History and links to previous CMSC conferences
The CMSC conference series was initiated with several goals, building on Computer Science Unplugged.
- Expand the successful Computer Science Unplugged! activities and materials, with a special focus toward children who tend to not do well with traditional methods, such as Australian Aboriginal, First Nations People of Canada, Latino children from California, and other groups.
- Popularize and encourage outreach among research mathematicians. Provide a journal with articles that will target an area of mathematical science (for example, statistics, or game theory), and provide an activity to communicate the key concepts (describing how it was received when tried out). Each article will explain the “math vitamins” involved, from the mathematician’s point of view. It will also describe benefits to mathematics research. Sharing research math with children is not just a “feel good” exercise for the research mathematician. There are many examples of new research questions and new approaches that result from the interaction.
- Lay the groundwork for an innovative research master’s degree program formed by an international consortium, such as Charles Darwin University, Australia; University of California-Santa Cruz; University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Computer Maths: Curiosity, Art, Story
This link is to the very first CMSC conference, held August 2—5, August 6—10 in 2013 at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territories, Australia. Importantly, the conference aims to engage research mathematical scientists in outreach and communication. Bringing together researchers, educators and communicators committed to bringing exploration and discovery into classrooms and among the educated public, the conference hopes to explore new ways of thinking initiated by Computer Science Unplugged and other similar efforts.
The conference features keynote talks by researchers and communicators with original work in popularizing mathematics and computer science, and sharing of experience by activists with extensive experience in education and outreach.
The event was in two parts: Darwin, and then a walkabout in the outback. Darwin included:
- Presentations. World-renowned scientists and educators tell how they share cutting-edge, latest math with children with successful outreach from Canada First Nations, Latino, India, Australia and other communities.
- Math on the Green. Outdoor activities for the entire town to participate.
- Mathematical Theatre. Actress and playwright Verena Specht-Ronique presented Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game. Mike Fellows presented his Cowboy mathematical melodrama.
- Mathematical Dance. From Kindergarten to grad-school, Erik Stern showed how to use body activities to teach symmetry, probability, more. This is perfect for teaching cross-discipline -- music, athletics, writing, dance, science, VET – all with movement and math.
The Outback walkabout continued the discussions and development of new Unplugged activities and also included a visit to Bachelor Indigenous Education Centre and to an Aboriginal School where we met with teachers and gave a workshop to the children.
This is the second in a conference series that explores new ways of helping students achieve 21st Century competencies in mathematics and computer science, which includes math activities across the curriculum. The conference was held at The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai from December 9 to 12, 2014.
The main theme of the conference is popularizing the rich mathematics underlying computer science, a new kind of mathematics much of the school / college education community is largely untouched by. And yet, this has the potential to unlock a great amount of creativity, currently stifled by the calculus oriented math curricula. We do NOT wish to discuss how to make math easy, or how to teach topic X or Y in the syllabus easily, but to attract children to open problems, to dare reach for gold. We believe that combinatorics and computer science mathematics offer extensive opportunities in this regard.
A special event was Mathematics and Science festival for children in Arcot, Vellore district, organized by Tamil Nadu Science Forum.
Details: About 300 children from middle schools participate in the festival. The venue is Govt Girls Higher Secondary school, Arcot.
This will be followed by interaction with school teachers; nearly 200 middle school teachers participate. The venue for this event is Sri Sitheeswarar polytechnic college, Arcot.
Click here to download the activities conducted by Tamil Nadu Science Forum for the kids in the festival.
The third CMSC was held 4---7 October 2016 in Lubeck, Germany. The event included many and various presentations, including a play: Lady Ada. The discussion following Tim Bell’s presentation about the changing curriculum in New Zealand contributed to a document that resulted in Computer Science Unplugged being influential in New Zealand’s new curriculum.
The fourth CMSC will be held 21—24 July 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand at one of the leading art institutes, The Learning Connexion (TLC).
5. The fifth CMSC, CMSC5 is scheduled to be held in Bergen, Norway in 2020.