"The Role of Mathematics in Undergraduate CS & SE Education"
Peter B. Henderson, Head
Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Abstract: Computer science and software engineering are young, maturing disciplines. As with other mathematically based disciplines, such as the natural sciences, economics and engineering, it takes time for the mathematical roots to grow and flourish. The current mathematics requirements for computer science and software engineering majors may not be appropriate, and the mathematics material that is appropriate is not integrated into the courses. Computing Curricula 2001 (CC 2001) and Software Engineering 2004 include discrete mathematics in the core and recommends that this material be covered early. This partly addresses the requirements issue, but not the integration problem.
This presentation will identify and motivate the topics to be included in freshman discrete mathematics, discuss curricula issues, present evidence that teaching discrete mathematics and problem-solving early is beneficial, and discuss ways in which mathematical concepts can integrated and reinforced throughout undergraduate computer science and software engineering curricula.
Bio Sketch: Ph D,
In the spring of 1999 Professor Henderson co-founded the math thinking discussion group (www.math-in-cs.org) that is actively trying to promote the importance of mathematics and mathematical thinking in computer science education. He has served on numerous panels at national conferences, run several National Science Foundation sponsored workshops on teaching foundations of computer science, has been a co-principle investigator of 3 National Science Foundation education grants addressing issues relating to teaching mathematics in the context of computer science. In addition, he chaired the Foundations knowledge area for the software engineering curriculum effort.