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  1. The College Board's AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) content has become a major new course for introducing K-12 students to the discipline. The course was designed for many reasons, but one major goal was to broaden participation. While significant work has been completed toward equity by many research groups, we know of no systematic analysis of CSP content created by major vendors in relation to accessibility for students with disabilities, especially those who are blind or visually impaired. In this experience report, we discuss two major actions by our team to make CSP more accessible. First, with the help of accessibility experts and teachers, we modified the entire CSP course to make it accessible. Second, we conducted a one-week professional development workshop in the summer of 2018 for teachers of blind or visually impaired students in order to help them prepare to teach CSP or support those who do. We report here on lessons learned that are useful to teachers who have blind or visually impaired students in their classes, to AP CSP curriculum providers, and to the College Board.
  2. Scientific computing has become an area of growing importance. Across fields such as biology, education, physics, or others, people are increasingly using scientific computing to model and understand the world around them. Despite the clear need, almost no systematic analysis has been conducted on how students in fields outside of computer science learn to program in the context of scientific computing. Given that many fields do not explicitly teach much programming to their students, they may have to learn this important skill on their own. To help, using rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods, we looked at the process 154 students followed in the context of a randomized controlled trial on alternative styles of programming that can be used in R. Our results suggest that the barriers students face in scientific computing are non-trivial and this work has two core implications: 1) students learning scientific computing on their own struggle significantly in many different ways, even if they have had prior programming training, and 2) the design of the current generation of scientific computing feels like the wild-wild west and the designs can be improved in ways we will enumerate.