Archive for September 3, 2018

Join us at the University of Michigan to study Computing Education

As of September 1, Barbara Ericson and I are new faculty at the University of Michigan.  The School of Information has a nice write-up about their new faculty, including Barb here. The Computer Science and Engineering Division (of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department) wrote up their new faculty, including me here.

We are both looking to bring on new students in Ann Arbor.  Readers of this blog can find out a lot about us.  Barb continues to be interested in further developing interactive ebooks as a medium for education and in issues of broadening participation in computing (especially looking to grow Project Rise Up and Sisters Rise Up).  I continue to be interested in how students come to understand program execution (building a mental model of the notional machine) and in the role of programs to be a notation for learning (like in Bootstrap).

Because of how we’re situated at the University of Michigan, there are several avenues for new PhD students:

The EER program is hosting a prospective student open house on Oct 22, and there are travel grants available. See for more information, and I have part of the flyer pasted below.

Choosing between the degree options depends on what you want to do with your PhD after you graduate, and what kind of preparation you want during your PhD. You can do CS Ed research via the CS PhD at Michigan (I did), and your preparation will involve classes in CS and a CS qualifying examination. SI is more oriented towards psychological and sociological perspectives on computing. EER will be more about CS and education in an Engineering context. If you want a CS faculty job, the CS PhD is the surest bet, but SI PhDs do get hired in CS departments, and we hope EER PhDs do, too. EER PhD opens up possibilities in Engineering Education departments (like at Purdue, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Clemson), where a CS or SI Phd is less common.

Michigan is becoming a seriously interesting place for computing education research.  Elliot Soloway (my PhD advisor) is still an energetic force in CS. SI just hired Ron Eglash (starting the same time as us), who is one of the founders of ethnocomputing and ethnomathematics (see news article here). I’m eager to collaborate with my friends in the learning sciences here, like Betsy Davis, Barry Fishman, and Chris Quintana. Do come join us!


September 3, 2018 at 7:00 am 2 comments

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