Professor

Dr. Tiffany Barnes

Tiffany Barnes is Professor of Computer Science at NC State University. She received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from N.C. State. Dr. Barnes has served as chair or program chair for many conferences, including ACM SIGCSE, Educational Data Mining RESPECT, STARS Celebration, and Foundations of Digital Games. Tiffany Barnes has recently served on the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education Board (2010-2016), the Board of Directors for the International Educational Data Mining Society (2011-present), Chair of IEEE Computer STC Broadening Participation, and Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (2016-present). Dr. Barnes received an NSF CAREER Award for her novel work in using data and educational data mining to add intelligence to STEM learning environments. Dr. Barnes co-leads for the STARS Computing Corps, a consortium of 53 universities that has engaged 1700+ college students in outreach (to over 120K K12 students), research, and service to broaden participation in computing. Dr. Barnes is currently working on NSF-funded projects to provide data-driven intelligent tutoring support in STEM (1432156, 1726550) and novice programming (1623470), mine math educational game data for actionable insights (1544273), prepare high school teachers to teach the new AP CS Principles course (1542922, 1346922), and to prepare K12 teachers to integrate computational thinking into their courses, and provide research experiences to undergraduates (1659745).

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Research Staff

Dr. Veronica Catete (Assistant Professor)

Veronica is an NSF graduate research fellow, winner of Microsoft Research Graduate Women's Scholarship, game designer, and leader in broadening participation in computing. Veronica's research focuses on K-12 Computer Science Education Implementation, such as educational games and HS courses. Veronica currently focuses on supporting the introduction of computing into K-12 STEM courses, where she puts her research into practice. Veronica also leads the Socially Relevant Computing and Analaytics REU program at NC State.

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Dr. Behrooz Mostafavi (Program Coordinator)

Behrooz is currently working on the iUSE research project. For more information see our Research page.

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Dr. Nick Lytle (Postdoctoral Scholar)

Nick Lytle is a Postdoctoral Scholar supported through the Computing Innovation Fellows Program. He graduated Dr. Barnes lab in 2020 where his research on ways to scaffold and design computational thinking activities in middle school classrooms won the Outstanding Dissertation Award.

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Marnie Hill (Program Manager)

Marnie is a program manager who joined the Game2Learn lab in the Spring of 2019 on the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) projects. She has a masterís in Technology Education and holds a Career and Technical Education teaching license. She currently works on several projects providing support, including CS Frontiers, BJC, ExCITE, SRCA-REU, SRCA-RET, and Infusing Computing. During the 2022-2023 school year, she is teaching High School Cybersecurity and AP Computer Science Principles. Because of her passion for CS K-12 Education, she is a part of several groups, Computer Science Teacher Association (NC Chapter President), NCWIT Aspirations Regional Affiliate (Durham East), and CS4NC/NC ECEP Alliance.

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Current Graduate Students

Rachel Harred (PhD)

Rachel joined the lab in Spring 2017. She is interested in intelligent tutoring systems, educational games and machine learning. She is currently working on the Deep Thought project and starting a new ChatBot project for assitinging students.

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Amy Isvik (PhD)

Amy is a PhD student who joined the lab in Fall 2018. She is working on broadening participation in computing through high school computing interventions as well as by joining the STEM+C team. Amy helps conduct field studies in K-12 classrooms and supports teachers in creating coding projects using block-based programming environments.

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Preya Shabrina (PhD)

Preya joined the lab in Fall 2018 and contributes to the ST Math project. Her primary interest is Data Analytics and Machine Learning. Currently she is giving her efforts to find out how ST Math is used in elementary school classrooms and how the gameplay sessions should be designed using data driven methods on students' sequential game play data.

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Lauren Alvarez (PhD)

Lauren is a PhD student who joined the lab in Fall 2019. Her research interests are in machine learning and social justice with an emphasis in artificial intelligence for social good. She plans to use computer science as a tool to promote racial and gender equity. She's interested in a career that impacts society and the lives of future people of color for the better, and has a commitment to education and mentorship.

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Erynn Elmore (PhD)

Erynn is a PhD student who joined the lab in Fall 2020. Her research interests are improving the educational experience through computer science. Erynn enjoiys dancing, binge watching TV, and traveling.

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Nazia Alam (PhD)

Nazia is a PhD student who joined the lab in Fall 2020. Her research interests are data mining and machine learning. She is currently working on the Deep Thought project.

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Isabella Gransbury (PhD)

Isabella is a PhD student who joined the lab in Spring 2021. Her research interests are intelligent tutoring systems, computer science education, and human computer interaction. She is currently working on a counting tutor to help improve students' understanding of combinatorics.

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Zari McFadden (PhD)

Zari is a PhD student who joined the lab in Spring 2021. Her research interests include algorithmic bias, ethics in AI, and AI for social good.

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Ally Limke (PhD)

Ally is a graduate researcher who joined the lab in Spring 2021. Ally is very interested in using HCI methods to help improve and design educational tools and has helped conduct user studies and analyze the results for GradeSnap and PEDI (Piazza Explorer Dashboard for Intervention). Ally has also worked on the PlanIT project by designing, implementing, and analyzing a study to compare its effects on students to a paper storyboarding planning tool. Ally has mentored undergraduate researchers and K12 teacher researchers. Now, Ally is investigating what moments trigger negative self-assessments in novice programmers using Snap!. In her free time, Ally enjoys playing tennis and serving as the STARS co vice president in an effort to provide computing activities to local high school and middle school students.

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Heidi Reichert (PhD)

Heidi is a first year student in the Game2Learn lab who joined in Spring 2022. Her primary interests are the intersection of education, cats, NLP, crochet, and machine learning, with a particular love of under-resourced languages. She is currently researching the efficacy of positive feedback in CS education.

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Benyamin Tabarsi (PhD)

Benyamin is a Ph.D. student who joined the lab in Spring 2022. His research interests are mainly computer science education, data mining and education technology. Benyamin is so enthusiastic about improving the learning experience of novice programmers by analyzing their coding patterns and creating intelligent support features. He spends a lot of his spare time listening to blues, country and rock music, watching TV shows, and playing guitar.

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Sandeep Sthapit (PhD)

Sandeep is a Ph.D. student who joined the lab at the end of Spring 2022. He is interested in understanding how people learn and improving learning technologies. Sandeep wants to improve the learning experiences of students by using computers as educational tools. Sandeep is currently working on understanding how students assess themselves during a programming task. Sandeep enjoys playing video games or travelling when he has some free time.

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Yasitha Rajapaksha (PhD)

Yasitha is a second-year Ph.D. student who joined the lab in Spring 2022. He is interested in computer games research, more specifically dynamic difficulty adjustment. He is currently working on the BOTs project in which heís investigating how to best sequence automatically generated game levels for effective learning of novice programmers.

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Sam Gilson (PhD)

Sam is a 1st year PhD student who joined the lab in Fall 2022. He is interested in understanding what skill set is best suited for those wishing to become software engineers, and discovering which institutions teach those skills most effectively. He is currently working on a platform to integrate data from online tools used by students, and analyze when they need aid via data mining and machine learning techniques.

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Janet Brock (PhD)

Janet is a first-year Ph.D. student who joined the lab in Fall 2022. She is interested in computer science education, increasing diversity in computer science, and AI for social good. She is working on the CS Frontiers project by developing and refining their curriculum about AI, Machine Learning, and Software Engineering. In her free time Janet enjoys playing cozy video games, baking, cooking, singing, thrifting, and spending time with her dog Lego and her cat Poyo.

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Sutapa Dey Tithi (PhD)

Tithi is a PhD student in the Game2Learn lab who joined in Fall 2022. Her primary research interests are machine learning, AI for social good and HCI. She has a strong desire to contribute to the improvement and design of interactive and accessible technology that might greatly improve people's lives. She is currently investigating data-driven approaches used in learning environments to enhance students' problem-solving skills and learning. In her free time, she loves listening to music, walking and talking with friends.

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Saminur Islam (PhD)

Saminur is a first year Ph.D. student who joined the lab in fall 2022. His primary research focus in Deep learning and Data Mining. He aim to work on project which are focusing on identifying the issues and challenges in interactive learning in online education platform. He is currently working on problems of online education tools where student-student, student-instructor interactions and thinking about designing artificial system that would give useful information about student learning abilities and progress and provide suggestions to develop effective and engaging online tutoring system.

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Kimia Fazeli (PhD)

Kimia became a member of the lab in Spring 2023, Her field of interest is Computer Science in Education, with a particular focus on Data Analytics and Machine Learning. She is currently working on Deep Thought project where she explores effective ways to enhance students' learning. Beyond her academic pursuits, she enjoys reading books and staying active by going to the gym.

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If you are interested in joining the lab, please contact vmcatete@ncsu.edu.

Current Undergraduate Researchers

If you are interested in joining the lab, please contact vmcatete@ncsu.edu.

Aanish Bhirud - Expedition Atlantis Reboot
David Wang - Expedition Atlantis Reboot
Jackson Taylor - Expedition Atlantis Reboot
Mikail Krochta - Expedition Atlantis Reboot
Justin Takamiya - Snap Development Team
Nathan Stout - Snap Development Team
Rohan Rao - Snap Development Team
Nyela Allen - Epic Game Development Curricula
Sania Bolla - Epic Game Development Curricula
Pranav Wagh - High School Intern, Epic Game Development Curricula
Emily Root - Online Curricula Repo
Jacob Beasley - Online Curricula Repo
Tej Joshi - Online Curricula Repo

Lab Alumni

Graduate Students
Dr. John Stamper (2006-2009) - Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Dr. Evie Powell (2006-2012) - President & Creative Director, Verge of Brilliance LLC
Dr. Matt Johnson (2009-2013) - Sr. Software Engineer, Rapyuta Robotics
Dr. Andrea Nickel (2008-2013)
Dr. Acey Boyce (2008-2013) - Statistical Analyst, Turbine Inc
Dr. Michael Eagle (2009-2015) - Assistant Professor, George Mason University
Dr. Andrew Hicks (2009-2016) - UX Data Analyst , Epic Games
Dr. Veronica Catete (2012-2018) - Research Scientist, North Carolina State University
Dr. Thomas W. Price (2013-2018) - Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
Dr. Behrooz Mostafavi (2010-2016, PostDoc 2017-2018) - Research Scientist, Soar Technology
Dr. Zhongxiu(Aurora) Peddycord-Liu (2014-2018) - Data Scientist, SAS
Dr. Rui Zhi (2014-2019) - Data Scientist, Facebook
Dr. Christa Cody (2015-2020) - Data Scientist, SAS
Dr. Nicholas Lytle (2016-2020) - Post-Doc Fellow, University of Florida
Dr. Yihuan Dong (2014-2021) - Software Developer
Dr. Alex Milliken (2015-2021) - UX Design Researcher
Dr. Ruth Okoilu Akintunde (2016-2021) - Researcher, SAS
Dr. Mehak Maniktala (2017-2021) - Senior Software Engineer, Qualcomm
Rachel Brinkman - Software Engineer, Truefit
Rebecca Brown - Software Engineer, Foster Moore
Katie Doran - Project Manager, Oculus
Barry Peddycord III - Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Cumulus Network
Vikas Piddempally - Software Engineer, LexisNexis
Hannah Chipman (2019-2022)
Undergraduate Students
Trevor Brennan - NetApp
Caroline Law - Software Engineer, WillowTree
Mital Modi - Data Strategies Interchange, LLC
Alexander Rouse - Software Engineer, Republic Wireless
Sam Schoeneberger - Build Engineer, Red Storm Entertainment
Shrenik Shah - Salesforce
Erin Snider - Software Developer, SAS
Meghana Subramaniam - Software Engineer, Cisco
Kathleen Wassell - IBM Watson
Emma Stone - CS Undergraduate, NC State
Neeloy Gomes - Associate Software Engineer, Railinc
Others
Dr. Jennifer Albert (2013-2015) - Director of the STEM Center of Excellent at Citadel
Dr. Collin Lynch (2013-2015) - Assistant Professor, NC State
Dragan Lipovac (2015-2016) - Finance, Chicago
Ian Menezes (2020-2021) - Researcher