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The Computing Research Policy TumbleLog has an interesting post on efforts at Duke to attract new talent into computer science

Bringing Girls and Boys to Computer Science with ‘Alice’

Duke University computer scientist Susan Rodger is hoping ice skaters, cute animals and fearsome dragons will bring new talent to her field.With support from the National Science Foundation, she and collaborators nationwide are using the power of storytelling to draw younger students into programming. An animation program called “Alice,” invented by the late Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University, allows student programmers of all ages to create their own worlds without realizing they’re actually writing code.

I help advise one of my state’s computer science departments, and this is an issue we worry about a lot.


  1. Carnegie Mellon will be releasing the latest version of Alice, Alice 3, in early August. Alice 3 features animated characters and movements that EA donated from “The Sims.” In addition to allowing students to program by “drag and drop,” Alice 3 also can be programmed by keyboard using standard Java.

  2. hello