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Armando at Machu Picchu, 2014 Greetings! I’m a Professor of Computer Science, Diversity & Equity Officer/Adviser at multiple levels (EECS Department, College of Engineering, University), and Faculty Adviser for Digital Learning Strategy. I’m also a musical theater fanatic and performer, and an aficionado of computing history and retro technology.

The menu above leads to more detail about my various activities, but in a nutshell:

  • My current research focuses on CS education and technology-enhanced learning, at the intersection of pedagogy, human-computer interaction, and programming systems.

  • I regularly teach CS169A Intro to Software Engineering (and the accompanying CS169L project course), CS375 Teaching Techniques for CS, and sometimes the freshman seminar Our Digital Quandary, exploring issues at the intersection of computer science and society.

  • Office hours Fall 2023: TBD, but you can always email to request an appointment: my last name at berkeley dot edu.

News

  • July 1, 2022: Great article from Inside Higher Ed on how Berkeley Engineering launched three Black college presidents…but also a separate sobering article from Chronicle of Higher Ed profiling five professors of color who left academia because of the poor climate at their institutions.

  • May 24, 2022: The NSF-funded LEAP Alliance is recognized for its efforts to improve diversity & equity in the computing professoriate! Audrey Sillers and I represent Berkeley in this important effort.

  • May 13, 2022: Prof. Dan Garcia and I were awarded a grant from the California Education Learning Lab for our project A’s for All, promoting proficiency-based/mastery-based learning. It’s a collaboration with Cal State Long Beach and El Camino College. Read more about it on the LEARNER Center website!

Recent Posts

They’re Playing Our Song

This is a really fun set of interviews by theater historian Max Wilk with some of the greatest songwriters in American history; some wrote popular songs, som...

On competency-based learning

Paul LeBlanc. Students First: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Higher Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021

Istanbul, Day 1

Erol, our private guide, came to meet us at 9am. The first stop was the site of the former Roman hippodrome. When Constantine beat out his rival to become th...

Armando’s Hamamı Experience

I’m sitting on the roof deck of my hostel in Sultanahmet, enjoying a pleasant breeze and a view of the confluence of the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. Ma...

Istanbul Arrival

Armando and I arrived uneventfully after a 13 hour flight that should have been more uncomfortable than it was. I slept through most of the flight but Armand...

Radical Cities

Radical Cities, by Justin McGuirk: is Latin America the future of cities?

Course Evaluations and the Jedi

Philip Stark, chairman of UC Berkeley’s Department of Statistics, has persuasively argued that student course evaluations often inversely correlate with teac...

Holiday Reading 2017

Every time I teach my software engineering class, I try to offer the students some more general life perspective in addition to just straight-ahead software ...

Vanishing GenX

[Note: this post was originally called Vanishing Americana but it makes more sense to call it Vanishing GenX, hence the weird permalink.] I guess one gets no...

“Damaged” by BASIC

At a recent conference I attended where a main theme of many papers was intelligent tutors to help novice programmers, an audience Q&A after one of the t...

America in the Seventies

America in the Seventies (Culture America series) by Beth Bailey and David R. Farber. University Press of Kansas, 2004.

The CRT is dead, long live the CRT

I am a child of the 80s (and a little bit the 70s), and as a youngster I spent many, many quarters in arcade video games. (Tempest was among my favorites tha...

Holiday Reading 2016

I recently got to catch up with a colleague who works for a major software company (no, not Google or Microsoft) and has some similar geeky interests to my o...

Track Changes

Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, by Matthew Kirschenbaum.

Baltics 2016 part 4: Vilnius

We arrived in Vilnius as it was getting dark, around 9pm, and as usual we were able to walk to our accommodations. This was our one non-AirBnB stay, in a hot...

Baltics 2016 part 3: Riga

We had learned from our fellow-travelers in Tallinn that the only train service in the Baltics is local suburban trains from the capitals; international trav...

Baltics 2016 part 2: Tallinn

The Old Town of Tallinn (that’s pronounced TAHL-linn) dates from medieval times, and it’s been lovingly restored, Disneyland-like, to look just like that, to...

Five slim books about teaching

Teaching books seem to try to cover several kinds of advice: procedural/administrative (how to organize a syllabus, deal with grade disputes, etc.), checklis...

The Baker coffin is a metaphor

A couple of weeks ago I got to attend my 25th reunion (MIT Class of 1990). As always for these events, the highlight for me was seeing/reconnecting with my f...

Where’s the low-cost Munchery?

A friend just invited me to try Munchery: It’s a delivery-only service in which noted chefs prepare a limited and healthful menu each day, and you can get st...

Impressions on judging a Hackathon

A Berkeley CS undergraduate I know who is passionate about hacking asked me this summer if I would be a judge for this weekend’s Cal Hacks hackathon—being on...

Mumbai village tour

Today Penguin and I went on a tour of a “rural” village about 90km north of Mumbai.  I use the scare quotes because the village is only about 10km outside a ...

Bombay Bicycle Club

This morning, bright and early (6:15), I met my guides for the Mumbai By Bike tour.  Mumbai doesn’t go to work til 9 or 10 AM, so this early there’s almost n...

Mumbai day 1

After our morning arrival in Mumbai, it was just a few blocks to the hotel, although it took a bit of orienteering to figure out in which direction.  Mumbai ...

Travel and I on Indian Railways

Penguin and I ultimately decided to take a cab to Nampally railway station. I was going to take the commuter train, but the timing was such that I would’ve h...

Hyderabad day 3: Heritage walk

Our last tourist activity in Hyderabad was the most interesting: we visited what used to be the mansions built by the white-collar administrators of the Niza...

MOOC 1.0: a transitional form

Every new medium needs a transitional form exemplar—something that demonstrates the new technique or technology, but just replicates the previous techniques ...

A demoralizing semester for instructors

DISCLAIMER: I believe most students don’t cheat, most students don’t try to make life miserable for their instructors, and most students really do want to le...

The Great Wall

Wei arranged for a private car and driver to take me to Mutianyu today.  It’s a section of the Great Wall that is only about 2 hours drive from Beijing, but ...

Un billon, indeed

Penguin and I had a pretty full sightseeing day—I think I logged over 16 miles, though my Fitbit turned over at midnight California time, which is about 3pm ...

Kindle Fire – probably good enough

Since Dave Patterson and I have signed up to offer the first 5 weeks of Berkeley’s CS169 Software Engineering class as  a free online course using Stanford’s...

The downside of online education

In the 90s, the joke was “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The anonymity of online interaction allowed you to reinvent yourself.

Ready..set…d’oh

The online version of our SaaS course officially starts this coming Monday, 20-Feb-2012, although we “soft launched” this week and are putting up some of the...

CS169 x 50,000 = ?

NOTE: This is the concatenation of a few posts from early 2012 as we were planning the launch of our first MOOC on Software as a Service on Coursera and late...

Five slim books about teaching

I always look forward to this time of year, even though it’s inevitably a sprint to get to it.  I’m preparing for our annual 2-week family vacation in Cancun...

Today I am a birder

I got up on Sunday at 7am to spend the whole day watching birds. Usually I only get up early on weekends to go skiing, so this is a big deal for me. Tonia so...

Visiting Hong Kong, August 18-23, 2002

Day 1: arrival and impressions of downtown We arrived this morning after a 13-hour flight that was remarkably painless, and took one of the nicest trains eve...