This talk will bring together the common themes of three presentations
from recent SIGCSE conferences aimed at improving computer science
* "Passion, Beauty, Joy and Awe : Making Computing Fun Again" panels
* A collection of great (but often overlooked) teaching tips
* The best practices and lessons learned from surveying the
introductory courses at the top 25 CS programs in the US
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own teaching tips to share, as
well as any "Big Ideas" for improving computer science education globally.
Dan Garcia is a Lecturer with Security Of Employment (SOE = "tenured"
teaching faculty) in the Computer Science Division of the EECS
Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined the
Cal faculty in the fall of 2000. Dan received his PhD and MS in
Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2000 and 1995, and dual BS
degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1990.
He is active participant in SIGCSE (having presented every year since
2001), and is currently working with the Ensemble computing portal
project. He serves on the ACM Education Board, the Advanced Placement
Computer Science Principles Advisory Board, and is the faculty
co-director for BFOIT, a wonderful Berkeley K-12 outreach effort.
He has won all four of the department's teaching awards:
* the Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002,
* the Information Technology Faculty Award for Excellence in
Undergraduate Teaching in 2004
* the EECS outstanding graduate student instructor award in 1998, and
* the CS outstanding graduate student instructor award in 1992.
He was also chosen as a UC Berkeley "Unsung Hero" in 2005. He recently
earned the highest teaching effectiveness ratings (6.7/7) in the
history of the department's lower-division introductory courses.
He has taught (or co-taught) courses in teaching techniques, computer
graphics, virtual reality, computer animation, self-paced programming
as well as the lower-division introductory curriculum.
He is currently mentoring over seventy undergraduates spread across
four groups he founded in 2001 centered around his research, art and
development interests in computer graphics, Macintosh OS X
programming, computational game theory and computer science
education. He recently co-developed a computing course for all
freshman engineers, as well as a full course renovation of the
venerable introductory computing course for non-majors, "CS10 : The
Beauty and Joy of Computing". This redesign earned a "Bears Breaking
Boundaries" curriculum design award, a Lockheed Martin broadening
participation grant, and was chosen as one of five national pilots for
the new Advanced Placement Computer Science : Principles course.
On the fun side, he can dance DDR level 7, play the harmonica, juggle
5 balls, score in the low 90s on the links, spin things on his finger
and knows all the words to many old-school raps, stand-up comedy bits
and Monty Python sketches. He also has a collection of several hundred
game and puzzle books, and terribly enjoys sharing good brain teasers
or playing any one of his many exotic board games with students who
drop by during open office hours. Don't get him started telling jokes...
His wife Tao is also a UC Berkeley Computer Science alumni, and is
finishing up her PhD at the University of Melbourne in the CUBIN
centre (remotely, thankfully!). They have a 5-yo son Yuan (pronounced
like U.N.) and a 2-yo daughter Talia (pronounced like "Italia"
without the "I").