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Writing In Computer Science at the University of Denver


Writing in Computer at the University of Denver by Josiah Dunn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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Contents

Introduction: 4-5 Chapter 1- Review of Existing Literature: 6-12 Chapter 2- Genre Investigation: 13-19 Chapter 3- My Interview with Will Mitchell: 20-24 Chapter 4- My Proposal For Change: 25-29 Chapter 5- Conclusion: 30-31 Works Cited: 32-33


Introduction One of the most famous pop stars of the 21st century will.i.am once said, “It should be mandatory that you understand computer science.� Computer science jobs are projected to have some of the greatest job growth out of any of the jobs fields. The key to enhancing understanding of any topic is writing about it, and in the computer science major at the University of Denver academic writing is almost nonexistent. The key to helping students learn better is academic writing and while students are not required to write in computer science classes, students will not be able to exceed to the level they would if they wrote about computer science. This problem of almost nonexistent academic writing has compelled me to write a book about writing in the computer science major at the University of Denver. In Chapter 1 I will do a literature review of current computer science research. I will show my audience how my research will be different from any other research that is out there and show the audience what they can gain from reading my book. In Chapter 2 I will conduct a genre investigation of the computer science major at DU. I will discuss in detail what genre theory is, why it is important, and how genre theory can be used to investigate computer science at the University of


5 Denver. In Chapter 3 I will talk about my interview with my Graduate Assistant teacher about writing in the computer science major. Providing my own primary research will show my audience how an experienced person views writing in the computer science major. In Chapter 4 I will discuss what I believe DU needs to do about the vacancy of academic writing within the computer science major. I will create a proposal that is very accessible for my audience and I will persuade them to help me integrate academic writing in the computer science major. Finally in Chapter 5 I will conclude the book in an interesting way, which will look different from what I have written before.


computers are so Chapter 1: Review of

intertwined there

Existing Literature

needs to be more

Computer Science jobs is one of

people who can communicate

the fastest growing fields in the United

computer science jargon to the non-

States and according to the Bureau of

computer scientist. Every computer

Labor Statistics there will be more

scientist needs proficient writing skills

than 750,000 new jobs in computer

to be able to succeed. I will be

science by the year 2020. Computers

conducting a literature review of

are part of everyday life for most

research in the computer science field

Americans. Computers are used to

to show what good forms of writing in

write papers, surf the web, listen to

the computer science field look like.

music, and watch movies. Since

My research that I will conduct

computers are such a big part of what

throughout this book will be different

the American society has become,

than any other research that is out

there needs to be people who can work

there because I will provide helpful

with computers to program them,

information for incoming freshman

protect them, and create new

computer science majors.

computer technologies to help humans everywhere. Because humans and

Writing in computer science is very technical and most of the time it


7 is straight and to the point. Jonathon

finally this in part three. Conclusions

Shewchuk, a computer science

that don’t means that the writer is not

professor at UC Berkley and the

actually concluding anything in the

author of the essay Three Sins of

conclusion section. The writer is just

Computer Science and Math says, “I

restating what they said in their intro

realize that the first priority of

in just a couple different words.

computer scientists and

Shewchuk believes that a technical

mathematicians is not literary

writer should “add new information

artistry.” Shewchuk believes that a

and observations that put your results

technical writer should just get

in perspective.” If technical writers

straight to the point and that will save

can avoid these three sins they will

you valuable time. Shewchuk’s three

greatly improve their writing.

pitfalls of computer science writing

In college computer science

are grandmothering, a table of

courses students need to have

contents in a paragraph, and

proficient writing skills to succeed in

conclusions that don’t.

class. In most introductory computer

Grandmothering is telling you

science classes, computer

something that you already know. A

programming is taught, which

table of contents in a paragraph is

requires students to actually write

describing what a writer is about to do

programs. A computer program is

in the exact order that they are about

simply a set of instructions for the

to do it. For example, I am going to do

computer to carry out. Writing

this in part 1, then this in part 2, and

programs in computer science


requires perfect grammar, and if even

computer science company, Narrative

one small piece of the grammar is

Science, uses writing from journalists

incorrect the entire program will not

and integrates their writing skills with

be able to run as intended. In most

computer programmers to create

computer science introductory classes

stories from a computer algorithm. A

none of the writing done is to clarify

computer algorithm is simply a way

thinking.

that a problem can be solved.

William Taffe, the author of

Narrative Science uses journalistic

Writing in the Computer Science

framework writing and creates stories

Curriculum observes how computer

about any topic, but it did not start

science courses need to integrate more

with every subject. The company

writing in the curriculum to enhance

started out as a group project

the students learning. Taffe says,

presentation that turned a box score

“Attempting to express an idea often

and play by play of a baseball game to

sharpens and clarifies the concept,

create a game summary that sounded

frequently exposes lacunae in the

like a human wrote it. When a

thought chain, and possibly creates

computer’s algorithm runs it will run

new questions.“ Good writing skills

perfectly every time as long as the

transcend across the entire college

programmer writes the program

spectrum.

correctly. Once the Narrative Science

In Steven Levy’s article, Can An

Company got up and running, Levy

Algorithm Write a Better News Story

says, “Requests poured in from people

Than a Human Reporter? one

who were buried in spreadsheets and


9 charts. It turned out that those people

of the computer science department at

would pay to convert all that

Carnegie Mellon University, when she

confusing information into a couple of

says; “Computational thinking is a

readable paragraphs that hit the key

fundamental skill for everyone, not

points.� The ability to accurately

just for computer scientists.� Stross,

summarize confusing data into a

however; goes on to explain that no

summary that makes sense is an

one really agrees when it comes to

invaluable commodity because reports

what exactly computational thinking

of data are used almost everywhere,

is. Stross makes it clear that

but good writing skills were required

computational thinking is needed for

from the computer scientists and

everyone, but a clear definition of

journalists were to allow the company

what computational thinking will

to start up. If the people did not have

mean for everyone is something that

particularly good writing skills the

the computer science field needs to

company might not have even come to

come to an agreement on.

be, and this is a prime example of why

Since computer science is such

writing in computer science is so

a growing field that will demand so

important now.

many jobs in the future, America needs

Randall Stross wrote the

to have more computer scientists, but

article, Computer Science For the Rest

the problem is that students are not

of Us, and in it he explains the

getting exposure to computer science.

importance of computational thinking.

According to a study done in California

Stross quotes Jeanette Wing, the head

in 2013 by the California Department


of Education 99.7% of the high school

science degrees. Having the

students in California did not take the

opportunity to learn how to write and

AP Computer Science exam. And what

learn in computer science is vitally

is even worse is that 19.9% of high

important because as Kalen Gallagher

schools in California do not even offer

puts it, “The tech trends that dominate

AP Computer Science. I know that AP

the news today — robotics, the internet

Computer Science is not the only way

of things, big data, wearable tech, self-

to learn computer science, but if more

driving cars, and so on — all paint a

high schools offered AP Computer

clear picture: workers of the future

Science then maybe America could

will increasingly need to be well

increase the amount of computer

versed in coding to succeed.” Many

scientists it has so that they can fill the

people believe that coding is essential

jobs that will be needed in the future.

to success and Code.org shows a

Another solution to students not

grandiose list of famous people such as

learning computer science in high

Chris Bosh, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill

school could be to require students to

Gates all giving quotes about how

take at least one class about computer

learning how to code is very important

science to graduate. If America can

no matter who you are or where you

increase the amount of students who

are going.

are exposed to computer science then

Peter Drexel and Roy Andrew’s

America can bridge the gap between

article Writing in Computer Science

increasing computing jobs and the

Courses: An E-mail Dialog presents

number of students getting computer

some very interesting ways that


11 academic writing is incorporated into some computer science classes. One of the ways writing was integrated in this article was by way of journal

Think about something like a word processor or video game. The creators are probably technical types with an understanding of

writing after a student completed a

the desired result. The users focus

lab. The authors explained that the

on the use of the entity the

benefits of journal writing are: The intended benefits include thinking verbally, learning how to communicate (i.e. write) in a technical environment and learning from a continuing experience.

programmers created. They usually don’t care how the entity works, as long as it works well. The simile used here helps illustrate what the authors mean in a very relatable way. In the article the topic

These benefits help the reader

of communication also came up, which

understand how writing can positively

is one of the main points of the article,

impact computer science students. A

“Isn’t writing the creation of

very interesting topic was also

communication: a new way of ‘seeing’

brought up in this article about the

something? “ Communication is very

need to translate something filled with

important in computer science and the

technical jargon into something

way the authors put communication in

anyone can understand:

this rhetorical question is very

The students’ projects are usually intended to be used by a non-technical audience.

effective. My book will fill a gap in the computer science research that is already out


there because it is unlike anything else that is already out there. My book will be will help incoming freshman computer science majors prepare for their computer science studies at the University of Denver by providing them with the essentials of success within the major. Throughout looking at all of this computer science research I found that I can add my expertise with computer science at DU and help other students who will be facing the same challenges that I will be facing.


13 Chapter 2: Genre

I will examine is the

Investigation

required book for

In

the Intro to

Chapter One I

Computer Science 3

looked at secondary

class and how that

research and now I

genre’s

am going to conduct my own primary

expectations, antecedents, and

research. What does a person think of

exigence impact how a student views

when they think genre? Movies?

the genre. I will also examine another

Music? Books? Art? Genre is how

professional genre, Top Hat, that is

society structures or classifies

used in the Intro to Computer Science

something. For example, some

1 and 3 class and how the

popular music genres are hip-hop and

expectations, exigence and

rap. In this chapter I will be

antecedents affects the student’s view

conducting an investigation of genre

of Top Hat. Studying genres is

theory inside the computer science

important because it explores

field at the University of Denver. In

computer science in a new, interesting,

this study, I will examine the

and different light. After years of

classroom genre in the form of a

studying genres genre theory emerged

syllabus and how expectations, social

and is one of the best ways to study

action, and exigence are important in

genre.

the Introduction to Computer Science 3 class. One of the professional genres,

Genre theory is the examination of theory in many fields,


such as literature. The aspects of

an example of the genre that is not like

genre theory are social action, typified

the type of genre that you most often

features, expectations, antecedents,

encounter. For example, a syllabus is

“breaking”, and exigence (motive).

usually just words on a paper, but one

Social action is change that is made to

teacher did her syllabus with lots of

impact someone or a group of people

hand-drawn pictures and much less

in a certain type of way. An example

words. Exigence, also known as

of social action could be to stop

motive, is the intent behind the genre

bullying. Typified features are just

or the purpose of the genre. For

characteristics of a genre that are

example, the exigence of eating food

important. An example of a typified

would be because a person is hungry. I

feature of bullying could be how a

will not be covering all of these

bully physically hurts the person he or

aspects, but it is good for students to

she is bullying. Expectations are what

know all of the parts of the genre

a person supposes something should

theory puzzle.

look like. An expectation could be to do well in school. Antecedents are

Syllabus In every course in Computer

something that comes before another

Science at the University of Denver the

thing. An example of an antecedent

expectations that go along with the

could be telling someone to watch

syllabus are crucial for the student’s

their step so that they will not trip and

success. A future computer science

fall over something that you saw

major can expect from every syllabus

before them. “Breaking” the genre is

certain characteristics, such as the


15 classroom meeting place and time, the

typified features of the syllabus. One

course description, course

of the syllabus’ typified features are

expectations, and the instructor

the course descriptions and they are

availability. The classroom meeting

very useful for students who like to

place and time is the one thing that

look ahead and see the classes’ typified

every student needs to examine closely

features. It is important to read the

because most of the buildings that

course description to first make sure

students go to class in are not easy to

that the student is in the right class

find because they are on the very edge

and also to remind students to have a

of campus. The computer science

great understanding for the topics

building is in the process of being

that are highlighted in the course

constructed so until the construction

description before the class ends.

process is complete computer science

Usually following the course

classes will be spread all over campus,

description is course goals, which also

and computer science students will be

helps the students know what the

expected to learn to find their way

teacher’s expectations are.

around campus to make it to class.

Exigence is a key aspect of the

Some of the buildings are not very big

syllabus and students need to know

and are easily missed because they are

the intent behind the syllabus.

kind of tucked away.

Student’s can learn a lot about the

In order for computer science

teacher’s exigence or motive of the

student’s to succeed they need to be

class in the course goals section of the

able to recognize and understand the

syllabus. Course goals go along with


the course description but most of the

Going to a professor or teaching

time it is an entirely separate entity

assistant’s office hours are something

with different typified features. Some

that many students do not utilize, but

computer science professors have very

the ones who do are able to get ahead,

explicit or well-stated course

get help with anything and everything,

expectations in the form of a schedule

and get to know other students who

so that students will know what they

might be struggling with the same

will be learning each week, while

things other students are. Peer review

other professors have implicit or

might even be more helpful than a

implied goals so that a schedule is

professor’s help because peers are able

there, but when the students will learn

to sometimes explain things in a

particular material is not clearly

different way that could be better than

stated.

the way a professor does, but to meet Instructor availability is the

those people a student must actually

single most important typified feature

perform the social action and go to the

of the entire syllabus. Students need to

instructor’s office hours. Especially for

really familiarize themselves with or

computer science majors at the

take a note when his or her professor

University of Denver, the office hours

and or teaching assistants are

can be really helpful if a student is

available. Social action is required for

struggling with an assignment or does

a student to succeed in the class, and

not know where to get started. The

the type of social action every student

most important thing with office hours

needs is to go to the office hours.

is that if a student goes to get help as


17 soon as possible rather than

students receive the material. In the

procrastinating, then that student will

course, reading assignments will be

be able to succeed in the major

given one to two times a week and the

without a doubt. In my investigation

students will be quizzed on the

of the classroom genre syllabus I found

material at least once a week, so it is

that carefully examining the syllabus’s

imperative to the student that he or

typified features, social action, and

she thoroughly reads the material. In

expectations are vital to a student’s

addition to the reading assignments

success in the course and that

and quizzes, students will be expected

preparation is also helpful in the

to complete MyProgrammingLab

student’s success. In order for a

exercises one or two times a week, as

student to be successful they need to

well to actually put their reading to

have all of their required materials

actual “coding” work. One of the

such as the textbook.

genre’s antecedents is quite

Textbook

convenient because most students

The textbook for the Intro to

already have the book along with the

Computer Science 3 course is Walter

MyProgrammingLab. The same book

Savitch’s Java: An Introduction to

is also required in the Intro to

Problem Solving and Programming

Computer Science 2 class. Most of the

plus MyProgrammingLab with

reading done in the Intro 3 class is

Pearson eText, and I have found that

almost a chapter or two where the

the expectations, antecedents, and

student’s left off in the Intro 2 class,

exigence really influence how the

with the exception of maybe rereading


text that was not covered in great

what a student did not understand or

detail in the Intro 2 class.

to explain the answer. Top Hat’s

Software Students need to be able to

antecedent is not as convenient as the required books antecedent. Actually,

understand why the expectations,

the antecedent was a problem that

exigence, and antecedents are very

many students faced in the Intro 3

important for their required software

class. The antecedent was that the

for multiple classes, Top Hat. The

required Top Hat software costs

expectation of the class is that every

twenty dollars for a four-month

student has the required software for

subscription and forty-two dollars for

the class, Top Hat, because it will be

a five-year subscription. Antecedents

used for the weekly quizzes. This

are something that comes before

professional genre’s expectations are

another thing. Antecedents are

that a student has some programming

important in the computer science

experience, but a student without

major because asking questions about

programming experience can still

future use of software and required

understand the concepts as long as the

materials can save money for college

student actually reads the text. The

students that might not have a lot of

exigence or motive of Top Hat is to

money to waste. The five-year

enhance the student’s learning and

subscription makes logical and

understanding of computer science

economic sense if the student is going

with immediate feedback on quizzes

to use the software again, but the

and the opportunity to ask the teacher

problem was that the professor was


19 not sure if the software was going to

learned that preparation is key and

be used any in any future classes.

for a student to succeed and he or she

Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard

needs to pay attention to the syllabus

way. In the Intro to Computer Science

very carefully because the syllabus

1 class, the Top Hat software is used

provides very useful information that

and since the teacher said we need the

is vital to the student’s success. The

twenty-dollar version I did not

required materials are the types of

question him, I just did what he said

professional genres that students will

and believed that I would not need it

no doubt encounter. Now that

again after the class was over. If I

students know what they need to do to

would have known that I was going to

succeed in the computer science major

be using the software again in the

at DU coming from an undergraduate,

Intro 3 class I would have definitely

it would now be helpful to provide a

bought the five-year subscription in

graduate’s point of view about writing

the first place to save some money. If

in computer science at DU and how to

students are able to understand the

succeed within the major. In Chapter

meanings behind the Top Hat software

3, just wait, because that is what I will

then they will be able to succeed.

be talking about!

In my investigation of genre in the computer science department at the University of Denver, I have discovered some helpful tips and hints for future freshman CS majors. I


Chapter 3: An Interview with Will Mitchell I will continue on with my primary research on writing in computer science at DU like from Chapter 2, but now I will move on from genre theory to an interview with my teacher’s assistant. My interview with Will Mitchell about writing in the computer science major at the University of Denver provided a tremendous amount of insight for me since Will is a PhD student who has already been down the undergraduate path. Communication in the form of writing is one of the most important assets a computer science major can have at DU and having proper documentation as well as comments are crucial in the process as well.


21 Understanding where to get research

concisely to the computer and another

information is vital to the success and

person. When writing code and

growth of CS majors. NP completeness

conveying an idea to a computer no

is a topic that is worth a million bucks

matter how dumb of a command you

(literally)! I will effectively discuss

give a computer as long as there are

how computer science’s

no grammatical errors the computer

communication ties into NP

will execute the command very quickly

completeness, documentation, and

and very efficiently. If another person

comments.

is trying to read another’s person code

Being able to communicate an

that person needs to make sure that

idea clearly is an invaluable trait for a

their code is very well structured and

computer science major or even

organized so that their idea

anyone in that regard. Most of the

encompassing the code can be easily

ideas trying to be conveyed in

understood. A person’s code can be

computer science are abstract,

easily understood if a person

meaning that the idea may not be the

“manages complexity”, like Will calls it

easiest to grasp, which gives a person

by breaking the code down into easy

all the more reason to convey their

to understand sections with plenty of

ideas clearly and coherently. In

comments and documentation.

computer science, Will, talked about

Comments in a computer program is

how there is a “dual communication”

just a line of code that is there for

in which a CS major needs to be able

humans use to help make what the

to communicate their idea clearly and

user is trying to do very clear.


Comments are just like little sticky

For most majors journal

notes that the author of the code uses

articles are great places to

for little reminders. When authors put

communicate ideas to

in lots of comments in code that makes

undergraduates, and sometimes in

it a lot easier for another person

computer science this is also the case.

reading the code to understand what

In computer science however what I

the author was trying to do in that

learned from, Will, is that journal

particular part of the program.

articles are not the best form of

Documentation in code is used

research for undergrads for two

primarily at the start of the entire

reasons. One, most journal articles are

program to introduce the code, what it

“unapproachable” and not easily

does, the date, and who the author is.

understood for undergraduates. Two,

Documentation at the start of a

most of the journal articles are “hit or

program is very similar to a heading

miss” so a person might waste a lot of

that an English paper would have.

time reading an article just to find out

Documentation is also usually used

it is not the type of information they

before a method, which is just the part

might be looking for. What, Will,

of the code that runs a task like

recommended was staying atop of new

counting up from one to ten, to explain

programming developments on the

what the method does.

Internet. Will recommended two

Documentation and comments are

websites I should explore: reddit and

very useful for communicating with

hackernews. Most professors however

other humans about their code.

still require that their students include


23 at least one source from an academic

one has been able to solve since then.

article. I think if professors

The problems in NP completeness have

understood that not all journal

some math problems and some

articles are the best source of

computer science problems, but the

information for all subjects they would

thing that was discovered about the

remove that requirement and thus

problems was that all of the NP

look advise their students to look for

completeness problems are equally

the communication of ideas in a

challenging so in effect if a person can

different place.

solve one they can solve them all.

Being able to solve an NP

During the 1970s the Clay Math

completeness problem will require

Institute wanted to speed up the

great writing skills in computer

process of having someone solve the

science and math. NP completeness is

NP completeness so they put a one

the most interesting thing I found out

million dollar bounty on the NP

in my interview. What is NP

completeness problem. So if a person

completeness? Well first NP stands for

solves one of the problems they get one

nondeterministic polynomial, but since

million dollars. That is pretty cool.

many people do not always want to

How does this tie into the computer

write or type out nondeterministic

science major at the University of

polynomial people decided to

Denver? Well if a person from DU

abbreviate it. NP completeness was

aspired to solve one of these problems

developed in the 1970s and it was

they would need a significant

some extremely hard problems that no

background in mathematics and


computer science as well as great

are not always the best form of

writing skills so they can solve the

research, and that being able to solve

problem and explain how they solved

a NP completeness problem will earn a

the problem.

person a million dollars.

Intercommunication between computer science and math is another very interesting thing Will touched on. One thing Will said that kind of stuck out to me was that, “People do not understand how closely related computer science and math are.� I thought that that was pretty interesting and I am just finding that to be very true in my last quarter of my freshman year here at DU. I am taking my first college level math class called, Discrete Structures in Mathematics and I am starting to learn how applicable math is to computer science. If a person wanted to take something valuable away from my interview it would be that communication is key, journal articles


25 about writing in computer science at the University of Denver, we will now look at the implications of this research. DU is faced with a problem that will have dire consequences if it goes unsolved. DU’s problem is not having academic writing in the computer science major. In the computer science major at the University of Denver students need writing within the major to help the students succeed. I will propose the best solution for adding academic writing to DU’s computer science major. Before I show why my proposal Chapter 4: Proposing Change Now that we have looked at primary and secondary research

is the best way to add academic writing to the computer science program I will first show what kind of


writing computer scientists do. In

will now talk about who cares about

computer science everyone writes but

the writing that I am proposing to add

does not actually write. In computer

into the major. To help me show who

science writing code, which is one of

cares about my topic I will now talk

the necessary skills all computer

about what a stakeholder is. A

scientists need, is the only kind of

stakeholder is anyone who might be

writing present at DU. Writing in code

interested or intrigued by a topic. The

is nothing like writing in an English

stakeholders for my proposal are DU

class, in fact it is considered writing in

computer science students, DU

a different language (even though it is

computer science professors, and DU

written in English at the University of

administration. This writing

Denver). Writing in computer science

deficiency at DU is absolutely solvable

comes from the comments and

because changes are made almost

documentation like I explained in good

every year to class curriculums. The

detail in Chapter 3. Comments and

thought that integrating academic

documentation tell the person writing

writing in the DU computer science

the code and others reading the code

program needs to come about to help

why they did what they did and helps

students succeed is a very interesting

clarify their code for others to better

one and one that should be put into

understand.

action.

Now that my audience knows

DU can add academic writing

what writing looks like now at DU

to the computer science curriculum

inside the computer science major, I

only if the majority of students believe


27 this should happen. I propose starting

academic writing in the computer

a petition to end the code only writing

science major.

in computer science and add academic

The only way a petition can

writing to help students learn more

work to get academic writing into

about what they know. I believe that

computer science is to get computer

this is the best way to get writing into

science students and non-computer

the computer science major because if

science students alike involved in the

computer science students were able

process. I believe since there are

to write about what they learned they

about 5000 undergraduates in the

would gain so much more knowledge

student body if we got at least 1000

about themselves because the act of

signatures on the petition then the DU

writing out what a person has learned

administration would definitely catch

helps that person remember it better.

wind of the petition and would

Better memory equates to better

seriously consider listening to why I

comprehension and better

propose making changes in the

comprehension translates to better

curriculum could really benefit the

test scores better test scores creates

university. Once I am able to set up a

better grades better grades makes

meeting with the DU administration I

better students better students creates

would have to take this chapter and

better teachers better teachers creates

turn it into a marvelous presentation

a better school. All stakeholders who

that would convince them that my way

are involved within the DU community

is the best thing for the DU computer

will benefit from the addition of

science program.


The benefits of writing and the possibilities when writing is added to

writers. Many people will not agree

the program are endless. When the

that my proposal is the best solution

computer science program is

for adding academic writing into the

strengthened at DU the whole DU

computer science major, but I will now

program is strengthened. When

show why I think my proposal is the

writing is added to the program the

best solution. Some people may

writing department will benefit as

believe that adding writing to the

well seeing as though the computer

computer science curriculum is not the

science students will have so much

best thing for the any of the

experience writing that when they go

stakeholders. I would have to disagree

to the other writing classes very well

with this because my proposal involves

prepared and be able to spit out

a lot of different people: computer

papers like its nothing. When the

science majors and non-computer

computer science program is

science majors, computer science

strengthened the computer science

professors, and the DU administration.

department national rankings will

People may think that since

increase thus attracting more students

computer science is considered one of

and getting more money for the

the hardest majors at DU already why

university. This proposal is needed so

add more work to the already life

that DU can grow, attract better

consuming program? Let me get one

students, and make computer science

thing clear I am not advocating for

students better students and better

more work. I simply want to replace


29 some of the work with some writing

much better understanding of

assignments to help the computer

computer science compared to the non

science students retain what they

computer science major. I understand

learned and be able to talk and write

that there are and there will be many

about their learning in their own and

different viewpoints, views, and

unique way.

opinions on this topic and I am

Another viewpoint could be

welcome to listening to anyone’s point

why do we need writing in computer

of view, but I do believe that the

science when we already have to take

addition of writing in the computer

writing class as part of the DU core

science major is what DU needs and is

curriculum? To this I would say that

the best solution to solving the

we do have to take writing classes yes

problem of not having enough writing

but most of the time, with the

in the major.

exception of the class I am currently taking, the writing classes have

Writing will benefit every stakeholder at DU because it will

nothing to do with your major. If a

enhance the students, teachers, and

person could find a class that does

administration’s learning. While there

writing about their particular major

are always two sides to a conflict one

then that is great, but the type of

side usually gets their way and I am

writing that could be done inside the

hoping that my way gets put into

computer science classes could have

action. If you have read this and you

much more specialized jargon seeing

really feel as if though writing needs to

as though the audience would have a

be added to the computer science


major at DU please contact me at

“#+writ2DUCS� so we can increase

jtbballfreak@comcast.net to join my

awareness and fix this problem once

petition and help the students,

and for all!

teachers, and administration at DU! Please help me in my effort to increase DU community awareness of the writing deficiency in the computer science program by taking to the social media websites and putting on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hash tag


31

Chapter 5: Conclusion Throughout my book I have shown what computer science writing looks like at the University of Denver, and why academic writing needs to be added computer science major. I have shown why my proposal of starting a petition to add academic writing is the most effective way to help students succeed and write better. To finish my book I will examine the connections I have found in my chapters across my book. While conducting my research in the first three chapters of my book I found it very interesting that a person really does learn more when they conduct both their own research and examine other’s research. I know this makes sense logically, but I


have never actually conducted both primary and secondary research and synthesized them together in a piece like this. In the future if I really want to learn more about something I will know how I can gather the most information to help me on my educational quest. In my first three chapters of my book I also found it very difficult to report on the research I found while trying to keep my writing organized. I think if my audience reads my piece and examines how I worked in my research in my papers they can get a better sense of how they can report on research. Reading my research will provide incoming freshman computer science majors with a good sense of what writing in the computer science major looks like at the University of Denver, and how they can take what I learned and use it for their benefit and to help them succeed. For incoming freshman computer science majors who really want to help make a change for the better for computer science at DU, I urge you to join my movement to try to integrate academic writing into the major. I thank my audience for reading my book and I will leave you with this thought: How can we change writing in computer science if no one does anything about it?


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Works Cited Am., Will. I. "Will.i.am Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. Bosh, Chris. "Leaders and Trend-setters All Agree on One Thing." Code.org. Bill Gates, n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Want a Great Scientific Career? Choose Computer Science." Science Careers. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. Drexel, Peter. "Writing Across the Curriculum." Writing in Computer Science Courses: An E-Mail Dialog (n.d.): n. pag. Writing in Computer Science Courses: An EMail Dialog. Writing Across the Curriculum, 25 Nov. 1997. Web. 1 June 2014. Gallagher, Kalen. "The State of Computer Science Education in California's High Schools." Medium. Medium, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 June 2014. Levy, Steven. "Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter? | Gadget Lab | WIRED." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 02 June 2014.


Savitch, Walter. N.p.: UC San Diego, n.d. Print. Shewchuk, Jonathon. "Three Sins of Authors in Computer Science and Math." Three Sins of Authors in Computer Science and Math. Cal Berkley, 1997. Web. 02 June 2014. Silagadze, Mike. "Top Hat." Bring Your Lectures into the 21st Century. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. Stross, Randall. "Computer Science For the Rest of Us." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Mar. 2012. Web. 02 June 2014. Taffe, William. "Writing in the Computer Science Curriculum." Writing in the Computer Science Curriculum (n.d.): n. pag. Colorado State University, 01 June 1989. Web. 1 June 2014.


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By Josiah Dunn

Writing In Computer Science at the University of Denver