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2015 Conference (15th)

Conference Details

The 2015 ACSE Conference will be held at the York Campus of Seneca College on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

    • Lunch will be provided for all attendees
    • Keynote Speaker : Chris Tyler, Seneca 

      Chris Tyler is the Industrial Research Chair Open Source Technology for Emerging Platforms at the Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT) at Seneca College, and an active participant in several open source communities. His current research is focused on enabling open source software for new, energy-efficient 64-bit ARM hyperscale server systems.

      Raspberries, Bananas, Beagles, and Rocks: Teaching Computing using Small Computers and Open Source Software

    • Giveaway:
      A Myo Gesture Control Armband will be given away to one lucky attendee at the conference so register early!!

Location and Parking Details

Recommended parking lot is: 
Student Services Parking Garage (cost is $7 for the day)

TTC: Take the 196 Bus from Downsview Station

Seneca @ York - Stephen E. Quanlan (SEQ) building

70 The Pond Road
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 3M6

The map below shows the parking lot and conference building.


Payment and Registration Information

Please make your payment at the following site:

Registration is $90 for general attendees or $45 for student teachers or retirees. If you are unable to use Paypal, make sure to bring the amount in cash or cheque on the morning of the conference.

Once you've made your payment, please fill in the registration form at

If you have further questions or concerns about the conference, please contact our conference organizer Grant Hutchison at

Determine which sessions you are most interested in attending by checking the Session Grid and Descriptions below.


The twitter hashtag for this year's conference will be #acse15. We encourage you to tweet and use the hashtag during the conference so we can all learn from each other!


If you take any pictures at the conference, please share them via twitter using the hashtag #acse15.

Keynote Session

Chris TylerIndustrial Research Chair, Open Source Technology for Emerging Platforms @ Seneca College

Chris Tyler is the Industrial Research Chair Open Source Technology for Emerging Platforms at the Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT) at Seneca College , and an active participant in the Fedora Project. His current research is focused on bringing the the Fedora Project's open source software to energy-efficient ARM computer systems.

Session Grid

(subject to changes: Last update: February 27, 2015)
session grid


SESSION 1 - 10:00-11:00

Linking Mathematics & Computer Science

The Centre for Education in Math and Computing (CEMC) is a group at the University of Waterloo that provides resources and materials to promote mathematics and computer science in Canada and internationally. The CEMC has three major resources related to the promotion of computer science: the Beaver Computing Challenge, CS Circles, and the Canadian Computing Challenge (CCC). In this session, we will look at these resources with an eye to how the materials might appeal to students who are interested in mathematics, but have not necessarily shown that they are interested in computer science.

Presenter: Sandy Graham, Lecturer, University of Waterloo

Resource: BCCCSCirclesandCCC.pdf

Advanced Math and Game Making: Game Maker

Learn to use Game Maker for teaching math, computer science, and game design. By creating a simple clone of the Combat arcade game you can structure a lesson to teach the application of math, physics, and logic to create the game in Game Maker using Game Maker Studio with scripting in Game Maker Language. This session requires some prior experience in programming.

Note: To fully participate install GameMakerStudio on your laptop (free version is available)

Presenter: Kevin Forest, Professor, Sheridan

Multi-Agent Programming Competitions in the ICS4U/4C Classroom (double session)

In a multi-agent programming competition, each human player creates a software agent that competes against other players' agents in a virtual arena. The agents are programmed, debugged, and tested before the competition begins, and then face off against each other autonomously. In this session, we will discuss the benefits of introducing a multi-agent programming competition into the ICS4U/4C classroom and the tie-ins to the official ICS4U/4C curriculum. Participants will then create players for a Rock-Paper-Scissors competition. Programming will be in Java. This session is a repeat of a 2011 CEMC Summer Institute session.

Presenter: Sam Scott, Professor, Sheridan


Enhancing Computer Studies with an ICT SHSM

This session will introduce in depth how to launch an ICT SHSM. From the proposal stage to which certifications to include, reach ahead activities available and suitable co-op placements. Beside the standard certifications the following additional certifications will be discussed: CISCO CCNA Discovery, Cisco ITE, A+ Certification, FIT (Focus on Information Technology) Certificate includes The FIT Competencies and Concentration Framework in Interactive Media, Software Design and Development and Network and System Operations

Presenter: Clark Chernak, Teacher, BHNC DSB

Resources: Chernak SHSM ACSE Winter 1.pptxChernak SHSM APPLICATION 2013 2014 ICT Ver 1.3.docx

Enhancing the Elementary Curriculum With Computational Thinking

There is no argument in the value of having students write computer code from a critical/computational thinking standpoint. Students as young as kindergarten can begin to explore theories of computer science. Whether the algorithm is how to make toast, sort data or how to find the factors of a composite number, kids of all ages can understand the procedures. A student cannot develop an 'app' to find the area of a circle without first understanding the formula and algorithm for solving this problem – yielding the learning of formulas as a bi-product of this process. This session will range from the very basics of learning to block code, to actually coding an 'app' to support elementary numeracy curriculum using block code so students don’t lose sight of the task by focusing on syntax.

Presenter: Brian Aspinall, Elementary Teacher, Presenter, Blogger

SESSION 2 - 11:10-12:10

Introduction to Processing

Processing ( is a popular Java-based programming environment that emphasizes quick exploratory development with applications in visual art and design. It's freely available for all contemporary operating systems. Processing offers a fun and accessible path into computer science for novice programmers, supported by a wide range of well written documentation in print and online. In this talk I will introduce Processing, talk about its strengths and weaknesses as a tool for introductory programming, and demonstrate some simple programs written in Processing.

Presenter: Craig Caplan, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo

Resource: kaplan.pdf

A Hands-On Introduction to an Arduino Classroom Curriculum (double session)

Arduino is the ultimate open source electronic brain that is giving students the power to create inventions like never before. This hands-on workshop will not only teach you how to use Arduino, but it will also give you the tools you need to design a high school curriculum. The workshop will teach some basic labs, and show examples of student work including a music making machine, a 3d printer, Lilypad wearable electronics and more. The science, math, and robotics program (SMR) at John Polanyi CI in the TDSB teaches Arduino from Grade 9-12 in their technology classes. The school also does Arduino robotics outreaches to its feeder schools, and has helped design the Arduino kits for the TDSB's STEM program. This workshop will have students from the SMR program helping to display their work and it will use the resources from the program.

Note: To fully participate install Arduino software on your laptop ( )

Note: Limited to a maximum of 20 attendees.

Presenter: Vernon Kee, Teacher, TDSB

Electronics Primer (double session)

In this beginners session we will explore how to use a breadboard to create simple electronic circuits.  This hands on lab, will teach you how to: classify resistors, wire up an LED, use a potentiometer to increase and decrease the intensity of the LED, use transistors to make an LED flash, and finally you will work with a 7-segment LED display.  No experience necessary for this lab, just a willingness to learn, explore, and tinker with basic electronics.  Handouts, labs, and a slideshow will be provided.  

Note: Limited to a maximum of 20 attendees.

Presenter: Robert Ceccato, Teacher, St Joan of Arc, YCDSB

Resource: ACSE 2015 Electronics

Physical Computing: Experiential Learning with the Raspberry Pi

Attendees will be introduced to EveBoardOne's educational platform and learning system for use in teaching circuitry, electronics, computer programming and more. This hands-on session will immerse attendees in the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi, Scratch and Python in STEM education.

Presenter: Daniel Kenel / Ben Douek, EveBoard One

Note: Limited to a maximum of 20 attendees.

SESSION 3 - 2:10-3:10

Engaging students with Techno Girls program and Touch Develop

Touch Develop uses the latest web technologies to bring a cloud-connected, touch-friendly app creation environment to your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android or Windows Phone device. In this session you will learn about Touch Develop and how it has been used within the Techno Girls program to broaden participation in CS.

Presenter: Ian McTavish, Teacher, TLDSB


Computer Programming Teams

How do you get your students to participate in programming contests? This workshop is designed for staff advisors who are interested in starting or building a school team.

Presenter: Janice Dyke, Teacher, TDSB

Resource: Computer Programming Teams.pptx

Learning CS concepts through games (using lightbot)

Discover how lightbot ( can be used as a tool to introduce programming concepts to kids at any age. In this session we will take an interactive approach to learning and discuss various methods of getting students interested in problem solving using programming skills.

Presenter: Brian Harrington, Professor, University of Toronto

Resource: acse2015-slides-brian.pdf

SESSION 4 - 3:15-4:15

C# - From beginner to advanced

C# and Visual C# is a modern, general purpose, object-oriented programming environment that is ideal for introductory and advanced programming courses. In this session the two (2) presenters will share their experiences of teaching secondary students using this language. Code samples and assignment ideas will be discussed throughout the session.

Presenter: Ian McTavish / Grant Hutchison

Note: To fully participate you may wish to install Visual Studio C# 2010 Express or Visual Studio C# 2013 Community Edition before the conference.

Resources: |

Python and Processing

Processing is a powerful and easy to learn graphics system that now features a Python mode. Look at how you can use it in the classroom to build simple to sophisticated games with examples of student work created this past semester. We will also explore some of the extension libraries that allow integration with the Arduino, sound playback and synthesis and more.

Presenter: James Cordiner, Teacher, TDSB

How to Nail It! (Advanced algorithms and data structures that will boost your students' success on programming competitions)

Many programming contest questions can be solved directly through the use of appropriate data structures and/or algorithmic techniques, such as heaps, balanced search trees, graphs, graph traversal algorithms, divide-and-conquer (and other recursive algorithms), dynamic programming, etc. These advanced data structures and algorithmic techniques require care in their application but once learned, they become a valuable addition to a programmer's toolbox.

In this presentation, I will start with a whirlwind tour of these techniques, followed by a more focused coverage of one or two of the more popular ones.

Presenter: Francois Pitt, Professor, University of Toronto


Teaching Algorithms Analysis by Examples

Formal algorithms analysis is a hard concept for most students to grasp even at the post secondary level.  This talk will look at teaching algorithms analysis through examples of algorithms with different run times.

Presenter: Catherine Leung, Professor, Seneca

Resources: Catherine Leung acs2015.pdf | | |

Students Teaching Students How to Code

This session addresses Scratch coding for elementary taught by secondary students.  Code Tiger is a club at Harbord CI where students plan learning activities for nearby feeder school participation.  The student club executive will share how the club is organized through Google, and plans, challenges and successes. The Code Tiger goal is to teach 21st Century literacy and inspire students to code and collaborate within our FOS.
Presenter: Karen Beutler, Teacher, TDSB