Creating small programs is a powerful way to investigate - and internalize - a technical idea. "Personal-use" programs are typically scripts: Python, R, Matlab, Wolfram, etc. It is exciting that scripting-as-medium-of-exploration is growing beyond CS: HMC's Bio 52, Physics 50, and Climate Change are a few examples among many. This project (a) investigates where (else) scripting may be useful, and (b) designs, tests, and refines materials/exercises in collaboration with instructors who might consider scripting for their courses.
An open-ended (and challenging) part of this project arises from language-choice. Although all scripting languages are theoretically equivalent in their expressive power, they are not equivalent in convenience or identity. Languages and IDEs are badges that signal ease-of-contribution and community-acceptance. We will (work to) create materials that build bridges, rather than islands, within this academic-identity space.
This is the final episode of our NSF Computing for Insight project, at least "this season's" story. Join us in helping as many people as possible leverage (and enjoy leveraging) the toolsets of our era.
Plus, we need help pitching another season! I don't think the story is yet complete... .