This project aims at developing, through new learning material, courses for university teachers and teaching assistants, as well as proper assessment programs and educational research , how computing can be integrated in the best possible way across disciplines. The partnership between Michigan State University, Oregon State University and University of Colorado at Boulder in the USA. and the University of Oslo in Norway State aims at providing unique and novel insights about how computing can be smoothly integrated in modern science education.
Computing forms now an integrated and central part of essentially all aspects of modern science and engineering, from basic research to industrial and societal applications. It has become clear that a large fraction of theoretical and experimental science requires a high level of computational sophistication to competently pursue many scientific problems, a trend that is likely to grow with time as computers increase in power and experimental data sets grow exponentially. These observations are applicable to essentially all disciplines in the Sciences.
Beyond its increasing centrality in research, the use of computational modeling in the classroom setting provides students with insights that can go well beyond those resulting from pencil-and-paper manipulation of equations. In particular, the ability to closely examine the behavior of systems that are too complex to be easily analytically tractable, or that have no analytic solutions (i.e., many systems of practical interest), helps to develop intuition that is unavailable to many students from analytic calculation.
It is in this context this proposal finds its rationale. We aim at uniting the strengths of research and educational activities at the involved universities. Through workshops, summer programs, new learning material, courses for university teachers, exchange of faculty and students at all levels, the establishment of this network has the potential to add significant new insights and experiences on how computing can be integrated in a seamless way in our basic science education. The outcome of the various research and educational projects are expected to be of great importance and transferable to universities worldwide. The outcome of this project is of strategic importance for all partners. It prepares the ground for the integration of computing in education and thereby how to design our future education.