University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2016 White House Champion of Change
On this page, I describe the various awards and grants I have won as part of my scholarly work. I have won awards from Oracle Corporation in 2011 for my work on development environments for people with disabilities, the U.S. White House under president Barack Obama for my work on the Quorum programming language. My research lab also won an award from Code.org, which was described by Melinda Gates as a lifetime achievement award. Besides these honors, I have been fortunate enough to have won five major grants from the National Science Foundation, which has allowed me to hire some wonderful students and to collaborate with some amazing investigators. These various awards and grants are described below.
This award, given by Code.org and the Computer Science Teacher's Association (CSTA) was given for work on making computer science more accessible to people with disabilities. It was presented by Melinda gates.
As part of my work, I was honored in 2016 as a White House Champion of Change. This is a video created by Amy Poehler's smart girls for the event. This event was part of the push in the united states toward Computer Science For All. You can read more about this here:
This is an award provided by Oracle Corporation for a tool I developed called Sodbeans. This tool was an early attempt to make development environments more accessible.
2016 - present
PI: Collaborative Research: AccessCSforAll: Including Students with Disabilities in High School Computer Science. Funded: $988,929, $472,458 (To UNLV)
This is a collaborative grant with Richard Ladner at the University of Washington. Our goal is to increase the number of students with disabilities that participate in computer science in K-12, targeting high school. This work funds the Quorum project and the creation of a series of new technologies in that infrastructure. As part of this grant, we collaborated with code.org to make their curriculum accessible.Link to AccessCSForAll Page
2017 - 2018
PI: (NSF CNS-1639097) Collaborative Research: CS 10K: AccessCS10K: Including Students with Disabilities in Computing Education for the Twenty-First Century: $94,939 Expected award date is 9/1/2016.
This was a supplement to an existing NSF grant to hire additional help. For this particular supplement, I requested an extension of the amount of time my staff member, William Allee, can be hired on the grant. Second, I requested more travel funding and support to hire professional teachers to help with curriculum development efforts.
2016 - present
Co-PI: (DRL 1640131) Research Supporting Multisensory Engagement by Blind, Visually Impaired, and Sighted Students to Advance Integrated Learning of Astronomy and Computer Science: $2,499,187 (UNLV Portion, $244,528) Expected award date is 8/1/2016.
This is a grant to the STEM + C program that is designed to teach astronomy and computer science to young students. Notably, this includes funding to create technologies that allow astronomy to be made accessible to the blind or visually impaired. There are a multitude of partners on this grant throughout the United States. The lead investigator is Tim Spuck (AUI).Link to IDATA Page
2016 - present
Co-PI: (NSF, DRL 1644491) Perceptual and Implementation Strategies for Knowledge Acquisition of Digital Tactile Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired Students $916,978 (UNLV Portion, $218,588) Expected award date is unknown at the time of this writing.
This is a grant submitted for a dear colleague letter from the NSF on vibro-tactile displays. The broad idea looks at how such displays are perceived by humans and how to use this information to make it easier for blind or visually impaired individuals to understand complex information (e.g., graphs, visual simulations). It is being done in collaboration with Jenna Gorlewicz (St. Louis University), Derrick Smith (University of Alabama, Huntsville), and Nick Giuduce (University of Maine).
PI: National Science Foundation, CE-21 CNS-1440878. AccessCS10K: Including Students with Disabilities in Computing Education for the Twenty-First Century. Funded: $474,695.
This is a collaborative grant with Richard Ladner at the University of Washington. As part of this grant, we worked with a series of partners to make their tools and curriculum more accessible. Technologies included accessible 3D gaming, enhancements to the Quorum compiler, and more.
2010 - 2014
PI: Broadening Participation in Computing NSF CNS-0940521. Collaborative Research: BPC-DP: Building an Educational Infrastructure for Students at K-12 Schools for the Blind to Broaden Participation in Computing. Funded: $592,920 (SIUE: $409,056)
The purpose of this grant was to create the Quorum programming language and to start a national infrastructure for blind or visually impaired students to participate in computer science. As part of it, I completed the following activities: 1) created and implemented the Quorum programming language, 2) started the national infrastructure I proposed, and 3) wrote a variety of publications on aspects of the project, which ultimately led to the awards I am winning today. The work started in this grant has persisted long past the initial funding, for more than a decade.
The National Science Foundation regularly issues Research Experience for Undergraduate grants (REU) to our lab for students to collaborate with us.