- Jess Quynh Tran (BSc student in CS)
- Eric Mayhew (MSc student in CS, formerly BEd student in DISE)
- Michelle Lin (BA student in CS)
- Anna Ma (post-baccalaureate student)
- Inès Moreno (BSc student in CS)
- Loreina Chew (BSc student in CS)
- Hana Darling-Wolf (BA student in CS + IGSF)
- Emma McKay (PhD student in DISE)
- Horatiu Halmaghi (MA student in DISE)
- Lis Sulmont (MSc student in CS)
- Pierre Theo Klein (BSc student in Cogsci — now at Google)
- Yuan Stevens (post-bac in CS)
- Horatiu Halmaghi, 2019: Learning computer science was hard. Unlearning computer science was harder.
- Lis Sulmont, 2019: Machine learning for end-users: exploring learning goals and pedagogical content knowledge
I am accepting graduate students and undergraduates interested in sociological, anthropological, and historical approaches to understanding computer science as a social activity.
- Computer Science Education, particularly: ethics education for CS, policy and CS education, gatekeeping in CS education, educator development, critical pedagogy, sustainability education for CS, and the history of CS education
- Sociology of Computer Science, particularly: boundary work surrounding CS as an academic discipline, occupational closure, masculinity contest cultures, and the relationships between CS education and the tech industry
- Science and Technology Studies (STS), particularly: crip technoscience, queer technoscience, and postcolonial STS
Ideal candidates bring multiple areas listed above together.
If you’re unfamiliar with STS and trying to get a sense of what asking STS-style questions about CS education looks like, I recommend reading my student Horatiu Halmaghi’s Master’s thesis! (Scroll up to supervised theses.)
Please note that I do not advise projects which involve creating/developing computational tools. If you’re looking for somebody to advise educational technology research you are looking at the wrong professor! Here are some McGill profs whose research is actually on ed tech: Adam Dubé and Jason Harley.
If you’re looking for somebody who takes a critical approach for making computational things, you’re in warmer territory. (I do like critical approaches!) But again, I don’t advise projects about making things. Here are some cool HCI people who do: Ishtiaque Ahmed (Toronto), Cosmin Munteanu (Toronto), Lisa Nathan (UBC), Ben Shapiro (CU Boulder), and Aimi Hamraie (Vanderbilt). (Also have a look at the Funded PhD in HCI page!)
If your proposed project involves language along the lines of “I want to use machine learning to…” you’re very much in the wrong place. I do not advise projects that apply machine learning. (Note: I do advise projects about how we should teach machine learning!) Here are some McGill profs who actually do computational social science: Peter McMahan, Reihaneh Rabbany and Siva Reddy.
I have a general policy of only accepting students who regularly attend one or both of the two reading groups associated with the research group. This is the best way to get involved in my reserach group and acquainted with the team.
If you find it a valuable experience after attending more than once, let me know and we’ll find time to talk!
If you cannot attend one of the reading groups, see below. In your email, you must explain why you can’t attend reading group.
Before contacting me, take some time to consider what it is you want to study in graduate school, and whether that falls under the areas I do advise vs the areas I don’t advise. If your interests do seem aligned, send me an email telling me what topic(s) you are interested in studying.
I am looking for something much more specific than “computer science education” or “science and technology studies” — what questions/issues are you personally interested in tackling?
Useful information for you to tell me in your email:
- Which programme do you want to apply to? Compsci or Education?
Master’s or PhD?
Note: in Canada, a Master’s is generally expected before starting a PhD, and is considered a transitionary degree toward a PhD
- Which term you would want to start your graduate studies
- Why are you interested in grad school? What are your career goals?
- Why are you interested in doing research with me?
- What research experience you have (if any)
- What teaching experience you have (if any)
- What writing experience you have — if you can share a piece or two of your writing that you’re proud of, this is useful for me. Research involves a lot of reading and writing, so I am looking for students with strong communication skills in English.
Your email should contain the word “narwhal” in the subject header, so I can tell you took the time to do your research and read this page.
Useful resources for potential students — worth reading before emailing!
- Applying to PhD programmes in computer science (Note: this is written for a US audience. In Canada, a Master’s degree is more like the first two years of a US PhD programme. This document is relevant to potential MA/MSc students.)
- HOWTO: Apply for and get into grad school: Tips, tricks, hints and mistakes
- Emailing future PhD advisors
- FAQ on CS education research which includes a list of all the ~60 professors in the world who advise CS education PhDs, since we’re a small field :)