Saturday, August 01, 2015

Project will introduce programming skills to secondary students through games

Matthew Berland

Matthew Berland

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(Oct. 28, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin will partner on a three-year, $474,000 National Science Foundation grant to help teach basic computer programming skills to middle school and high school students through computer games on popular hand-helds.

The Programming Standing Up project will be led by Matthew Berland, UTSA assistant professor of interdisciplinary learning and teaching, and Taylor Martin, UT Austin associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

The professors will design a soccer application called IPRO that can be played on an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Students will construct the behavior of a robot player on a virtual soccer field by using a simplified visual programming language that will create programs in less than a minute.

"Many students feel computer science and engineering can be isolating, but this application will allow students to play the game simultaneously and interact socially as they share and build programs together," said Berland. "We are trying to leverage sociality -- really make it inherent to the experience as students work together to build better programs."

Berland plans to build on the local robotic competitions and camps gaining in popularity by introducing IPRO to students in the sixth through 12th grades.

"These students will benefit by learning the core competencies and core concepts of programming at a young age," Berland said. "It would be great if this project could help generate more student interest in the fields of computer science and engineering."

Berland joined UTSA in 2009. He received his doctoral degree in learning sciences from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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The UTSA College of Education and Human Development is the leading provider of educators in the San Antonio area and one of the largest in Texas. Ranked third in the United States as producer of teacher-education degrees for Hispanics, the college is responsible for innovative research and grants in professional development, technology enhancement, health, school readiness, and bi-national and bicultural issues.

 

 

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UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

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Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

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6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

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Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

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Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
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Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

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