Keynote 2022: Prof. Tiffany Barnes

Keynote 2022: Prof. Tiffany Barnes

We are very pleased to announce that Prof. Tiffany Barnes will be presenting the keynote at Koli Calling 2022.

Tiffany Barnes is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, and a Distinguished Member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Prof. Barnes is Founding Co-Director of the STARS Computing Corps, a Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance funded by the U.S.A. National Science Foundation. 

Her internationally recognized research program focuses on transforming education with AI-driven learning games and technologies, and research on equity and broadening participation. Her current research ranges from investigations of intelligent tutoring systems and teacher professional development to foundational work on educational data mining, computational models of interactive problem-solving, and design of computational thinking curricula. Her personalized learning technologies and broadening participation programs have impacted thousands of K-20 students throughout the United States.

Prof. Barnes will be presenting A grand challenge: Achieving equitable computer science education.

It is critical to address the longstanding issue of underrepresentation of women, Black, and Hispanic students in computing degree programs to provide an equitable foundation for all to participate in society and the global economy as controllers and creators of technology, and to advance the preparation of a diverse, innovative, and competitive tech workforce. This goal can only be achieved through respect and compassion – supporting both institutions and individuals, and believing that every person can and should participate in computing at the highest levels. In this talk, I’ll present some highlights of my work to continually improve equitable access to computer science education, development, and research. As an institutional approach, since 2006, I have co-directed the STARS Computing Corps Alliance for Broadening Participation in Computing, that has engaged over 100 computing faculty and 2600 students at colleges, universities, and community colleges in the USA in a community of practice with a shared commitment to take action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in computing. In this talk I will discuss the core design features of STARS activities, conferences, communities, and networks that create significant institutional and human resources that can expand equity-focused computing education research to a larger audience of researchers, educators, administrators, computing departments, and K-20 students, and can dramatically increase the number of people taking action in these efforts. Our results show that the STARS Computing Corps alliance increases intentions to persist in computing among STARS students and faculty, with enhanced outcomes for Black students and faculty. At the individual level, students need compassionate support while solving challenging programming tasks, especially when they are first learning computing. Therefore, I’ve been working for many years to build automated, data-driven supports for students. Increasingly, these first learning attempts are in block-based learning environments, and increasingly, they are in K-12 settings. I’ll present the work I’ve been doing with many collaborators to bring computer science education to teachers, to schools, and to the software students use to program. In all of these settings, there is a critical need to provide learning opportunities, but also to provide compassionate support, designed to help when needed. Together, I hope we can imagine a future where every person can fully participate in our digital learning and knowledge spaces.

We look forward to seeing you at Koli this year!

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