Category: Faculty Awards

Computer Science Faculty, Students Awarded Best Poster at ITiCSE


Department of Computer Science faculty and students presented two posters, a paper, and chaired a session at the 26th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), conducted online June 26 to July 1, 2021.

“A Visualization for Teaching Integer Coercion,” a poster presented by James Walker with Steven Carr, Ahmed Radwan, Yu-Hsiang Hu, Yu Chin Cheng, Jean Mayo, and Ching-Kuang Shene, was one of three posters that received the conference’s Best Poster Award.

The poster describes the Expression Evaluation (EE) visualization tool. The tool is designed to aid students in understanding type conversions that take place implicitly in C. Understanding type conversions is essential to avoid Integer errors in C which continue to be a source of security vulnerabilities.

An additional paper and poster were presented at the conference, below. Dr. Linda Ott chaired a conference session on Students: Diversity.


Poster: Modeling the Growth and Spread of Infectious Diseases to Teach Computational Thinking by Meara Pellar-Kosbar, Dylan Gaines, Lauren Monroe, Alec Rospierski, Alexander Martin, Ben Vigna, Devin Stewart, Jared Perttunen, Calvin Voss, Robert Pastel and Leo Ureel II

The poster discusses a simulation model developed to teach middle school students about the spread of infectious diseases augmented with affordances to help students develop computational thinking skills. The simulation was partially developed as a Citizen Science project in the courses CS4760 and CS5760, User Interface Design and Human Computer Interaction.

Presentation: Frozen in the Past: When it Comes to Analogy Fears, It’s Time For Us to “Let it Go” by Briana Bettin and Linda Ott

This position paper describes a fundamental difference in attitudes toward the use of analogy in the computer science education community versus other STEM education communities. Additionally, it provides suggestions for how to address concerns in the CS education research community in order to advance research into the use of analogy in computing education

The 26th annual conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) was sponsored by ACM, the ACM Special Interest Group on Computing Education (SIGCSE), the ACM Europe Council, and Informatics Europe.

Leo Ureel Receives 2020-21 CTL Award for Innovative Teaching

The 2020-2021 CTL Instructional Award for Innovative or Out of Class Teaching is being presented to two instructors, and Assistant Professor Leo Ureel, Computer Science, and Libby Meyer, senior lecturer, Visual and Performing Arts.

Ureel was nominated in recognition of his “student-centric efforts which have increased retention and diversified the cohort of first-year computing students.”

Ureel’s presentation, “Three course innovations to support communication,” will be presented at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021, as part of the CTL Instructional Award Presentation Series.

Link here to register for the event.

Ureel is a member of the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems’s (ICC) Computing Education Center.

Meyer’s presentation, “Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Mastery Based Grading and Narrative Assessment” will also be presented on February 18.

During spring 2017, academic deans were asked to begin recognizing instructors making contributions in these areas as part of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase, effectively nominating them for instructional awards.

CTL and Provost’s office members along with previous awardees then select one individual in each category from a pool composed of the Showcase and those nominated to the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Ureel Lecture Abstract

Three course innovations to support communication Introductory courses present many communication challenges between faculty and first year students. In this context, we discuss three innovations used in our introductory computer science courses.

The first is the use of Snap, a high-level, visual programming language, as a form of pseudocode during the first five weeks of the course to build student vocabulary and problem solving skills before tackling programming in Java.

The second is a Code Critiquer developed as a Canvas plugin to provide immediate guidance and feedback to students when they submit their programming assignments.

The third is a grade visualization tool that helps students understand their current performance in the course and project a range that will contain their final grade. While not everyone teaches introductory computer science, we discuss how these or similar innovations and tools might apply to your course.

Leo Ureel, Computer Science