science departments. This imbalance of interest is not necessarily bad; it is analogous to the linkage of computational science2 programs to other sciences (e.g., computational physics or chemistry) rather than to computer science. In particular, ITCP can be seen in the emergence of various new-media (or digital media or digital arts) activities. These activities relate to ITCP in name, but they appear to vary greatly in their intellectual rigor and vigor and in their impact on preexisting programs in the arts and design.

This chapter begins with a presentation of the specific organizational mechanisms that directly support and promote work in ITCP. Efforts within the mainstream schools and departments—of computer science, art, and design—to advance ITCP work are then discussed. The chapter concludes with cross-cutting observations and implications.3


There are three broad categories of academic ITCP organizations: specialized centers, workshops, and service units. Specialized centers are of the greatest interest in the present context because they tend to produce work that balances and integrates disciplines at the deepest levels and for the longest periods of time. However, workshops and service units can also make valuable contributions by working or fostering work across disciplines, as detailed below.


The specialized center is the most visible model for academic work in ITCP. The (relatively) standalone type operates largely autonomously from mainstream academic departments, and the derivative type obtains significant funding from one or more mainstream academic departments within one or more universities. And, of course, there are various gradations of specialized centers between standalone


Although this chapter focuses on higher education, the committee does not intend to suggest that ITCP work occurs only in higher education and/or that preparation for ITCP work in colleges and universities cannot begin earlier at the K-12 level. While it neither possessed the credentials to speak authoritatively on K-12 education nor heard testimony from K-12 researchers or educators, the committee does wish to record its sense that ITCP work could have a considerable, positive influence on the curricula of primary and secondary schools. Moreover, rich offerings in the arts and design areas, in addition to mathematics and science, in K-12 education can serve as an important baseline for ITCP thinking and work in the undergraduate years.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement