Computer Science Education: Ireland Engaged Early!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), SIGCSE Board Member-at-Large Briana Morrison is compiling a history blog and circulating it on the SIGCSE members list. It makes a fascinating read and must be a lot of work, but it is appreciated! She started circulating it in February, before the SIGCSE Technical Symposium, and is now on post #17. In one of the posts, I started reading the December 1970 Bulletin (Volume 2, Issue 5) which lists 10 pages! of members by name and address. It’s really interesting reading. As a New Jersey native, I noticed that 19 early members were based there. Often they don’t even list a full address, just something like John/Jane Doe, Trenton, NJ. I also learned from that issue that there is a town called Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania (over 100 miles from NJ, and even more from the Jersey Shore).

I digressed before I even started my main point (which I suppose isn’t technically a digression) but that’s what happens when I read Brianna’s blog! Of interest to me being based in Ireland, is the fact that a copy of the June 1983 SIGCSE newsletter was posted to a member in Ireland. I wonder who this Joe or Jane Bloggs was. I bet they wish they had email so that they didn’t have to wait for the post. These days a letter in standard post can get to Ireland from the East Coast of the US in under a week if conditions are right, but I bet it was a different story back then. It would be cool to go back to simpler times to see how people lived without the internet. I’m sure there were many redeeming qualities of life!

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