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Dean's Lecture Series

Guzdial RIT

Established in 2003, the Dean's Lecture Series brings some of the leading minds in tech to the Golisano College to share their insights with students, faculty, and the community. The lectures are free and open to the public. 

Dean's Lecture Series presents Mark Guzdial

Date: October, 23, 2017

Time: 2:30-3:15pm

Location: GOL-Auditorium

Registration link:

Improving Computing Education with Learning Sciences: Predictions, Subgoals, and Parsons


Researchers still understand too little about the cognitive difficulties of learning programming, but we now have several new methods that measurably improve student success. These draw on lessons from across learning sciences. In this talk, Dr. Guzdial will describe three examples, where we improve success in learning computer science through application of lessons and models from the learning sciences. We can use prediction to help students retain knowledge from in-class live coding. We can improve learning and transfer by using subgoal labeling. We can use Parsons Problems to provide more flexible and efficient ways to learn programming.

Speaker Bio

Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. He studies how people come to understand computing and how to make that more effective. He leads the CSLearning4U project to create ebooks to help high school teachers learn computer science. He is one of the leaders on the NSF alliance “Expanding Computing Education Pathways" which helps US states improve and broaden their computing education. He invented Media Computation which uses media as a context for learning computing. With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award. He is an ACM Distinguished Educator and a Fellow of the ACM.

Dean’s Lecture Series presents Sir Dermot Turing

Date: October 13, 2017

Time: 12:15pm-1:15pm (please note this is a NEW time)

Alan Turing - The Man Behind The Myth

If you saw The Imitation Game you may have a picture of Alan Turing as solitary, difficult to deal with, and a victim of prejudice. Yet Alan Turing achieved much in a wide range of fields: pure mathematics, philosophy, cryptology, computer science, artificial intelligence, and developmental biology. Sir Dermot Turing, the author of the most recent biography of his famous uncle, challenges the conventional perception of Alan Turing. Using illustrations of Alan Turing’s work and personal accounts of what he was like to work with, the presentation will follow the course of Alan Turing’s achievements, describe how he actually did arrive at his ideas, and assess the tragic events at the end of his life.

Previous DLS speakers

Dr. Jeremy Pickens, Chief Scientist, Catalyst Repository Systems

Date: March 24th, 2017

Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm

Location: GOL-1400

Speaker Bio
Jeremy Pickens is a leading information retrieval research scientist and a pioneer in the field of collaborative exploratory search, a form of information seeking in which a group of people who share a common information need explicitly collaborate to achieve it. Dr. Pickens has seven patents and patents pending in the field of search and information retrieval. As Chief Scientist at Catalyst Repository Systems, Dr. Pickens has spearheaded the development of Insight Predict. His ongoing research and development focus on methods for continuous learning and the variety of real world technology assisted review workflows that are only possible with this approach. Dr. Pickens earned his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval. He conducted his post-doctoral work at King’s College, London. Before joining Catalyst, he spent five years as a research scientist at FX Palo Alto Lab, Inc. In addition to his Catalyst responsibilities, he continues to organize research workshops and speak at scientific conferences around the world.

Challenges and Opportunities in eDiscovery and Information Governance: Not Everything is Big Data

Information Retrieval and Machine Learning have found wide applicability in today's large scale consumer driven web and commercial spaces.  The collection of massive amounts of objective and subjective (e.g. behavioral) data has been a boon to these areas. However, there are a number of problem domains which, just as desperately, require proper solutions, but for which such volumes of data are not, nor will ever be, available.  Two such domains include eDiscovery and Information Governance.  In this talk, I will describe these domains, discuss some of their problem and challenges, and outline steps that have been taken toward solutions.

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All lectures are open to the public.

2016-2016 Speakers

October 14th, 2016 - Vicki Hanson, ACM President and Distinguished Professor

2015-2016 Speakers

October 16th, 2015 - Vint Cerf, vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google. 

November 5th, 2015 - James D. Herbsleb, Professor, Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon University


2014-2015 Speakers

March 17th, 2015 - Kaitlin Thaney, Director, Mozilla Science Lab

April 17th, 2015 - John Resig '05, Creator of jQuery and Dean of Open Source, Khan Academy (2015 Golisano College Distinguished Alumnus)

April 23rd, 2015 - Jennifer Lesser Henley, Director of Security Operations, Facebook


2013-2014 Speakers

October 11th, 2013 - Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program; co-leader of the World Economic Forum's Big Data and Personal Data Initiatives.

Hosted by the Golisano College Computer Science Department

November 15th, 2013Linda Northrop, Director of the Research, Technology, and System Solutions Program, Software Engineering Institute Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University 

Hosted by the Golisano College Software Engineering Department


Recent Past Speakers

Dr. Luis Von Ahn - CAPTCHA and Duolingo Creator; Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Gary McGraw - Software Security Expert; CTO, Cigital Inc. 

Dr. Mary Czerwinski - Research Manager of the Visualization and Interaction (VIBE) Research Group at Microsoft; ACM Distinguished Scientist

Dr. Hal Abelson - The Responsibility of Universitites in the Age of Information

For more information on the Dean's Lecture Series please contact Event Manager Nancy Dimock at