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Media Advisory 10-033

Live Online Briefing: Inspiring the Next Bill Gates

During Computer Science Education Week, NSF spotlights computer scientists who make it cool to compute

Photo of a person engaged with a cloth printed circuit board.

MIT's Leah Buechley engages students with her method of creating cloth printed circuit boards, PCBs.

December 3, 2010

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

While American information technology and software companies dominate the world marketplace, there is a gaping hole in formal computer science education. For K-12 students, computer science education is practically nonexistent. The country lacks an adequate pipeline to feed world class computer science university programs throughout the U.S. with the number and diversity of students needed to address future challenges. To recognize the critical role of computing and computer science education in the 21st century, Congress declared Dec. 5 to 11 this year as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek).

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 at 12 noon, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host a webcast featuring Amy Bruckman of Georgia Tech and Leah Buechley of MIT, who are at the forefront of teaching information technologies to the next generation of computer scientists, any one of whom may be the next Bill Gates ... or even computer science pioneer Grace Hopper, whose birthday on Dec. 9, 1906, is recognized in the timing of this event. Rear Admiral Hopper, or "Amazing Grace," is credited with leading the development of the first modern computer language, COBOL, and popularizing the term "debugging."

Students will join Buckman at Georgia Tech to describe how GLITCH, a program that recruits high-school boys to "debug" as game testers has turned them on to computer science. Buechley will demonstrate how E-Textiles at MIT have captured the imagination and honed the computational skills of girls.

Join them, along with CSEdWeek representative Cameron Wilson of the Association for Computer Machinery, for demonstrations and innovative ideas on how to bolster K-12 computer science education.

When:December 7, 2010,12 noon EST
Where:Visit and/or call 888-469-3145 to access the briefing.
How:Passwords are needed to access the briefing and to ask questions during the live event; journalists interested in participating must email to obtain the necessary username and passwords.


Media Contacts
Alexandra Kahn, MIT, email:
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:
Michael Terrazas, Georgia Tech, (404) 385-7225, email:

Program Contacts
Janice Cuny, NSF, (703) 292-8900, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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