HCDE sponsors Paul Allen Computing Challenge

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) is a co-sponsor of the Paul Allen Computing Challenge (PACC), an annual challenge for high school students. The theme for this years’ challenge is “Data Science to the Rescue!”, and student participants are examining Twitter data related to Cyclone Phailin, a storm that hit India in 2013.

HCDE Assistant Professor Kate Starbird has been serving as the primary faculty mentor for the student teams, and delivered the kick-off speech to 300 school students, teachers, and parents last December. Dr. Starbird is director of HCDE’s Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory, which examines massive interaction facilitated by social media and other online platforms.

Teams competing in the PACC submitted their findings last Friday, March 28. Qualifying teams will receive a second set of data at the end of April, and the winning teams will present posters at the Living Computer Museum on June 7, 2014.

The PACC is organized by the Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers Association, a non-profit that provides professional development for K-12 teachers of computer science. Other HCDE faculty members who have helped to organize the event include Andy Davidson and Cecilia Aragon.