XNA chief calls to make computer science more interesting

Games Edu: Satchell – ‘We need interesting curriculi’

In his talk at the Games:Edu day of the Develop conference, general manager of the XNA group Chris Satchell has called upon universities to co-operate with Microsoft to make Computer Science a more desirable topic.

“I’m passionate about getting people interested in computer science, but admissions are falling 40 per cent each year,” he explained, citing its unsexiness as a subject as a chief problem.

“People think ‘I want to learn programming to make cool things’ and then when they walk through the door they’re given a book on database design.”

During the presentation Satchell explained the benefits of XNA to the academic community, in helping turn the teaching of ‘core topics’ from something boring into something engaging.

The demonstration showed that traditional computer algorithms, such as the Game of Life and Mandelbrot fractals, can be coded quickly with the XNA framework – meaning that students can learn about computer science topics like parallel processing and irregular memory structures through making graphical demos and games.

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