The UMKC Baja Buggy Team proudly took “The Duke” on the road to the April 18-21 Baja SAE Tennessee Tech and June 6-9 Baja SAE Rochester racing competitions. Our UMKC Baja team finished in the top 50 of the endurance race at Rochester and were especially proud that the buggy remained in working order over the 4 hour course. Drivers for the Rochester competition were: 1) John Smith for the Acceleration event; 2) Jared Kleinowski for the Hill Climb event; 3) Michael Snowden for the Maneuverability event; 4) Cody Wallingford for the Suspension and Traction event; and 5) Cody Wallingford and Levon Pogosov for the Endurance Event.
Brian Hare, SCE Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science, presented his poster entitled “Classroom interventions to reduce failure in CS1” at ACM’s Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) conference. He presented data based on three consecutive semesters’ experience with peer mentoring and course support in CS 101 and its effects on reducing the withdrawal & failure rate. His results found that Intensive support definitely helped many students get better grades but didn’t affect the number of people dropping or failing the course. The biggest predictor of dropping or failing the course was being employed full time while also taking 12 or more credit hours. The significance of the work is that students often find that successfully completing their first semester at college is often one of the biggest hurdles they face. Finding ways to help students be more successful in courses that traditionally challenge freshman students pursuing a STEM degree, can lay the groundwork for future successes and can help prevent students from getting bogged down or behind schedule their freshman year. The SIGCSE conference, held March 6-9 in Denver, Colorado, attracted just over 3000 attendees from all over the world. There were over 150 papers, 11 panel discussions, twenty workshops before and during the conference, and over thirty exhibits associated with the SIGCSE conference.