Curt M. White
Spotlight Trend Tracker SPOTLIGHT
Welcome once again to Spotlight, an ongoing feature that highlights some current trends within the computing education community, formed by
several Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within ACM. One
focuses on computer science education (SIGCSE), and the
other on information technology education (SIGITE). These
SIGs appear in this spotlight.
But before we hear from our SIG reporters, I would like
to mention another group that is in our midst that is also
dedicated 100% to advancing computer education: The
Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) [ 1].
The CCSC has been in existence since at least the 1980s and originally placed an emphasis on computing
in small colleges. Today, the Consortium welcomes educators from colleges of all sizes. In order to present
work and share ideas, the Consortium offers ten regional conferences—Central Plaines, Eastern, Midsouth,
Midwest, Northeastern, Northwestern, Rocky Mountain, South Central, Southeastern, and Southwestern.
Five of the regions offer a fall conference and the other five offer a spring conference. Paper submission procedure is similar to that of SIGCSE and accepted papers are published in the journal of the CCSC. If you
simply can’t make one of the ACM conferences such as SIGCSE, SIGITE, or SIGMIS, you might want to
consider attending a regional CCSC conference. And don’t be surprised if you run into someone you know
from a SIG conference. For more information on CCSC, see [ 1].
And now, a word from our SIGCSE reporter and SIGCSE chair, Susan Rodger.
SIGCSE and its conferences are run by many dedicated volunteers. To the
outside observer everything runs smoothly, so the wrinkles don’t show. Here are some
of the tasks/challenges dedicated SIGCSE Conference Chairs have dealt with behind
the scenes over the years. They may need to calm the attendees for a range of different
reasons from the lighter 1) not enough food shows up at a break, to the heavier 2) when
there are gun shots fired outside one of the conference hotels and all the people staying
at the hotel are escorted to the lobby for an hour to wait while the police check things out. Conference
Chairs may be sweating it out when their keynote speaker hasn’t arrived yet at midnight the night before.
The next morning upon finding out their speaker did arrive at 3 a.m., they call them an hour before their
talk to check in, only to find out they are still asleep. Those conference bags are a challenge every year. The
Conference Chairs may be sweating it out on Christmas Eve checking out a conference bag sample because
the Chinese New Year is going to shut down production and the conference bags won’t arrive in time if they
are not ordered that day. They may have gotten the conference bag to the registration site on time, but didn’t