Working Group 2

WG2: First Year Programming Projects for Computing for the Social Good

Working group leader: Michael Goldweber, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH USA (

John Barr (Ithaca College)
Tony Clear (Auckland University of Technology)
Renzo Davoli (University of Bologna)
Samuel Mann (Otago Polytechnic)
Elizabeth Patitsas (University of Toronto)
Scott Pornoff (Downtown Magnets High School, Los Angeles)

Computing for the social good (CSG) is an umbrella term meant to incorporate any activity, from small to large, that endeavors to convey and reinforce computing's social relevance and potential for positive societal impact. This approach taps into reported students' desires to pick a major which they believe will allow them to have a positive societal impact; as opposed to the misunderstood belief that computing is boring, tedious, and irrelevant. The goal of this working group is to provide interested computer science instructors with concrete CSG-oriented activities. In particular, the activities will be programming projects suitable for use in the first year computing curriculum.
The plan for this working group is for each selected participant to create, prior to the conference proper, two CSG-based programming projects suitable for first year students. For example, one project might be a polymorphism project while the other may be centered around arrays. The ultimate goal is to provide the computer science education community with a resource enumerating real (class tested?) projects that instead of being centered around puzzles or games, illustrate computing's potential for positive societal impact.