Developing a computational textiles curriculum to increase diversity in computer science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
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The current culture surrounding computer science is quite narrow, resulting in a participating population that lacks diversity in both gender and interests. The field of computational textiles has shown promise as a domain for diversifying computer science culture by drawing a population with broader, less traditional interests and backgrounds into creating technology; however, little effort has been made to build resources and communities around computational textiles. This thesis presents a curriculum that teaches computer science and computer programming through a series of lessons for building and programming computational textile projects, along with systematic considerations that support the real-world implementation of such a curriculum. In 2011-12, we conducted three workshops to evaluate the impact of our curriculum methods and projects on students' technological self-efficacy. As a result of data obtained from these workshops, we conclude that working with our curriculum's structured computational textile projects both draws a gender-diverse population, and increases students' comfort with, enjoyment of, and interest in working with electronics and programming. Accordingly, we are transforming the curriculum into a published book in order to provide educational resources to support the development of a computer science culture around computational textiles.
Thesis: M. Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2013.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-98).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.