DCS is new, and so am I!

By Matt Jadud on October 2, 2017

Digital and Computational Studies (DCS) is a new program at Bates. Like all new programs, it doesn’t yet know what its courses will grow up to be, who its students will be, or what great things DCS graduates will go on to do. Hence why I chose Phyllis Graber Jensen’s photo of a Bates student competing in the long jump as a representative image for this post: we’ve landed, dynamically, after an intense sprint forward from a complete standstill.

Like Digital and Computational Studies, I am new to Bates. However, unlike DCS, I have some ideas as to what its courses will be like, and what I hope for our students. For example, I believe we need to develop a course of study that does not assume students have prior experience with the practice of computing or computational thinking: every student Bates admits should, with ardor and devotion, be able to succeed in their study of computing in the DCS program at Bates.

Now, I have more thoughts than that, but this is just a first post. Unpacking these ideas, and exploring what it means to create an interdisciplinary program in computing that engages computationally across the breadth of the liberal arts is not the stuff of light-hearted first posts. This year, I’m working on listening to faculty, staff, and students to understand Bates, its history, and its culture. This “listening tour” will inform the development of values, curricular structure, learning goals, outcomes, and the content and method of the courses we offer.

But I won’t do those things alone. Over the next two years, DCS will be hiring two more faculty. The empathetic foundation of the listening tour will not just inform the program, but also guide the hiring of two more faculty in DCS, both of whom will play a significant role in defining this program at Bates College. Watch this space for more information on that front.

If you have questions about . the program, its direction, or just want to reach out and say “hi,” please feel free to drop me a note (mjadud@bates), or leave a comment below.