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Shall We Dance?

Clemson University 3-D dance

Many girls like to dance. Code? Not so much.

Women fill only 27 percent of computer science jobs and earn only 20 percent of computing degrees.

More might be encouraged to study computer science and engineering if Shaundra Daily’s choreography software catches on. The Clemson University assistant professor of computing and her colleague Alison Leonard, an assistant professor of education, used motion-capture technology to create a system that lets fifth and sixth grade girls program a virtual 3-D dancer’s movements based on movements they themselves make. The girls then have to develop new computing strategies to improve their choreography.

“Executing one bit of code or movement one after the other exists in both programming and choreography. Likewise, loops or repeating a set of steps,” Leonard notes.

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