Our group at Brown Computer Science works in all three areas of computing education:
Our group has a few characteristics that, if not unique, at least set us apart from most other computing education research:
We're really deeply in love with programming languages, one of the most beautiful and powerful forms of human expression. We believe the power and elegance of formal methods deserve to be far more widely used.
We're computer scientists. That means we don't shy away from advanced computer science ideas, reading or inventing what we need. This ensures our work is not hampered by limitations in the state of the science.
We're software engineers. That means we are willing to build all the systems we need. We don't believe in being hampered by the constraints of the tools others have built.
We recognize that progress requires studying principles, concepts, and theories in areas like education, psychology, and sociology to inform our work.
We take the long view. We understand that progress requires fixing some guiding principles, and then steadily accumulating ideas and effort. Some of our projects are over 25 years old and are still very much works in progress.
Our two primary faculty members are
Our current PhD students are Jack Wrenn and Yanyan Ren, with two more entering in 2020-21. We also do research with several summer students and undergraduates.
We collaborate with several other professors in the department, such as Tim Nelson and Doug Woos. In general, and somewhat unusually for a research university, Brown CS has long had a deep devotion to computing education at various levels, so it forms a happy environment to think hard about the subject.
Naturally, we also work closely with the other members of the Bootstrap team.
Our publications can be found on our respective Web sites (not limited to computing education):
"Data-Centricity: A Challenge and Opportunity for Computing Education", our position on how introductory computing courses need to evolve
What Does It Mean for a Curriculum to Succeed?, our analysis of the criteria that outreach programs should follow
Our chapter Programming Paradigms and Beyond (from the Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research) gives a sample of how we take a programming-languages perspective on computing education.
Our group research blog has articles about several of our projects (which are not limited to computing education).
We've also authored several textbooks, some very influential and widely used:
Several of our talks are publicly available.