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Student Demand for Computer Science Straining UW-Madison Department Resources


Computer science professor Shivaram Venkataraman planned to teach 250 students in Operating Systems this semester, but a waiting list led him to expand the class size.

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are signing up in record numbers to study computer science, but the program's popularity comes with problems, such as difficulty finding lecture halls large enough to accommodate student demand.

Credit: Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) student demand for computer science is nine times larger than it was a decade ago, growing from 168 students in 2009 to nearly 1,600 students in the program this academic year.

Computer science's popularity has made it difficult to find lecture halls large enough to accommodate student demand.

Unlike other institutions facing similar influxes of computer science students, UW-Madison is not making its program more selective. Instead, the computer science department is embracing a "Wisconsin Computing Idea" to expose as many students as possible to the type of computational thinking highly sought by employers.

For example, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers proposed in his 2019-21 budget $45 million to expand high-demand programs at UW campuses across the state, including UW-Madison's computer science department.

From Wisconsin State Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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