For over 40 years, ACM and IEEE-Computer Society have sponsored international curricular guidelines for undergraduate programs in computing. The rapid evolution and expansion of the computing field and the growing number of topics in computer science have made regular revision of curricular recommendations necessary. The latest volume in the series, Computer Science Curricula 2013 (CS2013), was released last fall (http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2534860).
The goal of CS2013 is to provide advice and guidance to the computing education community throughout the coming decade. The CS community was broadly consulted on the updates encompassed in the CS2013 curricular guidelines, with nearly 200 computer scientists from around the world contributing in some form to the final report. Presentations of preliminary versions of the report at a variety of conferences and workshops provided additional opportunities to engage the community throughout CS2013's evolution. By redefining the CS knowledge areas, rethinking the essentials necessary for a CS curriculum, and identifying working exemplars of courses and curricula, CS2013 attempts to balance the growth in the field with the need to keep recommendations realistic and implementable in the context of undergraduate education.
The high-level themes on which the CS2013 effort is based include:
The CS2013 final report includes a complete update to the Body of Knowledge in CS, organized around 18 knowledge areas. Compared to CC2001 or CS2008, the Body of Knowledge has been substantially reorganized. A new knowledge areaSoftware Development Fundamentalsencompasses what was previously called Programming Fundamentals. It also includes a cohesive set of fundamental software development concepts, including topics in algorithms, design, programming, and software development processes. Systems Fundamentals is a new knowledge area that identifies common themes among operating systems, networking, and architecture. Extracting fundamental concepts, for example, caching, in one place encourages programs to rethink how these topics are presented throughout the curriculum. Additionally, recent developments in the field (such as the ubiquity of parallel computing and a need for better understanding of computer security) have given rise to the development of new knowledge areas in Parallel and Distributed Computing, Information Assurance and Security, and Platform-Based Development.
Topics receiving less required coverage in CS2013 relative to previous guidelines include digital logic, numerical methods, Web page construction, search engines, and language translation. Advanced coverage of many of these topics still appears in CS2013 as elective material.
CS2013 also outlines important characteristics of CS graduates beyond technical expertise in relation to professional practice (for example, communication skills, teamwork, and ethics) as components of an undergraduate experience. We believe this report will help the community in continuing to evolve computing curricula to be modern and relevant. The CS2013 Final Report, along with supporting materials such a spreadsheet to allow programs to map their curricula against the CS2013 learning outcomes, is available at http://cs2013.org.
The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2014 ACM, Inc.
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