Computer Science Research Seminar

10:00 to 11:30, Friday, May 8th, 2009

Prof. Valerie Barr

CS Department Chair
Union College, NY

Title: Building a Computer Science Program for the 21st Century


A new look at longitudinal data on enrollment and degree production in Computer Science suggests that we ask new questions and develop new goals for CS programs. At Union this had led to significant changes in the CS program, including 5 distinct introductory courses, 4 different minors, significantly increased outreach to the student body, contributions to several joint programs with other departments and support for efforts by 14 faculty from 9 departments to incorporate computation into their course offerings.


Valerie Barr is a full professor in and chair of the Computer Science department at Union College, Schenectady, NY. Previously she was a tenured associate professor at Hofstra University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College, a Masters in Computer Science from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University. Between receiving her Masters and Ph.D. degrees, Valerie worked in industry on applications such as automated blood analyzers, automated storage and retrieval machines, and banking back office operations. Her current research is in the area of software testing, focusing on the development of verification and validation methods and tools for natural language processing systems. She is also involved in curriculum development, chiefly the creation of interdisciplinary programs between CS and the humanities and social sciences, with a goal of changing the demographics of enrollments in computer science. She is a member of ACM-W for which she runs a scholarship program for women to attend research conferences.