AP CS Workshop at Hawken School
Objectives Prerequisites Pre-workshop Survey Schedule (.dvi format) (poscript)
Instructor Textbooks Course Work Grading

The 1998 Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) Workshop at the Hawken School will take place between Monday, June 29 and Friday, July 3.

This AP CS Workshop will cover topics that apply to a wide range of computer science courses in high schools, with a particular emphasis on topics from the Advanced Placement Program. Since the 1999 AP CS exams will use the C++ programming language rather than Pascal, this workshop will introduce this language in some detail. While AP topics may have particular relevance for those interested in AP CS, the material covered in the workshop will apply to a much wider audience.

Course Objectives

This workshop has the following main objectives:

To meet these goals, sessions will cover the following general content areas:


This Workshop is aimed at current high school computing teachers.

This Workshop does not assume participants are familiar with either case studies or C++, although adjustments may be made in the schedule if participants do have knowledge of either or both of these topics.


Participants are asked to complete and return a survey, prior to the Workshop, as this will help the organizers tailor the sessions to the particular needs of those attending. Completed surveys should be sent to Professor Henry M. Walker, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112.


Henry M. Walker is a Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA. He also periodically teaches computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from M.I.T. in 1973 and his M.S. in CS from the University of Iowa in 1979. Three of Professor Walker's seven books focus on material in the AP CS Course Description.

Professor Walker has extensive experience as a grader of Advanced Placement tests in computer science for the College Board and as a workshop leader throughout the United States for secondary educators of computer science. For example, his eight 2-day workshops for high school teachers from 1994 to 1996 were attended by 252 teachers in Iowa and Texas, with funding by the Noyce Foundation. The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust funded his week-long workshop last summer at Grinnell College for 23 teachers. Over the years, he also has conducted day-long workshops for the College Board in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, and Manitoba (Canada). Over the years, he has worked with individual high schools in Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas.

Professor Walker is Secretary/Treasurer of SIGCSE, the Special Interest Group in Computer Science , a member of the Liberal Arts Computer Science Consortium , and a member of the Computer Professionals for Social Responsiblity.


Negotiations are underway with several publishers regarding textbooks. These books include:

The schedule

A Tentative Workshop Schedule is available in both .dvi format and postcript format.

Each day, sessions will run from 8:00-noon, 1:00-4:30 pm, and 7:00-9:15pm, except that the Workshop will conclude about 3:00pm on Friday. The evening sessions on Monday and Thursday are optional.

Highlights of this schedule follow.






Course Work

Course activities will involve a combination of the lectures, small- and large-group discussions, laboratory exercises, panels, and films.


All attendees are expected to participate actively in all sessions.

In addition, in order to receive credit for this workshop, you must write a paper, reviewing the computing curriculum at your high school in the light of the various discussions at this workshop. Unless special arrangements have been made, the registration paperwork, check payment, and paper should be received by July 15.

This workshop seeks to suggest new perspectives and ideas about computing and computer science, based upon printed materials, presentations, panels, discussions, opportunities for sharing, and the field trip. The goal for this assignment, therefore, is to encourage you to think about this information, about courses you teach, and about the general shape of the computing curriculum offered by your school district.

More specifically, in a paper, please review your computing courses and curriculum on the basis of what you heard this week. For example, you might address such questions as:

The answers to such questions, of course, depend greatly upon your own perspectives and upon local circumstances. Thus, I want to assure you that I am not looking for specific answers. Rather, grading for this course will be based upon the level of thought shown in a paper and upon how various pieces or threads have come together. With the amount of material, discussion, and sharing that was part of the conference, perhaps a paper of 3-5 pages might seem appropriate. This page count, however, should be viewed as a suggestion only. In particular, I have no interest in making you expand a short answer to fill a specified amount of space. Similarly, I do not want to limit you if you want to say more.

This document is available on the World Wide Web as


created March 29, 1998
last revised April 7, 1998
Henry Walker (walker@math.grin.edu)