I'm a great fan of /scientific outreach/ and /scientific popularization/. I see this both as an obligation for the researcher and teacher that I am and as the best way to put forward my ideals of hacking. I think that the best way to solve the issues that our society is to empower as much people as possible. In this context and since I'm I am a specialist of stuff that may be interesting to every citizen, I'm striving to share my knowledge and make it accessible to most people.
In this context, I'm also member of the MéSci commission at INRIA Nancy-Grand Est and member of the national MéSci network of INRIA, lead by Thiéry Vieville. MéSci means Médiation Scientifique, aka Scientific Mediation: a mix of scientific outreach and scientific popularization.
I sometimes try to make my researches accessible to everybody. This is for example why I participated twice to the Application Performance Management workshop. What I found interesting here is that the participants were not scientists but business men. This forced me to adapt my speech to this new audience. In think that these presentations can be understood by most people.
- In 2010, I did a talk on the performance assessment of scientific applications. I took the occasion to present what typical scientific applications are, what are their quality metrics, and of course, a few slides on my own research about experimental methodologies of large scale distributed software infrastructures.
- In 2011, I did a talk on the convergence between scientific high performance computing and cloud computing. I came back on the motivation for scientific computation, which can be seen as part of the epistemology of modern science, then I motivated cloud computing again (although my audience didn't need that part, after all). After that came a part on the history of modern computer performances (first miniaturize, then increase the clock then increase the amount of core). I concluded with a section on energy efficient computations and green computing.
Actually, I strive to keep all my talks understandable by everyone. You should have a look at them.
I am involved in several efforts to ease the learning of Computer Science by everyone.
- PLM is the Programmer's Learning Machine. This program is a programming exerciser: you can learn programming at your own pace through a large set of interactive and graphical exercises.
- SMN (Sciences Manuelles du Numérique -- Digital Manual Science). This project was previously nammed CSIRL for Computer Science In Real Life. It's a set of unplugged activities (without any computer or even electronic devices) that let kid play with the main concepts of computer science. A sequence on algorithms |https://github.com/jcb/CSIRL/tree/master/livret]] ready, and other sequences and activities are expected in the future.
- ISN-live is an attempt at constituting an USB stick containing a live system with all what you need to teach computer science in the ISN option of the french baccalauréat. It is widely inspired from ClefAgreg that does the same for the informatics option of the mathematics agregation examination since years.
Some good links
Links about teaching programming
- The wikipedia page List of educational programming languages is rather instructive.
- http://coderdojo.com/ Irish hackers that try to setup some /Coding Dojo/, ie places where kids between 7 and 10 come to learn coding from "masters". Their website is maybe a bit empty, but that's probably because they work a lot in face to face. That's definitely interesting anyway.
- http://hackety.com/ Hackety Hack is a program to teach coding to children. It features a GUI and tons of easy to use function build small programs in Ruby. http://kidsruby.com/ is another similar project (see also this introductory talk ).
- http://inventwithpython.com/ A book in CC-BY-NC-SA aiming to teach kids how to program games in Python.
- http://cdsmith.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/haskell-for-kids-week-1/ A nice set of lessons to teach programmation to kids.
- http://boundvariable.org 9th ICFP Programming Contest, in which the participant were asked to implement a little virtual machine in order to run a given program. That task quite simple (less than 100 lines of C, some participants did that in 2 hours), and the real fun begun afterward. The run program revealed to be a sort of operating system with several user accounts, comparable to game levels. You can get access to the next account by solving the issue of the current one. The puzzle constituting each levels were very interesting brain teasers. Check the corresponding technical report for details on this amazing contest.
- https://plus.google.com/105050554172452836044/posts A group of nice people collecting links that could be placed on this page (in French).
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/codinggouter/doc/340213682679606/ Another such group (in French too).
Links about the ISN option at the french baccalauréat
- http://nymphomath.ch A set of resources (in French) that perfectly fit the needs of teaching informatics in lycée.
- http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/ An association for the proper education to informatics in lycée in GB.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/series/digital-literacy-campaign A campain of the Guardian journal to "upgrade computer science and IT in school"
- Presentation of the option by ONISEP . Intended to motivate young people choosing this option.
Links about scientific mediation
- Although we don't often have to fight misconceptions in our area (at least, less than in sciences dealing with climate changes), the debunking handbook can be helpful anyway. It summarizes in 8 pages recent results in psychology. A must-read (that I didn't read myself, yet)