> semesters here at NJIT. The university policy is three semesters maximum,
> then the course must be made permanent or cancelled. So I'm going through
> the process of trying to make it permanent.
> The department administration supports it, but it has to be voted on by
> the rank-and-file faculty, many of whom don't seem to understand the value
> of a history course -- or at least not of a history course in a technical
> department, rather than through our humanities college.
> It would help if I can show them other examples. Can anyone point me
> existing examples of history courses in CS, EE, or other technical
> departments at U.S. universities?
> --
> Evan Koblentz
> New Jersey Institute of Technology
> - Senior Writer, Office of Strategic Communications
> - Adjunct Instructor, Ying Wu College of Computing
> - Faculty/Staff Advisor, NJIT Lego Club
> evank at njit.edu
> (973) 596-3065
> https://web.njit.edu/~evank
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