Mr. Glenn Strong

Mr. Glenn Strong

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

3531896 3629https://www.scss.tcd.ie/Glenn.Strong

Biography

Glenn Strong is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a BSc in Computing Science from the University of Stirling, Scotland (1994). He is a member of the Discipline of Software Systems, the Foundations and Methods research group, the Centre for Research in IT and Education (CRITE), and the Computational Thinking for Life (CT4L) research group. His research interests include Functional Programming, Formal Methods, Type Theory, Computational Thinking, and Programming Education. He has taught on wide range of undergraduate and and postgraduate programmes in areas including functional programming, software engineering, object-oriented programming, networking.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

  • Andrew Butterfield and Glenn Strong, Proving correctness of programs with IO - A paradigm comparison, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Implementation of Functional Languages, 13th International Workshop, IFL 2001, Stockholm, Sweden, September, edited by Thomas Arts and Markus Mohnen , 2312, 2001, pp72 - 87Conference Paper, 2001, DOI
  • Butterfield, Andrew and Dowse, Malcolm and Strong, Glenn, Proving make correct: I/O proofs in Haskell and Clean, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Implementation of Functional Languages, 14th International Workshop, IFL 2002, Madrid, Spain, 16-18 September 2002, edited by R. Peña and T. Arts , 2670, 2002, pp16 - 18Conference Paper, 2002, DOI , URL
  • Nina Bresnihan, Richard Millwood, Elizabeth Oldham, Glenn Strong and Diana Wilson, A critique of the current trend to implement computing in schools, Pedagogika, 65, (3), 2015, p292 - 300Journal Article, 2015, URL
  • Mac an Airchinnigh, Glenn Strong, SOCIAL NETWORKS AND THE NATIONAL ART GALLERY (DUBLIN| |SOFIA), Publishing in the networked world: Transforming the Nature of Communication, 14th International Conference on Electronic Publishing, Helsinki, Finland, 2010, pp217 - 233Conference Paper, 2010, URL
  • Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Pamela Cowan, CTWINS: Improving Computational Thinking Confidence in Educators Through Paired Activities, Proceedings of the 11th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Münster, Germany, ACM, 2016, pp106 - 107Conference Paper, 2016, DOI
  • Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, CTwins: Does Computational Thinking win when Coding Twins are born?, Educational Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork, Ireland, 20-22 April 2017, 2017Conference Paper, 2017
  • Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Richard Millwood, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, Developing confident computational thinking through teacher twinning online, 2017 ATEE Spring Conference - Innovation, Technologies and Research in Education, Riga, Latvia, 12-13th May 2017, 2017Conference Paper, 2017
  • Bresnihan, N., Millwood, R., Strong, G. , Defining Computational Thinking across the Lifecourse, British Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference 2015, Belfast, Northern Ireland, September 15-17, 201, 2015Conference Paper, 2015
  • Strong, G., Higgins, C., Bresnihan, N., Millwood, R., A Survey of the Prior Programming Experience of Undergraduate Computing and Engineering Students in Ireland, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE), Dublin, 3-6 July 2017, edited by Tatnall A., Webb M. , 515, Springer, 2018, pp473 - 483Conference Paper, 2018, DOI , URL
  • Oldham, Elizabeth; Cowan, Pamela; Millwood, Richard; Strong, Glenn; Bresnihan, Nina; Amond, Mags; Hegarty, Lisa, Developing Confident Computational Thinking through Teacher Twinning Online, International Journal of Smart Education and Urban Society (IJSEUS) , 9, (1), 2018, p61 - 75Journal Article, 2018, DOI
  • Richard Millwood, Elizabeth Oldham, Pamela Cowan, Glenn Strong, Nina Bresnihan, Mags Amond, and Lisa Hegarty, Art and Programming in Pairs to Develop Computational Thinking, 2017 ATEE Annual Conference - Changing Perspectives and Approaches in Contemporary Teaching, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 23-25 October 2017, 2017Oral Presentation, 2017
  • Strong, Glenn and O'Carroll, Sean and Bresnihan, Nina, A Block Based Editor for Python, Proceedings of the 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, New York, NY, USA, ACM, 2018, pp30:1--30:2Conference Paper, 2018, DOI , URL
  • Alsheaibi, Abeer and Strong, Glenn and Millwood, Richard, The Need for a Learning Model in Coderdojo Mentoring Practice, Proceedings of the 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, New York, NY, USA, ACM, 2018, pp27:1--27:2Conference Paper, 2018, DOI , URL
  • Bresnihan, N.; Strong, G.; Fisher, L.; Millwood, R. and Lynch, Á, OurKidsCode: Facilitating Families to Be Creative with Computing, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2019 : 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Heraklion,Crete, May 2- May 4, 2019, 1, 2019, pp519 - 530Conference Paper, 2019, DOI
  • Nina Bresnihan, Glenn Strong, Lorraine Fisher, Richard Millwood, and Áine Lynch, OurKidsCode: a National Programme to get Families Involved in CS Education, Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE '19), Aberdeen, Scotland UK, July 15-17, 2019, ACM, 2019, pp298 - 298Conference Paper, 2019, DOI
  • Prior Programming Experience of Undergraduate Computing and Engineering Students in Ireland in, editor(s)Tatnall A. , Encyclopedia of Education and Information Technologies, Cham, Springer, 2020, [Strong G., Higgins C., Bresnihan N., Millwood R.]Book Chapter, 2020, DOI
  • Abeer Alsheaibi, Meriel Huggard, Glenn Strong, Teaching within the CoderDojo Movement: An Exploration of Mentors' Teaching Practices, IEEE Frontiers in Education, Uppsala, Sweden (moved online), 21-24th October 2020, IEEE, 2020, pp1-5Conference Paper, 2020, DOI , TARA - Full Text
  • Nina Bresnihan, Aibhín Bray, Lorraine Fisher, Glenn Strong, Richard Millwood, Brendan Tangney, Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education and Computing Attitudes and Behaviours in the Home: Model and Scale Development, ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 21, (3), 2021, p1 - 24Journal Article, 2021, DOI
  • Strong, G. and North, B., Pytch - an environment for bridging block and text programming styles (Work in progress), The 16th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Erlangen, Germany/Online, edited by Berges M., Muhling A., Armoni M. , Association for Computing Machinery, 2021Conference Paper, 2021, DOI , URL
  • N Bresnihan, A Bray, L Fisher, G Strong, R Millwood, B Tangney, Parental involvement in computer science education and computing attitudes and behaviours in the home: Model and scale development, ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGSCE) 2022, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, March 2-7, 2022, ACM SIGSCEInvited Talk, 2022, URL
  • Bresnihan N., Strong G., Fisher L., Millwood R., Lynch A., Increasing Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education Through the Design and Development of Family Creative Computing Workshops, Communications in Computer and Information Science, 1220, 2020, p479 - 502Journal Article, 2020, DOI
  • Strong, Glenn and North, Ben and Fiori, Sara and Gillespie, Brian and Bresnihan, Nina, Pytch - Supporting Learners over the Bridge from Blocks to Text, Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on United Kingdom & Ireland Computing Education Research, New York, NY, USA, Association for Computing Machinery, 2023, pp1Conference Paper, 2023, DOI , URL
  • Arts, T and Mohnen M(ed.), 13th International workshop on the Implementation of Functional Languages, LNCS, Stockholm, Sweden, 2312/2002, September 2001, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2002, 31-42 pProceedings of a Conference, 2002, URL
  • Mícheál Mac an Airchinnigh, Glenn Strong, Catherine Giltrap, Shane Brennan, Mike Brady, What makes a great mobile digital art exhibition, ElPub2011 Digital Publishing and Mobile Technologies, Istanbul, June 22-24, edited by Yasar Tonta et al. , Hacettepe University Department of Information Management, 2011, pp52 - 61Conference Paper, 2011, TARA - Full Text
  • Strong, G, A tutorial on the Concurrent Clean IO libraries, TCD, 1998Report, URL
  • Strong, G, Notes on "Algebra of Programming", TCD, 1999Report, URL
  • Butterfield, A., Strong, G., Comparing Proofs about I/O in Three Programming Paradigms, TCD, TCD, 2001Report, URL
  • Malcolm Dowse, Glenn Strong and Andrew Butterfield, Proving "make" Correct: I/O Proofs in Two Functional Languages, TCD, TCD, 2003Report, URL
  • Bresnihan, N., Byrnes J., Millwood, R., Strong, G., Scratching through the Ceiling, Scratch AMS 7th International Scratch Conference, Amsterdam, 12-15 August 2015, 2015Conference Paper
  • Glenn Strong, Richard Millwood, A Survey of Prior Experience of Computing and Engineering Undergraduates, Third level computing forum, Dublin, 2017Invited Talk
  • Glenn Strong, Ben North, Nina Bresnihan, Pytch - "Scratch-oriented programming" in Python, Scratch Conference Europe 2019, Churchill College, Cambridge, 23-25 August 2019, 2019Oral Presentation

Research Expertise

My research is focused on improving the ways in which students engage with computing education, and particularly how they develop the key skill of programming. This requires us to understand both the context in which this education is happening, and to identify or create the correct frameworks and learning tools to support this. This work is particularly important as the global trend to embed computing at all stages of the educational cycle grows - in Ireland Computer Science has been introduced at Leaving Certificate level and is being considered at primary level. I lead the SFI Discover funded "Pytch" project (total of approx €350,000 since 2022) which is building software tools and learning resources to help young students of computer science make the transition from block-based to text-based programming languages. The Pytch online programming environment aims to improve take-up of Computer Science by smoothing the transition from 'beginner' programming environments to mainstream tools, through the development of a new environment which brings the familiar Scratch-style programming model to the Python language. For the OurKidsCode project (approx €700,000 in SFI Discover funding since 2018) under the Lead PI Nina Bresnihan, I am Co-PI leading the development of workshops and learning tools for family creative computing. The impact of this will be to grow a national network of coding clubs involving parents of primary school children who will engage with computing as a creative activity. These workshops are now being rolled out nationally in collaboration with the National Parents Council and CoderDojo mentors, with financial support from Microsoft. In the CTwins project I was the project programming expert, where I created an innovative model for collaborative online creative computing for education. I am focused on developing approaches to computing education based on collaborative constructivist principles to increase engagement in informal environments. I am developing software tools targeting learners at the crucial transition point from the successful tools targeting early (primary age) learners to the traditional software tools that target adult learners. Approaches based on this combination of collaborative human environments and supportive technology have been shown to have positive impact. Any understanding of how to improve education in this area needs to be grounded in a better understanding of the current context that we have. To this end I have designed and lead an ongoing multi-year project in which colleagues across Ireland have collaborated to supply data on undergraduates who study programming. The project establishes the extent of their prior exposure to programming, giving insight into the current Irish context for computer science education, as well as the evolving nature, origins, and usefulness of ongoing grassroots activities. The project continues to gather data to illustrate how this is changing over time.

  • Title
    Phase 2 Supporting families' continued engagement in computing
    Summary
    Phase 2 of the workshop extended the single-workshop model of the OurKidsCode project to encourage more sustained and deeper involvement through a 4-part workshop series and a community of practice. It involved the design, development and evaluation of this series and the expansion of the OurKidsCode offering to encourage continuing engagement and Parental Involvement in CS Education.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    Jan 2019
    Date To
    Dec 2019
  • Title
    Pytch Phase 2: Bridging Blocks to Text in the Curriculum
    Summary
    Our Pytch programming environment, created with support from SFI Discover, is a system to help learners at a crucial stage in computing education. The transition from block-based programming to text-based programming is widely recognised as a challenge to learners and educators alike. Pytch's unique insight in addressing this difficulty is the preservation of the Scratch-style programming model within a Python programming environment. Our results from phase 1 indicate that we have a novel, powerful approach that can support learners more effectively than existing systems. At the same time our user engagement has revealed the need to expand the platform, in two senses, which we propose to address in Phase 2. First, we will scale up our evaluation of the core environment, among an increased geographic breadth, and diversity of users. Emerging feedback will continue to steer development, improving Pytch"s ability to support educators and learners of all types. Second, we will scale out the scope of the offering. As progress is being made in bringing computer science and coding into earlier stages of the national educational system, the blocks/text transition problem is pressing, and needs a holistic solution. Learning materials and support features built around the core Pytch environment will result in a classroom-ready framework to ease the learning pathway across this difficult transition point. Our initiative will design this framework in a co-creation process with educators and learners, ensuring that the necessary supports to retain learners in the STEM pipeline will be in place exactly when they are needed.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    January 1 2023
    Date To
    December 31 2024
  • Title
    OurKidsCode: Delivering Family Creative Coding Workshops Nationally
    Summary
    Funding was awarded for the national roll-out and evaluation of the OurKidCode programme along with further research into Parental Involvement in Computer Science education.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    Jan 2020
    Date To
    Ongoing
  • Title
    Pytch: A Bridge from Block to Text Programming
    Summary
    The Pytch project aims to improve takeup of Computer Science (CS) in Ireland by smoothing the transition from 'beginner' programming environments to the mainstream tools used in later years and in industry. It will do this through the development of a new environment which brings a familiar Scratch-style programming model to the Python language. Beginner-oriented block-based programming environments are popular for introducing learners to computing and are widely used in both formal and informal settings. There is considerable evidence that students suffer a significant drop-off in engagement and confidence in their programming ability in the transition to text-based tools such as Python. Pytch will support learners at this crucial stage, where they often turn from viewing coding and CS as a fun, creative activity to seeing it as a drier and more difficult 'subject'. Learners will be able to continue using much of what they have learned through successful introductions to programming with Scratch as they move on to programming in Python. Pytch will achieve this by: (1) providing a browser-based environment that supports writing engaging multimedia content in Python, (2) retaining the Scratch programming model of Sprites and events so learners need not immediately learn an entirely new programming paradigm, and (3) providing a complete online environment, including tutorials, and other supports.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    2022/01/01
    Date To
    2022/12/31
  • Title
    OurKidsCode
    Summary
    OurKidsCode is a joint project between Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National Parents' Council (NPC) which aims to promote and support parents/guardians who wish to engage their primary-school children's interest and activity in coding and Computational Thinking (CT). It proposes to do this through the design, development and delivery of family creative coding workshops which look at ways of engaging children and their families as computational co-creators. We are aiming to strengthen the social support around a child by engaging their peers, families, and community as learning partners as they pursue pathways into computing.
    Funding Agency
    SFI
    Date From
    Jan 2018
    Date To
    Dec 2018

Recognition

  • Master in Arts (jure officii) 2015
  • Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) Ongoing
  • Irish Free Software Organisation Ongoing
  • Ireland ACM SIGCSE Chapter Ongoing
  • Computing at School (CAS) Ongoing
  • QQI Expert Group multimedia and electro-technology awards (December 2014 -- January 2017). Designed new modules and new FETAC level 5 and 6 awards. Panel member
  • QQI Validation panel. February - August 2017. I reviewed and validated new Level 5 and 6 offerings made by 7 regional Education and Training Boards. Panel member
  • Chair Irish Free Software Organisation. Chair of national grassroots organisation which has made contributions to public debate and policy discussion at European and National levels. 2004-ongoing