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Frontiers in Education Mission & Vision

The Frontiers in Education conference strives to be the most relevant and respected forum for disseminating innovations that improve engineering and  computer science education. The conference helps engineering and computer science educators learn about innovations in learning theory, educational technology, and classroom techniques. 

To achieve its mission, Frontiers in Education creates an engaging conference program that relies upon a number of presentation formats and social networking events to bring together a worldwide community of teachers. The conference values diversity and the learning that occurs when ideas are shared and differing opinions reflect multiple viewpoints. The conference envisions a collaborative event where peer-reviewed research results and peer-reviewed classroom practice contributions are both respected and encouraged. These values reflect the conference goal of helping educators continue their own lifelong learning about their profession of teaching. 

Introduction and Historical Sponsorship

The Frontiers in Education conference (FIE) is a well-respected international conference on engineering and computer science education. The IEEE Education Society founded the conference in 1971. The American Society for Engineering Education joined as a co-sponsor in 1973. For more than two decades, these two sponsoring societies held the conference in various locations around the United States and, occasionally, in international venues. In 1995, the IEEE Computer Society became a sponsor and together these three groups have continued to plan high quality events that provide engineering and computer science educators the opportunity to network and showcase peer-reviewed scholarly contributions in educational research and classroom practice. In 2013, the FIE Steering Committee formed formal policy that places FIE within the continental United States with the possibility of an international location at five year intervals.

The educational research and the educational practice literature generated by FIE is regularly cited in scholarly work and helped to inspire a well-regarded textbook in engineering education written by John Heywood and published by Wiley-IEEE Press (ISBN: 978-0-471-74111-4).

Peer Review Process and Paper Statistics

FIE uses a two-stage review process that begins with the issuance of a call-for-papers in June of the year preceding the conference. The first stage requires submission of a short abstract that is then peer-reviewed by the technical program committee for appropriateness to the conference, the yearly theme, new and engaging ideas, and so on. Abstracts that are selected are invited to submit full papers and works-in-progress (short papers) for blind peer-review. A blind peer review means that reviewers can see the names of the authors but the authors are not told the names of the reviewers.

Table 1 provides acceptance information for the past seven years. Note that FIE accept rate is quoted based on the full two-level peer review of acceptable papers. Thus, in 2014, 895 abstracts were deemed appropriate to move to full-paper creation and peer-review. After peer-review, 480 / 895 = 57% of the original author contacts result in published work. The acceptance rate is also plotted with a trend line. The slight upward trend is caused by the 2013 outlier year. The overall trend line has an upward directional slope but is a nearly horizontal line with an average around 50% when the outlier is removed.

Table 1: Nine Years of FIE Acceptance Rate Data

Year Accept Rate Abstracts Published
2016 48% 854 412
2015 52% 757 396
2014 57% 895 507
2013 70% 609 429
2012 43% 690 300
2011 60% 736 440
2010 45% 833 379
2009 45% 783 355
2008 47% 876 411
2007 55% 734 403

Attendance Statistics

The Frontiers in Education Conference is one of the world’s premier conference events covering the areas of engineering, computer engineering, software engineering, and computer science education. It has a loyal author and attendee base. Registrations have remained relatively constant over the past fifteen years. This is remarkable when the worldwide economic recession is considered. The reason is the sense of community that FIE provides to attendees: the high quality technical papers consistently provide state-of-the-art conversation in education, the registration fee has remained relatively affordable, and registration pays for an opening reception, three breakfasts, three lunches, all coffee and refreshment breaks, as well as the conference bag, the proceedings, an exhibit hall, free wireless internet, and other similar amenities. Registrants consistently compliment FIE on the common food functions that foster a sense of camaraderie and provide ample opportunity for participant networking. Table 2 provides the statistical summary of FIE registration in the 21st century. The trend line is nearly horizontal with an average attendance of 576 people.

Table 2: FIE Attendance in the 21st Century

Year Attendance
2015 513
2014 571
2013 481
2012 505
2011 527
2010 631
2009 513
2008 590
2007 642
2006 659
2005 663
2004 566
2003 693
2002 629
2001 499
2000 464