It’s not exactly breaking news, but there is more evidence that interest in computer science as a major is on the rise. A recent article talked about rising enrollments at the highest-ranked institutions, but our program is also seeing growth. For the first time ever we might offer two sections of the first Python course in the winter quarter. Right now that course is only taken by students with an interest in computer science, either as a major or minor.
This doesn’t mean that we should scale back our efforts at improving computing education though. If nothing else, we need to make sure that we don’t relive the 1980s where interested students left computing and didn’t come back. A good start on understanding the past and what we may be facing the in future are two articles that appeared in the September 2011 issue of ACM Inroads. Eric Roberts and Deepak Kumar both discuss rising computer science enrollments and how we should prepare for them.