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Computer Science Education

Beauty and Joy of Computing

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) is an introductory computer science curriculum for AP CS Principles, a course developed by the College Board and the National Science Foundation. This course teaches students how to transform ideas into code using SNAP! (based on Scratch), one of the friendliest programming languages ever invented. But this course is far more than just learning to program. We focus on some of the "Big Ideas" of computing, such as abstraction, design, recursion, concurrency, simulations, and the limits of computation. We show some beautiful applications of computing that have changed the world, talk about the history of computing, and where it will go in the future.

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Infusing Computing

As we transition to a global, knowledge-based economy that is often driven by information technology and innovation, it is increasingly important that STEM workforce preparation includes a strong foundation in computing. Thus, the Infusing Computing project addresses both the need for advances in K-12 STEM education generally, as well as the need to elevate the inclusion of computer science education. Infusing Computing adds a discipline-specific focal area on the teaching and learning of computing and computational thinking, a strong commitment to broadening participation in computing, an emphasis on in-service teacher professional development, and support for the implementation of computer science courses at the high school level.

More about it ; Apply for Summer 2019's Program Here!

Educational Games

PILOT - Owen's Data Dash

Owen's Data Dash is an educational game currently in development designed to teach fundemental concepts of data structures. In this platformer, players interact with virtual manipulatives designed to mimic basic data structures and must use operations on these structures to navigate game levels. The pilot game will be tested within undergraduate Data Structures courses starting in the fall. Further directions of the project include data-driven generation of levels and providing a platform for educational game designers to rapidly test different mechanical representations of learning objectives.

Have an Idea? Come talk to us. Venture II, Suite 530.
You can see our legacy games on the archives page. Shelved Gaming Projects

Data-driven Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Deep Thought

Deep Thought is an intelligent tutor for the practice of solving deductive logic proof problems in graphical representation; displaying the proofs as logical premises, with buttons for logical rules that can be applied to selected premises and derived expressions, and a logical conclusion as the goal of the problem. We have been incrementally augmenting the Deep Thought logic tutor with data-driven methods for formative feedback and hint generation, problem selection, and worked examples to improve student learning of logic proof solving and reduce tutor dropout. Our long term goal is an intelligent tutor for logic proof construction that is fully data-driven, and can adapt to students learning logic with varying curricular requirements without the need for further expert input

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iSnap is an extension of Snap - a block-based programming environment for novices - which adds intelligent features such as detailed logging, data-driven hints derived from past students, and support for subgoals. The goal of iSnap is to support novices learning to solve creative, open-ended programming problems.

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Educational Data Mining


Created by MIND Research Institute, Spacial Temporal (ST) Math is game-based instructional software for grades K-12 and is designed to boost math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning. Current research, in collaboration with Dr. Rutherford and Dr. Lynch, focuses on applying data-driven methods to understand gameplay and learning, and to identify opportunities for platform improvement and actionable recommendations.

More Information: MIND Research Institute

The ModSoc project is a collaborative research project focused on the identification of useful behavioral patterns in online educational tools. The project is joint work between ourselves, and researchers at the Teacher's College at Columbia University, The Educational Testing Service, and Arizona State University. As part of this work we are collecting repositories of data from blended courses offered at NCSU and UC. Berkely as well as MOOCs offered through the Teacher's College. We have already completed the analysis of meaningful student communities in this data and shown that students form at-will communities that can reflect their own subsequent performance. We are also examining the role of peer tutoring in this data as well as the paths students take through online materials.


The IUSE project is focused on the extraction of pedagogical and conceptual hints from existing tutoring technologies. This is joint work by Dr. Min Chi, and Dr. Tiffany Barnes. Dr. Chi's work has previously been focused on the extraction of pedagogical guidance from student data and she is continuing that work here to extract pedagogical guidance from the existing logic tutoring data. Dr. Barnes' work is focused on the extraction of conceptual information from new domains such as probability.

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Broadening Participation in Computing

Bridge to Computing

This is a collaborative anti-gang initiative between the Give Back Organization, North Carolina State University's Computer Science Department, Raleigh Police Department and the City of Raleigh. The initiative is designed to capitalize off the younger generation's love of video games in order to provide at risk youth an opportunity to develop a tangible skill. It is the hope of the collaborative that the kids involved will choose Game Over Gangs.

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STARS Computing Corps is a community of practice for student-led regional engagement as a means to broaden participation in computing. The NCSU STARS (Students & Technology in Academia, Research and Service) Student Leadership Corps (SLC) is a student organization that provides students with the opportunity to learn more about computer science careers, participate in service and outreach programs to local schools, engage in research, meet with leaders in the computer field.

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SRCA REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates)

The Socailly Relevant Computing and Analytics REU Site at NC State University immerses a diverse group of undergraduates in a vibrant research community of faculty and graduate students working on cutting-edge socially relevant and analytic programming, improving learning and healthcare outcomes, educational technologies, and diverse forms of interaction with and through computers. The SRCA REU at NC State recruits broadly, but focuses on providing opportunities for students from underrepresented groups with limited research opportunities through the STARS Computing Corps. The project's focus on relevant cutting edge technologies is a proven focus that can improve retention for minorities and women.

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