Dr. Brenda Wilson recognized for her work in computer science education

MURRAY, Ky. — A retired Murray State University professor’s research has been recognized as among the best computer science education research publications of the last half-century.

Earlier this month, the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education celebrated its 50th annual SIGCSE Technical Composium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It named the work of Dr. Brenda Wilson, a retired professor of the Murray State Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, a winner of the Top Ten Symposium Papers of All Time Award. The top ten papers were chosen from among the best that were presented at the symposium over the last 49 years.

Wilson’s research, ranked ninth overall, is titled “Contributing to success in an introductory computer science course: a study of twelve factors.” Published in 2001 with advice from Wilson’s dissertation chair, Dr. Sharon Shrock of Southern Illinois University, the study determined and explored factors that promote success in an introductory college computer science course. The full research is available at bit.ly/2NWkqbG.

“I was so surprised and humbled to know that the research and resulting paper has influenced so many other computer science professors,” Wilson said. “The attrition rate in the first computer science course has historically been one of the worst of any major, so it was my passion to address the problem and, hopefully, determine factors that influence success or failure in the course.”

Wilson earned a commemorative plaque for her work, as well as a trip to the SIGCSE Composium to accept the award.

The Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education of the Association for Computing Machinery is a group of approximately 2,600 computing specialists who share a common interest in advancing computing education. SIGCSE provides a forum for educators to discuss issues related to development, implementation and evaluation of computing academia as well as syllabi, laboratories and more.

The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems offers several academic programs specifically tailored to meet the rapidly growing demand for professionals in the computer industry. Murray State is one of only 800 institutions in over 55 countries that meets the stringent academic standards required to be certified by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems prepares students for careers as data analysts, software developers, information security experts, video game programmers and much more. The University offers both a Master of Science in information systems and a Master of Science in telecommunications systems management, available online and on campus. For more information, visit murraystate.edu/csis.

Photo: Pictured is retired Murray State professor Dr. Brenda Wilson, a recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education’s Top Ten Symposium Papers of All Time Award.

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