Interim Executive Dean
EC&MS Faculty Services
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Professor Falkner is Interim Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and leads the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER), and the Modelling & Analysis Program within the Distributed and Intelligent Technologies Group (DIT) within the School of Computer Science.
Professor Falkner has extensive experience in industry consultation, including work with DST Group, NICTA, Google US, Google Australia & New Zealand, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, and Telstra Foundation, crossing both the areas of Computer Science Education (within CSER) and Distributed Systems and Modelling (within DIT). As part of her work within CSER, Professor Falkner has led the development of the CSER MOOCs - open online courses for Australian teachers to help prepare them for the Digital Technologies Curriculum, and leads the national CSER Digital Technologies Education Program, designed to support Australian teachers in teaching Computer Science, with an emphasis on supporting young women, low-SES and Indigenous populations.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
Computer Science Education Research Group
My education research interests range from understanding how we can better teach fundamental computer science and computational thinking skills, to how we can apply computer science to better improve learning and learning environments. I am the leader of the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER) based in the School of Computer Science. The CSER group aims to promote research and scholarship both within the field of Computer Science Education and more broadly in the Higher Education sector. The goal of CSER is to understand how we can improve the teaching and learning of computing, and how contemporary issues in higher education, such as the use of new technologies can impact upon the teaching and learning environment.
We lead the CSER Digital Technologies Education Program, where we support Australian teachers in developing skill and confidence in the new Digital Technologies learning area, as well as undertaking research into how we scaffold and understand the development of Computational Thinking skills in K-6.
We also explore how we can use Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Information Retrieval techniques to better support learning, and to better understand how learning occurs within learning environments, such as within Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We explore the development of learning models within MOOC contexts that support good practice pedagogy, and community-based learning environments.
Current Research Staff
- Dr Rebecca Vivian, Research Fellow
- Dr Thushari Atapattu, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
- Hamid Tarmazdi, Research Assistant
We are currently seeking PhD student applications for students passionate about Computer Science Education Research. If you are interested, please review these example project descriptions for further details:
- Project: Analysis of Unstructured Social Media Data to Identify Cyber-bullying Attempts
- Project: Understanding learner behaviour in visual programming environments
- Project: A touch-sensitive programming experience for children
- Project: Connect to create: Multi-user, collaborative visual programming environment
- Project: Detecting Computational Thinking with smart sensor analytics
Distributed and Intelligent Technologies Group
My discipline research is in the areas of Software Architecture and Distributed Systems, leading the Modelling and Analysis program within DIT. Within this project we are exploring techniques for developing accurate performance models for distributed software systems so that we can better understand the Space, Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints of systems operating within constrained environments, including defence environments such as combat management systems, but also other constrained environments such as seen within drone platforms. This work has benefit well outside of the defence space, as can be seen by our recent collaboration with the Ecology and Environmental Science area within the University to explore how we can better create drone environments to support conservation efforts across a range of physical environmental conditions.
In strong collaboration with colleagues based at Australia' Defence Science and Technology Group, DIT has led the development of the MEDEA modelling environment, which supports performance modelling of software systems in early stages of design and development, including the integration of existing software components, and supporting a range of representative hardware platforms, including FPGA, GPU, VM and Cloud-based environments.
In addition to this existing work, we are leading a new collaboration exploring how we can best support support the targeting of new reconfigurable hardware platforms in software development, including the development of case studies of cutting-edge hardware, and opportunities for automated software translation.
We are currently seeking PhD student applications across both of these areas. If you are interested, please review these example project descriptions for further details:
- Projects within the MEDEA Program
- New Program: Software development for reconfigurable hardware environments
Current Research Staff
- Dr Mostafa Numan, Research Fellow
- Dr Hooman Nikmehr, Research Fellow
- Jackson Michael, Senior Software Developer
- Cathlyn Aston, Software Developer
- Mitchell Conrad, Software Developer
Date Position Institution name 2019 Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of ECMS University of Adelaide 2018 Deputy Dean (Students) University of Adelaide 2017 Professor University of Adelaide 2014 - 2017 Head of School University of Adelaide 2013 - 2016 Associate Professor University of Adelaide 2009 - 2012 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 2009 - 2011 Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) University of Adelaide 2003 - 2008 Lecturer University of Adelaide 2000 - 2003 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2015 Award 2015 Gold Award Winner for ACS ICT Higher Education Educator of the Year Australian Computer Society Australia — 2015 Award 2015 EdtechSA/ISTE Making it Happen Award — — — 2015 Award EdTEchSA Leader of the Year Award — — — 2012 Award Endeavour Executive Award — — — 2008 Achievement Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation — — — 2008 Teaching Award Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence in Teaching — — — 2007 Teaching Award ECMS Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching — — — 2007 Teaching Award Executive Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching — — —
Year Citation 2019 Fincher, S., Kolikant, Y., & Falkner, K. E. (2019). Teacher Learning and Professional Development. In S. Fincher, & A. Robins (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research (pp. 727-748). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
2019 Falkner, K., & Sheard, J. (2019). Pedagogic Approaches. In S. Fincher, & A. Robins (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research (pp. 445-480). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
2019 Lewis, C., Shah, N., & Falkner, K. (2019). Equity and Diversity. In S. Fincher, & A. Robins (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research (pp. 481-510). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
2019 Vahrenhold, J., Cutts, Q., & Falkner, K. (2019). Schools (K-12). In S. Fincher, & A. Robins (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Computing Education Research (pp. 547-583). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
2014 Falkner, K., Chiprianov, V., Falkner, N., Szabo, C., & Puddy, G. (2014). A model-driven engineering method for DRE defence systems performance analysis and prediction. In A. Bagnato, L. Indrusiak, I. Quadri, & M. Rossi (Eds.), Handbook of research on embedded systems design (1 ed., pp. 301-326). United States: IGI Global.
2012 Falkner, K. (2012). Embedding communication skills in the study of the discipline. In A. Patil, H. Eijkman, & E. Bhattacharyya (Eds.), New media communication skills for engineers and IT professionals: trans-national and trans-cultural demands (pp. 94-114). IGI Global.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2018 Ng, D., Vivian, R., & Falkner, K. (2018). Advising Students on Careers of the Future: A Report on the Careers Development Landscape in Australia. The University of Adelaide. 2017 Vivian, R., Lozanovski, C., & Falkner, K. (2017). Literature review: Supporting teachers to assess F–10 Digital Technologies. 2017 Vivian, R., & Falkner, K. (2017). Building Australian Teacher Capacity in Teaching Digital Technologies. 2015 Falkner, K., & Vivian, R. (2015). Coding Across the Curriculum: Resource Review (A157082). Australian Government : Department of Education and Training.
Current Grants and Industry Research Contracts
Artificial Intelligence Resources. K. Falkner, R. Vivian, T. Atapattu and E. Palmer, Department of Education and Training ($585,000) (2019-2022)
Artificial Intelligence Education Models. K. Falkner, R. Vivian and T. Atapattu, Google Research Contract ($83,749) (2019)
Review of the first Australia FRC program, K. Falkner and R. Vivian, Google Research Contract ($50,941) (2018-2019)
ICT Forecast and Analysis, and Exploration of Automatic Code Deployment to Computing Hardware Types. K. Falkner and B. Phillips, DST Group Research Contract ($902,852) (2017-2020)
SEM Environment: Deployment Platform and Instrumentation Research. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($1,033,014) (2017-2019)
For the Expanded Rollout and Support of the University of Adelaide Digital Technology MOOCS – Closing the Digital Divide for Disadvantaged Students, Department of Education and Training. K. Falkner, R. Vivian, N. Falkner and C. Szabo ($6,900,000) (2016-2020)
Assessment and OS-Level Mitigation of Timing Channels. Y.Yarom and K. Falkner, Data61 CRP Research Agreement ($682,684) (2016-2019)
Completed Grants and Industry Research Contracts
Airborne spatial tracking for saving endangered species. D. Ranasinghe, L. P. Koh, K. Falkner, B. Ostendorf, G. Puddy, ARC Linkage Project ($181,194) (2016-2018)
Assessment for the F-10 Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, Education Services Australia (ESA) Research Contract. R. Vivian & K. Falkner. ($141,616) (2016-2018).
Understanding Australia’s Teaching Culture with Respect to Gender Diversity, C. Szabo, K. Falkner, A. Szorenyi and D. Michell, Google Australia, $26,764 (2017)
Understanding the relationship between social community formation and progression within MOOC environments, K. Falkner, R. Vivian and T. Atapattu, Research Contract, Google Australia, $37,687 (2017)
KVM Literature Review. K. Falkner, DST Group Research Contract ($60,000) (2017)
Delivery of a Fully Operational SEM Environment. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($150,000) (2016-2017)
Submarine Combat System Large Scale Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Insight. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($150,000) (2016-2017)
Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Research (Generic Vehicle Architecture Integration). K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($110,000) (2016)
Expanding Teacher Professional Development – Beyond the CSER MOOC, Google Research Contract. K. Falkner, R. Vivian. ($95,101) (2016)
Assessment and OS-Level Mitigation of Timing Channels. Y.Yarom and K. Falkner, NICTA CRP Research Agreement ($132,378) (2015-2016)
Automated Analysis of MOOC Discussion Content to Support Personalised Learning, K. Falkner, Google MOOC Focused Research Awards. ($50,000 US) (2015-2016)
Pathways to Computer Science: Enabling Equity and Diversity. K. Falkner, C. Szabo, A.Szorenyi and D. Michell, Google Research Contract ($55,000) (2015-2016)
I have a strong interest in Computer Science Education Research, mainly in the areas of collaborative and active pedagogy, and the use of technology to support online learning, including MOOCs, online collaboration environments and technology-assisted education. You can read more about my work in this area at the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER) site.
CSER leads the development of the CSER Digital Technologies MOOCs, free online courses, designed to support Australian teachers with implementing the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. These courses are free and open to all Australian teachers, and will help connect you with a community of interested educators.
You can read more about Learning and Teaching within the School of Computer Science on my wordpress blog: katrinafalkner.wordpress.com
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2020 Principal Supervisor Prediction of mastery learning and detection of misconceptions picked up by users in MOOC contexts. Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Abhilash Sridhara 2018 Principal Supervisor Predict Student Behavior and Provide Supplementary Feedback to Increase the Student Engagement through Learning Analytics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Lavendini Sivaneasharajah 2017 Principal Supervisor Natural Language Processing Techniques for large scale learning Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Menasha Thilakaratne 2016 Principal Supervisor Computer Aided Formative Assessment in Collaborative Software Development Assignments Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Hamid Tarmazdi 2015 Principal Supervisor Enterprise Security Architecture - An Organisational Framework Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Michelle Rey McClintock
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2017 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Codification Pedagogy for Introductory Procedural Programming Courses Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Rita Alicia Garcia 2015 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Towards Technologies for Promoting Nutritional Health in Older People with Dementia Living in their Own Home Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Asangi Jayatilaka 2014 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Adaptive Anomalous Behavior Identification in Large-Scale Distributed Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Javier Alvarez 2014 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Detecting Students At-Risk Using Learning Analytics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ayman Saleh S Albassam 2012 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Semantic Component Selection Based on Non-Functional Requirements Master of Science in Mathematical and Computer Sciences Master Part Time Mr Amir Kanan Kashefi 2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor A computational model for task-adapted knowledge organisation: improving learning through concept maps extracted from lecture slides Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Thushari Atapattu 2010 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Engineering Security Methodologies for Distributed Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Anton Uzunov 2003 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Software-Based Reference Protection for Component Isolation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Yuval Yarom 2003 - 2008 Co-Supervisor Surf: An Abstract Model of Distributed Garbage Collection Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr William Brodie-Tyrrell
Date Role Membership Country 2015 - ongoing Member ACDICT Executive Committee —
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2015 - ongoing Associate Editor ACM Transactions on Computing Education — — 2014 - ongoing Associate Editor IEEE Transactions on Education — —
Date Office Name Institution Country 2014 - ongoing Chair, ACM SIGCSE - Australasia ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education - Australasia —
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