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  1. This demo introduces participants to the concepts and application of BRIDGES, a software infrastructure designed to facilitate hands-on experience for solving traditional problems in introductory computer science courses using data from real-world systems that are of interest to students, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps. BRIDGES provides access to real-world data sets for use in traditional data structures programming assignments, without requiring students to work with complex and varied APIs to acquire such data. BRIDGES also helps the students to explore and understand the use of data structures by providing each student with a visualization of operations performed onmore »the student's own implementation of a data structure. BRIDGES visualizations can be easily shared (via a weblink) with peers, friends, and family. Demo attendees will see (and possibly engage in) hands-on experience with BRIDGES and will have the opportunity to discuss how BRIDGES can be used to support various introductory computer science courses. Additionally, the demo will complement our oral presentation of our work at SIGCSE, by providing hands-on demonstrations of BRIDGES.« less
  2. Although undergraduate enrollment in Computer Science has remained strong and seen substantial increases in the past decade, retention of majors remains a significant concern, particularly for students at the freshman and sophomore level that are tackling foundational courses on algorithms and data structures. In this work, we present BRIDGES, a software infrastructure designed to enable the creation of more engaging assignments in introductory data structures courses by providing students with a simplified API that allows them to populate their own data structure implementations with live, real-world, and interesting data sets, such as those from popular social networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook).more »BRIDGES also provides the ability for students to create and explore {\em visualizations} of the execution of the data structures that they construct in their course assignments, which can promote better understanding of the data structure and its underlying algorithms; these visualizations can be easily shared via a weblink with peers, family, and instructional staff. In this paper, we present the BRIDGES system, its design, architecture and its use in our data structures course over two semesters.« less