I direct the Code & Cognition Lab.

My lab includes students from The Information School, The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, the College of Education, and occasionally other units on campus. I run the lab in a doctoral student-centered manner: students define their own projects within the scope of my interests, and often move me into new research areas.

  • Our weekly lab meetings are open to any doctoral students or postdocs at UW.
  • Read our lablets page for details on how we engage undergraduates in research.
  • Read our onboarding document for context on ever-evolving culture of the lab.

I work hard to be a better mentor and advisor every year. In fact, in 2021, my students nominated me for the Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, and I won one of two honorable mentions. I guess I'm doing something right?

Current UW Ph.D. student? Lurk in #codeandcognitionlab on ComputingEd@UW Slack. DM or email me about your interests. I'm always open to chatting, collaborating, serving on committees, and when I have capacity, advising. You're also welcome to visit any of our lab meetings. Check out our lab calendar (linked above) to see when we're meeting.

Future UW Ph.D. student? Read my CER FAQ and recent publications to ensure we share interests. Don't write me to ask if I'm admitting students in the coming year; I'm always considering new students unless this page says otherwise. Don't ask me to evaluate your CV; I don't have time to evaluate your application twice; do write if you have specific questions about my lab's recent research. Apply to the iSchool or CSE in Autumn.

Current UW undergrad or masters student? Read about engaging in undergrad research. If that sounds interesting, read about my lab's undergraduate/masters Wordplaypen, and follow the instructions there to join. I also recruit for full-time summer research assistants in Winter through the DUB REU program.

Current Postdocs

Photograph of Max Skorodinsky
Max Skorodinsky   postdoc   2024 - present
Max is a postdoc, secondary CS educator, and researcher interested in equity in CS teacher education, identity, and community.
Photograph of Jean Salac
Jean Salac   postdoc   2022 - present
Jean is interested in justice-focused computing education for youth, namely how youth can learn to examine technology's role in their lives and society and how educators can support this learning process.

Current Advisees

Photograph of Mara Kirdani-Ryan
Mara Kirdani-Ryan   phd   2018 - present
Mara is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering. They utilize techniques from sociology to surface cultural norms within computing, as well as techniques from social work to deconstruct these norms so that computing might act as a force for collective liberation.
Photograph of Jayne Everson
Jayne Everson   phd   2020 - present
Jayne is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. She studies the implicit assumptions in classrooms that prevent belonging in CS.
Photograph of Rotem Landesman
Rotem Landesman   phd   2021 - present
Rotem is a PhD student in the Information School. She studies ways to measure youth wellbeing in digital spaces, as well as how we can support youth to critically examine technology’s role in their lives using a philosophical lens. She is co-advised by Katie Davis.
Photograph of Eman Sherif
Eman Sherif   phd   2022 - present
Eman is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. She is interested in broadening participation in computing through social justice oriented curricula.
Photograph of Megumi Kivuva
Megumi Kivuva   phd   2022 - present
Megumi is a PhD student at the iSchool studying justice-centered CS education.
Photograph of Benjamin Zhou
Benjamin Zhou   undergrad   2023 - present
Ben is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, specializing in computer science. He has an interest in exploring the intersection of coding education and cognitive science, particularly focusing on how to make teaching computer science more inclusive and effective.
Photograph of Camilo Montes de Haro
Camilo Montes de Haro   undergrad   2023 - present
Camilo is an undergraduate student at Bellevue College. He is interested in broadening participation in CS by leveraging and innovating new technologies.
Photograph of Isabel Amaya
Isabel Amaya   undergrad   2024 - present
Isabel is an undergraduate in Informatics and interdisciplinary honors program, they are interested in creating equitable spaces for marginalized students learning CS and tech. She is interested in design and product management.

Affiliated Ph.D. students

Photograph of Avery Mack
Avery Mack   phd   2022 - present
Avery is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering exploring how to make accessible technology to support people with disabilities, especially in the context of higher education.

Faculty Collaborators

This isn't a complete list of collaborators, just those I've gotten around to adding.

Photograph of R. Ben Shapiro
R. Ben Shapiro   faculty   2023 - present
Ben designs new learning technologies and experiences that enable people, especially youth, to make new computational systems that help them to understand the world around themselves, express themselves creatively, and care for human and non-human others.
Photograph of Brett Wortzman
Brett Wortzman   faculty   2018 - present
Brett is faculty in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering where he often teaches CSE 142. We often collaborate on studies we run in his class.
Photograph of Jason Yip
Jason Yip   faculty   2018 - present
Jason is my colleague in the iSchool where he studies collaborative learning in families. We collaborate on research related to CS and design learning.
Photograph of Min Li
Min Li   faculty   2017 - present
Min is faculty in the College of Education where she studies educational measurement and psychometrics. We collaborate on research related to assessment.
Photograph of Katie Davis
Katie Davis   faculty   2017 - present
Katie is my colleague in the iSchool where she studies new media in young people's personal, social, and academic lives.
Photograph of Anne Beitlers
Anne Beitlers   faculty   2016 - present
Anne is faculty in the College of Education. We often collaborate on teacher education research, teaching, and administration.
Photograph of Thomas D. LaToza
Thomas D. LaToza   faculty   2004 - present
Thomas is faculty at George Mason University's Department of Computer Science. We've collaborated heavily on methods, programming strategies, and tools.

Former Ph.D. students

Photograph of Leah Perlmutter
Leah Perlmutter   phd   2022 - 2023
Leah worked with Amy as a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at UW. She is now an Assistant Professor at Grinnell College. She is interested in post-secondary CS education, including TA practices, emotion while programming, sociotechnical topics in CS curricula, CS identity construction, and CS culture.
Photograph of Stefania Druga
Stefania Druga   phd   2019 - 2023
Stefania Druga a Ph.D. candidate in the Information School. Studies computer-supported creative coding for youth and the design of AI literacy tools and resources for Families. She is co-advised by Benjamin Mako Hill.
Photograph of Alannah Oleson
Alannah Oleson   phd   2018 - 2023
Alannah is a PhD candidate in the Information School. They study educational interventions to support critical and ethical software design processes, with a particular focus on countering design bias and marginalization.
Photograph of Benjamin Xie
Benjamin Xie   phd   2016 - 2022
Benji was a PhD student in the Information School, and briefly a postdoc in the lab. He designs interactions with data that support their interpretations and uses for equity-oriented goals.
Photograph of Greg Nelson
Greg Nelson   phd   2016 - 2021
Greg was a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering. He studied HCI and computing education broadly, specifically on programming language learning and assessment.
Photograph of Kyle Thayer
Kyle Thayer   phd   2015 - 2020
Kyle was a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering, co-advised by Katharina Reinecke. His dissertation investigated barriers to learning to code knowledge through bootcamps, developed a novel theory of API knowledge, and contributed a new way to mine the web for API usage patterns. He is now a Lecturer at the University of Washington Information school, where he continues investigating the intersection of diversity and computing education as a teacher and researcher.
Photograph of Dastyni Loksa
Dastyni Loksa   phd   2013 - 2020
Dastyni was a Ph.D. student in the the Information School. His dissertation focused on problem solving in programming, with a particular focus on self-regulated learning, spanning the fields of HCI and computing education. After graduating, he joined as tenure-track faculty at Towson University, teaching CS and preparing CS teachers.
Photograph of Yim Register
Yim Register   phd   2018 - 2019
Yim is a PhD student in the Information School, broadly interested in machine learning literacy. Before joining UW, they studied cognitive science at the University of Rochester.
Photograph of Amanda Swearngin
Amanda Swearngin   phd   2015 - 2019
Amanda was a Ph.D. student in Computer Science & Engineeering. Her dissertation contributed design tools that leverage program analysis, program synthesis, constraint solving, and machine learning. She is now a Research Engineer at Apple in Accessibility and Machine Learning.
Photograph of Zakariya Dehlawi
Zakariya Dehlawi   phd   2014 - 2018
Zak was a Ph.D. student in the the Information School, co-advised by Amy Ko and Barbara Endicott-Popovsky. He received his Master of Science in Security Informatics from Johns Hopkins in 2011 and bachelor degrees in Computer Engineering and Political Science from the University of Washington in 2009. His research focused on security practices in software teams and organizations. After leaving the Ph.D. program, he worked as Senior Security Engineer at Security Innovation, Inc.
Photograph of Paul Luo Li
Paul Luo Li   phd   2009 - 2016
Paul Luo Li was a Ph.D. student in the Information School at the University of Washington, advised by Amy. His dissertation work focused on software engineering expertise. After graduating, Paul continued his full-time role as a Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft.
Photograph of Michael J. Lee
Michael J. Lee   phd   2009 - 2015
Michael Lee was a PhD student in the Information School at the University of Washington, advised by Amy Ko. His dissertation work focused on educational programming games, and game design factors that affect learning and engagement. After graduating, Mike began as an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Information Systems.
Photograph of BJ Burg
BJ Burg   phd   2011 - 2015
BJ was a Ph.D. student in the CSE Department at the University of Washington, co-advised with Mike Ernst. Her dissertation focused on web development productivity tools to support debugging, program comprehension, and reverse engineering tool. After graduating, BJ joined Apple's WebKit team.
Photograph of Parmit K. Chilana
Parmit K. Chilana   phd   2008 - 2013
Parmit K. Chilana was a PhD student at the Information School co-advised by Jake Wobbrock. Her dissertation focused on crowdsourced help systems and organizational factors in gathering and understanding user feedback about software. After graduating, Parmit began as an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo.
Photograph of Casey Hickerson
Casey Hickerson   phd   2009 - 2010
Casey was at the iSchool briefly and studied design practices.

Former Affiliated Ph.D. students

Photograph of Mina Tari
Mina Tari   phd   2018 - 2022
Mina was a PhD student in the Information School exploring women of color's experiences in introductory computing courses. She's a homegrown UW student, coming from the Informatics and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies programs. Mina works with Amy and the lab to apply a critical feminist lens to questions regarding equity in computing education.
Photograph of Laura Vonessen
Laura Vonessen   phd   2018 - 2019
For her qualifying exam, Laura led a project on faculty professional development for teaching accessibility, sponsored by AccessComputing, with help from Saba Kawas.
Photograph of Matt Davidson
Matt Davidson   phd   2017 - 2022
Matt was a doctoral student in the College of Education. He studied how to use process data to make assessments more equitable and informative.
Photograph of Annie Yan
Annie Yan   phd   2016 - 2021
Annie is a Ph.D. student in the Information School working with Carol Palmer. Annie worked with Amy on predicting dropout in a coding tutorial.
Photograph of Ada Kim
Ada Kim   phd   2016 - 2018
Ada was a Ph.D. student in the Information School working with Katie Davis. Ada worked with Amy on a pedagogical analysis of coding tutorials as part of a research practicum.
Photograph of Saba Kawas
Saba Kawas   phd   2016 - 2022
Saba was a PhD student in the Information School working with Katie Davis. Saba worked with Amy on a nationwide survey of the teaching of accessibility in higher education in the United States.
Photograph of Chenglong Wang
Chenglong Wang   phd   2015 - 2021
Chenglong is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science & Engineering, interested in interactive program synthesis.
Photograph of Rahul Banerjee
Rahul Banerjee   phd   2015 - 2020
Rahul worked in the Center for Game Science and has worked with the lab on programming by demonstration systems for creating interactive games.
Photograph of Kristen Shinohara
Kristen Shinohara   phd   2008 - 2017
Kristen was a PhD student advised by Jake Wobbrock and Wanda Pratt. She worked with Amy multiple times as a teaching assistant, and later on nationwide survey of higher education instruction on accessibility. She graduated in 2017 and joined the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Photograph of Kayur Patel
Kayur Patel   phd   2007 - 2012
Kayur Patel was a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Washington, co-advised by James Fogarty and James Landay. His dissertation focused on tools for supporting the development of machine learned classifiers.

Former Postdocs

Photograph of Roshanak Zilouichian
Roshanak Zilouichian   postdoc   2015 - 2016
Roshanak was a postdoc in the lab working on collaboration, consensus, information visualization, and creativity support tools. After completing her postdoc, she began as a Data Scientist at Microsoft.

Former Masters

Photograph of Brian Chan
Brian Chan   masters   2020 - 2022
Brian is a BS/MS student in Computer Science and Engineering interested in making algorithm visualization easier to incorporate into lectures.

Former Undergrads

Photograph of Audrey Le Meur
Audrey Le Meur   undergrad   2022
Audrey is a Computer Science major at the University of Minnesota Morris. She is interested K-12 and undergraduate CS education as a tool for broadening participation in computing. Specifically, she studies pedagogy and curriculum to improve self-efficacy and belonging, and pathways to teaching K-12 CS.
Photograph of Jared Lim
Jared Lim   undergrad   2022 - 2023
Jared is an Informatics undergraduate in his 3rd year at the Information School. He is interested in improving access to CS education and in establishing a critically conscious pedagogy.
Photograph of Paul Pham
Paul Pham   undergrad   2022 - 2023
Paul is an Informatics and Education, Communities, and Organizations double major. He is interested in the intersection between critical, justice-oriented pedagogy and CS education to better understand how to make it more accessible and equitable to learn.
Photograph of Lena Armstrong
Lena Armstrong   undergrad   2022 - 2023
Lena was a computer science and cognitive science double major at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in improving CS education and mitigating algorithmic bias to create more inclusive and meaningful experiences with technology. She went to Harvard CS to study HCI and AI.
Photograph of Fee Christoph
Fee Christoph   undergrad   2021 - present
Fee is an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, finishing up her degrees in Computer Science and Interarts Performance. She is interested in interdisciplinary education, and the ways in which diverse fields of study can enhance and complement one another. Some of her main focuses include broadening participation in computing, empowering students to critique the current state of computing, and collaboratively imagining alternatives to computing.
Photograph of Ashley Wang
Ashley Wang   undergrad   2021 - present
Ashley was an undergraduate in Design, interested in designing tools that emphasize equity and accessibility. They helped create illustrations and design language for the Critically Conscious Computing book.
Photograph of Jessie Huynh
Jessie Huynh   undergrad   2021 - present
Jessie is an undergraduate in the Design division in the School of Art + Art History + Design, and contributes to the STEP CS book.
Photograph of Chris Perdriau
Chris Perdriau   undergrad   2020 - 2021
Chris is a CS student at Oregon State University studying HCI and psychology. He is interested in making technology more inclusive for underserved communities.
Photograph of Anael Kuperwajs Cohen
Anael Kuperwajs Cohen   undergrad   2020 - 2021
Anael is a CS and applied mathematics and statistics double major with a cognitive science concentration at Macalester College. She is interested in breaking down barriers for women and other minorities within the field of CS by pursuing a career in CS education.
Photograph of Jenny Liang
Jenny Liang   undergrad   2020 - 2021
Jenny was an undergrad studying computer science and informatics. She worked with Amy to study how to use explicit programming strategies to improve collaboration and learning of developers.
Photograph of Emilia Borisova
Emilia Borisova   undergrad   2020 - present
Emilia was an undergraduate student pursuing Informatics and helped with Mara's research on understanding the personal and interpersonal factors influencing computing career choices.
Photograph of Chandrashree Karnani
Chandrashree Karnani   undergrad   2019
Chandrashree is studying data science in the Informatics program. She's interested in how data can be used to make informed decisions. She's helping with Yim's work on machine learning literacy.
Photograph of Zoshua Colah
Zoshua Colah   undergrad   2019
Zoshua is an Informatics major specializing in UX Design and Data Science who spends his time helping freshman and sophomore students learn more about tech.
Photograph of Christina Zhang
Christina Zhang   undergrad   2019
Christina is an undergraduate majoring in Computer Science and Informatics. She's working on supporting research on intelligent programming tutors.
Photograph of Meron Solomon
Meron Solomon   undergrad   2019 - present
Meron is an undergraduate who helped design and teach an innovative new computing course to Upward Bound students in 2019.
Photograph of Patrick Old
Patrick Old   undergrad   2018 - 2019
Patrick was an undergraduate studying Informatics and Oceanography. He worked on a project to observe his growth as a teacher via participant observation.
Photograph of Anne Drew Hu
Anne Drew Hu   undergrad   2018 - 2020
Anne Drew was a CS & Education double major interested in pedagogical techniques and student motivation in CS Ed. He's now a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University's College of Education.
Photograph of Jane Quichocho
Jane Quichocho   undergrad   2018 - 2019
Jane helped the lab on various learning to code projects.
Photograph of William Kwok
William Kwok   undergrad   2018 - 2019
William is an undergraduate in the Information School. He supported the lab's research on programming tutors by advancing design, development, instruction, and ideation relation to expressing agency when learning computing online.
Photograph of Harshitha Akkaraju
Harshitha Akkaraju   undergrad   2018 - 2019
Harshitha is an undergraduate in the Information School. She supported the lab's research on programming tutors by advancing design, development, instruction, and ideation relation to expressing agency when learning computing online.
Photograph of Alex Tan
Alex Tan   undergrad   2017 - 2018
Alex is an Informatics undergraduate in computing education. He supported the lab's research on programming tutors.
Photograph of Harrison Kwik
Harrison Kwik   undergrad   2016 - 2018
Harrison was an undergraduate in computer science interested in equitable learning of computing. He's supported the lab's research on programming tutors while independently investigating the experiences of CS transfer students. After graduating, he began a Ph.D. at Northwestern University.
Photograph of Leanne Hwa
Leanne Hwa   undergrad   2016 - 2018
Leanne was an Informatics undergraduate interested in computing education, mentorship, and identity. She supported the lab's research on programming tutors while independently investigating the role of informal computing mentors amongst south Seattle teens.
Photograph of William Menten-Weil
William Menten-Weil   undergrad   2016 - 2017
Liam was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer our work on programming problem solving tutors, focusing specifically on an advanced tutorial authoring interface.
Photograph of Dakota Miller
Dakota Miller   undergrad   2016 - 2017
Dakota was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer our work on programming problem solving tutors, focusing specifically on an advanced tutorial authoring interface.
Photograph of Alexandra Rowell
Alexandra Rowell   undergrad   2016 - 2017
Alex was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer our work on programming problem solving tutors, focusing specifically on how to present expert identity.
Photograph of Staffan Hellman
Staffan Hellman   undergrad   2014 - 2015
Staffan was an Informatics student who helped engineer Gidget. He went on to work at Weebly.
Photograph of Steven Raden
Steven Raden   undergrad   2014 - 2015
Steven was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer Gidget. He went on to work at IBM as a UX designer.
Photograph of Polina Charters
Polina Charters   undergrad   2013 - 2014
Polina was a Psychology student who helped develop many of the instruments for our studies of Gidget, and also ran a study evaluating attitude shifts among adults who played Gidget. She went on to our Masters in HCI+Design.
Photograph of Fanny Luor
Fanny Luor   undergrad   2013 - 2014
Fanny was a Design student who illustrated all of the art for Gidget. She went on to design and illustrate at Airbnb and Dropbox.
Photograph of Nadav Ashkenazi
Nadav Ashkenazi   undergrad   2013 - 2014
Nadav was a Computer Science and Informatics student who helped engineer Gidget. He went on to Google to help build Earth VR.
Photograph of Michael Beswetherick
Michael Beswetherick   undergrad   2012 - 2013
Michael helped engineer Gidget while an Informatics undergrad. He now helps engineer NY Times.
Photograph of Andre Stackhouse
Andre Stackhouse   undergrad   2012 - 2013
Andre helped engineer Gidget while an Informatics undergrad, then at Code.org. He now helps engineer Bing at Microsoft.
Photograph of Padma Vaithyam
Padma Vaithyam   undergrad   2012 - 2013
Padma was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer Gidget. She went on to Microsoft as a software engineer.
Photograph of Diana Jiang
Diana Jiang   undergrad   2012 - 2013
Diana was an Informatics student who helped design and engineer Gidget.
Photograph of Xing Zhang
Xing Zhang   undergrad   2011 - 2012
Xing was an Electrical Engineering student that helped evaluate Feedlack, our verification tool for finding missing feedback in interfaces.
Photograph of Stephen Ip
Stephen Ip   undergrad   2011 - 2012
Stephen was an Informatics student who helped with our studies of bug triage.
Photograph of Charlie Tran
Charlie Tran   undergrad   2011 - 2012
Charlie was an Informatics student who helped with our studies of bug triage. He went on to become a program manager at Microsoft.
Photograph of Valentina Ferrari
Valentina Ferrari   undergrad   2011 - 2012
Valentina was an Informatics student who helped with our studies of bug triage. She went on to become a UX designer at Adobe.
Photograph of Neeraja Duriseti
Neeraja Duriseti   undergrad   2010 - 2011
Neeraja was an Informatics and Applied Math student who helped analyze a corpus of tens of thousands of news articles about software failures.
Photograph of Bryan Dosono
Bryan Dosono   undergrad   2010 - 2011
Bryan was an Informatics student who helped analyze a corpus of tens of thousands of news articles about software failures. He went on to do a Ph.D. in Information Science at Syracuse University.

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