Lisa Yan

About Me

Lisa Yan 

Lecturer in Computer Science
Stanford University

Email: yanlisa at stanford dot edu
Office: Gates 187 (Campus Map)
Phone: 650 . 736 . 4439 (office)

Winter 2021

Office hours: TBD

I'm teaching CS107 online! What exciting times we live in.

About Me

I (she/her) was born and raised on the east coast of the United States, in a small commuter town called Holmdel, NJ. Enticed by all the nice people in California, I studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science across the bay (UC Berkeley) before receiving my Masters and PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford. In the second half of my doctorate program, I decided that I want to transform people's lives for the better through education, and I set my research and career goal: to improve undergraduate CS education. I am so happy to be in my new role as a lecturer. Stop by, meet Poisson the Shark, and say hi!


Areas of Interest

Computer Science Education: Tools to understand how students learn

As classroom sizes grow, instructor workload also increases. Despite innovations in technology to scale education, little has been done to improve upon the most critical component of student learning: unsupervised work on assignments. In computer science education, learning process — the way in which students design, debug, and explore programming assignments — is instrumental to performance and mastery. Yet few studies have defined assignment-centric metrics to measure learning process, much less design systems that transform the way we think about unsupervised work today. My work explores how to improve student assignment work so that both the teacher and learner benefit. While many tools analyze only a student's final submission, I focus on a paradigm that collects in-depth snapshots of in-progress student work. By designing tools that reveal how a student learns, I give teachers the power to provide meaningful, personalized feedback.

Systems Education: Making computer systems courses more accessible

The field of computer systems requires creativity and tenacity. We must develop new curricula for undergraduates and graduates so that they can excel in these traits and hit the ground running to tackle cutting-edge networking problems. I am involved in assessing the value of Stanford's current B.S- and M.S-level networking courses. The first course in the system is a flipped classroom, designed to maximize student networking intuition, expand student knowledge, and hone programming and debugging skills. The second course is designed around research, and the necessary critical mindset one must take towards existing work.

Fostering New Teachers of Computer Science

The nature of a computer scientist is changing — to be creative, collaborative, and socially-involved. A basic understanding of CS can open doors to a new workforce and a better standard of living worldwide. What we are seeing today is that there many students that want to learn CS, but there are not enough educators properly equipped to teach. Not only should we grow the pool of teaching resources available, but also we should increase the number of teachers at every level — from K-12 to higher education.

If you are an undergraduate interested in an academic teaching career, read my document on the academic teaching job search (coming soon).

Publications and Invited Talks