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Press Release 11-255
NSF Joins in Targeting Educators to Celebrate Computer Science Education Week 2011

Biweekly CS Bits & Bytes will spotlight NSF-funded research and offer teachers and parents student-friendly activities and curriculum ideas

Image of Luis von Ahn holding a laptop blocking his face with an image of his face in the monitor.

Luis von Ahn of Carnegie Melon is CS Bits & Bytes' first featured computer scientist.
Credit and Larger Version

December 5, 2011

In recognition of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) 2011, Dec. 4 to 10, the National Science Foundation (NSF) today began publishing and disseminating CS Bits & Bytes, one-page newsletters spotlighting innovative computer science research.

Computer science is the only STEM--science, technology, engineering and mathematics--disclipine with more job openings than there are college graduates to fill them. Leadership in NSF's directorate for Computer Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is working to address this underproduction problem by promoting ways to make computer science more engaging and acessible in the K-12 arena.

"The CS Bits & Bytes series emphasizes how computer science permeates and improves our lives and supports progress across many other scientific and engineering disciplines," said Farnam Jahanian, NSF's assistant director for CISE. "It is an exciting tool to attract students to computing and information technology."

Each issue of CS Bits & Bytes will describe cutting edge scientific research, link to snapshots, videos and interactive activities and profile a computer scientist from the diversity of individuals who do this inspiring, multidisciplinary work.

To reach the desired middle and high school level audience, NSF is drawing on the expertise of those in its Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Program--comprised of elementary and secondary school math and science teachers around the country serving for a year as NSF fellows.

"The goal is for educators and parents to use CS Bits & Bytes to inspire students to engage in the multi-faceted world of computer science, to become not just users but creators of technology, and to develop the skills to use computation to their own ends, across a wide span of interests and disciplines," said Jan Cuny, NSF program officer for education and workforce.

The first issue of CS Bits & Bytes focuses on human computation. Publication will occur on a biweekly basis and continue through the end of the 2011/2012 academic year, inspiring exploration of such topics as self-driving cars, the creation of new materials, communications technologies and geospatial computing. To receive future issues, please visit NSF's CS Bits & Bytes page.

CSEdWeek was designated by Congress to commemorate the birthday of computing pioneer, Grace Hopper, and to recognize the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels. 

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Janice Cuny, NSF, (703) 292-8900, jcuny@nsf.gov
Ann Drobris, NSF, (703) 292-7329, adrobnis@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

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