New ‘Threads’ for Computer Science


Responding to the large-scale exodus of students from computer science programs nationwide, the Georgia Institute of Technology is undertaking a fundamental redesign of the curriculum for computer science majors.The new approach replaces the core curriculum with courses that follow "threads" and "roles." Students choose two of eight threads of instruction and tailor their schedules around those concepts. Threads include computational modeling, intelligence, and so on. Many of the courses that compose a student's threads might be taught by faculty outside the computer science department. For the role part of the curriculum, students choose either programmer, entrepreneur, innovator, or communicator, which guides selection of other courses. The hoped-for result is a curriculum that provides the flexibility and breadth that students need to compete in the changing high-tech landscape. Richard DeMillo, dean of the College of Computing, noted that confidence in the job market for computer science graduates is flagging, saying that he spends considerable amount of time talking to parents about their children's prospects. He believes the new curriculum will help allay their concerns.

Download Resources