Carlis Memorial Lecture: What a Well-Trained Computer Scientist Should Know about Education

The John V. Carlis Memorial Lecture is dedicated to the advancement of education and inclusion in the field of computing.

This year's speaker is Ben Schafer from University of Northern Iowa, giving a talk titled "What a Well-Trained Computer Scientist Should Know about Education".


While graduate schools typically do a great job teaching students the skills to become high-quality researchers, they often ignore teaching students about the science (and art) necessary to become high-quality educators. This is an arguably significant deficiency as nearly a third of Ph.D. graduates will end up in academia, where they will be expected to teach. In this setting, most academics will simply model what they experienced as students. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the science of education has evolved while many actual classrooms have not. In this lecture, we will consider some of the more recent research about education in general, and, where applicable, computer science education. Specifically, we will focus on three major topics helpful to anyone interested in improving their computer science education skills: The Big Book of Computing Pedagogy, Understanding by Design, and Grading for Equity.


Dr. J. Ben Schafer began his career as a middle school math and science teacher while moonlighting as a developer of educational multi media software. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he earned both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Science while working in the GroupLens research lab. He is currently a Professor of Computer Science and the Program Coordinator of the CS Education program at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He has served on a variety of CS advisory panels and working groups for the state of Iowa, was a member of the LEGO Educational Advisory Panel, and taught almost 1400 teachers as one of the original Facilitators for the CS Fundamentals curriculum. He is an active participant with both CSTA and ACM SIGCSE having served in leadership roles and made multiple presentations at their annual conferences. He is the recent recipient of two NSF:CSForAll:RPP awards. He is a passionate and award-winning educator who firmly believes that everyone has the ability to improve their teaching.

Start date
Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, 11:15 a.m.
End date
Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, 12:15 p.m.

Keller Hall 3-230