Pearson Computer Science Authors Share Prestigious Education Award

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Husband-and-Wife Team Mark Guzdial and Barbara Ericson Honored with Association for Computing Machinery’s 2011 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

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Mark Guzdial and Barbara Ericson, authors of Pearson’s Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python, A Multimedia Approach, 2/e, and Introduction to Computing and Programming with Java: A Multimedia Approach, 1/e, have received the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2011 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, sponsored by Prentice Hall, a business of Pearson.

Guzdial and Ericson created the Media Computation (MediaComp) approach to introductory computer science, which motivates students to write programs that manipulate and create digital media, such as pictures, sounds, and videos. Now in use in nearly 200 schools around the world, this approach attracts students not motivated by classical algorithmic problems addressed in traditional computer science education.

The duo is also the driving force behind Georgia Computes!, a nationally recognized program designed to enhance computing instruction throughout Georgia’s primary and secondary schools. The program is one of the National Science Foundation’s “Broadening Participation in Computing” alliances and has been copied by other states looking to make advances in computer science education.

“Our work has been about making computing more accessible to a broader audience, by teaching computing in terms of how people want to use computing--a ‘context’ for using computing,” said Guzdial, “and we are honored to be in the company of previous Karlstrom Award winners.”

“’Media computation’ is about teaching computer science as a tool to support expression and communication, and we've shown that this approach attracts students to computer science,” Ericson added. “In particular, we were excited to see that women and students from under-represented minority groups really liked these ideas, so media computation became a starting point for our efforts to broaden participation in computing across the state.”

The Karlstrom Award, named for Karl V. Karlstrom, a long time Pearson computer science editor, is presented annually by the ACM to an educator “recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies, or effecting new curriculum development or expansion in computer science and engineering, or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of the ACM.” In 1983 Karlstom received the ACM’s Excellence and Achievement Award for his contributions to furthering the field of computer science.

About the Authors
Mark Guzdial, professor in the Georgia Tech College of Computing’s School of Interactive Computing, received his Ph.D. in education and computer science (a joint degree) in 1993 from the University of Michigan, where he developed Emile, an environment for high school science learners programming multimedia demonstrations and physics simulations. He was the original developer of the CoWeb (or Swiki), which is now one of the most widely used wiki engines in universities around the world.

Barbara Ericson, director of CS outreach in the Georgia Tech College of Computing, earned her M.S. in computer science in 1986 from the University of Michigan, three years after earning her B.S. from Wayne State University. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 1998, she worked as a software engineer for NCR, Clark Atlanta University, the Institute of Paper Science & Technology, and General Motors Research Labs.

About Pearson
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global reach and market leading businesses in education, business and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).

Media Contact:
Rod Granger
(800) 745-8489


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