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From Blocks to Python

Primary Investigators:
Akos Ledeczi
 
Brief Description of Project:
NetsBlox (https://netsblox.org) is an educational block-based programming environment that can be used to teach programming, but also more advanced concepts, such as distributed computing, networking and IoT. We have just created a new environment that looks similar to the typical blocks-based interface except the programs themselves are written in Python. However, all other features of NetsBlox such as message passing and excess to online services and IoT devices are still supported.  This project seeks to develop innovative use cases of having access to the full power of Python to teach novice programmers more advanced CS concepts such as distributed computing or machine learning. The goal is to illustrate relevant real world projects to high school students, especially girls and young people from other underrepresented groups, to motivate them to study computer science.

Desired Qualifications:
Python programming experience
 
Nature of Supervision:
Work closely with graduate student
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Week 1. Learn NetsBlox and PyBlox
Weeks 2-9: Iterative design - prototype - test of various projects
Week 10. Documentation
 
Number of Open Slots: 1
 
Contact Information:
Name: Akos Ledeczi
Department: Computer Science
Email: akos.ledeczi@vanderbilt.edu