February 8, 2001
Contact: Tim Stephens (831) 459-2495
COMPUTER SCIENCE PROFESSOR CHARLES MCDOWELL NAMED CARNEGIE SCHOLAR
For Immediate Release
SANTA CRUZ, CA--The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named
Charles McDowell, a professor of computer science at the University of California,
Santa Cruz, a Carnegie Scholar for 2001-02. McDowell is the second UCSC faculty member
to serve as a Carnegie Scholar, following the selection of professor of mathematics
Bruce Cooperstein for the 1999-2000 program.
The Pew National Fellowship Program for Carnegie Scholars, established in 1998, brings
together outstanding faculty committed to investigating and documenting significant
issues in the teaching and learning of their fields. The program is administered
by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and funded by the Pew
As part of the program, each of the scholars designs a project aimed at improving
understanding of an important issue in the teaching and learning of his or her field.
McDowell's project will focus on the way computer programming is taught. He will
examine the use of an approach called pair programming, in which two programmers
work side by side at one computer.
Pair programming has been successfully practiced in industry for several years, but
it is still not widely accepted, McDowell said. He will investigate how the use of
pair programming in courses at all levels affects students' enjoyment of the subject,
their proficiency with the material, the speed with which they attain mastery of
the material, and their decision to continue to study in the area of computer science.
He will also examine the impact of pair programming on the workload for instructors
and teaching assistants.
This represents an extension of work in progress under the leadership of Linda Werner,
a lecturer in computer science, who received a National Science Foundation grant
to explore the use of pair programming with students in introductory-level computer
McDowell and the other Carnegie Scholars will come together at the Carnegie Foundation
in Menlo Park for two two-week-long summer residencies during their appointments.
They will also spend shorter periods together during the academic year, sharing ideas
and refining their projects.
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