Colleen Lewis is the McGregor-Girand Assistant Professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College. At UC Berkeley, Lewis completed a PhD in science and mathematics education, a MS in computer science, and BS in electrical engineering and computer science. Her research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn. Lewis curates CSTeachingTips.org, a NSF-sponsored project for disseminating effective computer science teaching practices.
WITH GROUPS CREATING PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE FEMALES TO CONSIDER STEM, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO ENTRY THAT IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY?
Sexism -- Maybe that's not particularly kid friendly.
I think they key problem is that we think that "certain types of people" are supposed to do particular things and not do other things! We shouldn't tell anyone that their gender or race mean that they can't pursue CS.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Professor Juan E. Gilbert inspires me! Dr. Gilbert is a Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida. He leads the Human Experience Research Lab, which has looked at a bunch of CS research topics of social importance such as creating accessible voting machines. Dr. Gilbert founded and directs the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (IAAMCS). While making important contributions to the CS research field, Dr. Gilbert still makes mentoring a top priority.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT/ACCOMPLISHMENT?
After undergrad, I worked at LeapFrog and made educational games. The first time I saw the game available on the shelf at Target I felt really proud of the work that my team and I had done!