Professor Katrina Falkner
Professor Falkner is Deputy Dean (Students) 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 Centre for Distributed and Intelligent Technologies (CDIT) 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 CDIT). 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.
✓ Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD — email supervisor to discuss availability.
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
Centre for Distributed and Intelligent Technologies
My discipline research is in the areas of Software Architecture and Distributed Systems, leading the Modelling and Analysis program within CDIT. 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, CDIT 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
- Dan Fraser, Research Associate
- Marianne Reickmann, Research Associate
- Cathlyn Aston, Software Developer
- Jackson Michael, Software Developer
- Mitchell Conrad, Software Developer
|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|
|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||—||—||—|
Current Grants and Industry Research Contracts
ICT Forecast and Analysis, and Exploration of Automatic Code Deployment to Computing Hardware Types. K. Falkner and B. Phillips, DST Group Research Contract ($852,852) (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)
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. (2016-2018) ($141,616) (2016-2017).
Completed Grants and Industry Research Contracts
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
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|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|
|2017||Principal Supervisor||Automated assistance during software development to support the learning of debugging and problem solving methodologies||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Miss Rita Alicia Garcia|
|2016||Principal Supervisor||Subgoal and Strategy in Problem Solving and Education||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Ms Yanxin Wang|
|2016||Principal Supervisor||Computer Aided Formative Assessment in Collaborative Software Development Assignments||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Hamid Tarmazdi|
|2015||Principal Supervisor||Specification and Measurement of Embedded Computer System Resource Utilisation and Spare Capacity||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Mr Trent Davoren O'Connor|
|2014||Co-Supervisor||Analysis and Validation of Complex Systems Behaviour||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Full Time||Mr Lachlan Birdsey|
|2011||Principal Supervisor||Identification and management of Risk Associated with Interaction of Distributed Real Time and Embedded System Through the use of Execution and behaviour modelling||Doctor of Philosophy||Doctorate||Part Time||Mr Gavin Stanley Puddy|
|Date||Role||Research Topic||Program||Degree Type||Student Load||Student Name|
|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|
|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|
|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||—||—|
|2014 - ongoing||Chair, ACM SIGCSE - Australasia||ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education - Australasia||—|