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RiSE Center Colloquium: Gregory Nelson

November 7, 2022 @ 3:00 pm4:00 pm

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
Colloquium Series


Gregory Nelson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Maine

Monday, November 7, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Barrows 123 and Zoom
(link and passcode available by email)

Learning Technology for Computing


Computational systems powerfully impact our society, but computational literacy is still relatively rare; for example, less than 1% of humanity knows the basics of programming languages. If everyone could quickly learn computing fundamentals, everyone could better participate in improving society faster, more broadly, and more equitably. To enable that, I build learning technology for computing, and I’ve started by focusing on programming languages. This includes 1) an interactive textbook to teach program reading, 2) more specific and useful assessments generated from a model of programming language knowledge, as well as 3) ways to productively apply empirical social science theory to design learning technology and assessments. These tools can teach code reading better than a semester-long college computer science course in about 4 hours, provide specific feedback to help improve learning, and show the potential for better ways of teaching computational literacy that can work for everyone.


Dr. Greg Nelson recently graduated from the University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, focusing on learning technology for computing. Greg has received paper awards at ACM CHI, IEEE InfoVis, and ACM ICER, the top conference for computer science education research. Greg has a B.S. in CS and Physics from Georgetown University. Greg’s research has been supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and other NSF grants. Greg has interned at Facebook Reality Labs, and, before graduate school, Greg worked in industry, including scaling bank closing infrastructure at the FDIC during the Great Financial Crisis, and leading the development of a management database for greater transparency, accountability, and coordination across the Rwandan health system, working with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, USAID, the World Bank, and 120+ other organizations.

To be added to the Colloquium email list and receive the Zoom link and passcode, please email the RiSE Center:

To request a reasonable accessibility accommodation, please contact the RiSE Center by email or phone: 207.581.4672.


November 7, 2022
3:00 pm–4:00 pm
Event Category:


RiSE Center
View Organizer Website