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07:00-08:15Speaker Breakfast
08:15-09:45 Session Thu-Opening-Keynote: The Evolution Before the Revolution, by Brenda Wilkerson, Anita Borg President & CEO


As founder of the original Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative in the Chicago Public Schools, Brenda Darden Wilkerson set the standard for integrating computer science classes into the curriculum for every student. Now, she’s leading the charge to break down barriers for women and members of other underrepresented minorities in the tech industry. She argues that, while many administrators and community leaders see CS4All as merely a key component of a new core curriculum, CS educators are actually sowing the seeds of the next workplace revolution. In this inspirational keynote, Brenda will share the ways that educators on the front lines of this inclusive movement can expect to reap the fruits of their labor —  not just professionally, but personally — in surprising ways. And she’ll spotlight the historic role of women, and people of color, in technology and computer science, offering examples that will better allow us all to reclaim our rightful seats at the table.


Brenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of, an organization working to shape public opinion about issues of critical importance to women technologists in academia, industry, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS4All initiatives.

Tiffany Barnes (North Carolina State University, United States)
Dan Garcia (University of California, Berkeley, United States)
Location: Ballroom I-II
10:00-10:45Breaks, Exhibits and Demos
10:00-10:45 Session Thu-Demo-10am: Demo Session #1
Peter-Michael Osera (Grinnell College, United States)
Location: Exhibit Hall
John Maloney (HARC, Y-Combinator Research, United States)
GP: A New Blocks Language for CS Education

ABSTRACT. Scratch and other blocks languages have introduced millions of young people to coding. However, as students get older they naturally seek new horizons and new programming languages. At the same time, CS educators in higher grades want to explore concepts that go beyond the scope of Scratch. Unfortunately, text-based languages present challenges. Syntax issues, cryptic error messages, and complex programming environments can alienate students and consume valuable classroom time. GP allows exploration of computational ideas in the context of a welcoming, media-rich blocks language.

GP is a free, general-purpose, blocks language suitable for students ages 13 and up that combines a Scratch-like programming environment with powerful facilities for working with data (strings, CSV data, files) and media (images, vector graphics, sampled sound, and musical scores).

GP is an object oriented language, so it can be used to introduce OOP. GP can be used to build data structures such as heaps, queues, and trees, making it suitable for teaching data structures and algorithms, with the bonus that GP's built-in graphics make it easy to create visualizations that build understanding.

The GP library and programming environment are written in the same blocks language used by users, allowing system code to be viewed and modified as blocks. As students grow in confidence, they can explore the GP library code for sorting (quicksort), line drawing (Bressenham), or the paint editor. Ambitious students can extend GP with new blocks or even add features to the programing environment.

Gina Likins (Red Hat, United States)
Teaching “Blinky Flashy”:​ ​Best Practices and Helpful Tips for Teaching eTextiles to a Wide Range of Students

ABSTRACT. Electronic Textiles, or eTextiles, are textiles that directly incorporate conductive fibers or elements. eTextile projects are engaging and hands-on, and can serve as an introduction to computing, electrical engineering, and the Internet of Things. In addition, evidence suggests eTextile projects are especially well-suited for girls and young women, and may help improve their overall attitudes and confidence about computing.

This demo will prepare instructors to lead a successful eTextiles workshop. Attendees will learn by doing – up to 20 participants will experience the fun of eTextiles by adding an LED sequin to an article of clothing they bring. In addition, the demo will cover: what information should be included in an eTextiles workshop -- and what can be skipped; variants to accommodate experience and knowledge levels; and how instructors can ensure that workshops go off without a hitch.

10:45-12:00 Session Fri-Incl-Hispanics: Invited Inclusion Session: Working Collectively to Broaden Participation of Hispanics in Computing


Ann Gates, Elsa Villa, UTEP, Sarah Hug, UC Boulder


Hispanics have the highest growth rates among all groups in the United States, yet they remain considerably underrepresented in computing careers and in attainment of advanced degrees in computing. Hispanics comprise only 13 percent of undergraduate students in all fields. Additionally, only 8.6 percent of baccalaureate degrees are conferred to Hispanic U.S. citizens. With computing careers growing at a faster than average rate in the United States and internationally, it’s important to increase the number of Hispanics who enter and complete degrees. This interactive session will be a structured discussion on collective efforts that can accelerate the number of Hispanics who complete degrees in CS and other computing fields. The results of the session will be summarized and disseminated through venues such as the CAHSI website and AAAS’s Trellis, and submitted for publication in the SIGCSE Bulletin.

Location: 322
10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4A: CS4All
Leigh Ann Delyser (NYC Foundation for CS Education, United States)
Location: 316
Sohail Alhazmi (RMIT University, Australia)
Margaret Hamilton (RMIT University, Australia)
Charles Thevathayan (RMIT University, Australia)
CS for All: Catering to Diversity through Assignment Choices

ABSTRACT. Increasingly, students enrolled into foundational CS courses such as programming fundamentals include those from many non-CS majors including Data Analytics, Business, Science and Social Sciences. Staff teaching foundational programming courses must therefore cater for varying student backgrounds, cognitive abilities and interests while teaching abstract concepts such as encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. In the past assignments played a major role in learning such abstract concepts as they allowed students to construct their own meanings experientially. However, a single assignment in a given domain pitched at an average student cannot cater effectively to students with varying cognitive abilities and backgrounds resulting in poor learning outcomes and student satisfaction. In this paper we report our experience, substantially improving learning outcomes and student satisfaction in an introductory programming course with weak learning outcomes and poor student satisfaction by offering a choice of assignments. Our novel approach requires designing assignments which take into account the interests of students and their zone of proximal development which determines the extent to which a learner can grasp new concepts. Our pre and post assignment tests and survey feedback clearly show a substantial improvement in learning outcomes and student perception.

Cheri Fancsali (Research Alliance for New York City Schools, United States)
Linda Tigani (Research Alliance for New York City Schools, United States)
Paulina Toro Isaza (Research Alliance for New York City Schools, United States)
A Landscape Study of NYC's CS4All Initiative: Findings and Implications for Policy and Practice

ABSTRACT. NYC’s CS4All is a 10-year, districtwide initiative aimed at providing high-quality CS education to all NYC public school students. It aspires to increase the numbers of students, teachers, and schools exposed to CS in NYC, and to provide meaningful learning experiences that build upon prior exposure and skills at every grade level. This paper presents efforts to capture a baseline assessment of school participation in CS across the school district through a landscape survey of 344 schools. Specifically, it explores the extent to which schools across the City have participated in CS-related teacher training and offer CS courses, and the challenges schools have met in doing so. We found that most of the surveyed schools offered students some kind of CS activity (courses or extracurricular programs, 80 percent 2016-17 school year, and about two thirds of schools (66 percent) participated in some type of CS training in the 2015-16 school year. The type of programming offered and training varied by school level (elementary, middle and high). We also explore the extent to which CS is reaching schools and students who are historically underrepresented in CS—including women and girls, students of color, low-income students and students with disabilities, finding that schools offering CS courses and activities served fewer Black and Latino students and more White and Asian Students. Based on our findings, we offer recommendations for NYC and other districts attempting similar efforts.

Steven McGee (The Learning Partnership, United States)
Randi McGee-Tekula (The Learning Partnership, United States)
Jennifer Duck (The Learning Partnership, United States)
Catherine McGee (The Learning Partnership, United States)
Lucia Dettori (DePaul University, United States)
Ronald I. Greenberg (Loyola University, United States)
Eric Snow (SRI International, United States)
Daisy Rutstein (SRI International, United States)
Dale Reed (University of Illinois Chicago, United States)
Brenda Wilkerson (Chicago Public Schools, United States)
Don Yanek (Chicago Public Schools, United States)
Andrew Rasmussen (Chicago Public Schools, United States)
Dennis Brylow (Marquette University, United States)
Equal Outcomes 4 All: A Study of Student Learning in ECS

ABSTRACT. This study investigated patterns in the development of computational thinking practices in the context of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program, a high school introductory CS course and professional development program designed to foster deep engagement through equitable inquiry around CS concepts. Past research indicates that the personal relevance of the ECS experience influences students’ expectancy-value towards computer science. Expectancy-value is a construct that is predictive of careers choices. We extended our research to examine whether expectancy influences the development of computational thinking practices. This study took place in the context of two ECS implementation projects across two states. Sixteen teachers with who implemented ECS in 2016-17 participated in the research. There were 654 students who completed beginning and end of year surveys and assessments. The surveys included demographic questions as well as a validated expectancy-value scale. For a subset of teachers, students also completed a survey about their course experiences. The assessments were developed and validated by SRI International as a companion to the ECS course. Overall, student performance statistically increased from pretest to posttest with effect size of 0.93. There were no statistically significant differences in performance by gender or race/ethnicity. The results replicate earlier findings that a personally relevant course experience positively influences students’ expectancy for success. The results also indicate that students’ expectancy for success positively influenced student learning.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4B: Introductory Courses
Sarah Heckman (North Carolina State University, United States)
Location: 317
Iris Gaber (, Israel)
Amir Kirsh (Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo, Israel)
The Effect of Reporting Known Issues on Students’ Work

ABSTRACT. Students in Computer Science programming courses often have difficulty with coding which results in flawed exercises. We asked students working on programming exercises to report known defects in their submission. We distinguish between three types of defects: bugs in the program, missing features, and poorly written code. Results show that students detect and report missing features and bugs quite accurately (59% of the bugs and 61% of the missing features were reported), but they are much less aware of the quality of their code (only 27% of the code issues were reported). After comparing their grades to the grades of the previous year we argue that the request to report defects helps student in submitting exercises with fewer bugs. Finally, the students affirmed that the request to report defects helped them in detecting problems and improved their time management.

Christopher Wilcox (Colorado State University, United States)
Albert Lionelle (Colorado State University, United States)
Quantifying the Benefits of Prior Programming Experience in an Introductory Computer Science Course

ABSTRACT. The superior performance of students with prior exposure to programming is evident to faculty in introductory CS courses. In this paper we quantify the difference between students with and without programming backgrounds. Our research is based on an initial CS1 course that we divided into a section with students having previous programming experience (P) and two sections for students without (NP). Both sections of CS1 were taught with the same curriculum and assessments. We find that the advantages of prior experience are substantial, with P students outscoring NP students by more than 6% on exams and 10% on programming quizzes. However, the performance gap between P and NP students narrows considerably by the end of the following CS2 course. Analyzing results by gender, our data shows that 22% of NP students in CS1 are female versus only 12% of P students. However, the female students with prior exposure outperform their male peers in all areas. Another finding of our research is the confirmation of a significant difference in confidence between female and male students.

Nabeel Alzahrani (Univ. of California, Riverside, United States)
Frank Vahid (Univ. of California, Riverside, United States)
Alex Edgcomb (Univ. of California / zyBooks, United States)
Roman Lysecky (University of Arizona, United States)
Kevin Nguyen (UCR, United States)
Python versus C++: An analysis of student struggle on small coding exercises in introductory programming courses

ABSTRACT. Many teachers of introductory programming courses (CS 1) have switched to Python rather than C, C++, or Java. One factor for switching is the perception that Python’s interpreted nature, and its simpler syntax and semantics, ease a student’s learning curve. However, specific data supporting that belief is scarce. We analyzed student submissions on small coding exercises serving as homework problems in CS 1 courses at 21 different universities, 10 courses using Python, and 11 using C++. The courses used either the Python or C++ version of the same online textbook from one publisher. Each online textbook had 100+ small coding exercises, with students expected to take about 2-5 minutes to complete each exercise. We considered 11 such exercises whose Python and C++ versions were nearly identical and which were distributed across chapters. We defined a struggle rate metric for exercises, where struggle means a student spent excessive time and/or made excessive attempts on an exercise. Based on struggle rate, we found that the learning curve for Python students was not eased; in fact, Python students had significantly higher struggle rates than C++ students (26% for Python vs. 13% for C++). The higher struggle rates were seen even when considering only classes with no prerequisites, classes for majors only, or classes for non-majors only. We provide some possible reasons for these results, and encourage the community to conduct further analyses, to help guide teachers when choosing a language for CS 1.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4C: Courses for Non-majors
Patrick Kinnicutt (Central Michigan University, United States)
Location: 320
Zoe Wood (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
John Clements (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Zachary Peterson (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
David Janzen (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Hugh Smith (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Michael Haungs (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Julie Workman (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
John Bellardo (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Bruce Debruhl (Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, United States)
Mixed approaches to CS0: Exploring topic and pedagogy variance after six years of CS0

ABSTRACT. Since 2010, the Anonymous University Computer Science Department has required computing majors to select from a variety of CS0 courses to start their academic year. The broad objective of the course is to attract and retain undergraduates that have no prior experience in CS by using authentic problems that demonstrate the relevance and highlight the role of computers in solving ``real world'' problems. The course is offered in a variety of thematic ``flavors'' that leverage a student's pre-existing interests (e.g. in music or art), but all share the common goals of introducing students to the basics of programming, teamwork, and college-level study. While there is overlap in overall goals, the courses vary drastically in topic matter (e.g. robotics, gaming, music, computational art, mobile apps, security) and in pedagogical approach (e.g. principles of design, project-based student driven learning, and traditional topic-based programming modules). The introduction of this CS0 course has increased students' commitment to their major and success in follow-on classes. We present these successes as well as show that student GPAs in a follow on object oriented programming course do not vary statistically for the differing subtopics and teaching pedagogies employed in the various flavors. Our report includes examining two student subgroups (those experienced with programming and those new to programming). Our evaluations suggest that the existence and goal of the course matter more than the specific content, with all subtopics and pedagogical approaches performing well.

Jessica Q. Dawson (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Meghan Allen (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Alice Campbell (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Anasazi Valair (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Designing an Introductory Programming Course to Improve Non-Majors' Experiences

ABSTRACT. Demand for computing courses by students in disciplines outside of Computer Science is growing. This growth has created increasing challenges in offering one-size-fits-all CS1 courses that work for everyone. We found that non-majors’ experiences and outcomes in our existing CS1 course were worse than those of the intended CS majors. In response, we developed an introductory programming course, CS0.5, aimed at meeting the needs of the diverse population of non-CS major students interested in our courses. In this paper, we present the motivation, curriculum design, and evidence of effectiveness for this new course. We describe the specific design decisions we made in response to the experiences of non-CS majors in CS1. We also demonstrate that students’ outcomes in CS0.5—measured in terms of students’ pass rates, satisfaction, and attitudes—all not only improve compared to non-CS majors in CS1, but also largely match those of CS majors in CS1. Finally, we present student feedback, gathered through surveys and Appreciative Inquiry focus groups, that illustrates how our curriculum design choices better meet our non-major students’ needs. The most-valued course design elements, as identified by focus group participants, provide insight for other CS educators who are designing similar courses.

Chris Crawford (University of Alabama, United States)
Christina Gardner-Mccune (University of Florida, United States)
Juan Gilbert (University of Florida, United States)
Brain-Computer Interface for All

ABSTRACT. As CS + X courses become more common, it is important for us to investigate ways to leverage interdisciplinary learning tools to expand the types of experiences available to students. This paper discusses our experiences introducing CS undergraduates to basic Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) concepts using NeuroBlock. Neuroblock is a visual programming environment with features that allow users to build applications driven by near-real time neurophysiological (i.e., brain waves) data. Brain wave data is captured using a commercial-grade BCI device. Students use brain wave data from the BCI device to create interactive hybrid-BCI applications (e.g., games) featuring objects that respond to students' affective states (e.g. engagement, relaxation, and attention) and keyboard events. In this paper, we describe NeuroBlock, three example activities, and results from an exploratory empirical study that suggests exposure to NeuroBlock increased students' confidence in their ability to develop applications that leverage neurophysiological signals. NeuroBlock and the discussed activities have the potential to supplement future CS + X courses by providing students hands on experiences with emerging physiological devices.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4D: Automated Support for Education
Becky Grasser (Lakeland Community College, United States)
Location: 319
Luciana Benotti (Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina)
Federico Aloi (Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina)
Franco Bulgarelli (Mumuki Org, Argentina)
Marcos J Gómez (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina)
The effect of a web-based coding tool with automatic feedback on students' performance and perceptions

ABSTRACT. In this paper we do three things. First, we describe a web-based coding tool that is open-source, publicly available and provides formative feedback and assessment. Second, we show that this tool significantly decreases the dropout rates in two different Haskell programming courses at two universities. Finally we apply a widely re-known model, the technology acceptance model to analyse students perceptions.

Emmanuel Schanzer (Bootstrap, United States)
Kathi Fisler (WPI, United States)
Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown University, United States)
Assessing Bootstrap:Algebra Students on Scaffolded and Unscaffolded Word Problems

ABSTRACT. Bootstrap:Algebra is a curricular module designed to integrate introductory computing into an algebra class; the module aims to help students improve on various essential learning outcomes from state and national algebra standards. The program's creators have published one paper about student performance gains on algebra problems after taking Bootstrap. While the results were promising, the dataset was small (involving only 150 students across 4 teachers), and had students working on algebra problems that had been scaffolded with Bootstrap's pedagogy. This paper reports on a more detailed study with (a) data from more than 450 students, (b) analysis of performance changes in incorrect answers, (c) some problems in which the Bootstrap scaffolds have been removed, and (d) an IRT analysis across the elements of Bootstrap's program-design pedagogy. Our results confirm that students improve on algebraic word problems after completing the module, even on unscaffolded problems. The nature of incorrect answers to symbolic-form questions also appears to improve after Bootstrap.

Laura Zavala (Medgar Evers College, CUNY, United States)
Benito Mendoza (City College of Technology, CUNY, United States)
On the use of semantic-based AIG to automatically generate programming exercises

ABSTRACT. In introductory programming courses, proficiency is typically achieved through substantial practice in the form of relatively small assignments and quizzes. Unfortunately, creating programming assignments and quizzes is both time consuming and error prone. Furthermore, grading the assignments and providing timely and detailed feedback is paramount to the student improvement. We have explored the use of Automatic Item Generation (AIG) in introductory programming courses. AIG is based on the use of test-item templates with embedded variables and formulas. The variables and formulas in the template are resolved by a computer program with actual values to generate test-items. Thus, hundreds or even thousands of test-items can be generated with a single test-item template. We discuss a semantic-based AIG approach for automatically generating programming exercises. The approach was incorporated into an existing self-assessment and practice tool for students learning computer programming. The tool has been used in different introductory programming courses to generate a set of practice exercises different for each student, but with the same difficulty and quality.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4E: Pedagogy #1
Mohsen Dorodchi (University of North Carolina, Charlotte, United States)
Location: 321
Lisa Yan (Stanford University, United States)
Nick McKeown (Stanford University, United States)
Mehran Sahami (Stanford University, United States)
Chris Piech (Stanford University, United States)
TMOSS: Using Intermediate Assignment Work to Understand Excessive Collaboration in Large Classes

ABSTRACT. As computer science classes grow, instructor workload also increases: teachers must simultaneously teach material, provide assignment feedback, and monitor student progress. At scale, it is hard to know which students need extra help, and as a result some students can resort to excessive collaboration–using online resources or peer code–to complete their work. In this paper, we present TMOSS, a tool that analyzes the intermediate steps a student takes to complete a programming assignment. We find that for three separate course offerings, TMOSS is almost twice as effective as traditional software similarity detectors in identifying the number of students who exhibit excessive collaboration. We also find that such students spend significantly less time on their assignment, use fewer class tutoring resources, and perform worse on exams than their peers. Finally, we provide a theory of the parametric distribution of typical student assignment similarity, which allows for probabilistic interpretation.

Matti Nelimarkka (Helsinki Institute of Information Technology HIIT, Aalto University, Finland)
Arto Hellas (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Social Help-seeking Strategies in a Programming MOOC

ABSTRACT. Being able to seek help is a crucial part of any learning process. This includes both collaborative models such as asking for help from others as well as independent models such as using course materials and the vast resources provided by the Web. Currently, MOOC research has addressed social help-seeking within the MOOC course, either using MOOC platform tools (forum, chat) or arranging activities using external platforms (Google Hangout, Facebook groups). However, MOOC learning activities take place in a larger social ecology, including friends and teachers, general online communities and alumni communities. Using survey data from a programming MOOC, we show a typology of social learning strategies: non-use of social help-seeking, seeking help from friends and seeking help from alumni and teacher communities. We further show that students using these social help-seeking strategies orient themselves more with a surface approach but are also less likely to drop the course. We conclude this work by addressing the various design possibilities identified by this work.

Mia Minnes (University of California San Diego, United States)
Christine Alvarado (University of California San Diego, United States)
Leo Porter (University of California San Diego, United States)
Lightweight Techniques to Support Students in Large Classes

ABSTRACT. As computing enrollments surge, large computer science classes are becoming standard on many campuses, even at the upper division. Unfortunately, this new reality can leave students feeling anonymous and unsupported. During the 2016/2017 academic year, we implemented several lightweight strategies in our large-format courses at a public research-focused university in the United States to try to improve our students' sense of connection with us and the class. These strategies were implemented using only the usual staffing resources afforded to our classes. In this report, we reflect on the benefits and challenges of these techniques in our experience in a wide array of CS classes. We offer our motivations for selecting different combinations of these strategies, details of our implementations of these techniques, measurements of student impressions of the classroom community, and our reflections on the benefits and drawbacks of the techniques for improving student experience while keeping staffing requirements modest.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4F: Cybersecurity #1
Roberto Hoyle (Oberlin College, United States)
Location: 318
Valdemar Švábenský (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
Jan Vykopal (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
Challenges Arising from Prerequisite Testing in Cybersecurity Games

ABSTRACT. Cybersecurity games are an attractive and popular method of active learning. However, the majority of current games are created for advanced players, which often leads to frustration of less experienced learners. Therefore, we focus on diagnostic assessment of participants entering the games. We assume that information about players' knowledge, skills, and experience enables tutors or learning environments to suitably assist participants with game challenges and maximize learning in their virtual adventure. In this paper, we present a pioneering experiment examining the predictive value of short quiz and self-assessment for identification of learners' readiness before playing a cybersecurity game. We hypothesized that these predictors would model players' performance. A linear regression analysis showed that the game performance can be accurately predicted by well-designed prerequisite testing, but not by the self-assessment. At the same time, we identified major challenges related to the design of pretests for cybersecurity games: calibrating test questions with respect to the skills relevant for the game; minimizing the quiz's length while maximizing its informative value; and embedding the pretest in the game.

Michael Dunn (Air Force Institute of Technology, United States)
Laurence Merkle (Air Force Institute of Technology, United States)
Assessing the Impact of a National Cybersecurity Competition on Students’ Career Interests

ABSTRACT. It is well documented that there is a sizable shortage of workers in cybersecurity and related careers. Exacerbating this problem are severe imbalances with respect to gender and other underrepresented categories, with one recent study finding only 11% of cybersecurity professionals are women. One approach to addressing these shortages is to attempt to increase interest in cybersecurity careers through extracurricular cybersecurity competitions. CyberPatriot is the largest cybersecurity competition for middle and high school students in North America, with over 14,000 young people participating in the 2016-2017 school year. This paper assesses the impact of this competition on participants’ interest in cybersecurity careers. Survey data previously collected by the competition organizers is analyzed with rigorous statistical methods. Results show that participants’ interest in cybersecurity increased meaningfully in several dimensions relevant to career selection. Further analysis also found that despite lower initial interest in cybersecurity careers among female participants, this interest increased by an even greater amount than it did for male participants.

Ge Jin (Purdue University Northwest, United States)
Manghui Tu (Purdue University Northwest, United States)
Tae-Hoon Kim (Purdue University Northwest, United States)
Justin Heffron (Purdue University Northwest, United States)
Jonathan White (Purdue University Northwest, United States)
Game based Cybersecurity Training for High School Students

ABSTRACT. Cybersecurity is critical to the national infrastructure, federal and local government, military, industry, and personal privacy. To defend the U.S. against the cyber threats, a significant demand for skilled cybersecurity workforce is predicted in government and industrial sectors. To address this issues, National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation jointly funded GenCyber program to stimulate the K–12 students’ interest in the cybersecurity field and raise their awareness of cybersecurity and safe online behavior. XXXXXX University has successfully launched four GenCyber summer camps in 2016 and 2017 to 181 high school students, with 51.3% underrepresented minority ratio (Africa American and Hispanics). GenCyber summer camp activities were delivered in the format of game based learning and hands-on labs. The use of game-based learning in the camp was an excellent platform to teach concepts of cyber security principles. For example, in Cyber Defense Tower Game, students need to protect their server from the different types of cyber-attack. They need to select the correct type of defense to stop each wave of cyber-attack. As the students advanced through the game, combinations of the different attacks would come faster, making it more difficult for the students to defend their servers. This game was well received by the students, support staffs, instructors, and site visit team. Learning through these activities provided high school students with an immersive, learner-centered experience, which has been proven to be very effective on cybersecurity awareness training and practical skill acquisition for learners from diverse backgrounds.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4G: Systems Courses
Peter Froehlich (Johns Hopkins University, United States)
Location: 314
Suzanne Matthews (United States Military Academy, United States)
Joel Adams (Calvin College, United States)
Richard Brown (St. Olaf College, United States)
Elizabeth Shoop (Macalester College, United States)
Portable Parallel Computing with the Raspberry Pi

ABSTRACT. With the requirement that parallel & distributed computing (PDC) topics be covered in the core CS curriculum, educators are exploring new ways to engage students in this area of computing. In this paper, we discuss the use of the Raspberry Pi single-board computer to provide students with hands-on PDC learning experiences. We discuss how the authors use the Raspberry Pi to teach parallel computing, and present assessment results that indicate such devices are effective at achieving CS2013 PDC learning outcomes, as well as motivating further study of parallelism. We believe our results are of significant interest to CS educators looking to integrate parallelism in their classrooms, and support the use of other SBCs for teaching parallel computing concepts.

Sam Silvestro (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
Timothy Yuen (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
Corey Crosser (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
Dakai Zhu (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
Turgay Korkmaz (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
Tongping Liu (University of Texas at San Antonio, United States)
A User Space-based Project for Practicing Core Memory Management Concepts

ABSTRACT. Memory management is a core component of the Operating Systems (OS) course for undergraduate computer science students. In traditional OS courses, students are often asked to learn memory management concepts through redesigning or altering an existing operating system, which adds significant complexity to the course project, and typically cannot exercise many aspects of memory management. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a novel project devised to facilitate the learning of more memory management concepts, and the understanding of interactions between different components. This project removes the complexity of a full or specific operating system by implementing memory management inside the user space. Evaluation results show that the mean examination scores of students improved by about 29% to 34%. On average, the total code size is less than 300 lines, and time spent working on this project is under 17 hours. Therefore, this project is beneficial in helping students learn memory management, while maintaining a reasonable project workload.

Brian Railing (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
Randal Bryant (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
Implementing Malloc: Students and System Programming

ABSTRACT. This work details our experiences with revising the second year course, Introduction to Computer Systems, assignment to implement a version of the malloc memory allocator. We explore the design decisions made in revising the programming assignment, as well as provide preliminary analysis of student scores.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4H: Panel: Holistic Approaches to CS
Location: 307
John Barr (Ithaca College, United States)
Ali Erkan (Ithaca College, United States)
Valerie Barr (Mount Holyoke College, United States)
Michael Goldweber (Xavier University, United States)
Deepak Kumar (Bryn Mawr College, United States)
Holistic Approaches to Computer Science

ABSTRACT. Summary. Computer science curricula has been well defined for many years through the publication of the Computer Science Curricula reports developed jointly by the two major professional societies, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society. These documents define computer science curricula by providing knowledge areas and course exemplars. The most recent curriculum report, the Computer Science Curricula 2013 (CSC13), provides 18 knowledge areas (KAs). Though it stresses that KAs do not necessary represent courses, computer science departments have traditionally created courses around the KAs. Indeed, the course exemplars presented in the CSC13 report, for the most part, center around KAs.

This separation of concepts into courses introduces a number of deficiencies in a student's education. In particular, fields within computer science end up appearing to be silo'd and students lack an understanding of interrelationship between sub-fields. For example, without a comprehension of interrelationships, students may fail to find or modify algorithms to meet efficiency constraints in real-world software.

We can say that this deficiency is likely to be addressed after years of experience (or graduate school) but, as educators, it is important for us to address it in a more deliberate and timely fashion. One approach to address this problem is a holistic approach, i.e., courses, or parts of courses, that require students to draw on techniques from multiple KAs to solve problems. This panel will present different curricular approaches to helping students understand computer science in a holistic way.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4I: Panel: Integrating Social Good into CS Ed
Location: 308
Douglas Fisher (Vanderbilt University, United States)
Jacqueline Cameron (University of Colorado, Boulder, United States)
Tamara Clegg (University of Maryland, United States)
Stephanie August (National Science Foundation, United States)
Integrating Social Good into CS Education

ABSTRACT. Computing for social good has become a common topic in computing circles, with professional organizations sponsoring discussions [e.g., 1, 2]. This panel brings together instructors interested in and offering computing courses with exercises, projects, and even a primary focus, on socially important themes, including environmental sustainability, protecting democratic processes, and citizen science and science identity among young people. The panelists will present on what they are doing to integrate social good into CS education, and there will be ample opportunity for audience participation.

In addition to talking about subject matter ideas for assignments and courses, we want to address issues relating to “difficult conversations” regarding applications of social good in CS classes, because there are opportunities for disagreements between instructors, students, and parents (in the case of K-12).

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4J: Special Session: Parallel/Distributed Curriculum
Location: 315
Sushil Prasad (Georgia State University, United States)
Charles Weems (University of Massachusetts, United States)
John Dougherty (Haverford College, United States)
Deb Debzani (Winston-Salem State University, United States)
NSF/IEEE-TCPP Curriculum Initiative on Parallel and Distributed Computing – Status Report

ABSTRACT. The proposed session will provide an opportunity for the computing education community to interact with the working group on parallel and distributed computing (PDC) education. Specifically, this session is intended to (i) brief the community on the proposed PDC curriculum updates toward its second version, (ii) obtain feedback from the community on the updated curriculum draft, (iii) engage the community for future early adoption activities (with seed grants) and for contributions to the Center for Parallel and Distributed Computing Curriculum Development and Educational Resources (CDER) courseware site and in authoring and reviewing book series contributions, and (iv) to further develop the community of interest.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-4K: Special Session: Microaggressions
Location: 309
Colleen Lewis (Harvey Mudd College, United States)
Catherine Ashcraft (NCWIT, United States)
Kyla McMullen (University of Florida, United States)
What Would You Say if... Responding to Microaggressions, Bias, and Other Nonsense

ABSTRACT. Many SIGCSE attendees are committed to inclusive teaching practices and creating an inclusive culture within their classrooms; yet, advocating for and sustaining these initiatives may require having difficult conversations with our colleagues and students. Understandably, many faculty are unsure about how to talk about sensitive topics such as race and gender with their colleagues and students. Research suggests that practicing some of these difficult conversations is essential to achieve the goals of inclusive teaching and culture. Most SIGCSE attendees probably use active learning throughout their teaching, but we rarely see active learning at SIGCSE - let’s try it! In this interactive session, attendees will learn strategies for responding to bias in academic settings. Attendees will then practice those strategies in small groups. This will be facilitated by playing two rounds of a research-based game learning approach developed by the NSF project, which has been tested in group of 200 teaching assistants. This is the fifth iteration of the game-learning approach and all attendees will receive a printed copy of the game and a link to download and print more copies.

10:45-12:00 Session Thu-Incl-Access: Invited Inclusion Session: Teaching Accessibility in CS courses: What and How


Brianna Blaser, Andrew J. Ko, Richard E. Ladner, University of Washington, Kristen Shinohara, Rochester Institute of Technology


This special session will engage teachers on what and how to teach accessibility and disability related topics in their computing courses. We know from the survey by Shinohara et al. [7] that many computing faculty are interested in teaching these topics but do not feel comfortable doing so because they do not have sufficient knowledge to integrate it into their specific courses. The goal of this special session is to provide teachers the beginnings of the knowledge needed and also provide them resources that will enable them to build on that knowledge.

Location: 322
10:45-12:00 Session Thu-Sup-Google: Teaching with the Cloud


Barbara Anthony, Southwestern University
Sambit Bhattacharya, Fayetteville State University
Cay Horstmann, San José State University
Kevin Rickard, Oxnard College
Andrew Fitz Gibbon, Google


Cloud computing makes many different resources available to students in a variety of courses.  Learn from professors who use cloud tools to support their courses in programs from community colleges to PhD programs in both cloud-specific courses and as part of other subject areas.  This session will also include a brief overview of the Google Cloud Platform Education Grants program which makes Google's cloud resources free for higher education classroom use in the US, Canada, and numerous countries in Europe.

Location: 303
10:45-12:00 Session Thu-Sup-IBM: Workshop on Industry Resources for Academic Use With Curriculum, Cloud Labs, Badges, Sharing w/ Employers and a Puppy (ok no puppy)


Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, Midwest Academic Relations Program Manager, IBM


This workshop will cover free and discounted industry resources including curriculum, cloud, software, datasets and more available for teaching, learning and non-commercial research for use by accredited academic institutions. The free resources available cover topics including blockchain, IOT, cyber security, data science, quantum computing, optimization, predictive analytics and more. At the conclusion of the workshop you will have the website to get the resources for free and the shortcuts for the above topics. In addition, the second part of the workshop will have participants going through the newest academic program using the curriculum and labs exercises. The discounted program includes faculty face to face training, curriculum, industry relevance, cloud labs, proctored testing and badge certification. This integrated program now includes the link for students to opt-in and employers to contact students who have the certification badge for that career path. Here's the link for Valinda's blogsite:

Location: 302
10:45-12:00 Session Thu-Sup-Oracle: Why Diversity is Important to the Health of the Technology Industry, and What We Can Do to Ensure its Success


Moderator: Lorilyn Owens, Director, Worldwide Member Engagement and Services Oracle Academy
Carol Fletcher, University of Texas at Austin
Helen Hu, Westminster College, Salt Lake City Utah
Thamina Christensen, Group Product Manager, Oracle Corporation
Maya Garcia, Director STEM, DC Office of State Superintendent of Education
Melissa Risteff, CEO Couragion 


Diversity is important to the overall health of the technology industry.  Diversity elevates innovation as individuals from different backgrounds bring varied perspectives to their teams.  To create a diverse workforce, we need to encourage more girls and minority students to participate in computer science classes starting in K-12 and continuing through higher education. This panel will focus on the need for student diversity in computer science education. It will discuss in what ways we can prepare teachers to encourage girls and minority students to pursue careers in technology.  Panelists will also look at how girls approach CS coursework differently than boys.  Finally, we will look at how a diverse team of technologists affects the software creation process, and why the development process is better with diversity. 

Location: 301
10:45-12:00 Session Thu-TOCE1: Predicting Persistence and Performance
Joanna Goode (University of Oregon/Associate Editor ACM TOCE, United States)
Location: 323
R. Wes Crues (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Genevieve M. Henricks (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Michelle Perry (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Suma Bhat (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Carolyn J. Anderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Najmuddin Shaik (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
Lawrence Angrave (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
How do Gender, Learning Goals, and Forum Participation Predict Persistence in a Computer Science MOOC?

ABSTRACT. abstract to be provided later

Christina Outlay (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, United States)
Alana J. Platt (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, United States)
Kacie Conroy (GET IT, Girls Educating Themselves about Technology, United States)
Getting IT Together: A Longitudinal Look at Linking Girls' Interest in IT Careers to Lessons Taught in Middle School Camps
Jonathan Tomkin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States)
An improved grade point average, with applications to CS undergraduate education analytics
12:00-13:45Lunch (on your own)
12:00-13:45 Session Thu-Keynote2: FIRST TIMER'S LUNCH KEYNOTE & 2018 SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community, "Teaching Computer Science in a Time of Opportunities and Challenges" by Professor Eric Roberts, Charles Simonyi Professor of Computer Science (emeritus), Stanford University


Academic computer science is at a critical juncture that offers both challenges and opportunities. More students than ever before are choosing to major in computer science and an even larger number of students are taking computer science courses in recognition of the fact that knowledge of computing is essential in the modern world. That interest, of course, is exciting. At the same time, most computer science departments are overwhelmed by the growing demand from students. In this talk, I draw on my own experience as a young faculty member in the similarly challenging 1980s to offer advice on how to make the most of the opportunities that are intrinsic to teaching in such a vibrant field.


After receiving his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1980, Eric Roberts taught at Wellesley College from 1980-85, where he organized and chaired the Computer Science Department. From 1985-90, he was a member of the research staff at Digital Equipment Corporation’s Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, California, focusing on programming tools for multiprocessor architectures. In September 1990, Roberts joined the Stanford faculty, where he remained until he retired from teaching in 2017. He is now the Charles Simonyi Professor of Computer Science, emeritus, and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

From 1990 to 2002, Professor Roberts was Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Computer Science. In that capacity, he was the principal architect of Stanford’s introductory programming sequence. He has written seven computer science textbooks that are used at many colleges and universities throughout the world. From 1998 to 2005, Roberts directed the Bermuda Project, which developed the computer science curriculum for Bermuda’s public secondary schools.

Professor Roberts has been active in professional organizations dedicated to computer science education. He is a Fellow of both the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). From 1998 to 2001, Roberts served as co-chair and principal editor for the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 2001, which published a detailed set of curriculum guidelines in December 2001. He also chaired the ACM Java Task Force from 2003 to 2007.

In 2003, Roberts received the annual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education from the ACM’s Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). In 2012, Roberts received both the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award from the ACM and the Taylor Booth Education Award from the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society (IEEE-CS).

Tiffany Barnes (North Carolina State University, United States)
Dan Garcia (University of California, Berkeley, United States)
Location: Ballroom III-IV
13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6A: Creativity
Dee A. B. Weikle (James Madison University, United States)
Location: 316
Markeya Peteranetz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Shiyuan Wang (Rowan University, United States)
Duane Shell (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Abraham Flanigan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Leen-Kiat Soh (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska, United States)
Examining the Impact of Computational Creativity Exercises on College Computer Science Students’ Learning, Achievement, Self-Efficacy, and Creativity

ABSTRACT. The purpose of the present study was to investigate how the inclusion of computational creativity exercises (CCEs) merging computational and creative thinking in post-secondary computer science courses affected students’ course grades, learning of computational thinking and CS knowledge, self-efficacy, and creative competency. CCEs were done in lower and upper division CS courses at a single university. Students in CCE implementation courses were compared to students in the same courses in different semesters. Propensity score matching was used to create comparable groups (control and implementation) based on students’ GPA, motivation, and engagement. Results showed that the implementation of CCEs in undergraduate CS courses enhanced student course grades, learning of core CS knowledge, and self-efficacy for creatively applying their CS knowledge. However, CCEs did not impact students’ creative competencies. The effect of the CCEs was consistent across upper and lower division courses for all outcomes. Unlike previous studies that only established the support for CCEs—such as positive dosage effects, the results of this study indicate that CCEs have a causal effect on students’ achievement, learning, and self-efficacy, and this effect is independent of general academic achievement, motivation, and strategic self-regulation. These findings establish the CCEs as a validated, evidence-based instructional method.

Emmanuel Schanzer (Bootstrap, United States)
Shriram Krishnamurthi (Brown University, United States)
Kathi Fisler (Brown University, United States)
Creativity, Customization, and Ownership: Game Design in Bootstrap:Algebra

ABSTRACT. Game programming projects are concrete and motivational for students, especially when used to teach more abstract concepts such as algebra. These projects need to be open-ended to allow for creativity, but too much freedom makes it hard to reach specific learning outcomes. How many degrees of freedom do students need to make a game feel like one they genuinely designed? What kinds of personalization do they undertake of their games? And how do these factors correlate with their prior game-playing experience or with their identified gender?

This paper studies these questions in the concrete setting of the Bootstrap:Algebra curriculum. In this curriculum, students are only given four parameters they can customize and only a few minutes in which to do so. Our study shows that despite this very limited personalization, students still feel a strong sense of ownership, originality, and pride in their creations. We also find that females find videogame creation just as satisfying as males, which contradicts some prior research but may also reflect the nature of games created in this curriculum and the opportunities it offers for self-expression.

Dianna Xu (Bryn Mawr College, United States)
Ursula Wolz (Bennington College, United States)
Deepak Kumar (Bryn Mawr College, United States)
Ira Greenberg (Southern Methodist University, United States)
Updating Introductory Computer Science with Creative Computation

ABSTRACT. This paper reports on the results of a National Science Foundation Project (redacted) in which we identified essential pedagogy and curriculum for teaching introductory computing courses using creative computation. The curriculum aligns with a traditional ‘CS1’ approach as well as ‘AP CS A’, and goes well beyond 'CS Principles' standards to teach foundations of computer science and programming. We addressed the bridge between high school and entry-level college curriculum in computer science (American freshman high school to freshman college). We demonstrated how algorithmic art provides a powerful vehicle for diverse student populations within a broad range of pedagogical frameworks ranging from traditional structured classrooms to inquiry-based student-driven project labs. Using the Processing sketchbook framework and language as a vehicle, we extend prior results on the efficacy of Processing as a vehicle for inviting students into computer science. Our results demonstrate that a broad range of pedagogical approaches that emphasize student creativity in the visual arts support success in establishing foundational computer science knowledge. A secondary result is clear evidence that instructors, regardless of institutional environment or pedagogical style require long term engagement with mentors to extend their own knowledge of computing, visual arts, and appropriate pedagogy.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6B: Computational Thinking #1
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Union County College, United States)
Location: 317
Fredrik Heintz (Linköping University, Sweden)
Linda Mannila (Linköping University, Finland)
Computational Thinking for All - An Experience Report on Scaling up Teaching Computational Thinking to All Students in a Major City in Sweden [BEST PAPER EXPERIENCE REPORTS AND TOOLS]

ABSTRACT. The Swedish government has recently introduced digital competence including programming in the Swedish K-9 curriculum starting no later than fall 2018. This means that 100 000 teachers need to learn programming and digital competence in less than a year. In this paper we report on our experience working with professional teacher training in Sweden's fifth largest city. The city has about 150 000 inhabitants and about 50 schools with about 14 000 students in primary education. The project has been carried out in close cooperation with the municipality.

The work started in the fall of 2014 with a pilot study with 10 teachers in different subjects that was carried out during spring 2015. The pilot study was successful as the teachers were able to introduce activities related to programming and computational thinking in their subjects after only two half day workshops. The next step was to scale this up to include all the schools in the city. As expected, this turned out to be a larger challenge. More than 70 teachers were involved in the second part of the project. Some of the lessons learned are that it is quite easy to provide teacher training, but harder to get teachers to actually change their teaching and even more challenging to get teachers to help their colleagues introduce programming or computational thinking in their teaching.

Based on our experience we draw some general conclusions and make suggestions for how to scale up the teaching of programming and computational thinking to all.

Bushra Chowdhury (Virginia Tech, United States)
Austin Cory Bart (Virginia Tech, United States)
Dennis Kafura (Virginia Tech, United States)
Analysis of Collaborative Learning in a Computational Thinking Class

ABSTRACT. Collaborative learning can help reduce the anxiety level of learners, improve understanding and thus create a positive atmosphere for learning. This study analyzes students’ collaborative learning experiences within small interdisciplinary “cohorts” while learning computational thinking in a university-level class. The assumption of an interdisciplinary cohort is that students from different disciplines bring diverse perspectives to the cohort, socially interact with each other and in turn create situations where two or more students learn together. This study attempts to provide accounts of students’ collaborative learning experiences by analyzing ethnographically-informed qualitative data using Stahl’s collaborative framework. The analysis found that most students found the cohort model to be valuable resources in learning computational thinking. Asking and explaining problems to cohort members was not only useful to advance through a problem but also valuable to one’s own learning process. Discussing problems with students coming from different disciplines allowed them to see how diversely students perceive and explain a problem. This analysis helps to inform those teaching foundational computing concepts to a diverse audience of learners.

Jakita Thomas (Auburn University, United States)
The Computational Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) Flow: An approach to articulating CAT capabilities over time in African-American middle-school girls

ABSTRACT. Computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) is the ability to design, implement, and assess the implementation of algorithms to solve a range of problems. It involves identifying and understanding a problem, articulating an algorithm or set of algorithms in the form of a solution to the problem, implementing that solution in such a way that the solution solves the problem, and evaluating the solution based on some set of criteria. Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking (SCAT) is both a longitudinal between-subjects exploratory research project and a free enrichment program supporting and guiding African-American middle school girls over three years as they iteratively design a set of games for social change. This paper explores the CAT Capability Flow, which begins to describe the processes and sub-skills and capabilities involve in CAT. To do this, we engage in an approach which results in an initial flowchart that depicts the processes students are engaging in as an iteratively-refined articulation of the steps involved in computational algorithmic thinking.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6C: Science Education
Suzanne Matthews (United States Military Academy, United States)
Location: 320
Bjørn Fjukstad (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Nina Angelvik (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Maria Wulff Hauglann (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Joachim Sveia Knutsen (Kongsbakken Videregående Skole, Norway)
Morten Grønnesby (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Hedinn Gunhildrud (Science Centre of Northern Norway, Norway)
Lars Ailo Bongo (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Low-Cost Programmable Air Quality Sensor Kits in Science Education

ABSTRACT. We describe our citizen science approach and technologies designed to introduce students in upper secondary schools to computational thinking and engineering. Using an Arduino microcontroller and low-cost sensors we have developed a programmable sensor kit that students build and program to collect air quality data. In our course, students develop their own research questions regarding air quality before using their own air quality sensor kit to answer their respective questions. This project combines electronics and coding with natural sciences providing a truly interdisciplinary course.

We open-sourced the teaching materials including the building and coding instructions. In addition, students can contribute to our web-based platform for storing, visualizing, and exploring the collected air quality data. It also provides an open API for anyone to download air quality data collected by the students. Through the website students are motivated to contribute air quality data open to the public. The website is available at and the teaching materials are available at

We describe lessons learned from our pilot project in a Norwegian upper secondary school and how we are deploying it in 20 schools across Northern Norway. In the pilot, students successfully built and coded the sensor kits, and after two months of data collection they could correctly describe local patterns in the air quality. We believe that by combining electronics and coding with the natural sciences we motivate students to engage in all scientific disciplines.

Tanya Berger-Wolf (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Boris Igic (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Cynthia Taylor (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Robert Sloan (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Rachel Poretsky (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
A Biology-themed Introductory CS Course at a Large, Diverse Public University

ABSTRACT. We present the curriculum and evaluation of a pilot Biology-themed CS1 course offering at a large public university. Inspired by Harvey Mudd's CS~5 Green, we adapt CS1 + Bio to fit the needs of our student body, which is much more typical for those US institutions that produce the bulk of the nation's CS undergraduate degrees. This course was team-taught by a computer science professor and a biology professor, and combined typical CS1 topics with relevant biology content. Our initial offering attracted students who would not otherwise have taken CS1, and was the only one of our three CS1 courses where more students reported planning to major in CS after the course than before it.

Anna Ritz (Reed College, United States)
Programming the Central Dogma: An Integrated Unit on Computer Science and Molecular Biology Concepts

ABSTRACT. Much of modern biology requires quantitative and computational skills for the proper analysis and interpretation of large-scale datasets. However, many undergraduate biology programs lack a comprehensive training of computational skills. This experience report describes a four-week unit designed to introduce fundamental computer science concepts and molecular biology concepts in an integrated fashion. The unit serves as the first four weeks of an Introduction to Computational Biology course, designed with no computer science prerequisites. The course is taught at an undergraduate institution within the Biology Department, in part to introduce computational thinking to non-computational majors. Survey results reveal that the course has attracted students from all years (first years through seniors), the majority of students were women, and students have large self-perceived learning gains in computer science concepts. The unit shows promise for engaging non-computational students through applications in introductory molecular biology.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6D: Diverse Topics in CS Ed
Meghan Allen (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Location: 319
Amanpreet Kapoor (University of Florida, United States)
Christina Gardner-Mccune (University of Florida, United States)
Understanding Professional Identities and Goals of Computer Science Undergraduate Students

ABSTRACT. Understanding professional goals and identities of undergraduate Computer Science (CS) students is critical for curriculum decisions, workforce development, and retention programs. This paper aims to explore the ways in which undergraduate CS students describe their professional goals and identities, and gauge how these goals and identities vary across gender and academic standing. This paper is part of a larger study aimed at understanding how students form their professional goals and identities. In the study presented in this paper, we surveyed 109 CS undergraduate students and interviewed 14 CS undergraduate students across gender and academic standing. The data were qualitatively analyzed using inductive coding and thematic analysis. Our findings indicate that most students identify themselves professionally as software development professionals, various specialized CS professionals, and by their majors. We also found that both male and female students were interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and females were more likely to have professional goals to move into management. This paper contributes to the fields’ growing knowledge of undergraduate students’ professional goals and professional identities. This knowledge can help CS departments to better align their degree programs, curriculum, and specialization tracks with student goals. Such an alignment has the potential to increase retention in the major as well as prepare students to be competitive in the workforce.

Kristen Shinohara (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
Saba Kawas (University of Washington, United States)
Andrew J. Ko (University of Washington, United States)
Richard E. Ladner (University of Washington, United States)
Who Teaches Accessibility? A Survey of U.S. Computing Faculty

ABSTRACT. Industry demand for software developers with knowledge of accessibility has increased substantially in recent years. However, there is little knowledge about the prevalence of higher education teaching about accessibility or faculty’s perceived barriers to teaching accessibility. To address this gap, we surveyed 14,176 computing and information science faculty in the United States. We received a representative sample of at least one response from 318 of the 352 institutions we surveyed, totaling 1,857 responses. We found that 175 institutions (50%) had at least one instructor teaching accessibility and that no fewer than 2.5% of faculty overall teach accessibility. Faculty that teach accessibility are twice as likely to be female, to have expertise in HCI and software engineering, and to know people with disabilities. The most critical barriers to teaching accessibility that faculty reported were the absence of clear and discipline-specifi€c accessibility learning objectives and the lack of faculty knowledge about accessibility. Faculty desired resources that were speci€fic to the areas of computing in which they teach rather than general accessibility resources and guidelines.

Heidi Ellis (Western New England University, United States)
Lori Postner (Nassau Community College, United States)
Gregory Hislop (Drexel University, United States)
A Survey of Instructors' Experiences Supporting Student Learning using Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Projects

ABSTRACT. Studies have shown that Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) projects provide a rich learning environment for students, allowing them to gain a range of both technical and professional skills. Although there have been a number of studies on student attitudes toward learning within HFOSS projects, little has been documented about instructors' experiences supporting their students in the classroom. This paper examines survey results from 26 faculty members who participated in an NSF-funded Professors' Open Source Software Experience workshop with the goal of incorporating HFOSS into their curriculum. The survey was designed to identify barriers to using HFOSS in the classroom, to understand the type of classes where instructors incorporated HFOSS, the successes attained and challenges faced by instructors, and to understand instructors' future plans. The data gathered was used to enhance semi-structured interviews that are currently being analyzed. This paper focuses on the hurdles reported by faculty members, the cross-section of uses of HFOSS in the classroom as well as factors that may influence one's ability to integrate HFOSS into the curriculum. The results of the survey demonstrate that faculty have successfully incorporated HFOSS into a wide range of courses across all four years of the curriculum with both large and small classes. The major hurdles are time to prepare materials for one's course as well as finding time within an existing course to integrate HFOSS material. This paper discusses possible ways to address the hurdles as well as future directions for the work.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6E: Pedagogy #2
Brandon Myers (University of Iowa, United States)
Location: 321
Nuno Gil Fonseca (CISUC / ESTGOH, Portugal)
Luis Macedo (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
António Mendes (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
Supporting differentiated instruction in programming classes through permanent progress monitoring

ABSTRACT. Several studies showed that teacher’s support is essential to the students learning process. Often it is difficult for teachers to follow all their student’s evolution and make timely interventions when needed. Frequently in the same class, there are students with substantially different performance levels, and many times a teacher intervention is crucial to help lower performing students. To help the teacher identify these students, we propose the use of SystemName, a tool able to capture autonomously and unobtrusively real-time information about the students’ performance based on snapshots of their code while solving assignments. The information available can be used by the teachers to support the adoption of the necessary measures to address each student needs or difficulties in a more grounded manner. We present the system and some results of a field test involving students from an introductory course on PHP programming.

Nicole Herbert (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Reflections on 17 years of ICT capstone project coordination: effective strategies for managing clients, teams and assessment

ABSTRACT. Many undergraduate ICT courses culminate in a team-based capstone unit, in which students complete a significant project under academic supervision. Capstone projects provided by external clients facilitate authentic experiential learning, but sourcing external projects in regional areas can be difficult, and there can be issues managing clients within an academic setting. Capstone projects also provide an opportunity for professional skill development such as teamwork and project management skills, though to fully assess broad learning outcomes requires evaluating more than the final product created for the client. Teamwork can have a positive impact on student learning, however it is challenging to determine a process of assessment that enables formative and summative assessment that does not require an academic to immerse themselves within a team to evaluate an individual’s contribution. Team members are often the best source of meaningful information, and self and peer assessment is commonly used as part of an assessment scheme, but to ensure the objectivity and integrity of the final grade it is necessary to correlate data from a variety of sources. This experience report reflects on a team-based capstone project unit utilizing external clients that has been offered for over 17 years at a regional university. Effective strategies are proposed for coordinating the more challenging aspects of capstone projects: sourcing projects and client management, team formation and management, assessing student learning against broad learning outcomes, and ensuring individual accountability.

Paul Gestwicki (Ball State University, United States)
Design and evaluation of an undergraduate course on software development practice

ABSTRACT. This paper describes the design, evolution, and evaluation of a second-year undergraduate course on professional software development practices. The course design arose from two properties of a curricular refactoring: the removal of redundancy across Discrete Mathematics, Data Structures, and Algorithms coursework and the identification of desired skills for students entering the upper-division required and elective courses. A research-informed design for the course incorporates code quality, version control, teamwork, user-centered design, risk management, design thinking, and reflective practice, presented in keeping with the values of agile software development. We describe the evolution of the course over its six years of implementation, including a transition from a Java-specific textbook to a more generic book about code quality and the transition from a six-week to a nine-week project. The course has become a linchpin for programmatic mid-major assessment of students’ programming skills, and we discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and results of our assessment strategy. We provide a reflection of the role this course has had within our program and advice for those who might wish to adopt or adapt this design.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6F: Cybersecurity #2
Sotirios Kentros (Salem State University, United States)
Location: 318
Jan Vykopal (Masaryk University, Institute of Computer Science, Czech Republic)
Radek Ošlejšek (Masaryk University, Faculty of Informatics, Czech Republic)
Karolína Burská (Masaryk University, Faculty of Informatics, Czech Republic)
Kristína Zákopčanová (Masaryk University, Faculty of Informatics, Czech Republic)
Timely Feedback in Unstructured Cybersecurity Exercises

ABSTRACT. Cyber defence exercises are intensive, hands-on learning events for teams of professionals who gain or develop their skills for successful prevention and response to cyber attacks. The exercises mimic real-life, routine operation of an organization which is being attacked by an unknown offender. Teams of learners receive very limited immediate feedback from the instructors during the exercise: they can usually see only a scoreboard showing aggregated gain or loss of points for particular tasks. An in-depth analysis of learners' actions requires considerable human effort, which results in days or weeks of delay. The intensive experience is thus not followed by a proper feedback facilitating actual learning which diminishes the effect of the exercise.

In this initial work, we investigate how to provide valuable feedback to learners right after the exercise without any unnecessary delay. We developed a new feedback tool based on a scoring system of a cyber defence exercise that presents an interactive, personalized timeline of the exercise events. We deployed this tool during an international exercise, monitored participants' interactions and gathered their feedback. The results show that learners did use the new tool and rated it positively. Since this new feature is not bound to a particular defence exercise, it can be applied to all exercises that employ scoring based on an evaluation of individual exercise objectives. As a result, it enables immediate learner's reflection on experience gained in the exercise.

Muhammad Rizwan Asghar (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Andrew Luxton-Reilly (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Teaching Cyber Security Using Competitive Software Obfuscation and Reverse Engineering Activities

ABSTRACT. Teaching cyber security techniques can be challenging due to the complexity associated with building secure systems. The major issue is these systems could easily be broken if proper protection techniques are not employed. This requires students to understand the offensive approaches that can be used to breach security in order to better understand how to properly defend against cyber attacks. We present a novel approach to teaching cyber security in a graduate course using an innovative assessment task that engages students in both software obfuscation and reverse engineering of obfuscated code. Students involved in the activities gain an appreciation of the challenges in defending against attacks. Our results demonstrate a positive change in the students' perception during the learning process.

Younghee Park (San Jose State University, United States)
Hongxin Hu (Clemson University, United States)
Xiaohong Yuan (North Carolina A&T University, United States)
Hongda Li (Clemson University, United States)
Enhancing Security Education Through Designing SDN Security Labs in CloudLab [3RD BEST PAPER CS EDUCATION RESEARCH]

ABSTRACT. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) represents a major shift from ossified hardware-based networks to programmable software-based networks. It introduces significant granularity, visibility, and flexibility into networking, but at the same time brings new security challenges. Although the research community is making progress in addressing both the opportunities in SDN and the accompanying security challenges, very few educational materials have been designed to incorporate the latest research results and engage students in learning about SDN security. In this paper, we presents our newly designed SDN security education materials, which can be used to meet the ever-increasing demand for high quality cybersecurity professionals with expertise in SDN security. The designed security education materials incorporate the latest research results in SDN security and are integrated into CloudLab, an open cloud platform, for effective hands-on learning. Through a user study, we demonstrate that students have a better understanding of SDN security after participating in these well-designed CloudLab-based security labs, and they also acquired strong research interests in SDN security.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6G: Visualization
Cliff Shaffer (Virginia Tech, United States)
Location: 314
Ryosuke Ishizue (Waseda University, Japan)
Kazunori Sakamoto (National Institute of Informatics, Japan)
Hironori Washizaki (Waseda University, Japan)
Yoshiaki Fukazawa (Waseda University, Japan)
PVC: Visualizing Memory Space on Web Browsers for C Novices

ABSTRACT. Memory management in C languages is a challenging concept to grasp for novice programmers. Consequently, many researchers have proposed program visualization tools to alleviate these difficulties. For example, SeeC and PythonTutor (PT) are state-of-the-art tools for C languages. However, three problems hinder the use of these and other tools: capability (P1), installability (P2), and usability (P3). (P1) Tools do not fully support dynamic memory allocation or File Input / Output (I/O) and Standard Input. (P2) Novice programmers often find installation of SeeC challenging due to its dependence on Clang and difficulties setting up an offline environment that uses PT. (P3) Revisualization of modified source code in SeeC requires several steps. To alleviate these issues, we propose a new visualization tool called PlayVisualizerC (PVC). PVC, which is designed for novice C programmers, provides solutions (S1-3) to P1-3. S1 offers complete support for dynamic memory allocation, standard I/O, and file I/O. S2 is designed to be installed with a user’s web browser, and its server program can be initiated by executing a jar file. S3 reduces the steps required for revisualization. To evaluate this program, we conducted an experiment and questionnaire with 30 students. A set of four programming tasks are solved on average 1.7 times more quickly and with 19\% more correct answers than those using a current state-of-the-art visualization tool.

Jinyue Xia (UNC Charlotte, United States)
David Wilson (UNC Charlotte, United States)
Instructor Perspectives on Comparative Heatmap Visualizations of Student Engagement with Lecture Video

ABSTRACT. The use of online video in learning environments is prevalent -- serving in a variety of roles, such as multimedia textbook, video lecture, or medium for documenting student coursework. For instructors who employ video as a learning material, it is becoming increasingly important to gain a deeper understanding of the fit of video content across student cohorts, as well as the impact on student engagement, learning, and success. In order to better understand instructor interests and needs in this regard, we developed a learning analytics visualization tool that links data on student viewing and video interactions with student demographics and performance measures. Instructors can use the tool to generate and compare correlated heatmap visualizations representing student engagement across segments of the video. This paper describes an initial user study conducted with instructors in an HCI course context to understand how this kind of feedback can inform their use of video in the classroom. Results show that instructors find such feedback very useful across a variety of use cases.

Kalle Ilves (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Juho Leinonen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Arto Hellas (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Supporting Self-Regulated Learning with Visualizations in Online Learning Environments

ABSTRACT. In this article, we study how visualizations could be used to support students' self-regulation in online learning. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with three groups: one control group without visualization, one treatment group with textual visualization, and one treatment with graphical visualization with information on peers' average achievement. We studied how different visualizations affect students' academic performance and behavior. We focused on four factors; starting, scheduling, earliness and exercise points, where the first three are related to time management and self-regulation. The last factor measures course performance in terms of completed exercises. Our results suggest that the lowest performing students can benefit from a visualization, whereas the highest performing students are not affected by the presence or absence of a visualization. We also found that visualizations that do not provide the means to compare your own performance with others may even be harmful to performance oriented students.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6H: Panel: Team-Teaching with Humanities
Location: 307
Keith O'Hara (Bard College, United States)
Sven Anderson (Bard College, United States)
David Musicant (Carleton College, United States)
Amber Stubbs (Simmons College, United States)
Thomas Way (Villanova University, United States)
Team-Teaching with Colleagues in the Arts and Humanities

ABSTRACT. This panel will include experience reports from five computer science faculty members who have team-taught courses with professors from outside the sciences. Specifically, we will discuss lessons learned and best practices with collaborating with faculty from the arts and humanities. Courses that look outward have the potential to broaden participation and promote computing’s role in the broader world beyond software engineering concerns. The panelists will highlight how to: find a topic, find a collaborator(s), design the course, maintain rigor in both disciplines, target the right audience, assess how well it worked, and do it more than once.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6I: Panel: Interdisciplinary Capstone
Location: 308
Liz Hutter (Valparaiso University, United States)
Halcyon Lawrence (Georgia Institute of Technology, United States)
Melinda McDaniel (Georgia Institute of Technology, United States)
Marguerite Murrell (Georgia Institute of Technology, United States)
Fostering Meaningful Collaboration in an Interdisciplinary Capstone Course

ABSTRACT. The benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration are not new to the field of computer science. At Georgia Tech, the College of Computing and the Writing and Communication Program currently offer a unique interdisciplinary, year-long computer science capstone course which is integrated with a technical communication course. Every semester, the integrated capstone enrolls 600 students, requires a dozen teaching faculty, and works with approximately 50 clients. The capstone’s administrative infrastructure (i.e., syllabus, course policies, and course deliverables) is distinct in that it presents a single, unified technical communication and computer science experience for students. Our panel recognizes that collaboration must be inclusive and happen at different levels (i.e., course planning, design, and implementation) if students are to engage successfully with the software development life cycle. In this presentation, each panelist addresses a different experience of interdisciplinary collaboration, reflecting on issues that arise from, administrative, pedagogical, teacher, and student-learner contexts. For example, course administrators have had to understand how learning outcomes from two fields are aligned; instructors from different disciplines have had to build common ground around their individual disciplinary expertise; and students have had to learn to work on a team with other students who bring specialize in different sub-disciplines. The breadth of collaborative experiences this panel examines can guide administrators and instructors wishing to integrate more collaborative opportunities in computer science curricula at their respective institutions. Our panel presents both theoretical and individual perspectives.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6J: Special Session: Evaluating CS4All Initiatives
Location: 309
Cheri Fancsali (Research Alliance for New York City Schools, United States)
Wendy Martin (Education Development Center, United States)
Linda Tigani (Research Alliance for New York City Schools, United States)
Evaluating CS4All Initiatives—Challenges and Opportunities

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this special session will be to engage members of the CS research community in sharing best practices, tools and resources for evaluating CS efforts. We will present the NYC CS4All evaluation as a case study of a multi-faceted, mixed method evaluation of a complex and large-scale CS4ALL initiative, from which other efforts may find guidance. We believe there is much to be learned from the experience of the NYC CS4ALL initiative and evaluation, given its scope, depth and complexity.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6K: Special Session: Watch them Teach
Location: 315
Colleen Lewis (Harvey Mudd College, United States)
Leslie Aaronson (NCWIT, United States)
Eric Allatta (Academy for Software Engineering, United States)
Zachary Dodds (Harvey Mudd College, United States)
Jeffrey Forbes (Duke University, United States)
Kyla McMullen (University of Florida, United States)
Mehran Sahami (Stanford University, United States)
Five Slides About: Abstraction, Arrays, Uncomputability, Networks, Digital Portfolios, and CS Principles Explore Performance Task

ABSTRACT. SIGCSE is packed with teaching insights and inspiration. However, we get these insights and inspiration from hearing our colleagues talk about their teaching. Why not just watch them teach? This session does exactly that.

Each of six exceptional educators will be given ten minutes to teach the audience something. After this, the moderator will draw the attention of the audience to particular pedagogical moves that the instruction included. Attendees can see a new approach to introducing a topic or a new pedagogical move. No matter what, we expect attendees will be taking ideas from this session directly back to their teaching!

The format is based upon a practice in chemistry of sharing “Five Slides About,” which introduce a topic in a novel or concise way ( Resources from each of the presenters will be shared on the website

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6L: Lightning Talk #1
S. Monisha Pulimood (The College of New Jersey, United States)
Location: 310
Madeleine Lorås (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Exploring a student-centered approach to innovating computer science education

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk will present experiences from using a student-centered approach when implementing educational innovations in computer science programs. The Norwegian Center for Excellent IT education (Excited) is currently researching new ways to structure computer science education and developing innovative educational initiatives. In this process, the design of the research progression has come up as a challenge, especially the aspect of testing and evaluating the effects of changes and new initiatives. The student-centered approach is similar to the human-centered design framework by including the students’ perspectives in all steps of the development. By involving students from day one of the development process we hope to learn more about what educational and structural changes and innovations are most effective and why. Additional benefits may be increased learning outcome for the students involved, perspectives we might not have considered and a new way to approach research on computer science education. The project has just begun, and this talk will present the idea in more detail, experiences from the first semester and further plans.

Alex Edgcomb (Embedded Systems Lab at UCR, United States)
Frank Vahid (UC Riverside, United States)
Interactive, language-neutral flowcharts and pseudocode for teaching core CS0/1 programming concepts

ABSTRACT. CS1 introduces core programming concepts; many CS0 courses do too. Such courses often use a full-featured programming language, such as Python or C++, wherein students concurrently learn programming concepts and language syntax. We hypothesize that learning programming concepts first, then learning a specific language's syntax is more effective than learning both concurrently.

We developed an interactive, language-neutral flowchart and pseudocode approach, and implemented the approach in learning materials. An interactive flowchart visually teaches program logic, enabling step-by-step execution. The flowcharts have a precise structure that indents nodes that are inside of an if-else branch or loop, thus helping ingrain flow control. Beside the flowchart is the list of variables, along with each variable's current value and data type (integer, float, integer array, or float array). We think the visuals of the flowchart and list of variables will enhance understanding of core programming concepts by students.

A student writes a program using pseudocode with a simple syntax (ex: myNum = Get next input). The pseudocode language includes some syntax from full-feature programming languages to minimize amount of learning needed later when learning a full-feature language, but also deliberately keeps syntax simple to eliminate some types of logic errors (ex: forgetting to initialize a variable value). Further, the pseudocode language is designed to include only the language features necessary in CS0/1, enabling specific and actionable error messaging. A student can convert the pseudocode to a flowchart with a button press.

We seek feedback on the approach and potential collaborators in implementing experiments.

Cruz Izu (The University of Adelaide, Australia)
Olga Sanchez Castro (Flinders University, Australia)
Designing active mediated learning tasks: Can small failures enhance student learning?

ABSTRACT. This lighting talk provides a literature review that supports the concept that small failures can have a positive effect on learning compared with more traditional scaffolding techniques that prevent students from failing. From a sociocultural approach to education, scaffolding is provided through mediated dialogue within the students’ zone of proximal development (ZDP) to minimize failure. However, productive failure has been found to promote wider exploration and to provide deeper learning experiences by assisting learners to self-identify knowledge gaps.

Related to the idea of scaffolding in teaching, is the concept of task difficulty. Selecting problem-solving tasks that are neither too difficult nor too easy is critical in assisting learning as this reduces learner frustration and can foster development of learner self-efficacy. Many issues need to be addressed when exploring the ideal mediated task difficulty including: (1) how to assess learners’ ZDP, (2) how to find an adequate balance between challenging tasks that seek to traverse learners’ ZPD and the degree and type of failure they can trigger, and (3) how to provide support to learn from experienced failure.

Our first goal, in collaboration with interdisciplinary multi-institutional partners, is to design sequenced activities that ask students to attempt a problem-solving task prior to any instruction/scaffolding activities usually provided to guide task completion. This will trigger foreseeable small failures, which can be used as learning opportunities. Note that this approach may not only foster learning, as observed at high school level, but also build resilience.

Jared O'Leary (BootUp, United States)
Interest-driven coding projects

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes considerations for designing interest-driven coding projects. I provide examples of what an interest-driven coding class looks like and how projects are designed for a variety of experience levels and interests within a shared space. I discuss some of the research informing this approach, share examples of interest-driven projects, and provide suggestions for creating interest-driven coding projects and resources.

Jared O'Leary (BootUp, United States)
Facilitating multiple programming languages in one space

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes considerations for facilitating multiple programming languages in one space. I provide video examples of what it looks like when young coders select from four different programming languages to create projects of interest. Following an overview of what coders created in the classes I designed and facilitated, I discuss considerations for simultaneously facilitating multiple languages; this discussion includes quick suggestions for selecting and creating resources, questioning techniques, peer-to-peer mentoring, room setup, and more.

Michael Ball (University of California, Berkeley, United States)
IRT In 5 Minutes: Easy Ways to Better Understand An Assessment

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk will give a very quick introduction to “Item Response Theory”, or IRT. IRT evolved from psychometrics as one method for evaluating the Quality of survey questions. In the classroom, IRT is a fantastic way to gain better insights into the quality and efficacy of the assessments we offer. IRT has been used by testing companies to evaluate exams like the GRE, SAT, and AP, but the same ideas can be applied to our classrooms.

By applying some ideas from IRT we can start to look at exam scores with just a few simple charts, and we can begin to assess whether assigned questions are effective. We’ll start by looking at correlations between individual question scores and overall assessment scores. While this is a simplification of IRT, we’ll look at how we can use it to diagnose potential exam errors. The goal is to better understand the exams we give our students, and we can use this as a jumping off point to continue to evaluate our assessments.

Paul Dickson (Ithaca College, United States)
We Should Give Messy Problems and Make Students Reflect on What They Learn

ABSTRACT. We often give students large projects because solving them teaches students so much. If we give them messy problems with a lot of structured ambiguity, we can make it so that they learn even more because they will have to really think about the problems they are solving. If only this were true, we could just give our students a lot of poorly defined problems and in so doing create extremely competent graduates. The idea breaks down because we as faculty think about how much students will learn from the process and gain insight through doing, while students tend to focus on their final product/grade and ignore the journey. The problem is not with the projects and their intrinsic messiness but instead with our students’ focus. We propose the concept of messy learning coupled with reflection to solve this. Messy learning involves giving deliberately ambiguous problems where we want students to focus on learning about how to solve the ambiguous parts of the problem. Reflection is the method that we propose to use to make the messy learning projects effective for our students by using it to focus attention on appropriate parts of the messy problems.

Roman Lysecky (University of Arizona, United States)
Frank Vahid (UC Riverside, United States)
Teaching Students a Systematic Approach to Debugging

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk presents new free material to provide new programmers with a solid foundation in debugging. Nearly every instructor who teaches programming notices that students have weak debugging skills. Faced with a failing program, many students make random changes and hope things improve. Or they shrug their shoulders, say "I have no idea what's wrong", and ask an instructor for help. Most textbooks and websites provide insufficient coverage or training of debugging. This new material teaches a basic systematic process for debugging: Create a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, repeat. Seems obvious, but it's not to most students. The material first teaches a general troubleshooting process using everyday systems, like smartphones. With a solid foundation of the basic systematic process, the material then teaches basic debugging using a generic programming language. The material starts from the basics, following that adage that one must walk before they can run. Students typically don't have the concept of "Hypothesize / Test". But after repeated examples that stress those items, they will hopefully have developed a habit of thinking of troubleshooting more systematically. The material is targeted at the fifth week of a CS1 course, when students have some programming experience and are beginning to face harder debugging challenges, but is also beneficial for any programming class beyond CS1, where it could be used in the first week. The material is delivered as free two-chapter online book available with sign in (

Toby Dragon (Ithaca College, United States)
Improving Course Content and Providing Intelligent Support Simultaneously

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes our current effort to create a system that helps teachers organize the content of their computer science courses while simultaneously providing a basis for intelligent support. This work blends the disciplines of computer science education, artificial intelligence in education, and instructional design to imagine a holistic system that helps teachers bring together diverse learning resources and assessment techniques into a unified vision of their course. The vision is created in the form of a concept map with links to external materials and assessments (including traditional materials like textbooks and exams, and more advanced technology like online interactive practice environments). We are creating these concept maps for our computer science curriculum at Ithaca College and we have found clear benefits to organization and content. Beyond these improvements to courses, we seek to use the resulting concept map to offer intelligent support for students and instructors. Students can benefit by seeing their assessment automatically summarized by concept rather than by assignment, and receive suggestions of materials crucial to their understanding. Instructors can benefit from assessment summaries about individuals' or entire classes' understanding of specific concepts. The system can also make recommendations for dynamic groups to be formed for short-term in-class collaboration. Currently we have basic prototypes of this functionality and we're seeking feedback from others who may have engaged (even informally) in similar techniques, as well as any collaborators who are interested in trying this technique in their courses or integrating their materials with our system.

Lea Wittie (Bucknell University, United States)
Anastasia Kurdia (Tulane University, United States)
Meriel Huggard (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Recruiting Experts: Toward a Concept Inventory for Computer Science 2

ABSTRACT. A concept inventory is a research-based multiple-choice test that measures a student’s knowledge of a set of concepts while also capturing conceptions and misconceptions they may have about the topic under consideration. It can aid educators and researchers in a variety of ways. When administered at both the beginning and end of a course, it measures the amount of knowledge that students gain during the course. For a given student, a concept inventory points out the topics that they need to focus on and can give their instructor specific misconceptions to tackle. For a researcher, concept inventories routinely administered at the end of a course show the effects that different teaching methods have on student understanding.

Concept inventories for computer science currently exist for many topics but not for a course on basic data structures, commonly refereed to as Computer Science 2 (CS2). To aid in assessing students’ understanding of the material of this core course in the computer science curriculum, we are developing a concept inventory for CS2.

We are seeking input from instructors and researchers with knowledge and experience of CS2 (experts) to establish the set of important and challenging topics that are fundamental to a CS2 course, using an iterative consensus-reaching methodology (the Delphi method). These topics will be used to create a concept inventory, which will then undergo validity and reliability checking. Interested members of the SIGCSE community are invited to attend the presentation and consider participating as experts.

Michael Kirkpatrick (James Madison University, United States)
OpenCSF: An Online Interactive Textbook for Computer Systems Fundamentals

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk introduces the OpenCSF textbook project ( The goal of OpenCSF is to develop an online, interactive textbook focused on the Core Tier 1 teaching objectives of the Computer Systems Fundamentals knowledge area of the ACM 2013 Computing Curriculum. OpenCSF is built on the platform used by the OpenDSA project for teaching Data Structures and Algorithms. Several chapters have been written along with exercises. Future plans include the creation of interactive illustrations and integration with the Canvas Learning Management System. Interested faculty are invited to attend the presentation and feedback is both encouraged and welcome.

Yana Kortsarts (Widener University, United States)
Adam Fischbach (Widener University, United States)
Suk-Chung Yoon (Widener University, United States)
Developing Computer Forensics Minor - Challenges and Opportunities

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk will discuss our experience of developing and managing a new Computer Forensics Minor. The Computer Forensics minor is an interdisciplinary program that integrates criminal justice and computer science and combines both theoretical concepts and practical skills to prepare students for a career in computer forensics-related fields. Students will be prepared for a career in law enforcement or corporate security as a digital investigator and evidence examiner as well as pursue graduate education in the area of information security, digital forensics, or law. The lighting talk will describe the various stages in developing the minor including an analysis of competitive academic programs, evaluation of the current resources, qualifications and faculty considerations, the process of developing the program objectives and learning outcomes, and assessment strategies. The program will be run jointly by Criminal Justice and Computer Science departments, and faculty will communicate regularly to track the number of students in the minor and their progress through the curriculum. Both departments will ensure that the minor provides appropriate course content and learning experiences for graduates seeking employment. In our discussion, will focus on challenges of designing the balanced curriculum to make it accessible for criminal justice and other non-computer science/computer information systems majors, the need of designing new courses and renovating existing courses to answer growing need to address this new emerging field. Lightning talk will also discuss the anticipated cost of the program, required resources, recruitment strategies, and the administrative approval mechanism.

Debasis Bhattacharya (University of Hawaii Maui College, United States)
Bitcoins, Blockchains and Cybersecurity: Teaching emerging topics in the classroom

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes the current effort to distill the essence of the growth of bitcoins, blockchains and their implications to cybersecurity. Crypto currencies are becoming popular with banks, consumers and various industries. There is a need for consumers to understand the basic underlying technology behind these crypto currencies and the underlying security risks and concerns. This talk provides a broad overview of the topic and the benefits/risks involved. This talk also describes how these topics are integrated into a classroom curriculum in a standard business and accounting course found in many universities.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-6M: ACM Student Research Competition - First Round of Competition (Posters)
Sarah Heckman (North Carolina State University, United States)
Jessica Schmidt (North Carolina State University, United States)
Location: Exhibit Hall
Adam Koehler (University of California, Riverside, United States)
Teaching Programming Style in CS 1 with Erroneous Examples

ABSTRACT. Coding style is one part of programming pedagogy that is often left to learn through experience in computer science education. Proper style is often learned through years of watching, reading, and doing rather than through assessment or instruction. While the result of understanding style may be achieved, the process can leave a student frustrated, cause unnecessary delays in debugging, and increase time to help when seeking out an instructor. Teaching and enforcing style at the CS 1 level can set a student on the correct path at the beginning of their computer science education. We present our research that evaluates the usefulness of assessing style within an automated assessment environment, and introduce the concept of using simple erroneous examples to teach programming style as the student learns new syntax and concepts in CS 1. With simple erroneous example exercises we can slowly teach students about style instead of simply throwing them into the style deep end with either no aid or a dense style document. Our research answers three questions. First, if style is enforced, do students utilize proper style before being graded? Secondly, does providing a direct learning experience through erroneous examples benefit the students? Lastly, does style affect student academic performance in CS 1? To investigate these questions we analyze multiple quarters of a CS 1 course that had three distinct periods 1) no style enforcement, 2) style document and autograded style, and 3) style document, autograded style, and weekly erroneous examples to directly teach programming style.

Zhiyi Li (Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytennic Institute & State University, United States)
Improve Feedback Mechanism in Programming Assessment Systems with Progress Indicators and Reward to Foster Students' Growth Mindset

ABSTRACT. When students learn programming, the assignment feedback information from current automatic programming assessment systems, such as Web-CAT [1] is often negative, objective, and unfriendly. These feedback information can easily frustrate students to lose interest in programming related activities. The negative feedback information can have possible serious consequences to students. We work to improve current feedback mechanism in mindset perspective: encourage students by positive feedback with a group of fifteen progress indicators and possible reward. The fifteen progress indicators were designed and implemented based on students' sequential programming submissions. These fifteen indicators include seven general purpose indicators about various aspects when students construct solutions for assignments; eight other software testing indicators concentrate on students’ progress when students self-checking their code [7]. We did statistical analysis for these fifteen indicators’ suitability to a collection of programming assignments data set including 257 students. In order to validate fifteen progress indicators’ effectiveness, we also apply a student performance model: Recent-Performance Finite Analysis model (R-PFA) [8] to the same programming assignment data set we used before. We calculate R-PFA model’s prediction accuracy and apply learning curves analysis. In learning curve analysis, eight software test indicators demonstrate students gradually learn positively when they work on their assignment submissions. Based on progress indicators information, we plan to give students possible reward when they make progress. We will research on reward mechanism, reward format, and timing, etc. In this way, moves students to growth mindset [2] - belief that hard work and practices can improve their skills and capabilities.

Megan Fowler (Clemson University, United States)
Tim Schwab (Clemson University, United States)
BeginToReason An Introduction to Symbolic Reasoning

ABSTRACT. A common method that computer science students use to reason about the behavior of the code they write or encounter is to run it using specific inputs and to study the outputs. While reasoning about code in this way is often a useful starting point, successful CS graduates must be able to trace through and reason about code on all valid inputs, without relying on particular input values, and without running the code. This paper describes an online system named “BeginToReason” that is designed to aid CS students learn formal reasoning through the use of symbolic reasoning, and the results of its use. One hundred and fourteen students were asked to use the online tool after receiving no prior instructions on formal reasoning. Several weeks later, they were tested on their ability to practice formal reasoning. Our results showed that the online tool is a useful and adaptable tool for teaching formal reasoning.

Rick Parker (University of Colorado Boulder, United States)
Developing Software Engineers: A Study of the CS Senior Capstone and Its Influence on Student Professionalization

ABSTRACT. My research investigates the role of practical experience on professionalization and confidence in students of software engineering during their university-to-work transition. Practical experience comes in many forms, including internships, capstone projects, and "year-in-industry" experiences. These hands-on opportunities place the learner into an authentic role using professional methods and tools to accomplish legitimate work. Improved understanding of the positive and negative influences of practical experience during the university-to-work transition may support ongoing discussions of the potential for integrating such experiences earlier in the learning pipeline. I apply a mixed-methods approach to studying the implementation of a computer science software engineering capstone course at an R1 research institution. My work integrates a case study of the artifacts produced during the capstone, qualitative interviews of student reflections about their experiences in the capstone, and a pilot run of a quantitative survey on professional identity and behaviors. Taken together, the three methods shed light on different roles that professional experience plays during the university-to-work transition.

Caitlin Duncan (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Reported development of Computational Thinking, through Computer Science and programming, and its benefits for primary school students.

ABSTRACT. Across the world there has been a paradigm shift in school education as many countries have begun to move, or have moved, towards incorporating Computer Science (CS), programming, and Computational Thinking (CT) into their K-12 curriculums. The main benefits of CT have been described as, giving students the tools to solve problems using computers and increase their understanding of the digital world they live in. It has also been claimed to impact students thinking and improve their problem-solving in everyday life. However, this has not been validated and there are doubts about this claim within educational communities. Throughout 2015 - 2016 a study has been conducted with 18 primary school teachers to investigate this claim and the assumption that CT can be learnt through CS and programming. The students involved were ages 5-12 years. This poster presents the results of in-depth interviews with teachers about their observations of students learning CS and programming, and the impact this has had on students CT skills, their problem-solving skills, and their overall learning. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts shows significant benefits to students from these lessons. All teachers observed students demonstrating and developing CT skills and applying these in class. The majority of teachers reported improvements in their students’ general problem-solving skills, which lends support to the claim that CT can impact students thinking and approach to problems in their everyday lives.

Pierce Stegman (University of Alabama, United States)
WebBCI: An Electroencephalography Toolkit Built on Modern Web Technologies

ABSTRACT. In recent years, advances in electroencephalography (EEG) based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have led to the development of applications that allow users to control prosthetic arms, fly drones, and play video games using only their thoughts. However, these use cases are heavily restricted to a laboratory environment, as the EEG processing software used to run these BCIs has demanding requirements, making it inaccessible to the average consumer. This research poster describes why JavaScript serves well for the creation of more accessible BCI software development platforms. We also discuss the current issues with JavaScript-based BCIs and introduce a new library, WebBCI, which is designed to take the initial step towards addressing these issues. The aim of WebBCI is to facilitate the development of JavaScript-based BCI applications. An example BCI system that can be created with WebBCI is described in this poster to demonstrate what can currently be done in a JavaScript only environment.

Sydney Pugh (Loyola University Maryland, United States)
Change Impact using Dynamic History Analysis

ABSTRACT. As the complexity of software systems grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for developers to be aware of all the dependencies that exist between a system’s artifacts (e.g., files or methods). Change impact analysis has been proposed as a technique to overcome this problem, as it suggests to a developer relevant source-code artifacts related to his/her changes. Association rule mining has shown promise for determining change impact by uncovering relevant patterns in the system’s change history.

State-of-the-art change impact mining typically makes use of a history of tens of thousands of transactions. This makes a priori generation of all possible rules costly and has thus led to the introduction of targeted association rule mining algorithms that only generate rules for transactions relevant for answering a particular query. Because the set of relevant transactions is much smaller than the complete history, these algorithms are considerably more efficient. These algorithms still consider the complete set of relevant transactions in the history.

Our work considers a dynamic selection of relevant transactions. It can be viewed as further constrained version of targeted association rule mining, in which as few as a single transaction might be considered when determining change impact. This initial look at dynamic algorithms empirically studies seven algorithm families. These are referred to as families because some are parameterized by a counter and thus give rise to multiple algorithms. Empirically, we show that dynamic algorithms are viable, can be just as applicable as start-of-the-art complete algorithms, and even outperform them for certain queries.

Don Kerrigan (University of West Florida, United States)
Creating a Classroom Programming Lab Using Android and Blockly

ABSTRACT. Current tools required for teaching computer science at any level of education are expensive and require a dedicated lab. With an increasing desire for early computer science education, paired with the unchanging costs for computers, there is an increasing need for a solution. In this paper, I will investigate a mobile-based solution to more effectively, both educationally and financially, solve this problem. I will describe the system and how it could be an effective solution by giving the students a more interactive experience and the teachers more control.

Duc Doan (University of the District of Columbia, United States)
Summit Selection: Designing a Feature Selection Technique to Support Mixed Data Analysis

ABSTRACT. Since data size is continuously increasing recently, most existing computational models may suffer from overfitting problems. To overcome such limitation, finding an optimal number of features is critical for analyzing large-scale data effectively. This paper introduces a newly designed feature selection technique (called Summit Selection.) It boosts model performances by determining optimal features in noisy mixed data. First, testing all features is conducted to determine an initial base feature that satisfies a pre-defined criterion of maintaining highest performance score. Then, a continuous evaluation is managed to build a model by successively adding or removing features based solely on the performance score by testing with chosen computational models. To show the effectiveness of our proposed method, a performance evaluation study of multiple machine learning techniques was conducted. As results, we found that our proposed method is superior to other known machine learning techniques. Also, we observed that the method could easily be extended to cloud computing environment for analyzing large-scale data in real-time.

Caitlin Fanning (University of San Diego, United States)
Below C Level: A Simulator for Visualizing x86-64

ABSTRACT. Students often encounter assembly language during the course of their education as part of learning about the low-level operation of computer systems. While there are many assembly languages ranging from simple to complex, x86-64 is widely used in introductory level computer systems courses. Unfortunately, students often have difficulty visualizing the execution of an x86-64 program. Interactions between instructions, relevant registers, and the effect that instructions have on memory are all concepts that students struggle to understand. While students can use GDB or other debuggers to help them step through the execution of a program, there are currently no x86-64 simulators aimed at introductory computing students.

Below C Level (BCL) is an x86-64 simulator aimed at helping novices overcome the barriers to learning this challenging language. BCL visualizes program state, specifically the program stack and register file in order to assist novice x86-64 programmers trace the execution of their programs.

One of the primary motives for the creation of BCL was the desire for a simulator with a simple and intuitive interface that enabled the user to spend more time focusing on the task at hand rather than attempting to understand a complex program. BCL provides this while allowing users to view firsthand the effects their code has upon the program stack and registers.

Elisabeth Mitchell (Ithaca College, United States)
Toby Dragon (Ithaca College, United States)
Automated Intelligent Group Suggestions based on Student’s Conceptual Understanding

ABSTRACT. Collaborative learning can be beneficial for students, but its success is highly dependent on the characteristics of the students grouped together. Structuring group interactions enhances the effectiveness of collaborative learning [1] and therefore the structuring must be done appropriately. Creating successful groups is challenging for instructors, who generally do not have the ability to hand-select groups. We have created a system to dynamically recommend student groups for short-term collaboration. Instructors can request group suggestions based on various criteria related to student’s performance on assessment materials. This system creates groups based on different pedagogical theories we find to be salient to group learning.

Sherry Seibel (Simmons College, United States)
Social Motivators and Inhibitors for Women Entering Software Engineering Through Coding Bootcamps vs. Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees

ABSTRACT. The gender disparity in technology related fields is well known and well documented. Only 18% of computer science undergraduates and 26% of computer science professionals are women. Despite numerous interventions in the past decade, there is still not gender parity in the undergraduate pipeline. However, 43% of post-baccalaureate “coding bootcamp” participants were women in 2016, indicating that this population may have different characteristics, attitudes, and mindsets than younger women and girls. In this project, the authors have investigated these changes in gender role perceptions that create barriers for girls but are seemingly resolved for some adult women. We hypothesize that older women come to view their own abilities as well as the impact of failure differently than girls and younger women. By recruiting a subject pool of women who have entered the computer science profession through traditional baccalaureate as well as non-traditional bootcamp pathways and posing reflective as well as current questions in semi-structured interviews we assess the changes in attitudes regarding the subjects’ self-efficacy and mindset with respect to technical work. From these findings, we hope to identify triggers and possible interventions.

Luke Gusukuma (Virginia Tech, United States)
Automation for Instruction Enhancing Feedback

ABSTRACT. With the increasing demand in computing, automated feedback systems for teaching programming has become a necessesity. However, current feedback tools are a bit behind what is necessary for the increasing demand. While, great strides are being made with identification and code edit steps for automated student feedback, tools for helping instructors craft feedback on a higher conceptual and instructional level has been lacking. My research, currently targeted at novice programmers aims to close that gap with a hybrid approach of a teacher in the loop feedback system where I attempt to facilitate writing of instructor feedback that can be delivered in an automated fashion by using pattern matching authored by instructors to give meaningful, instruction enhancing feedback. I also evaluate these mechanisms in classrooms by measuring learning gains, student perception, and other metrics.

Jiaqi Wu (Arizona State University, United States)
Terry Wen (Arizona State University, United States)
Study Genie: An Intelligent & Collaborative Web-based Study Platform

ABSTRACT. Research has shown that the cheat sheet preparation process helps students with performance in exams. However, results have been inconclusive in determining the most effective guiding principles in creating and using cheat sheets. The traditional method of collecting and annotating cheat sheets is time consuming and exhaustive, and fails to capture students’ preparation process. This work examines the development and impacts of a new web-based study preparation tool, Study Genie, supporting collaborative note creation, editing, sharing, and cheat sheat organization. A classroom study was conducted to measure the technology and learning effects in an introductory computer science programming course. Results suggest that actions associated with editing and organizing cheat sheets are positively correlated with exam performance, and that there is a significant difference between the activity of high-performing and low-performing students. Through these results, Study Genie presents itself as an opportunity for mass data collection and to provide insight into the assembly process rather than just the finished product in cheat sheet creation.

Blaine Billings (College of Charleston, United States)
Modeling Correct Operation of Webcams for Security Purposes

ABSTRACT. In October of 2016, we saw a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, the Mirai botnet, that made use of machines on a global scale and primarily targeted often-unprotected devices like webcams and routers. Due to the widespread use of the Internet of Things (IoT), and, specifically, webcams, the attack surface available to malicious actors has increased dramatically. Whereas some researchers tackle this problem by measuring and increasing the efficiency of existing Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) or by creating models for the purpose of characterizing cyber-attacks, such solutions do not investigate the problem of identifying when a system itself is behaving under incorrect operation. Through our research, we established a set of stochastic models that are able to accurately and efficiently model the correct operation and behavior of webcams. In order to verify the efficacy and validity of such models, we ran a multitude of normal-operation scenarios and cyber-attacks against webcams using the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). Using the data from these emulated experiments, we correlated network traffic data and audit logs to verify the correctness and accuracy of our models.

Ramin Ayanzadeh (UMBC, United States)
Quantum Artificial Intelligence for Natural Language Processing Applications

ABSTRACT. Natural Language Processing and Semantic Web include several NP complete/hard problems that are intractable for classical computing machines. Even though distributed computing has provided remarkable advances (more precisely in dealing with big data), non-decomposable NP problems are still intractable in many real-world applications. And, from quantum computing perspective, solving complex problems with universal quantum gates requires developing of quantum algorithms. Considering commercializing quantum annealing machines by D-Wave, achieving global optimum for discrete optimization problems has been realized. In this study, a novel approach has been introduced to convert symbolic AI problems into quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) form. More narrowly, this method represents classification of text documents (fragments) as optimizing a QUBO function. After embedding the train corpus into a QUBO function, D-Wave quantum annealer is used to classify new observations with finding the minimum energy level of the system.

Ayaan M. Kazerouni (Virginia Tech, United States)
Toward Continuous Assessment of the Programming Process

ABSTRACT. Assessment of software tends to focus on postmortem evaluation of metrics like correctness, mergeability, and code coverage. This is evidenced in the current practices of continuous integration and deployment that focus on software’s ability to pass unit tests before it can be merged into a deployment pipeline. However, little attention or tooling is given to the assessment of the software development process itself. Good process becomes both more challenging and more critical as software complexity increases. Real-time evaluation and feedback about a software developer’s skills, such as incremental development, testing, and time management, could greatly increase productivity and improve the ability to write tested and correct code. My work focuses on the collection and analysis of fine-grained programming process data to help quantitatively model the programming process in terms of these metrics. I report on my research problem, presenting past work involving the col- lection and analysis of IDE event data from junior level students working on large and complex projects. The goal is to quantify the programming process in terms of incremental development and procrastination. I also present a long-term vision for my research and present work planned in the short term as a step toward that vision.

Eric Tilley (University of Alabama, United States)
Weather Radar Algorithm Development using Google Blockly

ABSTRACT. NADER (NEXRAD Algorithm Development Environment) is a desktop-based programming environment that allows users to build algorithms for the analysis of NEXRAD level-II Doppler weather radar data. NEXRAD level-II data provides a high-resolution 3D mapping of precipitation intensity and wind speeds around a radar site. These datasets are available from NCEI (National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) both from archives and in real-time, providing nearly endless opportunities for automated algorithmic analysis of weather features. The language provided by NADER is block-based and is built on the powerful Google Blockly platform. In addition to blocks for logic, math, and control flow functions, NADER also presents the user with a succinct set of blocks providing abstractions for common radar data structures. NADER also includes a visualization tool for level-II data, allowing users to clearly see exactly what data is passed into their algorithms and exactly what data is output. With NADER, users can develop a large variety of algorithms— for example, an algorithm for hail detection, an algorithm for tracking snowfall, or even an algorithm for estimating tornado damage. NADER strives to accomplish two main objectives. One objective is to provide beginning programmers with a straightforward programming environment with an intriguing, real-life application. The other objective is to provide meteorology experts with a rapid-feedback prototyping environment for developing new algorithms.

Blayde Dill (University of Alabama, United States)
Developing a Blocked Based Language for the Adafruit Circuit Playground

ABSTRACT. With the growing use of technology in our everyday lives, the need for more people who can program and understand technology is increasing. However, the engaging resources to teach computer science incorporating hardware components to children and first-learners, are limited. To combat this issue, a block-based language was developed using Google’s Blockly Developer Tools. The Blockly library injects an editor into an HTML file that represents coding concepts as interlocking blocks, and then outputs the blocks as syntactically correct code. This block-based language, appropriately named CodePlayground, was designed to be compatible with the Adafruit Circuit Playground. The Circuit Playground was released as a all in one low cost device that can be used for education. CodePlayground allows teachers to utilize the Circuit Playground as an educational device that includes both hardware and software elements. The Circuit Playground uses the firmata provided by Adafruit to communicate with the Python code generated by CodePlayground. Blockly Developer Tools was used to create the frame for the language and Atom was used to insert the specialized JavaScript for code generation. After the language was complete, 90 sample programs were created then given a score on a scale to 0 to 2 based on difficulty and their ability to generate and run code, with 2 being the most difficult and most successful, respectively. All of the programs successfully generated code and ran 94% of the time, demonstrating that CodePlayground could be used in an educational setting.

Nina Angelvik (Department of Computer Science, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Air Pollution Data Analysis Platform for Computer Science Education Projects

ABSTRACT. We have developed an applied computer science course to introduce students in upper secondary schools to computer science and engineering. In the course, students build and code their own air quality sensor kits before investigating a research question by analyzing their collected data. An important part of the analysis is to investigate the air quality data in context of other data sources, such as data from other sensor kits or climate data. The task of curating such datasets are too complex for such an introductory course and it therefore requires a specialized service. In this poster we present the design and implementation of an air pollution data analysis platform that stores air quality measurements collected by students, combines it with open environmental data, and provides students with an open interface to analyze their data. The platform, online at, is going to be used by 150 students in Spring 2018 to study air quality patterns across Northern Norway. We have open-sourced it at

William Zamora (California State University Chico, United States)
Software Engineering Education

ABSTRACT. Software Engineering courses are essential for undergraduate students to gain experience with skills that are applicable to future career opportunities. However, professional Software Engineers recognize that these courses do not meet the requirements to prepare students with realistic software development experience One proposed method to reduce the gap between academic and industry software development practices is called Tech Startup Model.The main goal of the model is to investigate students’ experiences with the tech startup model, compare it to other approaches to learning Software Engineering, and to identify ways to continuously improve the model .

Pedro Valdivia (CSU Chico, United States)
A Mental Approach to Software Testing

ABSTRACT. Many software engineering students make the transition from the academic setting to professional software development careers. Due to its popularity in the software industry, it is important for students to learn software testing skills and adhere to professional practices to be successful and prepare them for their transition. Software testing is an important skill for students but there are many different approaches that enables students to gain this skill. We created an approach that enables students learn software testing with a unique mentality and developed a tool to make educational assessment and feedback quick and scalable.

Gabrielle Zahuantitla (SUNY Old Westbury, United States)
Aryanna Holder (SUNY Old Westbury, United States)
A Four Point Student-led Strategy for Attracting Diverse Small College Commuter Campus Students to Computer Science

ABSTRACT. Currently, there is a push for integrating computer science education and computational thinking into the classroom. For example, major local and national organizations such as CS4ALL: NYC and aim to expose all students, including typically underrepresented groups, to computer science education nurturing students’ intrinsic motivation. Furthermore, current research indicates that first-exposure to computer science is an important deciding factor as to whether students are open to computer science in future endeavors. Being one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and a commuter campus, The State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury provides a unique opportunity to pilot how one might go about creating a motivating first exposure to computer science. Through a four point student-led strategy, we explore student pre-conceived attitudes towards computer science and programming to better understand what strategies might increase CS engagement. In order to do this, we host workshops revolving around creative computer science activities such as 3D game design and multimedia art projects. During these workshops, we collect pre and post questionnaires and use their data to gain insight into the Old Westbury student body’s notions of computer science. Initial analyzed pre-survey data shows that 70% of students thought Computer Science was difficult. However, post-survey data shows that, after the experience, approximately 90% of students want to take additional workshops involving Computer Science.

13:45-15:00 Session Thu-Incl-RPP: Invited Inclusion Session: Connecting Research and Practice through Partnerships in K-12 CS Education for Inclusion


Leigh Ann Delyser, CSforAll Consortium, Fred Martin, CSTA, Stacey Sexton, SageFox


This session will define and discuss Research Practice Partnerships, and how these partnerships between K12 and research institutions can impact K12 CS Education for Inclusion.

Leigh Ann Delyser (NYC Foundation for CS Education, United States)
Location: 322
13:45-15:00 Session Thu-Sup-GitHub: Real-world tools, engaged students


Vanessa Gennarelli, GitHub
Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Duke University
John David Dionisio, Loyola Marymount University
Ming Chow, Tufts University


Git has a learning curve for students (and teachers). What is the benefit of learning version control, and integrating real-world tools in your course? In this series of talks, teachers will share why they choose to use Git and GitHub, and how it benefits their classroom practice.  

  • Priming for collaboration: what are the mental models, instincts, and practices students need to succeed in internships and industry?
  • Tools students can grow with: how does Git give students the ability to transfer their knowledge from year to year and from role to role?
  • Assessing student work in-context: what benefits does GitHub offer in terms of authentic assessment, contextual feedback, and helping students iterate to improve?

This session is suitable for teachers thinking about using version control, or teachers who use GitHub and want a deeper understanding of features and benefits.

Location: 303
13:45-15:00 Session Thu-Sup-InfoSys: The value of Community in Professional Development


Juan Vargas, Trustee Infosys Foundation USA
Joe Politz, Bootstrap UCSD 
Joanna Goode, ECS 
Tiffany Barnes, BJC
James Cohoon, UVA Tapestry


Infosys Foundation USA is hosting the Pathfinders Summer Institute 2018, a large scale professional development for 1000 teachers from July 15-20 at Indiana University Bloomington. Hear from major PD providers about how such multi track PD events can help foster a sense of community among Computer Science and Maker educators, and create opportunities for long term peer learning.

Location: 302
13:45-15:00 Session Thu-Sup-Intel: The Artificial Intelligence Revolution: How Intel is Enhancing the Ecosystem and Equipping Educators with the Tools of the Revolution


Rudy Cazabon, Intel Technical Evangelist for AI and VR


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the landscape of technology and its every day application in fundamental ways across many industries.  Of the AI techniques that have been developed, deep learning (DL) is the most interesting and powerful technique right now.  These techniques ingest untold amounts of data and produce results equaling, if not exceeding, human capabilities in activities ranging from diagnosing cancer from MRI images to playing and winning complex games such as Go.  Intel is at the leading edge of this transformation by providing a whole host of technologies limited not only to processors, but to enhancing features of Python, the de-facto language used for the development of the DL technologies, and its deployment into the rich technology ecosystem of AI.  This presentation sets out to highlight aspects of the transformation, the AI and DL technologies, and how Intel is driving this revolution and working with educators to ready students for the coming AI future.

This presentation sets out to:

  • Provide a survey of the AI and DL landscape
  • Provide an overview of the DL technologies
  • Cover how Intel is advancing the technology by enhancing the Python language and ecosystem
  • Cover how educators can use the Intel technologies to enrich their academic offerings
Location: 301
13:45-15:00 Session Thu-TOCE2: Studying K-12 Computing Education
Shuchi Grover (ACTNext & Associate Editor, ACM TOCE, United States)
Location: 323
Deborah Fields (Utah State University, United States)
Yasmin Kafai (University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Michael T. Giang (Mount St. Mary’s University, United States)
Youth Computational Participation in the Wild: Understanding Experience and Equity in Participating and Programming in the Online Scratch Community
Ilenia Fronza (Libera Universita di Bolzano, Italy)
Teaching Computational Thinking using Agile Software Engineering Methods: a Framework for Middle Schools
David Weintrop (University of Chicago, United States)
Comparing Block-based and Text-based Programming in High School Computer Science Classrooms
15:00-15:45Breaks, Exhibits and Demos
15:00-15:45 Session Thu-D2: Demo Session #2
Henry Walker (Grinnell College, United States)
Location: Exhibit Hall
Leo Ureel Ii (Michigan Technological University, United States)
Charles Wallace (Michigan Technological University, United States)
WebTA: Online Code Critique and Assignment Feedback

ABSTRACT. We present a demonstration of our WebTA tool, which facilitates the teaching of programming by providing automatic critique and grading of student source code. Programming is in fact a complex set of interconnected activities. Learning to design, analyze, implement, test, and revise software is crucial for student success, not just for computer science students but for a broad and growing body of students in other disciplines as well. Our approach is to teach students agile development methods through small cycles of teaching, coding integrated with testing, and immediate feedback. WebTA facilitates our teaching approach by providing automatic critique of student source code. WebTA provides immediate feedback to students and gives them experience with interactive, test-driven development.

Students using WebTA are engaged in communication-by-proxy with the instructor. This communication does not replace instructor feedback; rather, it codifies common feedback scenarios, triggered by errors, warnings, or textual code analysis, to assist the instructor in reaching students just when the student is engaged in problem solving and learning. This prompts the student to reflect and refactor in an iterative design process. WebTA compiles student code and executes it over a series of shakedown tests. It also analyzes student performance and generates preliminary grading reports. Students are coached through code critiques and suggestions that prompt them to reflect and refactor. The demonstration consists of a walkthrough of two use-case scenarios: Student use of WebTA as a code snippet critiquer and its use by faculty as an automated grading system.

David Touretzky (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
Christina Gardner-Mccune (University of Florida, United States)
Calypso for Cozmo: Robotic AI for Everyone

ABSTRACT. In light of the CS Education field's progress in making programming accessible to novices, we contemplate an even more ambitious goal: to make AI accessible to all. The Cozmo robot by Anki is revolutionizing consumer and educational robotics through built-in computer vision and artificial intelligence algorithms. Calypso is a highly-scaffolded robot programming environment for Cozmo inspired by Microsoft's Kodu Game Lab. Calypso allows novices to program with advanced features such as visual recognition of objects and faces, simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and speech input. Like Kodu, Calypso emphasizes rule-based programming with high-level primitives such as "see", "hear", "move toward", and "grab", and it utilizes an Xbox game controller as its primary interface. User testing of the Calypso software has shown that children as young as eight can easily program Cozmo.

This live demo will show off some of Calypso's most innovative features, such as real-time graphical display of the robot's world map, object detection with OpenCV, landmark-based navigation, and speech recognition using the Google speech API. The latter allows users to program Cozmo to respond to voice commands of their own design.

The modular Calypso curriculum can be adapted to students from primary school through undergraduate computer science majors. The demo will conclude with a discussion of the changes coming in both K-12 and undergraduate robotics instruction as we move from simple control of servos to true vision-guided mobile manipulators. For an advance look at Calypso, please see

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8A: Retention in CS
Briana Morrison (University of Nebraska at Omaha, United States)
Location: 316
Markeya Peteranetz (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Abraham Flanigan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Duane Shell (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States)
Leen-Kiat Soh (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska, United States)
Future-Oriented Motivation and Retention in Computer Science

ABSTRACT. Retention of students in computer science (CS) courses and majors is a concern for many undergraduate CS programs in the United States. A large proportion of students who initially declare a major in CS do not complete a CS degree. The impact of future-oriented motivational constructs such as career aspirations and future connectedness on retention has received relatively little research attention but these are potential contributors to students’ retention in CS courses. The purpose of this study was to investigate how future-oriented motivation related to CS students’ retention in CS courses over three consecutive semesters. Students enrolled in CS courses (four 100-level courses, one 200-level course, three 300-level courses, and five 400-level courses) completed survey measures of future-oriented motivation, and course enrollment data were collected for the three semesters. Logistic regression was used to determine whether motivation variables could distinguish between students who were enrolled in at least one CS course during a given semester and students who were not enrolled in any CS courses. Results indicate that across all three semesters, career aspirations and knowledge of CS career paths were associated with a greater likelihood of continuing to take CS courses, and stronger future connectedness was associated with a lower likelihood of continuing to take CS courses. Implications for CS educators are discussed.

Barbara Ericson (Georgia Institute of Technology, United States)
Tom Mcklin (The Findings Group, LLC, United States)
Helping Underrepresented Students Succeed in AP CSA and Beyond

ABSTRACT. Project 1 was created at college 1 in the spring of 2013 to help African American students succeed in their Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A (CSA) high school course and on the exam. The AP CSA course is intended to be equivalent to a college level CS1 course. In the fall of 2014, Project 2 was also created at college 1 to help female students succeed. Project 1 (P1) and Project 2 (P2) both offer remote and in-person help sessions led by undergraduate students, who serve as near-peer role models. The long-term goal of these projects is to attract more underrepresented students to computing careers by increasing their self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief that one can succeed in a particular task or field. Thanks to generous support from Google, P1 and P2 have been offered at several other colleges and universities as well. This paper summarizes the results from spring 2013 to summer 2016, reports on an alumni survey sent to 211 alumni, and includes excerpts from semi-structured interviews. The majority (63%) of the alumni survey respondents who are in college are majoring in computing. A similar percentage of the alumni who are still in high school intend to major in computing (62%). When asked about the programs’ impact on their career choices and interest in computing, 61% of respondents indicated that the program increased their interest in computer science and 24% indicated that it changed their career plans to include computing.

Rahman Tashakkori (Appalachian State University, United States)
Cindy Norris (Appalachian State University, United States)
Mary E. Searcy (Appalachian State University, United States)
The Components of a Successful S-STEM Program: What Works at Appalachian State University

ABSTRACT. In 1999, the National Science Foundation created the "Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarships" (CSEMS) program to provide funding for institutions to supply scholarships for academically talented and financially needy students to complete an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in computer science, computer technology, engineering, engineering technology, or mathematics. In 2004, the program was renamed to "Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" (S-STEM) and modified to include students from physical and life sciences. Appalachian State University (ASU) has been the recipient of four CSEMS/S-STEM awards since 2001 and the scholarships have funded 161 students. Nearly all of these students have high levels of financial need and the majority are first generation college students. Overall, the program has retained 87 percent of these students; 12 percent of the scholars completed a bachelor's and then continued on to complete a master's degree or are in the process of doing so. The retention rate has increased as our program has improved. The retention rate of the current cohort of S-STEM students is 92.3 percent; 31 percent of the students in the current program completed a bachelor's degree and are pursuing or have completed a master's degree. These retention numbers are significantly higher than the 31 percent national average reported by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, these retention numbers are higher than those found at our own institution for all Computer Science and Mathematics majors. This paper discusses the components of our successful program.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8B: Computational Thinking #2
Scott Turner (University of Wisconsin, Stout, United States)
Location: 317
Patricia Ordóñez (University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico)
Joseph Carroll Miranda (University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico)
María López Delgado (University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico)
Eliud Gerena López (University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico)
Grace Rodríguez Gómez (University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus, Puerto Rico)
Incorporating Computational Thinking in the Classrooms of Puerto Rico: How a MOOC served as an outreach and recruitment tool for Computer Science Education

ABSTRACT. This paper intends to share both the experience of teachers and document the research of the design, implementation, and evaluation of a massive open online course (MOOC). The primary purpose of the MOOC was to do outreach and build community to interest teachers from any discipline in Puerto Rico to incorporate computational thinking into their curriculum and peak their interest in computer science education. Additional objectives were to use computational thinking as a way to build self-efficacy in high school teachers as integrators of this newly gained knowledge while learning the state of computing education and technology integration in schools of Puerto Rico. The MOOC titled Integrating Computational Thinking into the Curriculum was the first free online Professional Development offered to educators in Puerto Rico and has served as the launching board for the Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA) in Puerto Rico. This paper will discuss the main goals of the course and describe its content and activities as they relate to the established objectives of the project. In addition, it will share some vignettes of the educators’ experiences as well as the results of a survey in relation to changes in participants’ attitude regarding computational thinking, computer science education, advocacy and increased interest for deeper CS content. This survey that was administered to 164 participants of the MOOC and had a 32% response rate.

Russell Feldhausen (Kansas State University, United States)
Joshua Levi Weese (Kansas State University, United States)
Nathan H. Bean (Kansas State University, United States)
Increasing Student Self-Efficacy in Computational Thinking via STEM Outreach Programs

ABSTRACT. This paper describes our experiences developing and teaching two different interventions focused on computational thinking and computer science at a yearly STEM outreach program hosted by a local school district. We describe the creation of our lesson plans, how we worked with experienced and pre-service teachers alike to deliver the lessons, and how we assessed the effectiveness of each intervention. We will discuss our successes and failures, and provide information on our future plans to incorporate more formalized education theory, pedagogy, and research methodology in future years to further this project.

Based on our assessment results, we observed statistically significant gains in student self-efficacy with creating computer programs that perform a variety of operations. In addition, students reported a significantly higher understanding of how computer programming can be used in daily life. Our survey also highlighted differences in student self-efficacy between the two interventions, and we discuss possible sources for that result. We discuss observed results based on student groups with various backgrounds, previous STEM experiences, and socioeconomic status.

Youwen Ouyang (California State University San Marcos, United States)
Katherine Hayden (California State University San Marcos, United States)
Julie Remold (SRI, United States)
Introducing Computational Thinking through Non-Programming Science Activities

ABSTRACT. Integrating computational thinking in the formal classroom setting provides equal opportunities to develop valuable problem solving skills for all students. However, such integration poses challenges since teachers may have limited experiences in computing and may be pressured by time constraints due to the need to cover Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as well as district specific initiatives. A 2-year intervention has been designed to target upper elementary level self-contained classrooms by increasing teachers’ knowledge and ability to integrate computational thinking into science lessons. Twenty teachers from four school districts participated in the first year of the project professional development activities. These districts have varying levels of diversity and socioeconomic status of student populations. Instead of using popular drag-and-drop programming tools such as Scratch or Tynker, the first year of the project focused on key computational thinking concepts and helped teachers connect these concepts with skills important for student success in science activities. This paper reports on the study of the project’s impact on student learning of key computational thinking concepts and skills among students from the project classrooms. The main elements of the professional development are also described.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8C: Robotics
Elva J. Jones (Winston-Salem State University, United States)
Location: 320
Michael Doran (University of South Alabama, United States)
George Clark (University of South Alabama, United States)
Enhancing Robotic Experiences Throughout the Computing Curriculum

ABSTRACT. The study of robotics is often an excellent recruitment motivation for students entering a computing curriculum. It is also often cited that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related robotics is a critical area of future innovation in computing. However, there are a number of challenges to implementing a robotic curriculum at the university level. A few of those challenges include, lack of a uniform hardware platform, incongruity in the software used, and the missing significant deliverable artifacts by students at the end of a term to encourage learning and further interest. Educational robotic activities are often treated as advanced research topics with high associated costs that prohibit widespread integration into the curriculum. In this paper, we present the deployment of a multi-stage robotic platform that attempts to address these challenges and overcome the obstacles. We detail the evolution of the hardware from using a readily available LEGO Mindstorm base platform to next include the addition of an Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Likewise, we detail the transition from the basic LEGO Mindstorm software to the use of leJOS and PYTHON. At each stage additional sensors and software libraries can likewise be added. Finally, we present an achievable academic goal for students to use the hardware and software platforms to develop a model autonomous vehicle with aspects of intelligent control, learning and adaptive behavior. All levels of projects can be undertaken at the appropriate level of maturity for the students in the computing curriculum.

Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas, United States)
Debra Bernstein (TERC, United States)
Karen Mutch-Jones (TERC, United States)
Enhanced Robotics! Improving Building and Programming Learning Experiences for Students with Visual Impairments

ABSTRACT. Making technology and computer science learning experiences accessible to students with disabilities is an important step in preparing them to enter the workforce of the future--one in which many jobs will require skills to solve problems with technology. This paper presents the tool and curricular enhancements developed to make the Exploring Computer Science Robotics unit accessible to students with visual impairments (VI). It describes the evolution of these enhancements, based on formative evaluation studies, to increase support as VI students engaged in building and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots. Results describe the ways in which enhancements were iteratively designed in response to student data describing engagement and confidence, as well as their emerging understanding of top-down and bottom-up processes in robotics design and programming.

Farha Ali (Lander University, United States)
Experiences in Teaching the Internet of Things Courses

ABSTRACT. With the increasing impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) in our everyday lives, it is imperative that a work force would be needed not only to develop the new IoT solutions but also to maintain the established IoT systems. In this paper, we discuss our experiences in curriculum development for three courses on the topic of IoT. This paper's main focus is course development for the latest offering (Spring 2017), and a discussion about what we changed from the previous two offerings. We discuss our weekly lecture plans for IoT topics' coverage along with programming assignments and other assessment activities. We also discuss our observation of students' interest levels as the course progressed, and how we used an incremental project development approach to keep students engaged and motivated. We conclude with our observations of what did and didn't worked for us. We also discuss what we missed because of time constraints but would try to include in our next offering.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8D: Auto-graders
Paul Cao (University of California San Diego, United States)
Location: 319
Georgiana Haldeman (Rutgers University, United States)
Andrew Tjang (Rutgers University, United States)
Monica Babes-Vroman (Rutgers University, United States)
Stephen Bartos (Rutgers University, United States)
Jay Shah (Rutgers University, United States)
Danielle Yucht (Rutgers University, United States)
Thu Nguyen (Rutgers University, United States)
Providing Meaningful Feedback for Autograding of Programming Assignments

ABSTRACT.  Autograding systems are increasingly being deployed to meet the
  challenge of teaching programming at scale.  We propose a
  methodology for extending autograders to provide meaningful feedback
  for incorrect programs. Our methodology starts with the instructor
  identifying the concepts and skills important to each programming
  assignment, designing the assignment, and designing a comprehensive
  test suite.  Tests are then applied to code submissions to learn
  classes of common errors and produce classifiers to automatically
  categorize errors in future submissions. The instructor maps the
  errors to concepts and skills and writes hints to help students find
  their misconceptions and mistakes.  We have applied the methodology
  to two assignments from our Introduction to Computer Science course.
  We used submissions from one semester of the class to build
  classifiers and write hints for observed common errors.  We manually
  validated the automatic error categorization and potential
  usefulness of the hints using submissions from a second semester.
  We found that the hints given for erroneous submissions should be
  helpful for 96% or more of the cases.  Based on these promising
  results, we have deployed our hints and are currently collecting
  submissions and feedback from students and instructors.

Stephan Krusche (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
Andreas Seitz (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
ArTEMiS - An Automatic Assessment Management System for Interactive Learning

ABSTRACT. The increasing number of students in computer science courses leads to high efforts in manual assessment of exercises. Existing assessment systems are not designed for exercises with immediate feedback in large classes. In this paper, we present an AuTomated assEssment Management System for interactive learning.

ArTEMiS assesses solutions to programming exercises automatically and provides instant feedback so that students can iteratively solve the exercise. It is open source and highly scalable based on version control, regression testing and continuous integration. ArTEMiS offers an online code editor with interactive exercise instructions, is programming language independent and applicable to a variety of computer science courses. By using it, students gain experiences in version control, dependency management and continuous integration.

We used ArTEMiS in 3 university and 1 online courses and report about our experiences. We figured out that ArTEMiS is suitable for beginners, helps students to realize their progress and to gradually improve their solutions. It reduces the effort of instructors and enhances the learning experience of students.

Debzani Deb (Winston-salem state university, United States)
Muztaba Fuad (Winston-Salem State University, United States)
James Etim (Winston-salem state university, United States)
Clay Gloster (NC A&T State University, United States)
MRS: Automated assessment of interactive classroom exercises

ABSTRACT. Classroom formative assessment augmented with timely and frequent feedback has become one of the most prominent teaching practices in education research. On the context of Computer Science (CS) courses that expose students to the functionality and dynamic aspects of various algorithms, traditionally, students are evaluated by exploring paper-based exercises. In these exercises, they simulate the steps of an algorithm by drawing several instances of a diagram. This traditional approach is time consuming, is inherently difficult for students to express the dynamics of an algorithm, does not allow timely feedback, and restricts the number of exercises that students can practice and receive feedback on. Mobile Response System (MRS) is a software environment that facilitates in-class exercises and their real-time assessment using mobile devices and therefore focuses on addressing many of the above-mentioned problems. In this paper, we present results of eight semester-long studies using MRS in two of the required CS courses at anonymous university. Our experimental evaluation shows the educational benefits of the proposed approach in terms of enhanced student retention of covered concepts, reduced failing rate and increased student engagement and satisfaction.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8E: Pedagogy #3
Michelle Craig (University of Toronto, Canada)
Location: 321
Giuseppe De Ruvo (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Ewan Tempero (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Andrew Luxton-Reilly (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Nasser Giacaman (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Unencapsulated Collection - A Teachable Design Smell

ABSTRACT. Design smells are design structures that indicate poor design quality. Many identified smells are difficult to teach as they require a degree of experience and judgment that novices, by definition, do not have. We have identified a design smell, which we call "unencapsulated collection", that is common in novice designs. It is simple to describe, allowing it to be objectively detected, and the refactoring steps needed to remove the smell are usually simple to illustrate. We give a description of the smell and present the results of an empirical study showing its prevalence. We outline the general steps for refactoring the smell, and illustrate it with a case study. The simplicity of this smell makes it a good candidate for teaching good design principles to novices.

Luke Gusukuma (Virginia Tech, United States)
Austin Cory Bart (Virginia Tech, United States)
Dennis Kafura (Virginia Tech, United States)
Instructional Design + Knowledge Components: A Systematic Method for Refining Instruction

ABSTRACT. This paper reports on a systematic method used to improve an existing unit of instruction. The method is distinctive in combining steps of instructional design with "knowledge components" from a cognitively-based framework of learning. Instructional design is used to develop assessment instruments that incorporate information about student misconceptions. The method uses the assessment instruments to evaluate student performance and learning gains, while statistical analysis evaluates the quality of the instruments themselves using measures of difficulty and discrimination. Fine-grain insight into possible improvements is enabled by the knowledge components implicated by the assessment. The method is illustrated and evaluated by applying it to a unit of instruction on collection-based iteration in a computational thinking class. Data gathered during this evaluation highlights a number of opportunities within the unit to refine the instruction.

Benjamin Xie (University of Washington, United States)
Greg L. Nelson (University of Washington, United States)
Andrew J. Ko (University of Washington, United States)
An Explicit Strategy to Scaffold Novice Program Tracing

ABSTRACT. We propose and evaluate a lightweight strategy for tracing code that can be efficiently taught to novice programmers, building off of recent findings on the effectiveness of "sketching" when tracing. This strategy helps novice programmers apply the syntactic and semantic knowledge they are learning by encouraging line-by-line tracing and providing an external representation of memory for students to update. To evaluate the effect of teaching this strategy, we conducted a block-randomized experiment with 24 novices enrolled in a university-level CS1 course. We spent only 5-10 minutes introducing the strategy to the experimental condition. We then asked both conditions to think-aloud as they predicted the output of short programs. Students using this strategy scored on average 15% higher than students in the control group for the tracing problems used the study (p<0.05). Qualitative analysis of think-aloud and interview data showed that tracing systematically (going line-by-line and "sketching" intermediate values) led to better performance and that the strategy scaffolded and encouraged systematic tracing. Students who learned the strategy also scored on average 7% higher on the course midterm. These findings suggest that in <1 hour and without computer-based tools, we can improve CS1 students' tracing abilities by explicitly teaching a strategy.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8F: Security Education
Carlos Cabrera (Florida International University, United States)
Location: 318
Vandana Janeja (UMBC, Is Department, United States)
Abu Zaher Md Faridee (UMBC, IS Department, United States)
Aryya Gangopadhyay Gangopadhyay (UMBC, IS Department, United States)
Carolyn Seaman (UMBC, IS Department, United States)
Amy Everhart (UMBC, IS Department, United States)
Enhancing Interest in Cybersecurity Careers: A Peer Mentoring Perspective

ABSTRACT. Thee focus of this paper is an evaluation of our peer mentoring framework designed to encourage more students to seek cybersecurity career pathways through encouraging peer interactions. We present and compare results from two years (Spring 2016 and 2017) of interaction between students in an introductory Information Systems class (IS 300: Management of Information Systems) and upper-level elective Cybersecurity course (IS 471: Data Analytics for Cybersecurity). Our results show a continuation of the general trend observed in the 2016 study. The students who receive peer mentoring show more interest in cybersecurity issues and careers and gain more overall knowledge throughout the semester. This is reflected by the results of anonymous survey analysis and overall grade improvements. These students show more variations regarding their choice of cybersecurity as a career compared to students who did not receive any mentoring, demonstrating that they are able to make more informed decisions. Female students exhibit more pronounced responses to peer mentoring in contrast to their male counterparts.

Madiha Tabassum (UNC Charlotte, United States)
Stacey Watson (UNC Charlotte, United States)
Bill Chu (UNC Charlotte, United States)
Heather Richter Lipford (UNC Charlotte, United States)
Evaluating Two Methods for Integrating Secure Programming Education

ABSTRACT. Security vulnerabilities are still prevalent in today's software, yet many can be prevented with standard secure programming techniques. Thus, educators of future developers need to teach students not just how to program, but how to program securely. Many researchers advocate integrating secure programming knowledge and skills across the computer science curriculum. In this paper, we report the results of a study comparing two such methods: our own tool ESIDE, which provides students with security warnings on assignment code, and a security-clinic approach, a one-on-one session with a teaching assistant. Both methods suffered from challenges in incentivizing students to incorporate secure programming techniques into their code. We discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of these methods, and the challenges of timing and motivation of secure programming education.

Manish Bhatt (University of New Orleans, United States)
Irfan Ahmed (University of New Orleans, United States)
Zhiqiang Lin (The University of Texas at Dallas, United States)
Using Virtual Machine Introspection for Operating Systems Security Education

ABSTRACT. Historically, hands-on cybersecurity exercises helped reinforce the basic cybersecurity concepts. However, most of them focused on the user level attacks and defenses and did not provide a convenient way of studying the kernel level security. Since OS kernels provide foundations for applications, any compromise to OS kernels will lead to a computer that cannot be trusted. Moreover, there has been a great interest in using virtualization to profile, characterize, and observe kernel events including security incidents. Virtual Machine Introspection (VMI) is a technique that has been deeply investigated in intrusion detection, malware analysis, and memory forensics. Inspired by the great success of VMI, we used it to develop hands on labs for teaching kernel level security. In this work, we present three VMI-based labs on (1) stack based buffer overflow, (2) direct kernel object manipulation (DKOM), and (3) kernel integrity checker which have been made available online. Then, we analyze the differences in approaches taken by VMI-based labs and traditional labs and come to the conclusion that VMI-based labs are better as opposed to traditional labs from a teaching standpoint because they provide more visibility than the traditional labs and superior ability to manipulate kernel memory which provides more insight into kernel security concepts.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8G: Databases
Debra M. Duke (Virginia Commonwealth University, United States)
Location: 314
Sriram Mohan (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, United States)
Teaching NoSQL Databases to Undergraduate Students - A Novel Approach

ABSTRACT. An increase in data tracking by organizations has created a need for systems that can handle a variety of data models at scale. NoSQL databases and Polyglot persistence - the industry's preferred solution to modern data problems is not covered in sufficient detail, if covered at all in the undergraduate curriculum. The paper reports on our experience of introducing NoSQL paradigms using a four-tiered learning model to undergraduate students over the last two years. We believe that our methodology exposes these new ideas in an approachable manner and would provide a great starting point for other programs interested in teaching modern database paradigms and distributed data modeling and processing.

Suzanne Dietrich (Arizona State University, United States)
Don Goelman (Villanova University, United States)
A Visual Introduction to Conceptual Database Design for All

ABSTRACT. The goal of the presented pedagogical tool is to engage all disciplines in learning how to understand their data and the relationships among the data, and subsequently representing those data in a relational database. The tool provides a visual introduction to important concepts in database design using Entity Relationship Diagrams as the primary visual design model, relating these same concepts to other models, such as UML diagrams and the crow’s feet notation used in MySQL Workbench. Once the conceptual design is realized, the tool visually presents a methodology for mapping the various data concepts to a collection of relations. Relational databases are ubiquitous and conceptually simple for all majors to understand based on the analogy of a spreadsheet with named columns. A unique feature of this tool is a built-in formative self-assessment feature, called a checkpoint, to engage learners in reflecting on what they have learned. The checkpoint provides 20 questions, multiple-choice and true/false, over a given conceptual design to test the student’s understanding of the design features and mapping to relations. Another novel capability of this tool is its ability for instructors to customize the example to their discipline, supporting the introduction of database topics within the context of the domain to which it is being applied. There are already customizations of the tool available in several disciplines, broadening the accessibility of data design to many majors. Experience has shown that the tool supports visual learners in all majors, including computer science.

Saturnino Garcia (University of San Diego, United States)
Improving Classroom Preparedness Using Guided Practice

ABSTRACT. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of peer instruction in computer science courses. Peer instruction relies on students having obtained first exposure to concepts through pre-class activities such as viewing videos or reading a textbook. Having engaged with the material before class, class time can be spent discussing more advanced topics. These pre-class activities can be a challenge for students, who often do not have the skills necessary to critically engage with the assigned reading/viewing. As a result students often come to class under-prepared despite completing the pre-class activities.

This paper presents the author's experience with adding guided practice worksheets to improve student preparedness in two courses: a CS1 course and a lower-division "Introduction to Computer Systems" course. These pre-class worksheets provided a structured set of learning objectives for students to focus on in their reading as well as exercises to test those objectives. Limited results indicate a high worksheet completion rate and a possible correlation between individual completion rates and final course grade. This paper also presents recommendations for those instructors wishing to adopt guided practice in their class.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8H: Panel: Team Teaching Computing & Music
Location: 307
James Caristi (Valparaiso University, United States)
Jesse Heines (Univ. of Massachusetts Lowell, United States)
Aaron Koehl (College of William & Mary, United States)
Richard Weiss (The Evergreen State College, United States)
Perfect Harmony: Team Teaching Computing & Music

ABSTRACT. One of the ways to attract a more diverse group of students to computer science is by offering courses that are interdisciplinary. Some of the first examples of this combined multimedia with programming. There are many more possibilities, but as computer scientists, we often do not have the domain knowledge to teach these courses alone. Team teaching offers a solution to this dilemma. The goal of this panel is to present some of the problems we have encountered and to discuss some of the solutions.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8I: Panel: Writing in CS
Location: 308
Mia Minnes (University of California San Diego, United States)
Bruce Maxwell (Colby College, United States)
Stephanie Taylor (Colby College, United States)
Phillip Barry (University of Minnesota, United States)
Writing in CS: Why and How?

ABSTRACT. We share our experiences teaching Writing in CS and, in particular, leveraging resources from writing experts to address these opportunities and challenges. During the panel, we'll discuss our motivations for bringing writing into the classroom, outline the nuts and bolts of how to do so without massively increasing the load on teachers and students, and give strategies for assessing the results. We will solicit contributions from participants about where and how writing is incorporated in their courses, and field questions.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8J: Special Session: Introductory CS Courses Using Culturally Responsive Teaching
Location: 309
Alla Webb (Montgomery College, United States)
Ray Gonzales (Montgomery College, United States)
Striving for Excellence in Introductory Computer Science Courses Using Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT)

ABSTRACT. This special session will focus on a multi-year project based on an AAC&U Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity STEM (TIDES) grant focused on integrating Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) in Computer Science courses at Montgomery College, a highly diverse urban-suburban community college in Maryland. The presenters will discuss the project’s development of a CRT model based on a “Discover-Adjust-Assess” process that took into account the realities of the college’s faculty and student contexts. Attendees will participate in awareness-raising activities, analyze case studies involving common teaching-learning challenges using CRT-based concepts and tools, and be presented with sample data in the form of student/faculty survey results and interview responses. Several CRT resources created as part of the project will also be presented.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8K: Special Session: CS as a Graduation Requirement
Location: 315
Lucia Dettori (DePaul University, United States)
Ron Greenberg (Loyola University Chicago, United States)
Steven Mcgee (The Learning Partnership, United States)
Dale Reed (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Brenda Wilkerson (Chicago Public Schools, United States)
Don Yanek (Chicago Public Schools, United States)
CS as a Graduation Requirement: A Catalyst for Systemic Change

ABSTRACT. Since President Obama’s announcement of the Computer Science for All Initiative in 2016, there has been a surge in the number of districts that are planning for or newly implementing computer science (CS) offerings at their schools. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the first large school district to have adopted Computer Science as a high school graduation requirement, taking this significant step along the path towards systemic change. The achievement built on the efforts over the last eight years of the Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CaféCS), a partnership comprising a CPS teacher, a CPS administrator, CS faculty from three universities and an educational researcher.

The session will cover the evolution of creating a high school graduation requirement and share successes and challenges in scaling a quality implementation of Chicago's CS for All initiative across the district.

Members of the CaféCS partnership will present discussion questions revolving around key factors for constructing a successful CS initiative. Participants will have the opportunity to share and to discuss their own district’s progress with peers in small groups. These discussions will lead to a larger groups discussion focusing on best practices and lessons learned.

This session will provide an interactive forum for participants to brainstorm how to adapt elements of Chicago’s success to their own local contexts and learn a pathway and strategies to investigate as well as critical people to engage in the mission.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-8L: Lightning Talk #2
S. Monisha Pulimood (The College of New Jersey, United States)
Location: 310
Robert Montante (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Using Scapy in Teaching Network Header Formats

ABSTRACT. Introductory computer networks courses often include descriptive coverage of the network protocol headers. A straightforward listing of the headers and their meanings can lead to questions like “Will this be on the test?” Programming exercises may involve selecting values for some aspects of a protocol but tend to abstract away the details, and depend on prior programming skills. In addition, campuses without dedicated network lab facilities may have limited ability to experiment with protocols on an existing institutional network.

The Python-based Scapy package provides explicit, detailed control of the contents of header fields, and includes graphical visualization features that offer easy feedback. Programming ability is helpful but not necessary; the interactive Python environment permits step-by-step and guided exploration of the various protocols. Effective use of scapy requires root (administrator) privileges; a virtual machine environment such as that provided by Oracle VirtualBox allows complete control and access to the operating system.

This talk is about scapy-based lab modules that the author is developing, which provide active, hands-on exposure to and manipulation of network headers. So far, a Transport-layer activity and a preliminary Link-layer activity have been written. The current activities will be discussed, along with ideas for additional modules.

Elizabeth Boese (University of Colorado - Boulder, United States)
Linked-List vs Array in Memory – an Unplugged Active Learning Experience

ABSTRACT. Experience for yourself an unplugged active learning experience to understand how arrays are stored in memory differently than linked-lists. You will actually participate in a short demo as my students experience this exercise, to gain a fuller understanding of how to apply this in your own classroom. Each student receives a card with a memory address. Inside the card, if it is allocated for a linked list then there is a letter and a next pointer; if it is part of an array there is just the letter. Come see how powerful learning can be with this physically engaging exercise!

Robert Ravenscroft (Rhode Island College, United States)
An HTML5 Browser Application for Modeling and Teaching Linked Lists

ABSTRACT. It is often difficult to teach dynamic data structures such as linked lists by modeling them on a static medium such as a white board or projected slides. This lightning talk introduces Dynamic Data Structures-Linked List (DDS-LL), an HTML5 browser application that allows the user to build and manipulate graphical models of linked lists. DDS-LL allows only actions that would be possible with a language such as Java. Nodes must be instantiated and linked together. Lists must be traversed to access a node. With the wrong reference assignment, nodes can become unusable garbage. Though still under development, DDS-LL has been used in an introductory data structures course to motivate linked lists, trace algorithms, and model scenarios. Its use provided several benefits. Scenarios can be prepared ahead of time, eliminating the need for board drawing/erasing. Linking and unlinking nodes is clearly modeled by dragging links to do reference assignment, and the old reference links are automatically removed, keeping the model accurate. Scenarios can be quickly reloaded in response to student questions. Since the original intent of this tool was to assist the instructor with modeling linked lists, no attempt was made during its initial usage to measure the impact on student engagement or learning. After a quick introduction to DDS-LL, this talk discusses the instructor’s experience using it in the classroom, and presents some ideas for possible enhancements, including features to allow the tool to be used for student assignments.

Ramachandra Abhyankar (Indiana State University, United States)
Teaching Deduction Using Athena and Related Tools

ABSTRACT. “Logic for Computer Science” courses have traditionally emphasized algorithmic approaches: Resolution, Semantic Tableau, and Sequent Systems. The Athena System, described in a new MIT Press book, emphasizes Natural Deduction. Natural Deduction has the well-known advantage of matching human intuition. Athena is a language that combines computation and deduction, and is a system to aid the development of natural deduction proofs. The central insight realized in Athena is that the development of a proof is similar to the development of programs using stepwise refinement. Athena is not a theorem prover, but is integrated with theorem provers and SMT solvers. Athena users can make use of these integrated tools without having to learn details of the usage of these tools, as Athena provides seamless integration with these tools, and a convenient interface to these tools for Athena users. While Athena uses these tools to aid the development of natural deduction proofs, I have found that a combined use of Athena with theorem provers, SMT solvers and model builders can help impart to students a more well-rounded introduction to deduction.

Lisa Lacher (University of Houston - Clear Lake, United States)
Cydnee Biehl (University of Houston - Clear Lake, United States)
Using Discord to Understand and Moderate Collaboration and Teamwork

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes the current effort to implement the use of Discord - a new tool to facilitate group work that an instructor can use to moderate the level of group participation of students. By utilizing Discord’s features to their full extent, an instructor can actively moderate the group’s interactions, keep track of who is/isn’t participating, and even send messages to groups. By having a class of students make a Discord account, instructors have the ability to create a Discord server, acting as a virtual classroom to store student accounts in. They then are able to sort these students into groups, within the tool, that have their own chatrooms that the instructor can observe for language, keeping on task, and most importantly, level of participation. This tool keeps students accountable for how often they collaborate with the team by using a chat log with timestamps that the instructor can audit. A goal of implementing Discord is to introduce a user-friendly tool that instructors can use to moderate group interactions and hold students accountable for their level of participation within their groups. A second goal of this project is to utilize the ability to programmatically access the communications in an effort to automate content and sentiment analysis to determine team effectiveness.

Wensheng Wu (USC, United States)
SLASH: Automatically Generating Flash Cards for Reviewing Concepts in Lectures Slides

ABSTRACT. We present SLASH, a learning tool currently under development in our graduate program. SLASH aims to help students review concepts in lectures slides using flash cards automatically generated from the slides. Many courses in our program have weekly quizzes and students can get stressed quite easily. So we hope that SLASH can make the process of reviewing lectures more fun and interesting to the students. Extracting concepts from lectures slides is itself an interesting but challenging problem, since the contents of the slides may be fragmented (e.g., point-based, with an incomplete sentence for each point) and noisy (e.g., containing formulas and codes). Past research on text mining has tried to “glue” together the points to construct a grammatically correct sentence, which is then used to extract concepts and relationships. In contrast, we focus on discovering popular concepts in the slides and generating flash cards with (just) sufficient contexts to help students recall the concepts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work on the automatic generation of concept-based flash cards from lecture slides. In the presentation, we will show our preliminary work, example flash cards, student feedback, and challenges in developing SLASH. We believe that SLASH may benefit all instructors who are using PowerPoint for lecture presentation, and may be used to largely stimulate students’ interests in learning the subjects.

Dante Ciolfi (Georgia Institute of Technology, United States)
Computer Programming Training for Under-Served Groups

ABSTRACT. This Lightning Talk describes a current effort to create an online learning system to address the unique learning needs of under-served population groups. To ensure that the program fulfills needs in the most challenging scenarios, our first project iteration targets the unique learning needs of United Sates migrant farm workers and their families. Our single-minded goal is to teach migrant farm worker parents and children computer programming. We have accomplished some of our early objectives and are currently seeking to augment our team and shape it into an interdisciplinary cadre, with scientists from the following fields: computer science, sociology, psychology and political science. Although we are modeling the MOOC component of our system upon established practice with the Open EdX platform, our effort is unique in its focus on development of an entire system. This includes both a hardware infrastructure component and a live tutoring support component. Our goal is to interface our educational effort with established social service efforts of universities in Florida, North Carolina and California. Central to our project is the introduction of a new learning delivery model, the LMS/Support Model. This model scales well and can be easily replicated both nationally and internationally. Successful deployment of our model in its initial iteration will significantly impact the lives of tens of thousands of overlooked migrant farm worker families. More importantly, it will lay the foundation for changing the lives of millions of children and adults on an international level.

Sven Jatzlau (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
Ralf Romeike (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
Toward Teaching Strategies for Block-based Languages: Possibilities, Challenges, and Experiences

ABSTRACT. Since the emergence of block-based visual programming languages as a new take on programming environments, they have served as a successful entry point into programming for novice learners. Over time, they have been developed and improved to become increasingly accessible, intuitive, and easy to use. In the course of this evolution, both uncommon and entirely new language concepts have been introduced, such as the cloning of objects, or nesting of sprites. However, the question of how to teach them has yet to be answered: the mostly visual representation of program flow, output and code, and the way a user interacts with these aspects can make traditional teaching practices inadequate. Instead, block-based languages require new practices, methods, and strategies, which will be developed in this research project. To this end, new concepts must be evaluated with regards to their strengths, weaknesses, and applications. Following this step, strategies with which to teach these concepts can be developed. Therefore, this Lightning Talk presents the initial findings of a research project concerned with the theory of teaching block-based programming. In this preliminary study, we have identified new concepts found in Scratch, Snap! and GP, members of the most common block-based language family. In the next phase of the project, strategies for teaching these new concepts will be developed and assessed.

Ryan Clarke (Girls Who Code, United States)
Sarah Judd (Girls Who Code, United States)
Evaluating the Impact of the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

ABSTRACT. Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit founded in 2012 with the mission to close the gender gap in the computer science (CS) fields, has reached tens of thousands of girls through our CS enrichment programs. To date, our Summer Immersion Program (SIP) has provided nearly 5,000 rising 11th- and 12th-grade girls from across the U.S. with the opportunity to engage in a seven-week introductory CS course.

In this lightning talk we will describe our recently established Research Team’s efforts to understand the ways SIP is affecting girls, describe challenges and limitations of this work, and offer a glimpse at how we hope to assess the program’s longer-term impact on CS persistence and longevity by leveraging our organization’s growing alumni network.

Jeffrey Miller (University of Southern California, United States)
Benefits of Exposure Programs to K12 Student Interest in Computer Science

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes the benefits of exposing K12 students to Computer Science through short camp programs. The CS@SC Summer Camps (, founded jointly with the Institute for Education, provide girls, minorities, and low-income K12 students with an opportunity to learn about Computer Science through one week camps held during summer. Now in our third year, the camps have given nearly 1500 students the experience of being in college for a week on campus at the University of Southern California, changing classrooms, eating at the dormitory cafeteria, seeing college students in their natural environment, and learning from current Computer Science majors. Students learn about Computer Science through programming platforms, including Scratch Jr. (K-2nd), Scratch (3rd-8th), Java (7th-12th), and Python (7th-12th). The camps are provided for free or reduced cost based on donations from individuals and organizations. Through camp surveys, student interest in STEM fields raises from around 50% of students highly interested to over 80% by the end of the camp. Although the camp is only 32 hours long, early exposure to Computer Science can provide students of all ethnicities (nearly 75% of the attendees are Hispanic or African American) and genders (47% of the attendees are girls) with the foundation needed to prepare them for making an educated decision about STEM careers.

Abril Vela (University of Michigan, United States)
Exploring Computer Science Beyond High School: Introducing Career and College Pathways

ABSTRACT. This lightning talk describes the current effort by Computer Science for All (CS4All) at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to integrate improved understanding of career and college pathways in all computing fields that are introduced by the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum. ECS is the foundational course for all CPS high school students who are now required to complete one credit of Computer Science (CS) to graduate. This effort is primarily focused on segmenting each unit of ECS – Human Computer Interaction, Problem Solving, Web Design, Programming, Big Data, and Robotics – into different fields of computing and identifying the skillsets gained in these areas and/or potential long term opportunities for students with these interests. This effort is just underway; those interested in providing students with post graduation opportunities, as well as those personally interested in exploring career and college opportunities in computing fields, are invited to attend this talk, share feedback, and consider collaborating with CS4All.

Adrienne Smith (Cynosure Consulting, United States)
Rebecca Zulli (Cynosure Consulting, United States)
Asset Maps: A Simple Tool for Recruiting and Retaining Underrepresented Populations in Computer Science

ABSTRACT. Asset maps serve as a simple, yet impactful tool for helping underrepresented groups connect with important people, programs, and resources that would support their recruitment and retention in computing. At the end of this talk, individuals will walk away with a list of steps that they can use to develop a comprehensive map that could be distributed immediately to current and future computer science majors (including high school seniors). These steps include identifying current assets within an array of existing categories (e.g., tutoring centers, individual faculty mentors, local chapters of computing associations) designed to help mappers think expansively about existing supports. Additional steps involve reviewing contact lists and asking others to assist in the identification of assets, performing internet searches of the school/organization website looking for key words, and reading through the university directory to highlight offices that work on diversity issues or support the individuals targeted. The assets can be plotted directly onto a campus map and supplied to underrepresented groups so they are aware of and can locate the resources and supports available to them. (An enhancement would be an online version that links directly to web pages, contact information, and directions to further increase the accessibility of supports.)

Orit Hazzan (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
The Dual Ladder – Academic vs. Industrial Experience: What kind of experience should computer science students gain during their undergraduate studies and how?

ABSTRACT. In the industry, the Dual Career Ladder allows employees to be promoted along either a supervisory or technical track. Such programs are common in the engineering, scientific and medical industries. In the Lightning Talk, I will borrow the metaphor of Dual Ladder and explore two kinds of experience – academic and industrial experience – that undergraduate computer science students can be offered to equip them with the needed tools for the future job market. Specifically, I will address the questions: What kind of real world experience should undergraduate students in computer science get and how? How should answers to this question be expressed in the computer science undergraduate programs? My talk will focus on the case of Israel – the Start Up Nation (Senor and Singer, 2009) – and the crucial role of computer science graduates in this job market. Data will be presented from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, which is the ranked 1st among the Israeli universities. I will share our findings and data analysis, and propose possible ways to let students get both an academic and industrial experience in a way that prepare them both for academic and industrial careers.

15:45-17:00 Session Thu-Incl-RESPECT: Invited Inclusion Session: The Role of Relationships, Identity, and Academic Culture in Inclusive and Equitable Practices for Broadening Participation in Computing Education


Jamie Payton, Temple University, Jamika Burge, Capital One, Celine Latulipe, UNC Charlotte, Yolanda Rankin, Florida State University


Understanding how to apply fundamental computer science problem solving skills is quickly becoming a required competency. It is critical to address issues of equity and inclusion and to engage people from all groups in learning key concepts in computing. In this panel, we explore important issues of broadening participation discovered and explored at the RESPECT 2018 conference. In particular, panelists will lead a discussion on the role of relationships, identity, and academic and professional cultures in designing for equity and inclusion in computing education. We solicit questions for the panelists via Twitter and welcome interactive audience participation. Submit your questions via Twitter by using #respectpanel2018!

Jamie Payton (Temple University, United States)
Location: 322
15:45-17:00 Session Thu-Sup-Codio: Multi-institution Field Deployment Results Demonstrating the Tangible Benefits of Using Codio and CS-specific Learning Platform to Streamline Programming and Data Science Course Delivery


Phillip Snalune, Co-founder and CEO, Codio, Inc.


This presentation demonstrates how computer science departments teaching intro and advanced programming and data science courses, can dramatically reduce wasted admin and system admin time, giving the department instructors and faculty more time to invest in student support, whilst simultaneously reducing IT expense and boosting student engagement - solutions that field deployments show to be easy to adopt, with minimal disruption to existing department workflows and technology.

You will see the power of not just the cloud and virtualization but how containerization dramatically reduces the cost of adopting new cloud technology to support CS course teaching.  You’ll see how lecture materials and assessments can control and come to life in new ways inside an IDE; you’ll see innovative approaches to presenting course materials, assessments and the use of auto-grading, how to gain new pedagogical insight into student learning patterns, and explore ways of boosting student engagement.

Location: 302
15:45-17:00 Session Thu-Sup-Microsoft: Intelligent Tutoring Systems, Mixed Reality, and Classroom Orchestration Tools for CS Education


Bruce M. McLaren, Carnegie Mellon University
Franceska Xhakaj, Carnegie Mellon University
Kenneth Holstein, Carnegie Mellon University


The term ‘classroom orchestration’ has been used to describe the real-time management of complex educational activities. Implementing personalized classroom activities poses unique challenges for teachers, who are tasked with monitoring classes working on divergent activities, and prioritizing help-giving in the face of limited time. Lumilo is a mixed-reality (MR) smart glasses application that allows teachers to see actionable, real-time analytics about students’ learning, while keeping their heads up, and their attention focused on students in the classroom. We are co-designing Lumilo in collaboration with middle school teachers who use personalized learning software, in particular intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), in their classrooms. We have developed a prototype of Lumilo (using the Microsoft HoloLens), which has been piloted in several middle school classrooms. In this session, we will provide a brief overview of mixed reality learning technologies, illustrating the many new possibilities that these technologies open to enhance education for both students and teachers. We will also provide an introduction to intelligent tutoring systems, focusing on their applications to CS education. Then, you will learn how real-time learning analytics, such as those generated by ITSs, can support teachers in more effectively personalizing instruction. We will discuss the development and classroom use of Lumilo, and you will have the chance to experience Lumilo for yourself via an interactive demo. Finally, we will introduce authoring tools that can be used to create your own ITSs and MR learning technologies.

Location: 301
15:45-17:00 Session Thu-Sup-zyBooks: Celebrating confidence in our students – zyBooks over five years and beyond


Smita Bakshi, CEO/co-founder
Frank Vahid, Co-founder/Prof UC Riverside
Roman Lysecky, Authoring Co-Lead/Prof Univ of Arizona
Alex Edgcomb, Sr. Software Engineer/Research Specialist UC Riverside
Patty Kraft, San Diego State University


We started out with a mission several years ago: to offer a student-centered set of interactive computer-science materials that would replace the static textbook and improve learning outcomes. Within five years, and having served over 250,000 students at over 550 colleges and universities, we've now reached an exciting milestone where we support the entire lower division of CS­—and select upper level CS and engineering titles­—while offering instructors the ability to mix and match our configurable content to build zyBooks that perfectly align with a particular school’s curriculum and course syllabi. Come join our celebration! We're featuring a number of zyBooks creators and users who successfully use these materials across their curriculum to engage students and increase their confidence. We’ll also be offering highlights of our latest product releases as well as major updates and new platform features.

Location: 303
15:45-17:00 Session Thu-TOCE3: Engineering Software Engineering Education
Andrew Ko (University of Washington, United States)
Location: 323
Grant Braught (Dickinson College, United States)
John Maccormick (Dickinson College, United States)
James Bowring (College Of Charleston, United States)
Quinn Burke (College Of Charleston, United States)
Barbara Cutler (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States)
David Goldschmidt (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States)
Mukkai Krishnamoorthy (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States)
Wesley Turner (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States)
Steven Huss-Lederman (Beloit College, United States)
Bonnie Mackellar (St. John’s University, United States)
Allen Tucker (Bowdoin College, United States)
A Multi-Institutional Perspective on H/FOSS Projects in the Computing Curriculum
Jeffrey Saltz (Syracuse University, United States)
A Scalable Methodology to Guide Student Teams Executing Computing Projects
Mathieu Acher (IRISA, Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires, France)
Roberto Lopez-Herrejon (École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal,, Canada)
Rick Rabiser (JKU - Johannes Kepler University Lin, Austria)
Teaching Software Product Lines: A Snapshot of Current Practices and Challenges
17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9A: BOF Flock #1: Teaching Track Faculty in CS
Location: 301
Chris Gregg (Stanford University, United States)
Mark Sherriff (University of Virginia, United States)
Teaching Track Faculty in CS

ABSTRACT. Many computer science departments have chosen to hire faculty to teach in a teaching-track position that parallels the standard tenure-track position, providing the possibility of promotion, longer-term contracts, and higher pay for excellence in teaching and service. This birds-of-a-feather is designed to gather educators who are currently in such a position to share their experiences as members of the faculty of their departments and schools, and to provide opportunities for schools considering such positions to gather information.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9B: BOF Flock #1: Small Department Initiative
Location: 302
Cathy Bareiss (Olivet Nazarene University, United States)
Small Department Initiative

ABSTRACT. Faculty members in a small department (5 FTE or less) face special challenges and strengths because of their size. This BOF is a time for faculty to meet and discuss ways to meet the shared challenges and take advantage of their strengths. The actual topics covered will be based on those attending. Possible topics might include: sharing classes, increasing enrollment, general education, and specialized courses.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9C: BOF Flock #1: Working together to provide equitable CS K-12 PD at scale
Location: 303
Sloan Davis (Google, United States)
Olga Garcia (Google, United States)
Chris Stephenson (Google, United States)
Working together to provide equitable CS K-12 PD at scale

ABSTRACT. The demand for CS teacher professional development (PD) is increasing rapidly, but not all education stakeholders are equipped to identify CS PD needs, evaluate CS PD options, and track teacher and student outcomes. In this BOF, Google’s CS4HS will share conclusions from its 2016 PD cycle and a recent literature review. Participants will discuss how the CS education community can disseminate knowledge about CS PD to the communities that need it most. At SIGCSE 2017, Google discussed CS PD best practices and common successes and challenges. This year, we will discuss how to equitably scale these best practices with a rapid and wide-reaching rollout that ensures all students have quality CS learning experiences.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9D: BOF Flock #1: Access to Computing Education for Students with Disabilities
Location: 314
Richard Ladner (University of Washington, United States)
Brianna Blaser (University of Washington, United States)
Daniela Marghitu (Auburn University, United States)
Access to Computing Education for Students with Disabilities

ABSTRACT. Approximately 10% of computer science and engineering majors have a disability. Students with disabilities are more likely to drop out of the major than those without disabilities. At the K-12 level, many tools used to teach computing have limited accessibility to students with disabilities. This BOF will bring together individuals who are interested in increasing the representation of students with disabilities in computing and improving their success. Participants will share strategies to help each other do a better job of including these students in our classes and research projects. Resources, including those produced by AccessComputing and AccessCSforAll, will be shared.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9E: BOF Flock #1: CSTA: Connecting Colleges and K-12 CS Teachers
Location: 315
David Reed (Creighton University, United States)
Fred Martin (University of Massachusetts Lowell, United States)
Deborah Seehorn (Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), United States)
Chinma Uche (Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science, United States)
CSTA: Connecting Colleges and K-12 CS Teachers

ABSTRACT. The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is an ACM-affiliated member organization of more than 26,000 educators and supporters of K-12 computer science. CSTA supports local communities of educators and partners through more than 70 local chapters, made up of educators, administrators, college faculty, and industry supporters, which meet regularly for networking and professional development. In addition, CSTA provides valuable resources to teachers and CS advocates, such as the newly revised K-12 CS Standards, research reports, a member listserv, a bimonthly newsletter, and recorded sessions from the annual conference. This session will provide a brief overview of CSTA, its chapters, and available resources for teachers. College faculty who are interested in connecting with local K-12 teachers will be encouraged to network and explore mutually beneficial partnerships. An open forum will follow for discussing CSTA's mission, possible initiatives, and benefits to K-12 and college educators.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9F: BOF Flock #1: Examining the Role of Informal Education in K-12 Computing Pathways and CS Education Reform Efforts
Location: 318
Sarah Dunton (University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States)
Stephanie Rodriguez (Afterschool Alliance, United States)
Examining the Role of Informal Education in K-12 Computing Pathways and CS Education Reform Efforts

ABSTRACT. Afterschool and summer learning programs are an essential tool to support and expand K-12 computer science education. When used strategically, they can fill out a pathway of CS opportunities across the grade-span, spark interest, deepen engagement, and connect in- and out-of-school learning. Because African-American and Hispanic youth from low-income households participate in afterschool programs in higher numbers (America After 3pm, 2014), and more schools offer informal CS than offer formal CS classes (Google/Gallup, 2016), these programs provide access to “preparatory privilege” (Margolis, 2008), the additional exposures that prime well-resourced students’ confidence with computing. Hackathons, app challenges, and popular out-of-school programs like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are providing on-ramps and complements to formal CS learning. Despite the utility, there is a dearth of understanding about the accessibility, content, and quality of these programs. Lacking robust and consistent data points, informal education has largely been left out of official CS policy reform efforts and strategies. This session will engage educators, educational researchers, computer scientists, and informal educators in conversation about the current and potential role informal education plays in the CS movement and educational policy reform efforts. We will examine the role of established providers like 4-H, the Girl Scouts, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc., and the YMCA, as well as school clubs, and libraries. This BOF will outline the landscape and value of CS in afterschool as perceived by CS education experts, and provide a current understanding of informal education in existing state efforts.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9G: BOF Flock #1: Bringing Up Cybersecurity Degree Programs
Location: 319
Rajendra Raj (Rochester Institute of Techinology, United States)
Allen Parrish (United States Naval Academy, United States)
Bringing Up Cybersecurity Degree Programs

ABSTRACT. The ongoing demand for cybersecurity professionals initially led to a proliferation of training programs, but several universities have now stepped up to provide degrees in cybersecurity or related disciplines. Growth in academic programs, however, has tended to be unfocused, especially at the undergraduate level due to the existing–and considerable–divergence on issues such as the following: degree title; program objectives and outcomes; program scope; whether there is only one distinct discipline of cybersecurity or several; whether a separate academic unit is needed to offer such degrees; and what role should other (non-computing) disciplines play in cybersecurity programs. The lack of a disciplinary foundation has limited mainstream growth of cybersecurity degrees, despite the need for well-educated cybersecurity professionals.

This Birds of a Feather session will provide the opportunity for computing education professionals to gather and discuss several of the critical considerations for programs in cybersecurity. The presenters will review prior efforts in defining cybersecurity at the collegiate level, which include the US Department of Homeland Security and the US National Security Agency’s Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) programs, NIST’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the Cyber Education Project, the Joint Task Force’s CSEC 2017 draft curricular guidelines, and ABET’s preliminary version of accreditation criteria for cybersecurity programs. With this review as a starting point, participants in this session will actively examine current efforts, explore how a family of cybersecurity programs can be developed, and how these programs should be situated within the grand umbrella of computing education.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9H: BOF Flock #1: What To Do About Comp Org?
Location: 320
Michael Rogers (Northwest Missouri State University, United States)
Bill Siever (Washington University at St. Louis, United States)
What To Do About Comp Org?

ABSTRACT. There is no doubt that Computer Organization (Comp Org) is not as central a topic as it once was. In the ACM’s curricular guidelines, the number of hours devoted to Computer Architecture and Organization has fallen from 36 core hours in 2001 and 2008 to 16 tier 2 hours in 2013, and, incredibly, students are not always as enthralled with the subject as their instructor. Therefore, we are compelled to ask— what to do about Comp Org? How might we revamp it to make it more relevant and appealing? Should we concentrate on one ISA? Use CISC, RISC, or both? Do we need to use real, contemporary hardware, or stick with simulators? More radically, can micro-controllers, used for Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, be used to broaden the course, to weave together both traditional Comp Org topics and IoT?

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9I: BOF Flock #1: Peer Instruction: Tips, Techniques and Resources
Location: 321
Cynthia Taylor (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Jaime Spacco (Knox College, United States)
David Bunde (Knox College, United States)
Joe Hummel (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
David Hovemeyer (York College of Pennsylvania, United States)
Peer Instruction: Tips, Techniques and Resources

ABSTRACT. Peer Instruction (PI) is an active learning technique with over 25 years of research supporting its efficacy. Documented benefits in CS include lower WDF rates, higher exam scores, and improved retention in the CS major. One key difference between PI and traditional lecture is the use of “clicker questions” in class to challenge students’ conceptual understanding. Students discuss and answer these questions in small groups before the instructor goes over the question with the entire class. This BoF is for both those using PI and those interested in starting. Attendees will meet other PI practitioners, discuss tips and tricks, and exchange materials. We will provide pointers to PI materials for a variety of courses, including CS1 & CS2, Machine Organization, Programming Languages, OS and more.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9J: BOF Flock #1: Active Learning Strategies for Integrating the ACM Code of Ethics into CS Courses
Location: 307
Michael Kirkpatrick (James Madison University, United States)
Dee Weikle (James Madison University, United States)
Active Learning Strategies for Integrating the ACM Code of Ethics into CS Courses

ABSTRACT. The ACM Code of Ethics provides a framework for ethical conduct within the computing industry. The Code describes what constitutes ethical conduct for both individuals and organizations, as well as the basic moral principles underlying these prescriptions. Faculty often express concerns that they do not envision how to integrate the Code into core CS courses. The goal of this BoF is to discuss active learning techniques, including case studies and reflective activities, that can be used to integrate the Code into the core curriculum, rather than stand-alone courses.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9K: BOF Flock #1: Designing an Introductory Course in Data Science: Topics and Pedagogy
Location: 323
Don Goelman (Villanova University, United States)
Lillian Cassel (Villanova University, United States)
Michael Posner (Villanova University, United States)
Christo Dichev (WSSU, United States)
Darina Dicheva (WSSU, United States)
Designing an Introductory Course in Data Science: Topics and Pedagogy

ABSTRACT. Participants in this Birds-of-Feather session will share thoughts and experiences in offering an introductory course in this exploding field. It will be the third consecutive year that these facilitators will conduct a SIGCSE session on a first course in Data Science. The interest in the field has increased greatly over the years, and attendees of varying backgrounds, points of view and experience are welcome. Whether the course will serve as an outreach vehicle to students of all majors, including non-technical ones, or as a first course in a formal program of some sort, we will be exchanging points of view regarding both topic coverage and pedagogical approaches. Regarding topics, we’ll raise questions on the relative emphases of statistics, programming (should R be the vehicle? how about Python? other languages?), machine learning (which algorithms?), other tools, and appropriate data sets. Participants who have taught such a course will be invited to describe some of their approaches, especially if they’ve used such active learning methods as flipped classrooms. The facilitators, PI’s on an NSF IUSE grant now winding down, bring experience from two institutions and three departments, including one interdisciplinary course. They hope to expand the community begun through the grant and these sessions, hosted at

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9L: BOF Flock #1: Challenges and Approaches for Data Collection to Understand Student Retention
Location: 316
Henry Walker (Grinnell College, United States)
Mehran Sahami (Stanford University, United States)
Christine Alvarado (University of California San Diego, United States)
ACM Retention Committee: Proposal for a SIGCSE Symposium 2017 BoF Session

ABSTRACT. For many years, computing faculty have devoted substantial time and energy to the retention of diverse populations. But how are we doing really? The ACM Retention Committee has identified at least 5 populations of interest in tracking student retention: Students who start college with an expectation they will major in computing. Students who enter college with some interest in computing, but also with other interests. Students who enter college with interests outside computing, but who take computing early as part of a broad education. Students who enter college with little or no interest in computing, but need a computing course to satisfy a general education requirement or a prerequisite in another discipline. Students who transfer into a four-year university from a two-year college, partway into a computer science program. In practice, each group has different characteristics, and retention rates may vary dramatically.

On some campuses, gathering data for the first group may be manageable—particularly if students declare majors as they enter their undergraduate careers. Data collection and tracking for others is difficult, since these populations may not be known in early years.

This BoF will identify approaches for tracking students and for exploring retention rates. Further, this BoF will encourage sharing and brainstorming for further mechanisms to help data collection. As we better identify retention rates among various populations, the ACM Retention Committee hopes we can better understand obstacles and opportunities related to retention.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9M: BOF Flock #1: The Authentic Inclusion and Role of Community Colleges in National Efforts to Broaden Participation in Computing
Location: 317
Amardeep Kahlon (Austin Community College, United States)
Cheryl Calhoun (Santa Fe College, United States)
Jill Denner (ETR, United States)
Wendy Du Bow (NCWIT, United States)
Louise Ann Lyon (ETR, United States)
Deborah Boisvert (University of Massachusetts at Boston, United States)
Melanie Williamson (Bluegrass Community and Technical College, United States)
The Authentic Inclusion and Role of Community Colleges in National Efforts to Broaden Participation in Computing

ABSTRACT. Over half of community college (CC) students are non-white, and more than half of all Hispanic and Black undergraduates start at community college. Given that community colleges (CCs) enroll minorities and women in larger numbers than four-year institutions, it is imperative for both, CCs and four-year institutions, to engage in collaborative efforts to broaden the participation of diverse peoples into computing and facilitate unobstructed pathways from the two-year to four-year educations. While CCs are rich in diversity, their students face an inordinate number of obstacles transferring to a bachelor’s degree particularly in computer science (CS). The complexities of the CC landscape require that experts from various backgrounds come together to share knowledge and experiences to contribute to a better understanding of the role CCs can play with four-year institutions in broadening the participation efforts in CS and information technology (IT).

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9N: BOF Flock #1: Using Subgoals to Improve Student Performance in CS1
Location: 322
Briana Morrison (University of Nebraska Omaha, United States)
Adrienne Decker (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
Using Subgoals to Improve Student Performance in CS1

ABSTRACT. Subgoal labels are function-based instructional explanations that describe the purpose of a subgoal of the problem solving procedure to the learner, highlighting the solution process. There is evidence that the use of subgoal labels within worked examples improves student learning in other STEM fields (e.g., Catrambone, R. 1998). Research shows that using subgoal labels within computer science improves student learning (Morrison, B.B. et al. 2016, Morrison, Briana B. et al. 2015), but this has only been tested using a single programming concept with text-based programming languages. The proposers are currently expanding subgoal labels to the main programming concepts taught in an introductory programming course using an imperative programming language. This BOF serves to inform the community of our progress and seek feedback on the subgoals defined and the worked examples created.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9P: BOF Flock #1: Pros and Cons of Using Data Analytics for Predicting Academic Performance in Computer Science Courses
Location: 308
Jennifer Bivens (Graduate Center, City University of New York., United States)
Ashwin Satyanarayana (City University of New York, United States)
Jan Way Chen (City University of New York, United States)
Pros and Cons of Using Data Analytics for Predicting Academic Performance in Computer Science Courses

ABSTRACT. In the last decade, data analytics has been successfully applied in the field of education to predict student performance using behavioral, socioeconomic, and education-related attributes as training data. This BOF will provide a platform for exploring the following questions: (a) How should computer science instructors use prediction data? To group students based on performance? To provide mentoring to students with low performance predictions? (b) Should predictions be shared with students/instructors? (c) If so, how could instructor bias resulting from these predictions be minimized to ensure fair evaluation of students’ actual performance? (d) Do computer science instructors attending this BOF currently implement any predictive tools or risk grouping? Would they consider doing either?

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9Q: BOF Flock #1: CS Education Infrastructure for All: Interoperability for Tools and Data Analytics
Location: 309
Cliff Shaffer (Virginia Tech, United States)
Peter Brusilovsky (University of Pittsburgh, United States)
Kenneth Koedinger (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
Stephen Edwards (Virginia Tech, United States)
CS Education Infrastructure for All: Interoperability for Tools and Data Analytics

ABSTRACT. CS Education makes heavy use of online educational tools like IDEs, Learning Managment Systems (LMS), eTextbooks, interactive programming environments, and other smart content. Instructors and students would benefit from greater interoperability between these tools. CS Education (CSEd) researchers increasingly make use of large collections of data generated by click streams coming from them. However, students, instructors and researchers all face barriers that slow progress: (1) Educational tools do not integrate well. (2) Information about computer science learning process and outcome data generated by one system is not compatible with that from other systems. (3) Computer science problem solving and learning (e.g., open-ended coding solutions to complex problems) is quite different from the type of data (e.g., discrete answers to questions or verbal responses) that current educational data mining focuses on. This BOF will discuss ways that we might support and better coordinate efforts to build community and capacity among CSEd researchers, data scientists, and learning scientists toward reducing these barriers. CSEd infrastructure should support (1) development and broader re-use of innovative learning content that is instrumented for rich data collection, (2) formats and tools for analysis of learner data, and (3) best practices to make large collections of learner data and associated analytics available to researchers in CSE, data science, or learning science. Achieving these goals requires engaging a large community of researchers to define, develop, and use critical elements of this infrastructure toward address specific data-intensive research questions.

17:30-18:20 Session Thu-9R: BOF Flock #1: How to Build a Student-Centered Research Culture for the Benefits of Undergraduate Students
Location: 310
Farzana Rahman (Florida International University, United States)
Stu Thompson (Bucknell University, United States)
Perry Fizzano (Western Washington University, United States)
Shameem Ahmed (Western Washington University, United States)
Evan Peck (Bucknell University, United States)
How to Build a Student-Centered Research Culture for the Benefits of Undergraduate Students

ABSTRACT. There has been a dramatic increase in computer science undergraduate research activity at colleges and universities in recent years. However, developing a research culture that is explicitly designed to empower undergraduates (student-centered research) requires different models and objectives than those traditionally employed at more research-oriented universities. The goal of this BOF is to explore what effective techniques are employed by other primarily undergraduate institutions to build a culture of research that benefits undergraduate students. Some of the key issues covered in this BOF will be: Defining student-centered research and its impact (How does student-centered research differ from traditional research universities? What secondary effects in the classroom and community might undergraduate research have?), redefining success metrics in student-centered research (How can we capture impact beyond publications and grants? How can we define measures that align with student impact?), exploring issues of accessibility and participation (How might student-centered research change models of student selection? How might it change faculty’s scope and focus of research?), and structural mechanisms to empower student-centered research (Given constraints on time and/or resources, how can faculty enable undergraduate research?). Through this BOF, we also plan to build a sustainable community of interested academics leaders (using private Google+ or Facebook group) interested to share and collaborate on future undergraduate research efforts.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10A: BOF Flock #2: A Town Meeting: SIGCSE Committee on Expanding the Women-in-Computing Community
Location: 301
Gloria Townsend (DePauw University, United States)
Paula Gabbert (Furman University, United States)
Wendy Powley (Queen's University, Canada)
A Town Meeting: SIGCSE Committee on Expanding the Women-in-Computing Community

ABSTRACT. In January 2004, we organized the second SIGCSE Committee ("Expanding the Women-in-Computing Community"). The SIGCSE Board approved the charter, because the underrepresentation of women in computing is an international problem and an embarrassment for our profession. A BOF provides SIGCSE program advertising that will create a large audience for dissemination of information concerning successful gender issues projects and can provide time for discussion and brainstorming. We select projects to highlight through listserv communication and through our connections with ACM-W, NCWIT, ABI, CDC, CRA-W, etc. The forum provides an important annual meeting for a large group of people, who work to increase the representation of women in computing in their separate organization and who do not customarily have an opportunity to share ideas face-to-face.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10B: BOF Flock #2: How Do We Provide Effective Student Advising During Record Growth?
Location: 302
Benjamin Hescott (Northeastern University, United States)
Chris Gregg (Stanford University, United States)
How Do We Provide Effective Student Advising and Mentoring During Record Growth?

ABSTRACT. In their “Generation: CS” report this past year, The Computing Research Association detailed the explosive growth of computer science majors across both large and small institutions calling it “larger today than any time previously”. Using data from The Taulbee Survey they show a 500% increase in the number of majors in computer science, but only a 50% increase in full-time faculty. Unfortunately, this growth has major consequences outside the classroom setting. The ability for faculty to engage in meaningful advising relationships with students has been severely impacted by this record growth. One solution could be to hire staff to assist students in course selection and degree requirements, but meaningful mentorship is much more than checking boxes and exemptions. Can we be effective advisors when advising loads have skyrocketed? In 2004, The CRA, lists effective mentoring as one of the challenges faced by broadening participation in computer science. In particular, they advocate for better training for mentors. Now faced with extreme ratios the need for creative mentoring practices is paramount. This BOF will provide a platform to discuss and share solutions from a variety of institutions. Questions such as: “How can we identify students who would like to do research and continue to graduate school?”, “How do we expose students to independent learning in large classes?”, “Can we leverage peer mentoring?” “How can we make advising better?” “What processes can be automated?”.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10C: BOF Flock #2: Building and Nurturing Communities of Practice among K-12 CS Teachers
Location: 303
Linda Ott (Michigan Technological University, United States)
Leo Ureel (Michigan Technological University, United States)
Charles Wallace (Michigan Technological University, United States)
Building and Nurturing Communities of Practice among K-12 CS Teachers

ABSTRACT. The need for K-12 students to engage in Computer Science has been acknowledged in the White House call for “Computer Science for All” and supported through a variety of institutions. Implicit in many initiatives, and explicit in Google’s CS4HS initiative, is the notion of a “Community of Practice” involving K-12 teachers. Communities of Practice are mutually supportive groups to assist newcomers as they find their way in a new endeavor. Teachers can support one another at multiple levels: technical, pedagogical, political, and emotional.

Maintaining a Community of Practice for CS teachers, however, can be challenging. Demands on teacher time, lack of institutional buy-in, physical isolation, and lack of appropriate peer institutions are some confounding factors. A true community of practice requires maintenance: ways to identify newcomers or other participants in need, and ways to identify and share the resources that can help others. In this BOF, educators who are working to expand CS within K-12 education will discuss the challenges in the Community of Practice approach and share proven ways of addressing them.

Significance and Relevance of the Topic: As CS slowly but steadily takes its place as a core subject within K-12, the Community of Practice model can provide teachers with professional development opportunities and a collective voice of advocacy. Expecting such communities to grow and survive in a naturalistic way, without intentional maintenance, is risky. Proponents of a greater place for CS in K-12 education need to share their strategies for achieving robust supportive teacher networks.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10D: BOF Flock #2: Teach Access: Teaching the Design and Development of Inclusive Technologies for All
Location: 314
Paul Ruvolo (Olin College, United States)
Jeff Dusek (Olin College, United States)
Larry Goldberg (Oath, United States)
Teach Access: Teaching the Design and Development of Inclusive Technologies for All

ABSTRACT. What is needed to help CS professors teach their students about the fundamental concepts of accessible design? How can every CS student become competent in the development of mainstream technologies that meet the needs of people with disabilities? Society is demanding such capabilities and companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Oath (Yahoo), Adobe, and Google are today working with major universities to assure that new hires graduate college with this essential skillset. The Teach Access project is actively addressing the barriers, incentives and mechanisms through curriculum change, influencing accreditation, faculty bootcamps, industry guest lectures, online tutorials, and student engagement programs. What works for you and how can more university and faculty champions be engaged?

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10E: BOF Flock #2: K-12 CS Teacher Certification: What Should New CS Teachers Know and Be Able to Do?
Location: 315
Carol Fletcher (The University of Texas at Austin, Center for STEM Education, United States)
Pat Yongpradit (, United States)
David Benedetto (NH Department of Education, United States)
John Owen (The University of Texas at Austin, Center for STEM Education, United States)
K-12 CS Teacher Certification: What Should New CS Teachers Know and Be Able to Do?

ABSTRACT. Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia have some form of teacher certification in computer science. This includes a variety of pathways such as endorsement, certification, licensure or other authorization that explicitly names CS. Many of these states, as well as those that have no CS teacher certification, are in the process of reviewing certification standards and pathways with the goal of increasing the number and quality of K-12 CS instructors and thus, access to high quality CS coursework in K-12. The Praxis exam is one of the few nationally recognized measures of CS teacher content knowledge but the current exam is out of date. A group of state leaders have been working with ETS to update the competencies measured by the Praxis. The objective of this BOF is to bring together stakeholders interested in contributing to the conversation around what a beginning CS teacher should know and be able to do to in CS, provide an overview of what has happened thus far to address these questions, share the recently revised Praxis draft framework, and give individuals an opportunity to provide input on the development of a national consensus related to new K-12 CS teacher competencies.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10F: BOF Flock #2: Open Source Student Clubs
Location: 318
Darci Burdge (Nassau Community College, United States)
Gregory Hislop (Drexel University, United States)
Joanna Klukowska (New York University, United States)
Open Source Student Clubs

ABSTRACT. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is interesting to many students and provides an excellent opportunity to observe and practice many aspects of software product development and management. There is an active community of faculty fostering student participation in open source within computing curricula (see However, the opportunity to add coverage of FOSS varies considerably from institution to institution, and there are always limits to what can be done with existing computing curricula. One approach to solving this limitation is for students to learn about and participate in FOSS projects as an extra-curricular activity. This BoF will provide a forum for faculty members to discuss open source student clubs. The Mozilla Foundation has been developing a program to support open source clubs. The initial clubs were primarily located in Asia, but Mozilla started an effort to expand the clubs to the U.S. during the current academic year. The BoF will include discussion of this effort and the materials developed by Mozilla. (See:

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10G: BOF Flock #2: Integrating Cybersecurity Exercises into your Courses
Location: 319
Richard Weiss (The Evergreen State College, United States)
Jens Mache (Lewis & Clark College, United States)
Ambareen Siraj (Tennessee Tech, United States)
Blair Taylor (Towson University, United States)
Siddharth Kaza (Towson University, United States)
Michael Locasto (SRI International, United States)
Ankur Chattopadhyay (University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, United States)
Integrating Hands-on Cybersecurity Exercises into our Courses in 2018

ABSTRACT. We need to greatly expand the community of faculty teaching cybersecurity using hands-on exercises. The number of security-focused competitions and exercises has increased in recent years so that faculty need to choose those that can best be integrated into their courses. As a community, we can contribute to each other's projects. We would like to bring together both new and experienced faculty to build community. Our Facebook group ( allows us to work together outside of SIGCSE events, and we are developing a critical mass of users. In the BoF, participants can sign up for the closed group. Participants will discuss answers to specific questions on teaching security.

One goal of our BoF is to provide support for new members to learn about resources and get help. These resources include exercises, webinars, and slides. We will share experiences, practices and ongoing efforts, including our own (e.g. Security Injections, the Security Knitting Kit project, and EDURange). The BoF also benefits experienced members, helping them to disseminate their work and reach other faculty with similar interests. As a community we have begun to share exercises and discuss what works and what problems students and instructors have encountered. We will discuss ways to integrate security-related exercises into existing courses. The questions we will ask are, “What materials and exercises have you tried? What are your experiences? How do we expand and improve cybersecurity education?

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10H: BOF Flock #2: Active Learning in Systems Courses
Location: 320
Brian Railing (Carnegie Mellon University, United States)
Cynthia Taylor (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Saturnino Garcia (University of San Diego, United States)
Active Learning in Systems Courses

ABSTRACT. Research shows the benefit of using active learning in computer science education; however, only limited resources (such as, prior publications) exist for systems courses (including architecture, networking, operating systems). This BoF brings together practitioners of various levels of experience to discuss ways to augment or replace traditional lecturing. We will discuss different techniques, possible materials available, and results measured. This BoF should benefit both instructors considering adopting techniques and instructors looking to discuss issues with their usage.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10I: BOF Flock #2: Building Community in Large or Virtual Classrooms
Location: 321
Jacqueline Smith (University of Toronto, Canada)
Diane Horton (University of Toronto, Canada)
Building Community in Large or Virtual Classrooms

ABSTRACT. Booming interest in computer science and innovations in the way we teach it have allowed us to teach a larger, more demographically and geographically diverse group of students. One of the new challenges facing us now is that it can be harder for instructors to get to know many of their students, and for students to connect with their peers. Building community in our physical and virtual classrooms is difficult, but important for the success and learning experience of our students. Community is especially important for “non-traditional” CS students, who are more likely to struggle with imposter syndrome, or to feel like they don’t belong in a CS classroom. In this BoF session, we’ll discuss the strategies, activities, and interventions we’ve tried and found successful or unsuccessful in building course community, and helping students believe they belong in CS.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10J: BOF Flock #2: Computing and Values
Location: 307
Lori Carter (Point Loma Nazarene University, United States)
Derek Schuurman (Calvin College, United States)
Computing and Values

ABSTRACT. Computing is not neutral. The way that we collect and manipulate data, the decisions that are programmed into autonomous devices, even the ways that we use each other’s code reflects someone’s values. Because technology has more and more influence in society, consideration of these values should be a part of a computer science student’s education. The ACM/IEEE 2013 Curricula Guidelines for Computer Science programs reflects this imperative. The writers of the document suggest that between 11 and 16 of the core hours be devoted to Social Issues and Professional Practice. Where and how should we include the essential discussions of values, social issues, and professional practice in the curricula? Should a whole class be devoted to the topic? If so, when in the program should it appear? Should each class bring up values topics related to that class? If so how? Should be left to a dedicated Ethics course from the Philosophy department or somehow woven throughout the CS curriculum? Which aspects of values judgments should be addressed? We’d like to hear from you.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10K: BOF Flock #2: Data Modeling for Undergraduate Data Science
Location: 323
Karen Davis (Miami University, United States)
Brandeis Marshall (Spelman College, United States)
Lancie Affonso (College of Charleston, United States)
Data Modeling for Undergraduate Data Science

ABSTRACT. Widespread interest in developing and enhancing undergraduate data science education is evidenced by the interim report Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: The Undergraduate Perspective recently released by the National Academies of Science/Engineering/Medicine. The report identifies data modeling as one of the key concepts for developing and applying data acumen (making good decisions and judgements with data). This BoF session is proposed to focus specifically on data modeling skills for data science. The proliferation of advanced data models and systems (for example, but not limited to, document stores, graph databases, column stores, key-value stores, and relational + map reduce) provides an opportunity for developing/enhancing database curriculum at the undergraduate level to support programs in data science. A goal of this BoF is to identify faculty who wish to develop and share best practices for data modeling for data science, including course learning objectives and outcomes and materials.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10L: BOF Flock #2: GitHub, Tutors, Relatives, and Friends: Combating the Wide Web of Plagiarism: the Discussion Continues
Location: 316
Amardeep Kahlon (Austin Community College, United States)
Bonnie MacKellar (St. Johns University, United States)
Anastasia Kurdia (Tulane University, United States)
GitHub, Tutors, Relatives, and Friends: The Wide Web of Plagiarism

ABSTRACT. Plagiarism is of great concern to faculty in all fields, including computer science as it leads to one certain outcome – a compromise not just in student learning but also in the entire academic process. Faculty have tried to find ways to deal with this epidemic such as writing new course materials each semester, putting a larger or entire grade focus on exams, or even asking individual students to explain their assignments. However, plagiarism remains a source of frustration for both faculty and administrators. This BOF will bring interested faculty together to discuss the various and surprising ways in which students plagiarize, the methods of countering plagiarism, and the currently available tools for detecting plagiarism. Questions we will be discussing include: Do students understand plagiarism in the context of writing software? How can we develop an atmosphere that discourages plagiarism? Does such a thing as a “plagiarism-proof” assignment exist? If programmers go to online repositories, modify the code, and use it in professional programs then is it fair to expect the students to do just the opposite?

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10M: BOF Flock #2: We’re All in This Together: CS students, the tech industry, and mental health
Location: 317
Christian Murphy (University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Jennifer Akullian (Growth Coaching Institute, United States)
We’re All in This Together: CS students, the tech industry, and mental health

ABSTRACT. Long hours, pressure to meet deadlines, and fear of failure are just some of the stressors that affect CS students and professionals alike, leading to burnout, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. A quarter of the world’s population lives with some form of mental illness, and a 2015 UC-Berkeley study reported that nearly 50% of STEM graduate students live with depression. Furthermore, recent research suggests that 50% of those working in the tech community have been diagnosed with a mental illness, a statistic that may actually underestimate the problem because of stigmas in certain cultures and communities around seeking mental health services. These numbers all suggest a significant need for awareness and support in the tech industry. This BOF will provide attendees an opportunity to discuss the mental illnesses that affect CS students, including how to recognize symptoms, what resources are available, and how to create a culture of understanding and support within their communities. More importantly, we hope to create a space in which those living with mental illness can share their stories so that other participants can get a first-hand appreciation of the challenges they face.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10N: BOF Flock #2: Effective POGIL Implementation Approaches in Computer Science Courses
Location: 322
Farzana Rahman (Florida International University, United States)
Mohsen Dorodchi (University of North Carolina, Charlotte, United States)
Effective POGIL Implementation Approaches in Computer Science Courses

ABSTRACT. This session is for anyone who currently uses, has used or wants to use POGIL in introductory CS1/CS2 course or any CS course to deliver fundamental concepts of computer science. The discussion leaders will share their experience regarding POGIL implementation strategies, tips, and tricks with each other and those new to using POGIL in CS1/CS2. The session provides an arena for sharing various POGIL activity materials and ideas for CS courses at all educational levels, including college level and high school level CS courses. This session also serves as a platform to discuss about various POGIL implementation strategies that can be very useful to overcome students' push-back against this kind of learning strategy and engage large CS classes - classes consisting mostly of freshmen students, students from different background and disciplines.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10P: BOF Flock #2: Global Awareness for Computing Educators and Scholars
Location: 308
Barbara Boucher Owens (Southwestern University, United States)
Global Awareness for Computing Educators and Scholars

ABSTRACT. Abstract: SIGCSE members are part of a worldwide community of computing educators and professionals. This discussion provides participants an opportunity to share global differences in vocabulary and interpretation of idioms and assumptions that pervade teachers and researchers. Lack of cultural knowledge can hinder understanding meaning of terms; communication among colleagues can be confusing. Lack of understanding also inhibits the leveraging of scholarly work and cooperation among colleagues from different cultures. E.g., information technology in Australia means the field of computing, and the baccalaureate degree “Computer Science and Technology” in China is equivalent to a degree in computer engineering. Terminology that Americans use such as AP for Advance Placement or K-12 for pre-undergraduate education is meaningless in many parts of the world. This discussion is an outgrowth of an ad hoc subcommittee formed by the ACM Education Council on global issues. Serving as a reference for the discussion is the seminal article by Clear, A. et al. “What's in a Name?: International Interpretations of Computing Education Terminology,” in The Proceedings of the 2015 ITiCSE on Working Group Reports. Attending this BOF should heighten awareness of what changes might lead to a truly global computing education community.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10Q: BOF Flock #2: Using Gamification Strategies to Motivate and Engage Students in Computer Science Courses
Location: 309
Darina Dicheva (Winston-Salem State University, United States)
Christo Dichev (WSSU, United States)
Elva Jones (Winston-Salem State University, United States)
Peter Clarke (Florida International University, United States)
Lillian Cassel (Villanova University, United States)
Using Gamification Strategies to Motivate and Engage Students in Computer Science Courses

ABSTRACT. The low performance and drop-outs in Computer Science classes are frequently attributed to lack of engagement and motivation. Meanwhile, gamification - the application of game design principles and game mechanics to a non-game context – increasingly attracts the interest of educators due to its potential to foster motivation and behavioral changes in learning contexts. Course gamification is about using game elements, such as instant feedback, freedom to fail, freedom of choice, achievements, leveling, progress mechanics, badges, and leaderboards, as interventions in the learning process. This BOF will provide a platform for a discussion of when and how course gamification strategies can be beneficial for improving student motivation, engagement and achievements in Computer Science classes. Questions to be discussed include: What game elements could be useful in gamifying a computer science course? How can an instructor incorporate game elements in the design of their course? What support the instructor may need for gamifying their courses? Could some game elements have potential drawbacks on student motivation and performance? The discussion leaders and attendees with experience in applying gamification in their courses will share examples of successes or failures, challenges, problems, tips, and techniques for gamifying learning with each other and those new to the use of gamification. Two NSF sponsored projects related to the use of gamification in STEM courses will seed the discussion. As an outcome of the discussion, we hope to collectively identify some lessons learned and challenges to be overcome for successful applying of gamification in Computer Science education.

18:30-19:20 Session Thu-10R: BOF Flock #2: Designing CS Courses using Universal Design Concepts
Location: 310
John Russo (Landmark College, United States)
Designing CS Courses using Universal Design Concepts

ABSTRACT. Increasing we teach a diverse population of students, many with learning differences such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This BOF will look at employing universal design to CS courses in order to accommodate the diverse learning styles of today’s students.