December Field Report

Hey all,

Wow, this last month has gone by extremely quickly. Things have been going well, and I'm going to focus this report on a single opportunity that has come up that I am particularly excited about.

First off, the CSL had its first formal fundraiser and it went extremely well. Kudos to Carolyn for organizing it. At the fundraiser, I met with one of our board members who happens to be a tenured professor at Umass Lowell. I explained to him my thoughts on our problems getting quality volunteers and suggested a solution that I'd been kicking around in my head for awhile: setting up a Work Study program with UML students for the CSL. We get qualified workers, and they get experience working on actual production code and working within a development cycle. Fred, the board member, was interested in the idea and asked me to write up a two paragraph abstract. I wrote something up and sent it to him the following day.

Fred liked it and decided to give it the go-ahead, changing it from a Work Study to a 1 credit course. I now have to come up with a 14 week curriculum and will be responsible to running to first semester of the program. Quite exciting, although considering I'll be teaching material that I mostly just learned 3 months ago, also a bit frightening. I'm currently working on constructing a rough course syllabus that I hope to have completed by Friday, and from there I'll have to flesh out the particulars of what I am going to go over at each weekly session as well as make sure the code base is in a state that an outsider can work on prior to the beginning of next semester. Lots of work, but if I can pull it off I think this will be a huge boon for the CSL and definitely is a way that I can leave a solid lasting impression after my year is up. We'll see how it goes!