I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, studying computer science education. My research interests include gender issues in computer science education, how CS departments make policy decisions about their undergraduate programmes, and how instructors (and TAs) understand their teaching practices.
Contact: my last name @cs.toronto.edu
Office: BA 4202
Pronunciation in IPA: any of /pa'titsas/ (pah-TEET-sahs), /pəˈtitsəs/ and /pʌˈtitsəs/ are good with me. (The original Greek is Πατίτσας.)
|2013–present||Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto||Advisors: Steve Easterbrook and Michelle Craig|
|2011–2013||M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto||Advisors: Steve Easterbrook and Michelle Craig|
|2007–2011||B.Sc. (Honours) in Integrated Sciences (Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics), University of British Columbia||Advisors: Meghan Allen (thesis), Patrice Belleville (thesis), and Steve Wolfman (academic advisor)|
This term (spring 2016) I'm a TA for CSC 209 (Software Tools and Systems Programming) and CSC 2720 (Systems Thinking for Global Problems).
Instructorships at U of T
- Spring 2015: CSC 120 (Computer Science for the Sciences)
- Spring 2014: CSC 120 (Computer Science for the Sciences)
- Spring 2013: CSC 190 (Computer Algorithms and Data Structures)
Teaching assistantships at U of T
- Fall 2015: Help Centre
- Fall 2014: CSC 209 (Software Tools and Systems Programming)
- Fall 2012: CSC 192 (Data Structures and Algorithms)
- Spring 2012: CSC 258 (Computer Organization)
- Fall 2011: CSC 148 (Introduction to Computer Science)
- Fall 2011: CSC 165 (Mathematical Expression and Reasoning for Computer Science)
Teaching assistantships at UBC
- Summer 2011: CPSC 221 (Basic Algorithms and Data Structures)
- Spring 2011: CPSC 121 (Models of Computation)
- Fall 2010: CPSC 121 (Models of Computation)
- Summer 2010: CPSC 121 (Models of Computation)
- Summer 2010: CPSC 221 (Basic Algorithms and Data Structures)
- Spring 2010: CPSC 121 (Models of Computation)
- Fall 2009: CPSC 111 (Introduction to Computation)
- Spring 2009: CPSC 121 (Models of Computation)
- Fall 2008: CPSC 111 (Introduction to Computation)
Other teaching roles at UBC
Published experience reports and teaching demos
- A Numpy-First Approach to Teaching CS1 to Natural Science Students. Elizabeth Patitsas. ITiCSE 2015. (pdf)
- Dr. Horrible's Fork Bomb: A Lab For Introducing Security Issues in CS2. Elizabeth Patitsas, Daniel Levy. ITiCSE 2013. (pdf)
- "Dictionary Wars": An Inverted, Leaderboard-Driven Project for Learning Dictionary Data Structures. Steve Wolfman, Kuba Karpierz, Joel Kitching, Brendan Shillingford, Elizabeth Patitsas. SIGCSE 2013.
- Teaching CPU Architecture: A New Way to Provide Effective Scaffolding. Elizabeth Patitsas, Vanessa Kroeker, Rachel Jordan, Kimberly Voll. Koli Calling, November 2012. (Poster here)
- Teaching Labs on Pseudorandom Number Generation. Elizabeth Patitsas. ITiCSE, July 2012. (pdf and slides here)
On diversity in CS (2013-present)Looking at organizational, systemic change affecting diversity in computer science.
- How CS Departments are Managing the Enrolment Boom: Troubling Implications for Diversity. Elizabeth Patitsas, Michelle Craig, Steve Easterbrook. RESPECT 2016. (pdf, slides)
- Scaling up Women in Computing Initiatives: What Can We Learn from a Public Policy Perspective?. Elizabeth Patitsas, Steve Easterbrook, Michelle Craig. ICER 2015. (pdf and slides here)
- A Historical Examination of the Social Factors Affecting Female Participation in Computing. Elizabeth Patitsas, Steve Easterbrook, Michelle Craig. ITiCSE 2014. (pdf and slides here)
- Investigating the effects of women-in-CS initiatives. Elizabeth Patitsas. ICER 2013.
CS grades aren't bimodal! (2013-present)Statistical analysis of CS grade distributions; how instructors perceive their grade distributions (with Jesse Berlin).
- Evidence That Computer Science Grades Are Not Bimodal. Elizabeth Patitsas, Jesse Berlin, Michelle Craig and Steve Easterbrook. ICER 2016. Won the John Henry Award. (pdf, slides)
On adding social context to CS (2012-2013)I participated in an ITiCSE 2012 working group on 'Computing for Social Good', focusing on sharing CS1 assignments with social context. Providing social context to CS1 is beneficial for many students -- and disproportionately so for underrepresented groups.
- Computer science education for social good. Michael Goldweber, John Barr, Elizabeth Patitsas. SIGCSE 2013.
- A framework for enhancing the social good in computing education: a values approach. Michael Goldweber, John Barr, Tony Clear, Renzo Davoli, Samuel Mann, Elizabeth Patitsas, Scott Portnoff. Working Group Report. ITiCSE, July 2012. (pdf and slides here). Won the Best Working Group award.
On CS1/2 assessments (2013)I participated in an ITiCSE 2013 working group on collecting and categorizing CS1/2 multiple choice questions.
- The Canterbury QuestionBank: building a repository of multiple-choice CS1 and CS2 questions. Kate Sanders, Marzieh Ahmadzadeh, Tony Clear, Stephen H. Edwards, Mikey Goldweber, Chris Johnson, Raymond Lister, Robert McCartney, Elizabeth Patitsas, Jaime Spacco. ITiCSE 2013. (pdf)
On using compare+contrast to teach CS2 (2012-2013)This work was from my Master's thesis. We found that teaching variants of data structures side-by-side, and having students compare and contrast the different data structures led to more student learning than if you present the different data structures sequentially.
- Comparing and Contrasting Different Algorithms Leads to Increased Student Learning. Elizabeth Patitsas, Michelle Craig, Steve Easterbrook. ICER 2013. (pdf, blog post)
- On the Many Misconceptions about #Hashtables. Elizabeth Patitsas, Michelle Craig, Steve Easterbrook. SIGCSE 2013.
On supporting teaching assistants (2009-2011)Most of this work came out of my undergraduate thesis, which was a qualitative evaluation of teaching assistant experiences in teaching CS at UBC.
- A Case Study of the Development of CS Teaching Assistants and Their Experiences with Team Teaching. Elizabeth Patitsas. Koli 2013. (pdf and slides here)
- A Case Study of Environmental Factors Influencing Teaching Assistant Job Satisfaction. Elizabeth Patitsas. ICER 2012. (pdf and slides here)
- What can we learn from quantitative teaching assistant evaluations? Elizabeth Patitsas, Patrice Belleville. WCCCE 2012. (pdf and slides here)
On teaching digital logic (2008-2012)How do we make digital logic labs interesting and engaging for students? I was part of a project to redevelop the lab curriculum for the digital logic course at UBC. During the process I surveyed students and TAs about the labs, to evaluate the curriculum changes.
- Effective Closed Labs in Early CS Courses: Lessons from Eight Terms of Action Research. Elizabeth Patitsas, Steve Wolfman. SIGCSE 2012. (pdf and slides here)
- Revitalizing Labs: Lessons from 2.5 Years of Iterative Development and Assessment of Digital Logic Labs. Elizabeth Patitsas, Steven Wolfman, Meghan Allen. SIGCSE, March 2011. Also presented at the CWSEI End-of-Year Event, April 2011. Poster here)
- Changes in CPSC 121: Toward a Coherent Picture of Computation. Elizabeth Patitsas, Kimberly Voll. CWSEI End-of-Year Event, April 2010. Also presented at UBC Celebrate Learning, June 2010. (Poster here)
- Circuits and Logic in the Lab. Elizabeth Patitsas, Kimberly Voll, Mark Crowley, Steven Wolfman. Western Canadian Conference on Computing Education, May 2010. (pdf)
- Revising an Introductory Computer Science Course: Exploratory Labs, Interactive Lectures, and Just-in-Time Teaching. Gwen Echlin, Piam Kiarostami, Elizabeth Patitsas, Steven Wolfman. CWSEI End-of-Year Event, April 2009. (Poster here)
Outside my academics, I enjoy rock climbing (mostly indoors), playing strategy board games (my collection), cooking vegan food, and gardening.
Whenever I get the chance, I also love hiking, scrambling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and any other excuse to be around mountains and forests.
These are my cats -- on the left is Geordie, and on the right is his sister Marjane ('Marjie'):