List of Special Projects Award Winners

Since 2003 SIGCSE has awarded a limited number of Special Projects Grants each year. These grants help SIGCSE members investigate and introduce new ideas in the learning and teaching of computing. Projects must provide some clear benefit to the wider disciplinary community in the form of new knowledge, developing or sharing of a resource, or good practice in learning, teaching, or assessment.

Here is a list of the awards from June 2018 till today. Click here for a full list of previous years.

June, 2018

CS Identity Development Interview Project

* Interim project report

Amanpreet Kapoor (
Christina Gardner-McCune
University of Florida
Award: $3,078
Award date: June, 2018

This project focuses on the development of professional identity in computer science students. Drs. Kapoor and Gardner-McCune will identify ways in which computer science students engage in communities of practice and will measure the amount of time students spend in professional experiences outside the classroom. The impact of these experiences on the development of professional identity will be explored through a qualitative study. The results of the study will include profiles of successful students and recommendations for faculty.

Developing a Serious Game to Reinforce Introductory Programming Concepts

Devorah Kletenik, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Deborah Sturm, College of Staten Island, City University of New York
Award: $5,000
Award date: June, 2018
Report: Interim Report

Drs. Kletenik and Sturm will create a game to introduce programming concepts to undergraduate students. The game will include a storyline, sound effects, graphics, power-ups and short quiz-like challenges. It will provide students with an opportunity to practice their programming skills. The game is intended for a broad audience; gamers and non-gamers, females and underrepresented groups will be consulted during the creation of the game. In addition, a wide-scale evaluation of the effectiveness of the game will be performed. The game will be available as a WebGL and will be playable in a browser without downloading or installation. It will be released under a Free Software license, enabling others to modify the game if so desired.

Developing and Testing Activities Introducing Elementary School Students to Artificial Intelligence

David Touretzky (
Carnegie Mellon University
Award: $4,440
Award date: June, 2018

Dr. Touretzky will develop hands-on activities designed to introduce elementary school children to artificial intelligence concepts. Activities will include topics such as computer vision, face and voice recognition, speech generation, navigation and robotics. The project will include twice-weekly instruction for over 300 elementary school children during academic year 2018-2019. Learning outcomes and student interest in AI will be measured. In addition, PowerPoint slides and supplementary materials will be developed for the classroom teachers. Materials will be cataloged in a resource directory supported by the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

November, 2018

Interactive resources for training CS TAs

Colleen Lewis
Harvey Mudd College, USA
Phillip Conrad
University of California, USA
Award: $5,000
Award date: November, 2018

A card game to help CS faculty create inclusive classrooms. Extension of existing game. A novel idea

The CS-Ed Podcast

Kristin Stephens-Martinez
Duke University, USA
Award: $5,000
Award date: November, 2018

6 podcasts of best practices in computing education.

Software History Examples

Kim Tracy
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, USA
Award: $5,000
Award date: November, 2018

Collection and development of important historical software examples to teach the history of software. Novel and interesting from historical perspective.

Active Learning Materials for Machine Learning

Olga Glebova & Pavel Skums
Georgia State University, USA
Award: $5,000
Award date: November, 2018

The applicants will develop, test and refine 12 sets of active learning materials for Machine Learning (ML) course suited for undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science (CS). Activities will follow POGIL (Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) methodology

May, 2019

Developing Physical Manipulatives and Games for Teaching Advanced Data Structures

Mark Goadrich
Hendrix College, USA
Award: $4,598
Award date: May, 2019

This project will develop engaging manipulatives specifically developed for physically demonstrating concepts in advanced data structures. Instructors will be able to use these tools to support lessons on sorting algorithms, binary search trees, heaps, sets, and hash tables.

Decoding Doctoral Student Departure: Faculty and Student Perspectives

Kari George, UCLA, USA
Award: $3,500
Award date: May, 2019

Dive into Systems ​ - A Free Online Textbook for Introductory Computer Systems Topics

Tia Newall
Swarthmore College, USA
Co-applicants: Suzanne Matthews, Kevin C. Webb
Award: $5,000
Award date: May, 2019

The purpose of this project is to develop and promote a free online textbook that covers introductory computer systems, architecture and parallel computing.

Developing Ethics Modules for Core CS and DS Courses

Lori Carter
Co-applicants: Catherine Crockett, Whitney Featherston, Morgan Wheeler
Point Loma Nazarene University, USA
Award: $2,900
Award date: May, 2019

Two professors and two students at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) have been working for the last year to create a series of 10-20 minute ethics modules that can be integrated into core Computer Science and Data Science courses. This project is for focus groups to obtain student feedback on the new modules and for subsequent refinement.

A 50 year retrospective on academic integrity and computer ethics in CS Education

(Special theme “SIGCSE: 50 Years and Beyond”)
Farah Tokmic
University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA
Award: $5,000
Award date: May, 2019

Previous Years

To see more awards use the links below: