Margaret Ellis

Award Recipient
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Margaret Ellis is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.  Margaret earned her B.S. in Mathematics and M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.  She joined the faculty after doing work in industry and a stint in secondary teaching.

On the heels of initiatives to broaden participation in CS0 and CS1 courses, Professor Ellis has dedicated her teaching, research, and service to the student experience inside and outside the classroom after those courses. She redesigned the CS2 course at Virginia Tech to be taught at scale using innovative tools to increase student engagement. Through her involvement coordinating CS2 and studying student motivation she is implementing and researching CS teaching assistant training to provide a caring environment in which students believe that they can succeed in the course.

Professor Ellis also designs and coordinates a practical skills and problem solving course for students after their first CS course, exposing them early to subfields of Computer Science and preparing them for internships and research. In conjunction with this effort, she has developed an undergraduate research program focused on exposing early undergraduates to Computers Systems research. The Broadening Undergraduate Research Groups in Systems (BURGS) initiative creates an accessible and welcoming environment for students to build their competencies and inspire their curiosity. The Computer Systems Genome Project was the seminal project of this initiative.

Over the past five years, the Computer Systems Genome Project has recruited a diverse group of over 70 students and provided them with a scaffolded experiential learning opportunity to research and develop a public repository of computer systems performance data. In 2023, this team developed and showcased their Hidden Figures sub-project cooperatively with the “I am HPC” theme of SC23 for the 35th anniversary exhibit.

Professor Ellis is also highly engaged in her department initiatives that focus on ethics curriculum, academic integrity, and outreach.

2024 Mary Kenneth Keller Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award
“For outstanding contributions to undergraduate education through teaching and service creating an inclusive community of experiential undergraduate mentorship.”
Learn more about the Mary Kenneth Keller Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award