Decarbonising Computing Science: Making Sustainability a key component of our curriculum
From Claire Sowton
Professor Wim Vanderbauwhede (University of Glasgow)
Professor Wim Vanderbauwhede discusses the context of the climate emergency, the need for sustainable computing, decarbonising education in general (linking with the UN’s sustainable development goals), and a proposed implementation strategy for the Computing Science curriculum.
This event was jointly hosted by the Centre for Research in Digital Education and the School of Informatics.
Professor Wim Vanderbauwhede has been a lecturer & researcher in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow since April 2004. Previously, he was a Research Assistant at Strathclyde University. He received a PhD in Electrotechnical Engineering from the University of Gent, Belgium in 1996. His research has resulted in over 150 refereed conference and journal papers. Before returning to academic research, Dr. Vanderbauwhede worked as a Mixed-mode Design Engineer and Senior Technology R&D Engineer for Alcatel Microelectronics. Extended biography (University of Glasgow)
Are there curriculum initiatives in this area from IEEE and ACM?’
What do you think about giving the curriculum sustainability support role to ICT coordinators in Secondary schools?
How much should the focus be on *not* undertaking activities, e.g. not or reducing streaming, and how much on making such processes more efficient?
How do you change teaching contents? Do you tackle broader mindsets (e.g., growth imperative / startup culture)?
(How) do you take students' climate anxieties into account as well?
Should we just have courses covering topics like Beck's “Risk Society”?
Wondering about any links you’re making between your point about device waste, vocational education, and the issue of right to repair? If you see these as connected, how could programs/ departments be adjusted to advance work at that intersection?
Do you think it would be useful if the BCS created some example materials or more concrete ideas about how to do this?
How do we compare (say) the impact of holding a meeting via Zoom as oppose to the impact of undertaking the same activity in person?
Perhaps a powerful thing we could do is to nurture thinking about responsible innovation, in particular energy/carbon impact - some of our students will be the tech leaders of the future.
Resources mentioned during the event
Open source curricula focused on sustainable software engineering an example from TU Delft https://luiscruz.github.io/course_sustainableSE/2022/
Pargman, D., & Eriksson, E. (2016). At odds with a worldview: teaching limits at a technical university. interactions, 23(6), 36-39.
Pargman, D., Hedin, B., & Eriksson, E. (2016). Patterns of Engagement: Using a board game as a tool to address sustainability in engineering educations. In EESD2016–Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (Bruges, 4-7 September 2016).
Eriksson, E., Pargman, D., Björklund, A., Kramers, A., & Edvardsson Björnberg, K. (2016). Sustainable development for ICT engineering students:“What’s in it for me”?. In EESD2016-Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (Bruges, 4-7 September 2016).
Eriksson, E., & Pargman, D. (2014, August). ICT4S Reaching Out: Making sustainability relevant in higher education. In ICT for Sustainability 2014 (ICT4S-14) (pp. 40-47). Atlantis Press.
Pargman, D., & Eriksson, E. (2013). “It’s not fair!”-making students engage in sustainability. Proc. EESD, 13.