UA Professor to Help Group Promote Computer-Science Education

  • November 12th, 2013
Dr. Jeff Gray
Dr. Jeff Gray

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Jeff Gray, a University of Alabama associate professor of computer science, has been invited to serve on Code.org’s Education Advisory Council.

Code.org is a non-profit that aims to raise the awareness of the need for computer science education in kindergarten through 12th grade, asserting that computer science is a valuable skill for any career path. Founding donors for Code.org include Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, among a host of high-profile technology industry partners such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Code.org’s founder is technology entrepreneur and investor Hadi Partovi.

The ultimate goal of Code.org is to incorporate computer science into the core K-12 curriculum, alongside science courses like biology, chemistry and mathematics. Code.org also seeks to increase representation of female students and those from underrepresented minority populations.

As a member of Code.org’s Education Advisory Council, Gray will be tasked with helping to advance the organization’s mission of expanding the presence of computer science programs nationwide. The 10-person council is comprised of faculty from Duke, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Oregon, The University of Alabama and several K-12 computer science teachers.

Gray is a national leader in computer science education. With several National Science Foundation grants, he has worked with the College Board and Google to craft a new Advanced Placement computer-science course designed to increase secondary and post-secondary educational interest in computer science and improve collegiate preparation.

Gray also works to train high-school teachers to integrate computer science into technology courses and to teach the upcoming new AP computer science course. In the past, Gray has worked to introduce computer science to urban school districts and, for over a decade now, he has taught a series of multi-week computer science summer camps and hosted similar science contests for students in K-12. He helps to organize an annual Alabama Robotics Competition at The University of Alabama for elementary, middle and high-school students.

In December, Gray will help coordinate an “Hour of Code” across Alabama, which is a Code.org effort to have a one-hour tutorial on the basics of computer science in schools across the country. Gray will work in Tuscaloosa City schools by introducing a variety of self-guided tutorials that highlight the impact and importance of computer science.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 4,100 students and about 120 faculty. Students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz and Truman scholars.

Source

Dr. Jeff Gray, 205/348-2847, gray@cs.ua.edu.

Contact

Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444, acjones12@eng.ua.edu; Judah Martin, engineering student writer, jmmartin5@crimson.ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.