This CPATH grant addresses the potential of non-computing majors to make significant contributions to computing applications within their fields by offering them opportunities to learn how computing influences their own disciplines and to contribute in open source projects that are authentically valuable with those disciplines.
Two programs to be developed under this grant will be a Masters Seminar Series and a Center for Open Source Solutions. The Masters Seminar Series, modeled on conservatory Masters Classes in the arts, allow students to interact with professionals from a wide variety of fields whose contributions in those field have advanced the use of computation and technology. Visits consist of a combination of general audience lectures and demonstrations and more intensive Masters Classes with selected students in the appropriate disciplines. Masters Seminars are planned for a wide variety of disciplines including computational biology and chemistry as well as in the arts and humanities.
The Center for Open Source Solutions (COSS) will provide both physical space for collaboration and a virtual clearinghouse of resources for development of open source solutions in various disciplines. The growing open source community offers undergraduates many opportunities to contribute solutions to problems within a variety of fields. However, students are not typically in a position to evaluate the feasibility of a particular contribution. The Center will help students assess the potential for a successful project contribution and will facilitate communication with open source projects at various other institutions. This project will serve as a model of how to increase participation in computing by students and faculty from traditional non-computing disciplines by engaging them in computational ideas within their own disciplines.