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Seminar: Computer Science Education for a New Generation


Bita Akram

Ph.D. Candidate, North Carolina State University

Monday, February 18
10:00am - 11:15am
310 Kelly Hall


Computer science has become a foundational skill for students to thrive in a digital economy. Not surprisingly, there has been dramatic growth in students' interest in computer science starting at young ages. As a result, there is a rapidly growing need to provide students with quality CS education at scale, with sufficient scaffolding and support, and timely assessment and feedback. As new teaching strategies and technologies are emerging to facilitate CS education, an evidence-centered approach to CS education research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed techniques and tools and to identify best practices for implementing them in the classroom. Furthermore, it is now more important than ever to design inclusive teaching practices and strategies that encourage and support minorities and underrepresented students.

In this talk, I present my teaching philosophy, my work at the intersection of CS curriculum development and K-12 outreach, and my current and future research plans.  


Bita Akram is a computer science doctoral student at North Carolina State University and a research assistant at the Center for Educational Informatics and Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Her research focus is on improving access and quality of CS Education by developing innovative CS curricula and designing advanced learning technologies for instructional support. As part of her Ph.D., she has designed several computational modeling curricula for middle-grade classrooms and held professional development workshops for K-12 teachers across the country. She has also developed algorithms for assessing students’ computer science skills and problem-solving strategies in a game-based learning environment. Bita has obtained her M.Sc. in computer science from the University of Calgary where her research was focused on devising algorithms for conducting accurate and efficient scientific data visualization. She has obtained her B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.