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Computer Science Faculty in Union Leader Article

December 12, 2014
By Cassidy Swanson
Union Leader Correspondent
Published Dec 12, 2014 at 3:00 am
(Updated Dec 11, 2014)

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

'Hour of Code' events get students interested in computer programming

hour of code saint anselm students computer science programmingAs part of nationwide Computer Science Education Week, students at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown and Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford got a crash course in computer programming - by playing games, creating artwork and getting to see the fun side of coding.

"I tell kids ... I don't really think of what I do as work," said Kate Crawford, a researcher for IBM. "You're going into your desk every day and solving thousands of puzzles."

Computer programing - commonly referred to as coding - is a process that eads from an original formulation of a computing problem to executable computer programs. One of the core goals of Computer Science Education Week is to promote coding, and schools nationwide have been encouraged to host their own Hour of Code events., the official activity site for Hour of Code, includes games that teach basic coding, featuring popular characters from the game app Angry Birds and the Disney film "Frozen." Videos on the site feature actors Angela Bassett and Ashton Kutcher, singer Shakira, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama urging young people to give computer programming a try.

Saint Anselm College Addendum, Dec. 12.

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Faculty Spotlight

Carol Traynor, Associate Professor of Computer Science
"At Saint Anselm, the computer science program offers the possibility for success for students who study the subject.

"'There's a huge shortage of people to fill the (computer science related) jobs in the country right now," said Dr. Carol Traynor, associate professor of computer science and department chairman at Saint Anselm. "So many jobs go unfilled because we don't have the qualified people to take them.

"Traynor said four students in the department already have job offers lined up for after graduation, and the average starting salary for a computer science major starts at $55,000 annually.

"The key to getting more people into these jobs, Traynor said, is improving educational opportunities in computer science for students at a young age. Students in Europe and Asia specifically are far ahead of their American peers in science, technology, engineering and math, she said.

"'Unless (the U.S.) starts doing something about education in these fields, it's no longer going to be a top player,' she said."

Photo: Daina Grauslys '17 and Olivia Morsey '18. (Photo Credit: Union Leader)

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