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Colloquium - Schanzer

Bootstrap: Functional Programming as a Vehicle for Algebra
Emmanuel Schanzer
Harvard University

When we teach computer science, we struggle to define it, to justify it relative to other curricula, and to make it so that teachers have the content knowledge required to teach it. Many people naively assume that "Programming is like Math", and expect magically higher grades from students who've taken a class in Java, Scratch or Python. Unfortunately, this assumption is far from accurate.

In a world of high-stakes testing, we can no longer pretend the word "function" means the same thing to algebra teachers and programmers. If we truly wish to help students in algebra, we need to re-think the foundations of what programming we teach. In his talk, I will explore the literature and current research in the field of algebra education and programming. I will also introduce Bootstrap, a standards-based curriculum for high-need school students, which teaches them to program their own video games using purely algebraic and geometric concepts. Find out how students at Boulder are getting involved with Bootstrap, to bring functional programming to local high schools.

Hosted by Sriram Sankaranarayanan.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)