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Training the next generation of Computer Scientists

Dr. Keith Quille (L) with Dr. Brett Becker (R)

Dr. Brett Becker, Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science, has co-authored the first textbook for the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject

The ubiquity of computing technologies in all aspects of modern life makes it important for a wide range of people to understand computers and computational thinking. To address this need, the Department of Education and Skills have introduced Computer Science as an optional subject for the Leaving Certificate. Starting this year any school in Ireland will be able to offer the subject as an option.

Brett Becker, Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science, is an author of the first textbook for the new subject, “Computer Science for Leaving Certificate”. The book, co-authored with Dr. Keith Quille, Lecturer in the TU Dublin Department of Computing, is published by Golden Key Publishing and available for this year’s Leaving Certificate students.

Becker is highly regarded in the field of Computer Science education. He is chair of the recently launched Ireland Association for Computing Machinery SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) Chapter and was the recipient of the Best Computer Science Education Research Paper award at the 2019 SIGCSE Technical Symposium. This year he was among the recipients of Ireland’s Teaching and Learning Research Fellowships. These fellowships are Ireland’s most prestigious national individual teaching and learning awards and recognise those who have shown a strong commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning.

Becker and others in UCD have already been actively involved in second level teacher training as part of a Professional Diploma in Educational Studies (Computational Thinking) jointly offered by the School of Computer Science and the School of Education. Starting this year UCD offers a four-year BSc in Computer Science, Mathematics & Education that leads directly to a one-year MSc in Mathematics and Science Education. This programme is intended for those who want to become post-primary Computer Science teachers. The new book combined with new programmes puts UCD at the forefront of Computing Education in the Irish context. 

Becker’s UCD Profile:(opens in a new window) https://people.ucd.ie/brett.becker

Speaking at the launch of the new book earlier this year, Dr. Brett Becker said “This book is an important component of a nation-wide effort to make the Leaving Certificate Computer Science a success. The successful study of Computing at all levels is important for all people, not only for the empowerment of their personal and professional lives, but for the national society and economy”.

ISBN 978-19998293-1-5

RRP €37 from the publisher or (opens in a new window)selected local bookshops


Book page:(opens in a new window) http://goldenkey.ie/computer-science-for-leaving-cert/

Blog post on the launch of SIGSEire: https://www.ucd.ie/cs/blog/sigcseirelaunchedatucdcs/

Blog post on the Dr. Becker’s best paper award (Technical Symposium): https://www.ucd.ie/cs/blog/researchawardatthe2019acmsigcsetechnicalsymposiumoncomputerscienceeducation/

Blog post on the Dr. Becker’s best paper award (ICER): https://cszero.wordpress.com/2020/08/21/icer-2020-chairs-award/

Overview of Dr. Becker’s recently awarded Teaching and Learning Fellowship: https://www.teachingandlearning.ie/teaching-and-learning-research-fellowships/the-nftl-research-fellows/#!/f1

New BSc in CS, Maths & Education : (opens in a new window)https://www.myucd.ie/courses/science/computer-science-mathematics-education/

Published Dec 1st 2020

UCD School of Computer Science

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 V1W8.
T: +353 1 716 2483 | E: computerscience@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)