Curricular Innovation

Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program Award to Macalester

Paul Overvoorde
Program Director
Olin-Rice 211


In a multidisciplinary undertaking, faculty will infuse computational principles and data fundamentals into the science curriculum, encouraging students to take on the challenges of Big Data. Faculty development and curricular innovations will gestate through the Computation and Visualization Consortium (CVC), led by faculty from Macalester College, Calvin College, Smith College, and Amherst College.  These faculty are also contribute to the National Science Foundation sponsored Project MOSAIC.

The workshops offered in 2013 at Calvin College and in 2014 at Macalester College involved over two dozen faculty from 14 institutions.  In 2015, the workshop will take place at Smith College.  Details about the upcoming meeting and a link to the application form with a March 31, 2015 deadline can be found at this link

Building on the activities of the CVC workshops, Macalester faculty will design a flexible framework for curricular innovation to insure that students encounter core principles of data structure, computation, and visualization multiple times in a variety of disciplinary settings. These principles will be introduced in Data and Computation Fundamentals (DCF course), a freestanding, one-credit course. The common vocabulary and basic computational principles introduced in this course will anchor subsequent data-related activities in disciplinary courses.  Dr. Danny Kaplan piloted this course in fall 2014 and will be offering it again in spring 2015.  You can explore the syllabus at this link.