Mark Guzdial is a professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on learning sciences and technology, specifically, computing education research. Mark and his graduate students study how people from children through adults come to understand computing (including programming), and how we can make that learning better.
He has published several books (with his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson) on the use of media as a context for learning computing, an approach he calls Media Computation. For many people, the computer is less a tool for calculation than a tool for communication. Learning sciences research tells us that teaching within a context can lead to more engagement and better learning. Students in media computation classes learn to write programs to manipulate pixels in a picture, samples in a sound, characters in an HTML page, and frames in a video, thus learning to create effects like Photoshop filters, synthesized sounds, and digital video special effects. Media Computation classes have been adopted at hundreds of schools, and published studies document improved student retention from these classes.
Mark received his PhD in education and computer science from the University of Michigan in 1993. He serves on the ACM Education Board and the ACM SIGCSE Board, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Learning Sciences, ACM Transactions on Computing Education, and Communications of the ACM.