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Getting Ready for SIGCSE 2013

Somewhere I read that I should buy a plane ticket three months before a trip in order to get the best price. If that's right, then I'm almost two weeks overdue in purchasing my plane ticket for SIGCSE 2013, the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education's annual conference, to be held in Denver March 6-9, 2013.

If you've never been to SIGCSE, you should check it out. There always seems to be a little something for everyone involved in CS education: university level CS instructors, K-12 CS teachers, curriculum designers, outreach program coordinators, and teachers who run extracurricular programs in computing.

I've run through the workshop schedule as well as the list of paper sessions, special sessions, and birds-of-a-feather sessions and have made my schedule for the conference. I am particularly excited about this year's offerings and know that taking a few days off of work will be well-worth my time spent away from my students. I'm personally looking forward to:

  • Re-Imagining CS1/CS2 with Android
  • Computing for the Social Good
  • Retention
  • Demystifying Computing with Magic
  • Introducing Testing in Computer Science
  • AP Computer Science: Gridworld to Labs
  • How AP CS A Matches College Courses
  • What Are We Thinking When We Grade Programs?
  • Nifty Assignments
  • Camps and Mobile Computing
  • Embedding CS in K-12 Classes
  • Live Coding
  • Poster Sessions
  • CSTA Birds of a Feathers sessions on chapters and standards
  • Keynote sessions by Henry Walker, Jane Margolis, and Michael Kolling, among others
  • and the exhibits!
  • But more importantly, I'm looking forward to being around like-minded professionals to learn from, collaborate with, and to share experiences with about our trials and tribulations of teaching CS. As a K-12 representative on the conference committee this year, I'm looking forward to see old friends and making new ones. If you attend SIGCSE, I hope you will stop by the K-12 teachers room to make a new friend or two!

    For those K-12 teachers who may not be able to take off three days of school, there is a special rate for a one-day only experience on Friday, March 8. The conference organizers have tried to put sessions on that day which are of most interest to K-12 teachers. For more information about SIGCSE, the conference schedule, and conference fee information, visit:


    For me, it's a Super Bowl type event. Instead of preparing by purchasing the latest, greatest, and biggest flat-screen TV I can find, I'm am planning on purchasing the optimal backpack that will hold my laptop, conference swag, and important handouts comfortably for the duration of the conference.

    But first, I need to buy my plane ticket.

    Ria Galanos
    CSTA 9-12 Representative

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