Gerald Soosairaj

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Faculty in CSE @ UC San Diego

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Research

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Hello, World! My name is Gerald Soosairaj and I am an Assistant Associate Teaching Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. My area of research is computing education and I co-lead the Computing Education Research Lab at UC San Diego. Prior to joining UC San Diego, I completed an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Computer Sciences and Education and a Masters in Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I did my undergraduate studies in B.Tech Information Technology at College of Engineering Guindy (CEG), Anna University in Chennai, India.

I am extremely passionate about teaching and have experience teaching multiple lower and upper division computing classes at UC San Diego and UW-Madison. I have taught a wide variety of students from many different backgrounds ranging from K-12 (4th and 5th grade children) to working professionals. I strongly support the creation and use of open educational resources (OER) in computing education to help students from lower socioeconomic status. I make all my course materials including but not limited to lecture videos, textbooks, class notes, programming assignments, and worksheets freely and publicly available online. I co-authored two free online interactive textbooks for introductory programming courses in Python and Java and they are widely used in our lower division CSE courses at UC San Diego.

I study effective, equitable, and inclusive ways to teach computing to diverse learners. Specifically, I focus on understanding and removing the barriers that non-native English speakers face while learning programming. I am the principal investigator (PI) on an NSF funded research project on determining the effectiveness of live coding, a teaching method based on cognitive apprenticeship, to teach programming processes (e.g., incremental development) to students with no prior programming experience (typically students from underrepresented groups). I also work on a project on understanding the gaps in secure programming knowledge and skills among undergraduate computing students.

One of my primary goals as a professor is to make the field of computing more inclusive to all learners irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, native language, sexual orientation, etc. I constantly strive towards achieving this goal by making diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to be the core focus of everything I do with my teaching, research, and outreach. I deeply care about making the field of computing and computing education more inclusive, accessible, and equitable so that we could attract and retain a diverse group of people.

In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis and practicing yoga. I love playing cricket, basketball, table tennis, and badmiton whenever I get a chance. I am an adventure enthusiast and have tried activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, climbing the Himalayas, and scuba diving!


Contact Information

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