Past Work:

My dissertation research focused on the learning of abstract data types (ADTs). The research dealt with studying the difficulties and the thinking processes involved in definition, implementation, and use of ADTs. To conduct the research, ethnographic and constructivist approaches were adopted due to the flexible research methods, parallel processes of data collection, analysis, and creation of field-grounded theory. These two approaches allowed me to deal with the question of knowledge, thinking process, and skill development by parallel processes of data collection, and analysis. The main data collection tools were observations and interviews. Observation in classes that were studying software design provided the opportunity to document the activities, behavior, reactions, environmental features, and more as they naturally occur. Later on, special kinds of interviews were conducted with the students as they solved problems, in order to try to understand the thinking processes while solving problems and the difficulties involved in problem solving. Thinking processes is much more important than studying the products. For this reason, the interviews included solving problems while thinking aloud. The problems were chosen in order to examine and confirm conjectures that were derived from the observations. In my dissertation research, I determined that qualitative methods are useful tools to understand and describe the world of human experience and thinking and to conduct research with people who are dealing with personal experiences, such as learning, understanding, teaching, solving problems, etc., and who are describing complex, interpersonal processes and skills.

Current Work:

My current research is to empirically compare the effectiveness of brainstorming, EPMcreate, and power-only EPMcreate as innovative creativity fostering techniques. Creative thinking in requirements engineering (RE) is crucial in creating new visions and discovering requirements for future information systems. Supporting and improving the RE process is a critical issue in managing information systems developments. The elicitation of requirements is often regarded as the first step in RE process, a step that enables the understanding of the goals, objectives, and motives for building a proposed software system. Elicitation should be enhanced by creative invention that discovers requirements that were not mentioned by anyone from whom requirements were elicited. The potential of techniques to foster creativity in RE is still underinvestigated. The EPMcreate technique consists of 16 steps, each of which represents one of the 16 ways of combining two stakeholders’ viewpoints to generate another viewpoint from which creative ideas can flow. In this research, I want to prove that one 4-element sub-list of the 16 steps, namely the power-only EPMcreate, is an effective optimized creativity fostering technique. I am also investigating how the size of a group using POEPMcreate affects the effectiveness in requirements idea generation of the whole group and of each member of the group.

Future work:

I started as an educational researcher whose research interests are the teaching and learning of computer science. I am still interested in how an education setting; the interaction between students, instructors, and the curriculum; and the ideas and expectations of students and instructors influence students learning. Teaching computer science requires not only knowledge of the subject matter but also pedagogical knowledge of how to teach the subject matter in ways that are useful and meaningful to the students and that foster deep conceptual understanding of the material.
I am also interested in: