We’ve reached the end of 2013, and it was a great year for work. As usual I had a new course preparation, but this time I got to develop the class too. There’s a strong need for an accelerated Python course for undergraduates now that it’s the first language of all developers in our college, and having taught the class twice now I think it’s serving its purpose well. I also had a personal best in terms of course evaluations when I took over an ill colleague’s class in the middle of fall quarter. As a Vincent de Paul Professor I created a new committee on the scholarship of teaching and learning that is proving popular with my fellow society members. This was the year that I got more involved in conference organization, serving as the evaluations chair for ITiCSE 2013 and sponsorship co-chair and evaluations chair for SIGITE 2013. I was also elected as the SIGCSE treasurer, something I would have never predicted. The conference evaluations gigs and serving as treasurer has uncovered a passion for number crunching and analysis which makes me look forward to my service tasks more than ever. On the research side of things, I traveled to four conferences, met lots of new people, and enjoyed presenting as much as I always do. I even co-authored a book chapter, something I’ve never done before.
As good as 2013 was though, I’m looking forward to 2014 even more. While I don’t expect to have any new preparations this year, my service and research will keep me occupied. I’ll get to make my first presentation at the SIGCSE Symposium as treasurer, which already has me nervous and excited in equal parts. I’m taking on yet another conference role this year when I serve as the program co-chair for SIGITE 2014. But it’s the research that has me most looking forward to the next year. My projects now focus on only two areas, teaching/learning programming and diversity in computing and gaming, and I can’t wait to see where they take me. As a part of the programming projects I have new collaborations with two colleagues and a graduate student at DePaul and someone at the University of Helsinki, and I’m energized by the possibilities I see there.
I started this blog at the end of 2011 during particularly low period for me and as therapy for some of the sadness I was feeling at the time. The things that have happened in the past two years are much more positive than I could have expected, and the vast majority of them have made me quite happy. Here’s hoping I can say the same thing two years from now.