Yolanda Reimer, Professor
Broadening CS in High Schools
The focus of this project is to broaden the computer science curriculum available in Montana's public high schools so that more students are exposed to opportunities within CS. Educators from the University of Montana, Montana Tech, Montana State University, and Salish Kootenai College have formed a statewide collaboration to increase the number of teachers qualified to teach computer science in the state and to engage more high school students in various topics and activities within CS. To achieve these goals we:
- Prepare high-school teachers to teach CS topics by offering multiple professional development opportunities.
- Provide local and online resources for ongoing professional development.
- Establish a community of CS K12 teachers around the state.
- Focus on engaging underrepresented groups in CS.
- Use educational research foundations to build, assess, and inform our ongoing activities.
Travis Wheeler, Associate Professor
Our group develops methods in computational biology, with an emphasis on genomic sequence analysis. For the most part, that involves development of algorithms that increase the speed, power, and accuracy of methods for comparing biological sequences, using a mix of information theory, algorithm design, and software/hardware optimization. We also apply these methods to biology-motivated topics, especially those involving transposable elements and regulatory elements.
Alden Wright, Emeritus Professor
Humans are a technological species. Over the last 3 million years our evolution has been profoundly shaped by the things we make and use, which in turn have been impacted by the cultural abilities that humans possess. While we can no longer claim that either technology or culture is unique to humans, we do know that human abilities in these two areas are more complex than those of other species. Our cultural capacity allows us to store and transmit the knowledge and skills necessary to refine and innovate technologies, and in doing so to build on the advances made by the countless generations that have gone before us.
Researchers now see that human biology and culture are complexly connected, and that we can often understand the evolution of both culture and technology as processes that have analogies in biological evolution. This enables researchers to use theory and methods drawn from the biological sciences in order to understand cultural and technological change, and provides a powerful interdisciplinary approach to the study of human evolution.