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Teaching Special Seminar: Livingston McPherson, "Scaling CS Classrooms with Active Peer Learning"

Event Type
Illinois Computer Science
wifi event
Apr 6, 2023   9:00 am  
Originating Calendar
Computer Science Special Seminar Series


As a leading university committed to serving the public, our courses are amongst the most attended in the nation.Yet these large student-teacher ratios also dilute learning processes predicated on individual attention from teacher to student. Instead we must focus our limited interactions to motivate and empower what has always been the engine of student learning: the hours spent between classes studying and collaborating with classmates. Though homework and group projects have rightly been a staple of CS curricula for decades, students often feel lost in how to benefit from these activities.To ensure students engage material and collaborate successfully, we must prioritize this time in our design of syllabi and employ lectures as reinforcing pitstops to equip students for their discovery between classes. By equipping students to teach themselves and each other, our students' many classmates stop being a diluting obstacle and becomes instead the greatest resource for collaborative learning our school has to offer.

D. Livingston McPherson is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They received their B.S. with honors from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2015 and an M.S. from the University of California Berkeley in 2018 with a thesis designing origami bug robots for collaborative locomotion. Continuing at UC Berkeley for a PhD with S. Shankar Sastry in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, they completed their thesis studies in 2022 by combining cognitive science with AI to create transparently safe human-robot collaborations. Now they mentor students in research and scientific communication to discover how intelligent machines can support human understanding through active collaboration.

Faculty Host: Ben Cosman

Meeting ID: 896 3944 0455 ; Password: csillinois

link for robots only