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2024
04-22

New Book on Effective Computer Science Education (“Wirksamer Informatikunterricht”)

Wirksamer Informatikunterricht
I have edited a book containing 20 interviews with 21 Computer Science teachers and didactics professors from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland on how to teach Computer Science at different levels of K–12 education. The German book has just appeared in “Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.”

Contributions are from Armin Barth, Andreas Bollin, Dirk Bongartz, Bernhard Brunner, Jens Gallenbacher, Susanne Grabowski, Mareen Grillenberger, Juraj Hromkovič, Tobias Kohn, Peter Micheuz, Corinna Mößlacher, Arno Pasternak, Alexander Repenning, Marianne Rohrer, Patric Rousselot, Carsten Schulte, Bernadette Spieler, Jacqueline Staub, Jörg Steinhäuser, Jan Vahrenhold, and Nils van den Boom.

The interviews all contain the same 10 questions that address both opportunities and challenges of having Computer Science as an integral part of K–12 curricula. I conclude with a summary of common themes and differences in the interviews. Surprisingly, there is a lot agreement with respect to many of the central topics such as the importance of computational thinking or how Computer Science can contribute to general education.

2024
03-30

Swiss Day for Computer Science Education 2024

STIU 2024The 13th Swiss Day for Computer Science Education (“Schweizer Tag für Informatik­unterricht”, STIU) takes place on June 12, at ETH.

STIU 2024

We again have the privilege of hosting a number of computer scientists and educators from all around the world that offer a total of 16 workshops focussing on new and time-tested approaches towards teaching core concepts of Computer Science, introducing new insights and tools, etc. For instance, the by now Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit Tim Bell will give a workshop on where students are encountering CS concepts in their everyday life.

As in the last two years, the finals of the Swiss CS Beaver Competition together with the award ceremonies will be a part of STIU.

What's more, we will award the rector's STEM prize and the ABZ medal of honor to individuals and institutions that have made a special contribution to sustainable Computer Science education.

Registration is now open.

2024
03-20

Interview about Computer Science as a School Subject with Juraj Hromkovič and Walter Gander

As mentioned earlier, the school subject Computer Science will receive another upgrade in Switzerland, starting from August 2024 and being rolled out over the next couple of years. So far, it is a so-called obligatory subject (“obligatorisches Fach”); as a future basic subject (“Grundlagenfach”) the grade will appear on the final “Matura” certificate just as the other STEM subjects, languages, or history.

What's more, schools can now decide to offer Computer Science as a focus subject (“Schwerpunktfach”), which means a strong increase in lessons. The curricula have are currently worked out.

Walter Gander, Dennis Komm, Juraj Hromkovič

Walter Gander, Juraj Hromkovič, and I gave an interview on the history, present, and past of the subject.

2024
02-02

Special Issue of Informatics in Education Dedicated to Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth
Niklaus Wirth passed away on January 1, just a few weeks before his 90th birthday. His contributions to Computer Science education, in particular making programming accessible to non specialists, cannot be stressed enough. But it has been tried: he rightfully received the Turing award in 1984 “for developing a sequence of innovative computer languages, EULER, ALGOL-W, MODULA, Oberon,” and for us as educators probably most importantly – Pascal.

In his memory, Juraj Hromkovič and I edit a special volume of Informatics in Education. We welcome all submissions that deal with programming languages designed for educational purposes. The abstract deadline is February 20.

2024
01-16

Introducing WebTigerPython (WebTigerJython 3)

WebTigerPythonThe third version of WebTigerJython will now rightfully carry the name “WebTigerPython” and is available in beta at webtigerpython.ethz.ch from now on. I am very excited about this release, in which we incorporated much of the feedback, we received from educators over the last couple of years.

With finally transitioning from Skulpt to Pyodide as the underlying technology, we can utilize the full power of Python 3. At the same time, the key features that make up TigerJython have been kept (that is, reimplemented from scratch for the most part). Moreover, more functionality was added such as support for educational robotics. In a nutshell, WebTigerPython comes with:

  • Full functionality of Python 3.11
  • Enhanced error messages
  • Improved display in the browser, especially on portable devices
  • Turtle graphics with both the gturtle-module and the standard Turtle module, as well as the repeat-loop (Example)
  • Robotics (via USB) with micro:bit/Maqueen and Calliope/Calli:bot
  • Support for modules like numpy, sympy, matplotlib, etc. (Example)
  • Support for mouse (Example) and keyboard (Example) events

For smooth usage, we recommend using a Chrome-based browser (currently, other browsers do not support WebUSB, which is needed for controlling the robots).

The old version can of course still be accessed at webtigerjython.ethz.ch.

2023
11-30

Open Position as Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)

Open position as assistant professor (tenure track)ETH's department of Computer Science announced an opening for an assistant professorship (tenure track) in Theoretical Computer Science.

We implement a tenure track system equivalent to that of other top international universities.

If you have any further questions, contact me directly.

2023
11-09

Computer Science Beaver Competition 2023

The Computer Science Beaver competition started on November 6 and will be open until November 17, so there is still time to sign up. So far it seems like the number of participants increased once more – in particular in the Suisse Romands.

Statistics of Computer Science Beaver

For Ukrainian children in Switzerland, the organizers offer the opportunity to participate directly in the Ukrainian “Bober” in their national language. This offer is well used despite the extra effort on the part of the teachers.

As in the last two years, the finals will be colocated with STIU.

2023
11-04

New Textbook “Algorithmen und künstliche Intelligenz”

The third book of the series “Informatik für Maturitätsschulen” has now been published by Klett and concludes the series.

Algorithmen und künstliche Intelligenz

The book is for secondary schools and contains a basic introduction to algorithm design techniques and data structures such as linked lists, binary trees, and hashing; the former two are also implemented in Python. What's more, essential first pinciples of articificial intelligence are introduced, and it is discussed what it means for an algorithm to “learn.” The book presents the third one in the series “Informatik für Schweizer Maturitätsschulen.”

2023
10-14

Keynote at VIScon 2023

VIScon 2023ETH's VIS is the official Association of Computer Science Students at ETH Zurich, established already in 1984. Among the many amazing activities that VIS organizes is the annual VIScon with its goal to take participants “on a journey to explore what lies beyond the lecture halls.” A significant part of the event is hackathon that lasts three days, this year from October 20 to October 22.

I am happy and honored to give a talk about Computer Science at schools in Switzerland on October 21.

2023
10-03

Keynote at Constructionism 2023

The Constructionism Conference 2023 will take place at Columbia University in New York. I am excited to give a keynote “A spiral curriculum of Constructionist ideas” about some recent developments in Switzerland and beyond.

Constructionism 2023

The conference is colocated with FabLearn 2023.

2023
09-24

Keynote at EPFL–ETH Zurich Doctoral Program in the Learning Sciences

JDPLS
EPFL and ETH Zurich organize a common program for doctoral students in the interdisciplinary field of the Learning Sciences: the EPFL–ETH Zurich Doctoral Program in the Learning Sciences (JDPLS).

On September 22, I had the pleasure to give a keynote “Computer science education – where we come from, stand, and go” at the JDPLS summer school in Murten. I sketched the current state of Computer Science Education and its history, together with an outlook on what it may look like in a couple of years. My main takeaway message is: a lot has been done, but we live in pioneering times where even more remains to be done.

2023
08-19

Creativity and Critical Thinking in Computer Science

PrimalogoOn September 5, I will be giving a talk about creativity and critical thinking in Computer Science education at the University of Basel. I will present a few examples of how to implement these two aspects especially in Computer Science lessons in primary school.

The event is organized by Primalogo who, in cooperation with our ABZ, organizes Logo and computational thinking classes for 5 and 6 graders in Basel.

The talk will be held in German.

2023
07-10

New Basic Subject Computer Science

On June 28, the Matura Recognition Ordinance promoted Computer Science to basic subject. With this, it will count towards Matura. The bigger picture is that now Computer Science is a fixed part of the whole K–12 curriculum in Switzerland.

2023
06-30

Some Thoughts on the School of the Future

What will school look like in ten or twenty years? What roles do language models and Chatbots play, and how do teachers react if they suspect that a student used them for their homework? In an interview with PH Graubünden I tried to provide my thoughts on these and some related questions.

2023
05-28

Swiss Day for Computer Science Education 2023

STIU 2023The twelfth Swiss Day for Computer Science Education (“Schweizer Tag für den Informatik­unterricht”, STIU) takes place on June 21, at ETH. Teachers of all levels can pick two of twelve workshops focussing on new approaches towards teaching core concepts of Computer Science, introducing new insights and tools, etc.

For the first time my group and I will organize the event. Just as last year, the finals of the Swiss CS Beaver Competition together with the award ceremonies will be a part of STIU.

2023
05-18

Article in Klett's Rundgang

Klett Rundgang
The Swiss Klett Verlag interviewed Juraj Hromkovič and me for the magazine “Rundgang.” We had an informal chat about Computer Science education in Switzerland, about the things that have been accomplished in recent years, and about the challenges that remain.

The bottom line is that none of us will be bored in the near future—which is good news, of course.

2023
04-23

We are hiring

Open position as senior scientistETH's Center for Computer Science Education (ABZ) is hiring. We are looking for a new colleague, who can support us with

  • creating teaching material,
  • organizing and teaching outreach activities, and
  • research in CS education and related fields.

Candidates should hold a PhD in a STEM field and have a strong background in both Computer Science and Computer Science Didactics.

The position is fulltime and funded for one year, with the possibility of being extended.

Applications including a motivation letter, CV, list of publications, and short research and teaching statement can be sent to me directly via email until May 10.

2023
04-19

WiPSCE 2023

I am in the program committee of WiPSCE 2023 taking place in Cambridge from September 27 to 29, 2023.

We invite you to submit a paper, report, or poster for the 18th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE 2023) and to join us in Cambridge, England.

Research in primary and secondary computing education is a young field with strong ties to national educational systems. Nevertheless, its theories, methods, and results are internationally applicable and of interest to researchers and practitioners in the field. WiPSCE aims at improving the exchange of research and practice relevant to teaching and learning in primary and secondary computing education, teacher training, and related research.

Accepted papers will be published in the WiPSCE 2023 proceedings as part of the ACM International Conference Proceedings Series.

2023
03-29

Workshop “Meitli programmieren” at “Informatiktage 2023”

InformatiktageThere is little about my job that I enjoy more than teaching (there is a small number of things on par, however). And while I do not have a particular kind of favorite audience or content, exciting young students for Computer Science is one of the most rewarding things I do.

At this year's “Informatiktage” I had both the priviledge and the pleasure to work with girls of grades 5 and 6.

I should have known, but I was still taken by surprise about how quick they would grasp basic programming concepts. What a great experience to with such bright “Meitlis”!

2023
03-23

Open Position as Senior Scientist (Focus Education)

Open position as senior scientist (focus education)ETH's department of Computer Science announced two openings for senior scientists with focus on education.

Being a senior scientist at ETH comes with a lot of academic freedom. Besides being responsible for courses of (typically non-major) Bachelor and Master programmes, there is room to implement ones own ideas, for instance, with respect to research. You would be joining an amazing team that is in integral part of the department.

2023
01-11

Informatiktage 2023

InformatiktageThis year's “Informatiktage” take place from March 27 to April 1. This time, I will give two introductory programming workshops, one for girls of grades 5 and 6, and one for everyone of grades 7 to 9.

There are other offers for both individuals and school classes. It is a good idea to browse the website and have a look at the many intersting offers.

2022
11-20

Open Position as Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)

Open position as assistant professor (tenure track)ETH's department of Computer Science announced an opening for an assistant professorship (tenure track) in Educational Technology. nt has an outstanding reputation (ranked number 4 worldwide, in the most recent Times Higher Education Ranking) and continues to put strong an emphasis on education.

We implement a tenure track system equivalent to that of other top international universities.

If you have any further questions, contact me directly.

2022
11-15

Computer Science Beaver Competition 2022

The Computer Science Beaver competition started on November 7 – open to any students of grades 3 to 13, who are interested in Computer Science. It is quite amazing to see that participation in Switzerland is larger than ever. If you (or your class) has not yet signed up, there is still time until November 18.

We again plan to have the finals colocated with STIU.

2022
10-18

Computational Thinking in “Bildung Schweiz”

Bildung SchweizThe October issue of “Bildung Schweiz” features an article on computational thinking. Together with Tamara Piker, a former student of our CAS program, I had the opportunity to talk a little about the importance of this concept an its broad applicance with respect to the classroom.

2022
09-30

Open Position within ABZ's Promotion of Gifted Students

The Center for Computer Science Education (ABZ, “Ausbildungs- und Beratungszentrum für Informatik­unterricht”) is very active in the promotion of gifted students. We are currently designing teaching material for students around the ages of 13 to 18 with a focus on Python programming. To this end, we are looking for someone to support us with designing and testing the material.

The part time position is funded for half a year; starting early 2023.

If you are interested, you may consider sending a cover letter and your CV to Elizabeta Cavar until November 10.

2022
08-09

i-CAMPs 2022

This year's i-CAMPs took place from August 2 to August 5 at PH Graubünden in Chur. As always there were three different groups for students of different ages (roughly the three “Zyklen” of obligatory school). This time, the oldest students (roughly grades 7 to 9) used Python to program the Calliope and Callibot.

Below are some visual impressions of the workshop.

i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur
i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur
i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur i-CAMPs Chur

2022
06-02

Pizza, Philosophy, and Science

On June 23, I will be giving a small talk about complexity theory aimed at a general public as part of the series “Pizza, Philosophy, and Science” organized by Reatch. There is a maximum of 30 participants, and the talk will take place a ETH's main building – a subsequent discussion will be accompanied by pizza.

The talk will be held in German.

2022
05-20

Swiss Day of Computer Science Education 2022

STIU 2022This first Swiss Day of Computer Science Education (“Schweizer Tag für den Informatik­unterricht”, STIU) after the Corona interruption takes place on June 8, at ETH. This year's edition is rather special: For the first time in the history of the Swiss CS Beaver Competition (with almost 37000 participants in 2021), we are holding the final of all age groups with corresponding award ceremonies as part of STIU.

Besides that — and as usual — teachers will find a selection of exciting workshops on Computer Science lessons for all age categories from kindergarten to high school, that is, all of K–12. As a highlight for all visitors, throughout the event Jens Gallenbacher's exhibition “Abenteuer Informatik” can be visited — with him as personal guide. STIU is closed with the award ceremonies of the CS Beaver final and with the honors for Computer Science teaching and for the promotion of STEM teaching.

I will be contributing a workshop on algorithmics in Python for grades 7 to 12.

2022
04-12

Project MINTo the Mountains

The canton of Grisons (“Graubünden”) is – next to being tremendously beautiful and inhabited by some of the nicest people I have ever met – both large and mountainous. As a result, there are some rather small schools at rather remote places. To approach this problem, PH Graubünden owns a dedicated vehicle (the so-called “MINTmobil”) that brings STEM material to these schools. With the project “MINTo the Mountains” we are designing new teaching materials for different STEM subjects.

On April 11, we visited Küblis and programmed the Callibot with the students using Python. We did have some technical difficulties, but overall this first round was very successful. It was a true pleasure to see how quickly the students picked up writing their own code.

MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis
MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis
MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis MINTo the Mountains Küblis
2022
03-17

Project MINTerlink

MINTerlinkLearning and thus teaching is best viewed as a continuous process, which is why I am a fan of spiral curricula. In that spirit, we want to bring together STEM teachers for different levels with the project “MINTerlink”.

Prospect high school teachers assist teachers of primary school, gaining in-class experience while getting a better picture of the background of their future students. Conversely, primary school teachers benefit from assistants with a very strong technical background. Our goal is communication at eye level and a broadened horizon for both parties. Moreover, the lessons learned will be documented, analyzed, and archived.

If you are a K-9 teacher at any Swiss school and would like to participate, you may want to contact Ursina Markwalder who leads the project.

2022
02-02

Randomized Online Computation with High Probability Guarantees

Randomized algorithms for classical (offline) optimization problems are usually assessed by either their expected performance or the performance they achieve with some certain probabilty. Both are closely related due to Markov's inequality: if the algorithm performs well in expectation, repeatedly run it on the same instance and take the best result.

This does not work for online algorithms, because those have one shot only to compute a solution. However, it is indeed possible to use some interesting amplification technique to transform a randomized online algorithm that performs well in expectation to one that performs well with high probability. Basically, you simulate the former and cleverly “restart” it every now and then.

Our paper “Randomized Online Computation with High Probability Guarantees,” in which we do just this, has just been published at Algorithmica (open access). It is actually one of my favorite results.

A huge thanks to my coauthors Rastislav and Richard Královič and Tobias Mömke.

2022
01-21

Informatiktage 2022

Python programming for girlsAre you a girl and would you like to learn about computer programming? You will have the chance at this year's “Informatiktage”. I will be giving a workshop “Python für Schülerinnen” for girls in grades 7–12. Absolutely no preknowledge is assumed, all you need to bring is motivation and being excited about creative problem solving.

Not yet sure? You may want to learn about a particular pioneer with respect to ever programming a computer or another one that came up with one of the first high-level programming languages ever. Notice any similarities?

The workshop will take place on March 29 from 14:00 to 17:00.

2021
11-30

Computer Science Education at PH Graubünden

Open position as PhD studentStarting in autumn 2022, students of PH Graubünden that want to become K–6 teachers will study under a new curriculum, which includes two courses on Computer Science instead of one (like currently). More specifically, there will be a basic course on Computer Science and a second course with its focus on teaching Computer Science interdisciplinarily. Yet another course will be devoted to media sciences so that there is a total of 6 ECTS for the module “Medien und Informatik”.

Being a module, communicating the basic principles as part of other subjects is inevitable — and actually very doable and even fun! The interdisciplinary course will be a joint venture of all departments. I am very happy that we were able to lay the foundation in the last years with our two projects “Algorithmisches Denken in der Primarstufe” and “Grundkonzepte der Informatik interdisziplinär fördern”.

Also starting in 2022, PH Graubünden will offer a new Master program for grades 7–9, in collaboration with PH St. Gallen. Also there, students will have a fair share of Computer Science and its didactics.

2021
10-16

CAS Informatik und Informatikdidaktik 2020

October 1 marked the official end of the first run of our program. We were very happy and proud to hand over the CAS diploma to twelve impressive teachers. It was quite a ride, given that we had to switch to virtual classes more or less right after the kick-off events. Then again, it makes me even prouder to see, what we have accomplished during this year. Besides one participant, who unfortunately had to quit due to a medical condition, everyone passed the program — and with quite remarkable results. There was definitely more than one lesson to learn for us lecturers as well.

CAS Informatik und Informatikdidkatik 2020

Congratulations to all!

We will start with the second run in February 2022. If you are intereseted, you can register directly through the websites below. For any questions, contact me directly.

2021
08-03

Textbook “Programmieren und Robotik”

Programmieren und RobotikOur textbook “Informatik – Programmieren und Robotik” was just published by Klett.

The book is for secondary schools and contains an introduction to programming in Python (TigerJython), starting with the Turtle, moving to strings and lists, and finally robots. It starts at the very beginning, no prior knowledge is assumed. Concepts such as loops, variables, functions, Boolean values are introduced in small steps and with care. Numerous examples are complemented by a large number of exercises (and solutions). Moreover, there is a wealth of advanced exercises (and solutions) available online.

This book is the first of a series of Computer Science books for secondary school what will appear within the next years.

2021
07-14

Computational Thinking in Small Packages

From January 2017 to June 2021, we worked on interdisciplinary teaching units (“packages”) for grades K–9 that allow to foster aspects of computational thinking in different school subjects. This was the result of a collaboration with lecturers of PH Graubünden from all areas. We organized and conducted a large number of workshops for (prospects) teachers, demonstrating how central aspects of Computer Science can be covered in their Math, Language, or even Music classes.

The packages are now freely available online.

2021
06-05

ISSEP 2021

I am in the program committee of ISSEP 2021 taking place in Nijmegen.

The International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives (ISSEP) is a forum for researchers and practitioners in the area of Informatics education, in both primary and secondary schools. The conference provides an opportunity for educators and researchers to reflect upon the goals and objectives of this subject matter, its curricula, various teaching and learning paradigms and topics, as well as the connections to everyday life — including the various ways of developing Informatics Education in schools.

2021
04-02

Congrats Jacqueline!

Jacqueline StaubOn March 22, Jacqueline Staub successfully defended her thesis “Programming in K–6: Understanding Errors and Supporting Autonomous Learning”. One of the results of her work is the online programming environment XLogoOnline, which by now has its firm place in Switzerland's educational landscape and beyond.

Building upon Seymour Papert's famous programming language, Jacqueline's version of Logo is far more than just another implementation. In addition to a text-based environment, there are two block-based versions that allow to foster basic programming concepts such as loops and parameters at a young age. Moreover, the fully bowser-based tool comes with step-by-step code execution, advanced error messages, and many other clever features.

2021
03-21

Workshop at “Informatiktage 2021”

Python for teachersThis year's “Informatiktage” take place online. There will be a wealth of workshops addressing Computer Science topics and how to teach them. I will be contributing a workshop “Python für Lehrpersonen” for highschool teachers.

The workshop will take place virtually on April 13 from 14:00 to 16:30.

2021
03-01

Open Position as PhD Student

Open position as PhD studentI king for excellent candidates to fill an open PhD student position on didactics of Computer Science. The position will be fully funded and in cooperation with ETH Zurich. If you are interested, you can contact me directly via email.

2021
02-02

CAS Informatik und Informatikdidaktik 2020

The SI Magazin (of the Swissinformatics Society) published an interview about our CAS programs for Computer Science teachers.

2021
01-07

Talk at SEN Symposium 2021

SEN Symposium 2021I am excited and honored to be invited to the seventh Dutch national symposium on software engineering (SEN Symposium 2021). I will be giving a talk “A turtle, a snake, and a tiger walk into a classroom...” about Computer science didactics, and in particular misconceptions of young programmers and how to tackle them. The talk we be on February 18 around 16:40.

2020
11-04

OLAWA 2020

The videos of almost all talks are now available on the conference website. Just send me a mail if you need the login credentials.

2020
10-01

We are hiring

Open position as research associateMy group at PH Graubünden is looking for new members. Specifically, I have two openings for research associates. If you are passionate about STEM subjects with respect to both teaching and research, like to work in teams and take responsibility, you may be interested in having looking at the two links below.

2020
09-16

KITE Award Nomination 2020

KITE Award nomination 2020I am very happy and proud to have made it to the finals of ETH's KITE Award 2020 with the project Critical Thinking in Teaching Computer Science basics, handed in with Juraj Hromkovič and Hans-Joachim Böckenhauer. Even more so after seeing the other three excellent projects that made it the finals.

Together with Tobias Kohn and Jakub Zavodny, I was also nominated with a second project Programming Clever Algorithms which basically describes our philosophy behind our course with the same name.

Congratulations to the Department of Environmental Systems Science for their project Environment Problem Solving.

2020
05-21

OLAWA 2020

In August 2020, I will be chairing a MFCS satellite workshop Online Algorithms with Advice and Related Models.

In computational complexity, advice commonly refers to side information supplied to an algorithm. In this workshop, we focus on online settings where the online player is given additional information on the yet unrevealed parts of the input sequence. Advice complexity theory studies such scenarios and how this additional knowledge affects the potential output quality. Of particular interest are information-theoretic lower bounds, that is, bounds that do not make any assumptions on the actual information that is supplied, but only on its quantity, and connections to related models such as randomized computations and machine learning.

Online algorithms with advice generalize many known approaches to get a more realistic picture of the hardness of online problems.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers who are interested in the concept of advice algorithms and in particular in connections to the aforementioned randomized algorithms and machine learning theory.

Due to the current situation, the workshop will be fully online. If you wish to attend, please contact me via email. A Zoom link will be sent to you prior to the workshop.

2020
04-08

Weekly Programming Challenge

Together with some colleagues from PH Graubünden, PH Luzern, and ETH Zurich, I am publishing weekly programming challenges for primary and secondary school students.

Weekly programming challenge

For the former, we focus on Logo, while the latter are presented challenges in TigerJython.

2020
02-05

STIU STEM Award

At this year's STIU, the STEM team of PH Graubünden and particularly its rector received the MINT award.

2019
12-16

CAS Informatik und Informatikdidaktik 2020

PH Graubünden and ETH Zurich launch two CAS programs for Computer Science teachers – one for primary school (10 ECTS) and one for secondary school (15 ECTS).

The two programs contain a shared module that deals with Computer Science competencies. There are then two additional modules that deal with the didactics of programming and data science. For primary school, both block- and textbased logo are used as programming languages; for secondary school, we focus on Python. The CAS secondary school additionally contains a module on algorithmics.

No preknowledge is assumed. Successful participation leads to a Certificate of Advanced Studies PHGR ETH.

Registration is possible until the end of April 2020.

2019
11-06

IWOCA 2020

I am in the program committee of IWOCA 2020 taking place in Bordeaux.

Since its inception in 1989 as AWOCA (Australasian Workshop on Combinatorial Algorithms), IWOCA has provided an annual forum for researchers who design algorithms for the myriad combinatorial problems that underlie computer applications in science, engineering and business. Previous IWOCA and AWOCA meetings have been held in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, UK, and USA.

IWOCA 2020 will take place in Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux is located in the South West of France and is easy to reach by plane and by fast train (TGV). The region is famous for its wines and its gastronomy. The city centre of Bordeaux is classified at the Unesco World Heritage.

2019
10-22

Lecturers at D-INFK

Recently, a Spotlights article “A passion for teaching” about the senior lecturer group of ETH's Department of Computer Science which I am part of has been published.

Lecturers at D-INFK
2019
09-05

ARDA 2019

The workshop is now over, and we are very happy with the results. There were ten extremely interesing talks (in three sessions) introducing new models models and techniques revolving around reoptimization and dynamic algorithms.

Many thanks to the program committee and the session chairs Henning Fernau, Thomas Erlebach, and Tobias Mömke for the excellent collaboration. Below are some visual impressions of the talks.

Tobias Mömke
Tobias Mömke
Elisabet Burjons
Elisabet Burjons
Henning Fernau
Henning Fernau
Davide Bilò
Davide Bilò
Thomas Erlebach
Thomas Erlebach
Dennis Fischer
Dennis Fischer
2019
08-12

i-CAMPs 2019

From August 5 to August 9, PH Graubünden organized the second i-CAMPs in Flims. There was a total of more than 80 students of grades 3 to 9 (ages 9 to 15) from different schools. The goal was to teach them basic robotics on three different levels. My team (from PH Graubünden, ETH, PH Bern, and the University of Cambridge) took care of the oldest students, who programmed Lego's EV3 robot using Python (that is, TigerJython). We were extremely happy with the results.

Below are some visual impressions of the workshop.

i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims
i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims
i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims i-CAMPs Flims
2019
07-15

ARDA 2019

The program for ARDA 2019 has now been compiled and published. It consists of ten invited talks, which will be given in three sessions Reoptimizartion, Dynamic Algorithms and Neighborly Help, and Reconfiguration and Temporal Graphs.

Registration to ARDA can be done through the MFCS website; it is possible to register to ARDA only.

2019
07-10

Informatik-Spektrum

Informatik-Spektrum The April volume, issue 2 of Informatik-Spektrum is a special issue on Education and Computer Science (“Bildung und Informatik”). The in print version is now available.

I have contributed three articles that deal with teaching Computer Science at school. “Denn sie wissen nicht, was sie programmieren” coauthored with Tobias Kohn argues that programming should always be taught within the context of the notional machine that is used. “Wie Mathematik und Informatik im Unterricht voneinander profitieren k├Ânnen” written with Urs Hauser and Giovanni Serafini describes examples of where Mathematics and Computer Science can profit from each other; it consists of two parts.

2019
04-25

SOFSEM 2020

I am in the program committee of SOFSEM 2020 taking place in Cyprus.

SOFSEM (SOFtware SEMinar) is an annual international winter conference devoted to the theory and practice of computer science. It presents the latest results and developments in academic and industrial research in leading areas of the field. The first SOFSEM was organized in 1974.

SOFSEM consists of invited talks by prominent researchers, of contributed talks selected from the submitted papers, and of the Student Research Forum. The program is organized in plenary talks and parallel tracks devoted to original research in the selected research areas. SOFSEM has a long-standing tradition of facilitating discussions and collegial interactions. It is well-known for its familiar and inspiring atmosphere and as a meeting place for active and leading computer scientists. SOFSEM is governed by the Steering Committee.

SOFSEM is a track — based conference. It features the traditional track on foundations of computer science and a number of other tracks that over the years have evolved to cover and address contemporary important areas, such as artificial intelligence, cryptography, security, verification, data science, knowledge engineering, social computing and human factors, software and web engineering, etc. The proceedings are published in the prestigious ARCoSS (Advanced Research in Computing and Software Science) subseries of Springer — Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series.

2019
03-04

PyCon 2019

I will be giving a workshop on Python and efficiency with Tobias Kohn at PyCon in Bratislava on March 23, 2019. The target audience consists of Computer Science teachers for primary and secondary school. We will be addressing things such as fast exponentiation and implement them in Python.

2019
02-19

ARDA 2019

In August 2019, I will be chairing a satellite workshop Advances in Reoptimization and Dynamic Algorithms at MFCS 2019 in Aachen. Paper submission will open mid-May.

Many practically relevant situations require to solve not only one singular instance of an optimization problem, but a sequence of them. This naturally gives rise to the question of whether the knowledge of a good solution for one instance can be used for facilitating the computation of a good solution for a related instance. Consider, for instance, the maintenance of a train schedule. In case of some local modification, e.g., a station closing down or being newly opened, we do not want to compute a new schedule from scratch, but we want to make use of the old schedule.

Problems like these have been considered from various viewpoints under various names. Analyzing one step of local modification (or sometimes a short sequence of steps) with respect to approximability of a hard optimization problem has been considered under the name of reoptimization. Conversely, dynamic data structures and dynamic algorithms consider an arbitrary sequence of modifications for some (not necessarily hard) problem.

There are many recent approaches bringing substantially new ideas to this field, for example, new techniques to design PTASs for reoptimization problems, robust reoptimization, i.e., making use of approximate solutions for neighboring instances, thus enabling the analysis of multi-step reoptimization, constrained reoptimization, i.e., finding new solutions that are similar to the given old solution, reoptimization in the presence of multiple given solutions to one or more related instances, dynamic algorithms computing exact solutions in the framework of parameterized algorithmics.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from various areas related to reoptimization and dynamic algorithms.

2019
02-02

ISSEP 2019

I am in the program committee of ISSEP 2019 taking place in Cyprus.

The International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives (ISSEP) is a forum for researchers and practitioners in the area of Informatics education, in both primary and secondary schools. The conference provides an opportunity for educators and researchers to reflect upon the goals and objectives of this subject matter, its curricula, various teaching and learning paradigms and topics, as well as the connections to everyday life — including the various ways of developing Informatics Education in schools.

The conference focuses on educational goals and objectives of Informatics or Computer Science as a subject matter in primary, secondary and vocational education and their different realisation in compulsory and voluntary courses.

2018
12-07

Course “Clevere Algorithmen programmieren”

Tobias Kohn, Jakub Závodný, and I have recently started a course for high school students that covers Python programming and basic algorithms and data structures. The target audience are students that want to prepare for programming competitions such as a Olympiad in Informatics, or that think about studying computer science.

Kantonsschule Romanshorn includes visiting our course “Clevere Algorithmen programmieren” part of its Matura Talenta IT.