Computer Science Education: How do early/intermediate CS students at the U think about code structure and control flows?

Mentor Name:
Eliane Wiese

Mentor Position:
Assistant Professor

School of Computing



Project Description:

Why do Computer Science students write code that looks so different from expert code, even when it functions as it should? I want to explore this question so that I can develop instruction that prepares students to enter the professional world using structures and control flows that are easy to read or modify, not only for themselves but for their future co-workers. I have collected different kinds of data for this research, including from surveys, interviews, and student homework submissions.

Opportunity Type:

Volunteer; This is a paid research position; Prepare a UROP proposal; Write an Honors Thesis or Senior Thesis; Earn independent study credit

Student Role:

1) analyze the code snippets students wrote, with automated tests and hand inspection; 2) transcribe and analyze interviews; 3) tabulate and compare survey responses

Student Benefits:

Develop skills in data analysis (qualitative and quantitative), writing, and reading/synthesizing research papers. I am happy to tailor the project to your interests.

Project Duration:

Variable. What are you looking for?

Minimum Requirements:

Must be interested in CS education.