ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science Curricula 2013 – Strawman draft

Over the weekend, the ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science Curricula 2013 committee (of which I am a member) released the first public from this effort. (The announcement follows my comments). The Strawman draft is not a complete document as some additions, most importantly exemplar curriculums, are yet to be made. It is however ready for public comments on the content that is there. This is a major first step and we hope there will be some positive and constructive discussions about this curricula.  It is useful to remind people what this is not though. It is not the recommendations for Computer Engineering, Information Systems, Information Technology or Software Engineering. There are separate documents for all of those fields which you can find on the ACM Curricula Recommendations page. There you can also find the Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report which  provides undergraduate curriculum guidelines for all five defined sub-disciplines of computing.

The importance of this document to faculty of higher education is, one hopes, obvious but these are not the only people it should be important to. People in industry should be aware of what a computer science degree means and how it is different from the other degrees in computing. Secondary school educators should be able to explain to their students what they are “getting into” but should also see this document as a chance to learn what areas of computer science are core to the field of study. The comment period opens soon and I’ll post about that when it happens. For now though the document is out there and you can start reading it. It’s good stuff.


We are delighted to announce the availability of the ACM/IEEE-CS Computer Science Curricula 2013 – Strawman draft. The draft is available at the CS2013 website ( or directly at


Continuing a process that began over 40 years ago with the publication of "Curriculum 68", the major professional societies in computing–ACM and IEEE-Computer Society–have sponsored efforts to establish international curricular guidelines for undergraduate programs in computing on roughly a 10-year cycle. This volume, Computer Science Curricula 2013 (CS2013), represents a comprehensive revision of previous computer science curricular guidelines, redefining the knowledge units in CS and rethinking the essentials necessary for a Computer Science curriculum.


The CS2013 Steering Committee welcomes comment on the CS2013 Strawman draft from the computing community. The comment period will begin shortly (additional information on how to provide comments will be sent out in a few days) and remain open until July 15, 2012. Comments on the Strawman draft will be addressed in future drafts of CS2013.


A panel session at SIGCSE-12 will provide a brief overview of CS2013 and provide the opportunity for in-person feedback from the community on the Strawman draft. The panel session is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 10:45am-12noon in Room 301AB.

Warm regards,

Mehran Sahami and Steve Roach
Co-Chairs, CS2013 Steering Committee

CS2013 Steering Committee

ACM Delegation

  • Mehran Sahami, Chair (Stanford University)
  • Andrea Danyluk (Williams College)
  • Sally Fincher (University of Kent)
  • Kathleen Fisher (Tufts University)
  • Dan Grossman (University of Washington)
  • Beth Hawthorne (Union County College)
  • Randy Katz (UC Berkeley)
  • Rich LeBlanc (Seattle University)
  • Dave Reed (Creighton University)

IEEE-CS Delegation

  • Steve Roach, Chair (Univ. of Texas, El Paso)
  • Ernesto Cuadros-Vargas (Univ. Catolica San Pablo, Peru)
  • Ronald Dodge (US Military Academy)
  • Robert France (Colorado State University)
  • Amruth Kumar (Ramapo Coll. of New Jersey)
  • Brian Robinson (ABB Corporation)
  • Remzi Seker (Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock)
  • Alfred Thompson (Microsoft)
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