Researching CS Education to Drive Equity and Effectiveness

Dr. Colleen Lewis
CSE 1242, Building EBU3_B
Dr. Colleen Lewis
McGregor-Girand Associate Professor of Computer Science

Abstract: In my work, I aim to understand and improve computer science (CS) education to make it more equitable and effective. Equitable and effective CS instruction is essential for broadening participation in computing, responding to the growing demand for computer scientists, and guiding the expansion of CS at the K–12 level. My research is organized around two overarching themes: (1) understanding and optimizing CS learning, and (2) understanding and removing barriers to CS. I will share a brief background of my work in each of these areas and current projects from two newly-funded five-year NSF grants. In the first project, I am working with high school teachers to explore how students develop a mental model of program execution. In the second project, I am working with the Computing Research Association to identify department-level practices that increase students’ interest and persistence within CS.​

Bio: Colleen Lewis is the McGregor-Girand Associate Professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College. At UC Berkeley, Lewis completed a PhD in science and mathematics education, an MS in computer science, and a BS in electrical engineering and computer science. Her research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn. Lewis curates, a NSF-sponsored project for disseminating effective computer science teaching practices. Lewis has received the Undergraduate Mentoring Award and the Emerging Leader Award in Honor of Denice Denton.

The goal of the CSE DEI speaker series is to invite advocates of change to give talks that are idea and action-focused, and on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration, and action to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. The DEI speaker series is open to the UCSD community of faculty, staff, students, and campus affiliates.