Dr. Dillon Wins $400k Grant for Computer Science Instruction

A Computer Science student and instructor working together.
Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

Dr. Edward Dillon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, has won a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to carry out his project, “Targeted Infusion Project: Infusing Learning Initiatives for Improving the Programming Proficiency of Computer Science Majors at Morgan State University (a Multi-year Initiative).” The project aims to help address the underrepresentation of minorities in computer science and related fields by infusing new learning initiatives into computer science courses at Morgan.

Dr. Edward Dillon
Dr. Edward Dillon

Learning to program can be challenging, and some computer science majors switch to another field of study when first introduced to it. Learning to think critically and to use programming tools effectively is critical for success in learning to solve problems computationally. Dr. Dillon’s project will therefore infuse two learning initiatives, problem-solving strategies involving programming and a programming tool usage workflow, into two key courses in which an introduction to programming is emphasized, COSC 112: Introduction to Computer Science II and COSC 238: Object Oriented Programming. The project will measure student outcomes to study the effectiveness of the learning initiatives and evaluate how they can be scaled and transferred to other courses, academic programs and universities. To support the project, the NSF will provide a total of $399,636 over the award period of September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2023.