Five working groups will convene during ITiCSE 2005. A working group will consist of five to ten people who share a common interest in one of the five areas described below. Working groups will commence with electronic communication two months before the conference. The working groups will meet at the conference site for the two days before the conference and throughout the conference. Each working group will determine its own meeting schedule.

Working group members, under the direction of their group leader(s) will work intensively for the two months prior to the conference date. The importance of making effective use of this time cannot be overstated. The intention of the working group experience is NOT to produce a meaningful report in five days. The goal is for working groups to work intensively - in a distributed though collaborative fashion - for two months prior to meeting in person in Portugal. The final five days spent at the conference site is meant to be the conclusion of this process.

All working group members are expected to arrive at the conference site three days (June 24th) prior to the conference. For five days, June 25-29, working groups are expected to work in a collaborative fashion to conclude both their research and report writing. The final three days of this period overlap with the conference. You, as a working group member, should feel free to attend talks and other conference activities, although be prepared to spend most of your time on working group activities. All working group members are expected to stay at the conference site until the end of the conference to fulfil your responsibilities to your working group.

Intermediate working group results will be presented to all conference attendees at a conference session. By the end of the conference each working group will have produced a robust draft of a report. Within four weeks the groups will submit a polished version of the report, which will be reviewed, possibly revised, and edited under the supervision of the working group coordinator. Suitable reports will be published in a SIGCSE Bulletin and become part of the ACM Digital Library.

For more information, contact the working groups co-ordinator: Janet Carter <>

Working Groups

WG1 - Development of XML-based Tools to Support User Interaction with Algorithm Visualizations

Thomas L. Naps <>
Guido Roessling <>

Algorithm Visualization seems to be most effective when it is combined with engaging interaction. To make adding interaction elements easier and portable, the Working Group will begin the process of creating a set of design specifications for tools that support portability. The tools will facilitate sharing some of the following types of resources across different AV systems:

  • Graphical primitives
  • Hypertext documents
  • Interactive questions
  • Interactive input generators
  • Content generation libraries

To ensure portability across different AV systems, each of the support tools will present its associated data to the AV systems in XML form. The working group therefore also has to design an XML language for describing the components. After ITiCSE 2005, a team of participants shall begin implementing a parser for this language that converts the XML into an object tree. This object tree can then be encoded in an appropriate way for the set of supported tools. URL of the Working Group:

[WG index]

WG2 - Facilitating student learning through study abroad and international projects

Ursula Fuller <>

Computing professionals increasingly work in globally distributed organisations. They are also significantly affected by the move to IT outsourcing models in which work is taken offshore to countries such as India, Mexico and China, as well as to mainland Europe.

Graduates able to work in more than one country and to cope with the communications barriers involved in trans-national projects will be at an advantage in this job market. Despite this, very few computer science students exploit opportunities for international study. Indeed, figures from the Erasmus student mobility scheme suggest that in the European Union take up is lower among maths and computing students than any other subject area.

The three main ways in which an international dimension can be added to student learning are study abroad, student and teacher exchanges, and joint projects involving virtual collaboration. In the context of computer science education, the main research interest in this area has been in international virtual collaborations. Examples of these reported at ITiCSE in recent years demonstrate that, while joint projects can give students an experience of the benefits and problems of international collaboration, they provide a very limited opportunity to confront and cope with language and cultural barriers.

Lack of information about higher education systems in countries other than our own is a major barrier to these activities, so we will investigate the framework and structures for HE in as many countries as possible, together with the systems they have for promoting student exchanges and study abroad programmes. We will also look to disseminate global examples of good practice in promoting and supporting international learning.

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WG3 - A Seminal Literature for CS Education Research

Arnold Pears <>
Steve Seidman <>

Last year's panel sessions on computer science education research identified several types of contribution to our community and strengthened our belief that CS education research is inherently multi-disciplinary in nature. One topic of discussion has been the ability to anchor our research into the teaching and learning of computer science in a seminal literature of the discipline. This leads immediately to a vital question. In this emerging research area what is the relevant seminal literature?

The intention of the working group is to try in part to answer this question by identifying key contributions in CS education research and the areas that inform CS education research. The working group will discuss what defines CS education research, and try to agree on a core literature that they believe is a "must read" for people working in the area. Outcomes of the working group activity are expected to be a survey report of relevant literature and a detailed annotated bibliography.


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WG4 - A synthesis of the computing disciplines

Gordon Davies <>
Boots Cassel <>

In recent years, the discipline of computing has matured to the point of having distinct sub elements, each of which is developing curriculum recommendations, accreditation criteria, conferences, professional societies and publications.

In particular, five distinct curriculum projects range in status from completed some time ago (Computing Curricula 2001: Computer Science (CS-2001) and IS 2002 Model Curriculum and Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems (IS-2002)), through almost completed as of the writing of this working group proposal, (Computing Curricula 2004: Software Engineering and Computing Curricula: Computer Engineering) to one that will likely be finished in late 2005 or early 2006 (Computing Curricula: Information Technology). More broadly, recent work in the UK to identify the variety of computing related programs currently offered in British universities identified 2,400 distinct program names!

We are proposing a working group on, and seeking input into, a project to keep the family of computing related disciplines together. This project is partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF grant 0338546, Special Project: All in the Family: A unified representation of the computing and information related disciplines), and is being run by a joint task force from several professional societies, with ACM taking the lead.

The goals of the project are to provide a synthesis of all that is meant by the discipline of computing and to provide various ways of organizing and visualizing that synthesis. This project began in late 2003, and got started in earnest in early 2004. We anticipate completing the work late in 2005 or early in 2006.

ITCSE05 provides an opportunity for some members of the group to meet to develop our ideas, and also to meet others who can contribute to the work by involving them in our discussions and to provide feedback to the project from the conference as a whole.

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WG5 - Building a Sense of History: Narratives and Pathways of Successful Computing Educators

Barbara Boucher Owens <>
Vicki L. Almstrum <>
Lecia Barker <>

The primary purpose of this working group is to set the stage for building a collection of narratives about the career pathways computer science educators have successfully followed. This working group will develop a set of interview questions, identify candidate interviewees across the globe for near and long-term work, and articulate the methodological and analytic processes to be followed in capturing career path stories. The overall goal of the work is to identify the factors that led interviewees into computer science education and/or research and kept them in the field. The working group's deliverables will be the interview questions, the analysis procedure description, an initial analysis based on interviews with a pilot group of interviewees, and initial suggestions for how to interest and support future computer scientists in general, but women and other represented groups in particular, throughout their computer science careers as scholars and educators.


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