Skip to main content
Intellect

BYU professor takes innovative curriculum to China

A Brigham Young University information technology professor will travel to mainland China next week to teach more than 200 university computer science leaders about an innovative technology curriculum he helped develop.

“I’m thrilled to bring my work to China at a time when so many are interested in technology and American teaching styles,” said Barry Lunt, who departs for China Wednesday, Oct. 12, and returns Oct. 19.

Lunt has been the chair of two national committees whose task it was to draft the model curriculum for a new academic technology discipline called information technology. The discipline differs from other computing disciplines in that instead of focusing on just one aspect of computers, it combines a variety of technologies. Students learn to use computers, software and the Internet to solve problems for individuals and organizations. Faculty and students at BYU are currently working on projects aimed at preventing data decay on CDs and improving computer security.

Lunt’s work developing the new discipline caught the attention of Chinese educators, prompting them to invite him to present the new curriculum to them.

Karen Hyer, an expert in educational psychology who has taught at four Chinese universities, said she is not surprised with China’s interest in Lunt’s work.

“Many Chinese universities are still transitioning from traditional teaching methods, which rely upon rote and testing,” Hyer said. “They are fascinated with our problem-solving approaches and how we teach students to think, question and reason out problems, especially in the sciences. We are also seen as the ‘one to beat.’ Young academic Chinese want to know how we do it so that they can beat us at our own game.”

Hyer’s husband, Paul, is a China expert who taught at BYU. He said BYU is even more respected in China than in the United States.

“Along with Harvard, Berkeley and Columbia, BYU is one of the most widely known universities in China,” Paul Hyer said. “The many BYU performing arts groups that have traveled there, the school’s large teacher exchange program and the university’s safe, conservative image have helped establish BYU as a premier university to the Chinese. So it is not surprising China is interested in BYU’s information technology program.”

BYU created its IT program in 2001. Since then, according to department chair Richard Helps, BYU has played an important role in developing the discipline at universities throughout the nation.

“We helped start an IT education society which is now a national organization and we have helped the national accreditation board as it has developed its standards," said Helps. "In November, we hope to become one of the first universities to be accredited for IT.”

Writer: Spencer Deery

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

As the U.S. obesity epidemic grows, new BYU study shows who is most likely to be part of it

June 23, 2022
BYU researchers found that more than half of American adults in a new study gained 5% or more body weight over a 10-year period. What’s more, more than a third of American adults gained 10% or more body weight and almost a fifth gained 20% or more body weight.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Bunches of Oats: BYU professors untangle oat's evolutionary history for Nature paper

June 13, 2022
For the first time, researchers have sequenced the entire genome of a modern oat, the Swedish variety “Sang.” BYU plant and wildlife sciences professors Jeff Maughan and Rick Jellen played an important role in the international project, sequencing the genomes of two of oat’s ancient progenitors to elucidate its evolutionary history. The group’s findings were recently published as the cover article in top science journal Nature.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

BYU tapped as major lead in $360 million national water resources effort

June 07, 2022
This spring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a massive $360 million grant to fund a four-part initiative to conduct research on water resources nationwide. BYU has been tapped to lead one of the four pillars of this major effort over the next five years.


overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText=