NEW YORK, November 10, 2015 – ACM, (www.acm.org), the world’s leading society of computing professionals, has named Jeffrey R.N. Forbes, an Associate Professor of the Practice of Computer Science at Duke University, as Chair of the ACM Education Policy Committee. Created in 2007, the ACM Education Policy Committee is a high-level committee of acclaimed computer scientists and educators dedicated to improving opportunities for quality education in computer science and computing education around the world.
Forbes succeeds Robert B. (Bobby) Schnabel, the founding chair of the ACM Education Policy Committee, who assumed a new role as CEO of ACM on November 1. In leading the committee, Forbes will play a major role in developing initiatives aimed at shaping education policies that impact the computing field.
“Not only is computer science education one of Jeff’s core research interests, but he has extensive experience directing educational programs in this area,” said Alexander L. Wolf, President of ACM. “More and more school systems around the world are integrating computing science into the core curriculum, and workforce demand for computing professionals worldwide is growing rapidly. The field is at an exciting inflection point, and Jeff Forbes is the perfect person to ensure that ACM will continue to be a leading voice in promoting and shaping computer science education at all levels.”
Forbes also is an Associate Dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. He served as Program Director for the Education and Workforce program in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. His research interests include computer science education, social information processing, and learning analytics. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in computer science from Stanford University.
“I am honored to chair ACM’s Education Policy Committee at this critical juncture when technology and computing are playing transformative roles in education and our society,” Forbes says of his new position. “Ensuring expanded access to quality computer science and computing education is key to every country’s future. As the world’s leading computing society, ACM offers indispensable expertise, insight, and guidance on computing education and workforce development. We look forward to working with policy leaders, and all stakeholders, to improve inclusive access to high quality computer science education."
The ACM Education Policy Committee was a founding partner of the nonpartisan coalition Computing in the Core, which instituted Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) in 2009. Computer Science Education Week 2015, produced by Code.org, will take place from December 7-13. With classroom events and online coding tutorials, CSEdWeek seeks to inspire tens of millions of students to learn computer science.
In March 2014, the ACM Education Policy Committee issued a report urging policy leaders to work with business and educational stakeholders to expand opportunities for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete for high-demand/ high-wage positions in the computing field. The report, Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United States, calls on education, business, and public policy leaders in every U.S. state to take immediate action aimed at strengthening and building the pipeline of qualified students pursuing computing and related degrees, and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.
A 2010 report, Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K -12 Computer Science in the Digital Age, was jointly produced by ACM and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)csta.acm.org. The report found that roughly two-thirds of U.S. states lacked computer science education standards for secondary education and that most states did not allow computer science courses to satisfy a core mathematics or science credit for high school graduation.