UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

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Informatics and Computation Ubiquitous through Baccalaureate Education

Date:

Ongoing

Program Type:

Grant-funded Project

Participation Details:

No participation details specified

Address(es):

Phone:

  • 217-333-4930

Email:

Parent Program(s):

  • Illinois Informatics Institute

Options:

 

Content Area(s):

Description:

Vision

Levels of engagement in computation can be viewed on a continuum, from novice user to "super-techie" programmer. People from any discipline should be able, wherever they are on this continuum, to find courses and programs that move them towards "super-techie" in the context of their interests.

In addition, computation skills are multidimensional; the ability to solve PDEs is very different from the ability to develop social networking software. Unlike other programs, iCUBED's philosophy is not simply to recruit more students at the ground level, nor to change their main interests to computer science, but to cultivate their computational and IT expertise within their chosen field.

Goals

  • Transform undergraduate computer science (CS) and informatics education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to prepare a more diverse and informatics-engaged workforce, including scientists, social scientists, artists, and educators.
  • Transform undergraduate CS/Informatics education in the US to prepare a more diverse and informatics-engaged workforce, including scientists, social scientists, artists, and educators.

The project will demonstrate that a partnership within and across a single campus, with broad buy-in, can address these goals in a natural way. One solution is to form colleges of computing or informatics, such as at Georgia Tech, and create more flexible programs such as their most recent and interesting Threads program. Whether such approaches prove to be effective models can only be seen through the test of time. For most universities though, formation of a new college is a dramatic, expensive change; even creating new departments is a formidable task. The program's view though is that even a flexible program within a college of informatics is less desirable than a single administrative unit interacting with all colleges and departments. The program proposes to show the cost effectiveness, efficacy, and adaptability of such an approach.

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