teaching machines

Font Diner Workshop

Three years ago I was standing in the pickup line at school waiting to collect my children. I recognized the guy next to me as the father of a kid that my son was partnering with on a project, so I struck up a conversation. I try very hard to avoid the “What do you […]


Something came in the mail this week from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (who use COSC as a prefix for their computer science courses) just held their end-of-year awards ceremony, the COSCARs. I was honored with this Most Wholesome Lecturer award: How exactly I was […]

FabLearn 2017

I spent the weekend at the FabLearn 2017 conference. The conference brings together teachers, policy makers, museum staff, and nearly anyone who cares about learning by making. My favorite conferences are the ones that I write about. So I figure I should write about this one—so that I can add it to my list of […]

ITiCSE 2017 in Italy

At the end of each ITiCSE working group I’ve been involved in, I swear I will never do another. Writing a lengthy report with a bunch of other humans is incredibly exhausting, and the process usually causes me to lose faith in mankind. But inevitably, I sign up again the next year, because I can’t […]

Peruvian ITiCSE

I had intended the summer to be a simple one. No teaching, no big grants, no painting the house. Then I learned that ITiCSE 2016 would be in Peru. This country is so far off the maps that chart out my life I knew that if didn’t go now, I never would. So, I submitted […]

Blocks and Beyond 2015

A couple of weeks ago I went to Atlanta for the Blocks and Beyond workshop. This conference brought together a bunch of folks working on blocks languages to discuss our current work and future directions. Since I have been implementing a blocks interface for my Madeup language and had some things to say about it, […]

To Canterbury

My summer included a trip to Canterbury, England. The University of Kent was hosting a computer science education conference, ITiCSE 2013. I was presenting and I also participated in my favorite part about ITiCSE: a working group. Arriving in Canterbury was painful for a variety of reasons: The rainfall during my departure was so intense […]


In October I had the good pleasure to visit Calgary, just east of the Canadian Rockies. The purpose of my visit was to present a paper on Paul Wagner’s MOBILE project. We wrote this paper not certain where to publish it. In our literature readings, we noticed much related work came from SIGITE. It was […]

ITiCSE 2012

Last week I went to Haifa, Israel, to attend the Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) 2012 conference. I presented my work on SpecCheck and ate a lot of pita bread. Here’s what I saw on my visit: Some highlights of my trip included: Coming to terms with the fact that the greatest […]