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NSF Interdisciplinary Computing Initiative - Desired Involvement and Supporting Experience

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Interdisciplinary computing has been one of my primary interests and areas of research and teaching since before my dissertation days and I would like to be an active member of the group/committee and participate in the first (and subsequent meetings). My PhD from University of Texas Austin was an official Interdisciplinary Phd; my advisor was in the department of Computer Science and the other members of my committee were from Psychology, Science Education, Mathematics Education, and Computer Science. The first part of my dissertation was more or less "traditional" computer science as I used artificial neural networks (ANNs) to simulate adult (college age)learning as described in the mathematics education literature. I then used the ANN to make predications about human learning. The second half of my dissertation was a full blown human subject study to confirm or de-confirm the predictions about human learning made by the neural network. These results not only confirmed the predictions but aligned with theory and practice from the Educational Psychology field. I completed a full program of coursework in Mathematics/Science Education studies, which included studies far afield from a traditional Computing curriculum. I took and passed Mathematics/Science Education Oral and Written exams. Since graduating I have not only taught traditional computer science and performed research in human learning of computing, but I have taught unusual interdisciplinary computing courses on top of my regular loads just because I am passionate about this. I taught a technical writing course for upper division CS majors for almost 7 years; I taught a course several times called "Great papers in Computer Science and Software Engineering" in which students analyzed the rhetorical, social and historical factors that led certain papers to become "classics" and why others did not. I taught a Cognitive Science course; I also taught a "real life" project course called "Technology and Sustainability" which enrolled students from a wide selection of majors (biology, chemistry, engineering of all sorts, economics, and other). Based upon student evaluations, all of these courses were highly successful. I am under contract to write a textbook on interdisciplinary applications of computing that have a clear societal benefit; as a result I have become deeply involved with computing professionals working on internet voting, software engineering in non western culture, earthquake simulation, endangered species work, medical imaging and architectural solutions to improve patient care and hospital functioning, electronic medical records issues, and the use of mobile technologies for educational purposes in pre-college settings. I am also currently developing curricular materials that are explicitly interdisciplinary for use in the computing classroom; I write a quarterly column on interdisciplinary computing for ACM Inroads and I maintain an interdisciplinary computing blog. I have extensive experience in the challenges that exist for interdisciplinary education and research and equal experience in how to address those challenges. Interdisciplinary computing is a passion of mine and would very much like to be intimately involved in any committee formed to address this topic. -Lisa