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pic of fred apr 2016 FRED G. MARTIN
Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Studies, Kennedy College of Sciences
Professor, Computer Science
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Olney Science Center Rm 524
Lowell, MA 01854

office 978/934-1964

Associate Dean

If you are a student, please get in touch with me if you need help on anything! I will work with you myself and/or connect you with the people on campus who can figure things out and make things better for you.

As Associate Dean, I also: assist with course and program development and assessment; build relationships with alumni; create learning opportunities for students in research labs and industry; deepen academic partnerships with residence life; work with university relations to promote our campus; assist in faculty searches; provide professional development and support to faculty members, particularly around teaching and learning.

Research and Service

My research focus is K-12 computer science education. I co-lead CS Pathways, an NSF-funded researcher-practitioner partnership, where we are collaborating with the school districts of Methuen and Lowell (MA) and Schenectady (NY) to build a lasting middle school computer science curriculum based on equity and apps for social good.

My research group is developing MYR, a programming environment to introduce middle and high school students to building virtual reality worlds.

I was part of the small team which launched the Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Guidelines (AI4K12) initiative, which is creating curriculum guidelines and curating resources for the teaching of AI at the elementary and secondary levels. I now serve on the project's advisory board.

I began my faculty career as an assistant professor in the computer science department at UMass Lowell in 2002. With UMass Lowell colleagues, I helped launch Artbotics, an approach to broadening participation in compuing based on students making interactive artworks. I worked with a non-profit in Cambridge MA on iCODE, an after-school, middle school robotics curriculum for urban youth.

I received an NSF Career award to develop approaches to using microcontrollers for science investigations (2006). This work brought me to a new focus on helping students make sense of data, including data from sensors, and data visualization. We created a novel web-based system for collaborative data visualization for middle- and high-school use, called iSENSE.

I served on a Massachusetts body which crafted the state’s standards for K-12 Digital Literacy and Computer Science (2016). From 2014–2020, I served on the board of the directors of the Computer Science Teachers Association, a membership organization of K-12 teachers of computer science worldwide, including two years as chair of the board (2017–19).

The Engaging Computing Group

Please see my research group’s site, the Engaging Computing Group.


Undergrad and grad school

My undergraduate degree was in MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department with a specialization in computer science (1986). As an undergrad, I wrote code for a research robot in the lab of a MechE professor in the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In this lab, I was introduced to research and graduate school.

As a graduate student, I joined Seymour Papert’s group in the MIT Media Lab, earning first an MS degree (1988) and then PhD (1994). Papert is known as the creator of the Logo programming language, the first programming language designed for children. He dedicated his career to bringing to children the intellectual joy of expressing one’s ideas computationally. I was mentored by Dr. Papert and his colleague, Dr. Edith Ackermann, a cognitive psychologist. Both Papert and Ackermann had studied with Jean Piaget; his constructivist theories were the foundation of the work in the research group.

I build on my passion for robotics by creating series of “robotics construction kits” for young learners (children from middle school age through undergraduates). Papert’s research group had sponsorship from the LEGO company, and my work led to the design and launch of the LEGO Robotics Invention System in 1998, the first widely available, consumer-friendly robotics building kit. I also created an open-source version of the same idea, the Handy Board, which was widely used in undergraduate computer science and robotics education in the 2000s, and the Handy Cricket, a device preceding what we now know as “Arduinos.”



  • Lee, I., Grover, S., Martin, F., Pillai, S., & Malyn-Smith, J. (2020). Computational Thinking from a Disciplinary Perspective: Integrating Computational Thinking in K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 29(1), 1-8. PDF.

  • Berns, C., Chin, G., Savitz, J., Kiesling, J., and Martin, F.. (2019) MYR: A web-based platform for teaching coding using VR. In SIGCSE ’19: 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, February 27-March 2, 2019, Minneapolis, MN, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA. PDF preprint; ACM DL page.

  • Touretzky, D., Gardner-McCune, C., Martin, F., and Seehorn, D. (2019) Envisioning AI for K-12: What should every child know about AI? Proceedings of the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, January 27-February 1, 2019, Honolulu, HI. PDF preprint.

  • Furey, H. and Martin, F. (2018). AI education matters: A modular approach to AI ethics education. AI Matters, 4(4), 13–15. PDF.

  • Malyn-Smith, J., Lee, I. A., Martin, F., Grover, S., Evans, M. A., and Pillai, S. (2018). Developing a framework for computational thinking from a disciplinary perspective. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Thinking Education 2018. Hong Kong: The Education University of Hong Kong. PDF.

  • Abuah, C., Schilder, D., Sherman, M., & Martin, F. (2018). The tablet game: an embedded assessment for measuring students' programming skill in app inventor. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 33(6), 9–21. cite.

  • Furey, H. and Martin, F. (2018). Introducing Ethical Thinking about Autonomous Vehicles into an AI Course. Thirty-Second AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Educational Advances in AI (EAAI). February 4, 2018, New Orleans, LA. link.

  • Ni, L., & Martin, F. (2017). Creating Socially Relevant Mobile Apps: Infusing Computing into Middle School Curricula in Two School Districts. Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences. PDF.

  • Ni, L., Harunani, F., & Martin, F. (2017). Empowering middle school students to create data-enabled social apps. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 32(6), 88-100. cite.

  • Lijun Ni, Diane Schilder, Mark Sherman, and Fred Martin. (2016). Computing with a community focus: outcomes from an app inventor summer camp for middle school students. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 31(6), June 2016, p. 82–89. cite.

  • Samantha Michalka, James Dalphond, and Fred Martin. (2016). Inquiry Learning with Data and Visualization in the STEM Classroom. Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, Mar 21, 2016 in Savannah, GA, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-13-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA. cite, pdf.

  • Fred G. Martin (2016). Computational Thinking is a model-eliciting activity. CSTA Voice 12(1), March 2016, p. 8. PDF.

  • Melinda B. N. Willis, Sue Hay, Fred G. Martin, Michelle Scribner-MacLean, and Ivan Rudnicki. (2015). Probability with Collaborative Data Visualization Software. Mathematics Teacher, 109(3), p. 194–199, October 2015. cite.

  • Fred Martin and Mark Sherman. (2015). A Dual-Major Course Emphasizing Computer Science and Graphic Design. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 30(6), June 2015, p. 24–31. cite.

  • Mark Sherman and Fred Martin. (2015). The Assessment of Mobile Computational Thinking. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 30(6), June 2015, p. 53–59. cite.

  • Irene Lee, Fred Martin, and Katie Apone (2014). Integrating computational thinking across the K–8 curriculum. ACM Inroads 5(4), December 2014, p. 64–71. cite.

  • Turbak, F., Sherman, M., Martin, F., Wolber, D., and Pokress, C.S. (2014). “Events-first programming in APP inventor.” Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 29(6), June 2014, p. 81–89. cite.

  • Daphond, J., Fertitta, J., Martin, F., Rudnicki, I., and Scribner-Maclean, M. (2013). “Transforming science and engineering classrooms with online collaborative tools.” ISTE 2013 conference, San Antonio, TX. pdf

  • Zhang, H. and Martin, F. (2013). “CUDA accelerated robot localization and mapping.” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA 2013), Woburn, MA, April 2013. pdf.

  • Sherman, M., Bassil, S., Lipman, D., Tuck, N., and Martin, F. (2013). “Impact of auto-grading on an introductory computing course.” Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 28(6), June 2013, p. 69–75. cite.

  • Martin, F. G. (2012). “Will massive open online courses change how we teach?” Communications of the ACM, 55(8), p. 26–28. cite.

  • Martin, F. G., Dalphond, J., and Tuck, N. (2012). Teaching Localization in Probabilistic Robotics. In Proceedings of the Third AAAI Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence, pp. 2373–2374. pdf.

  • Martin, F. G., Scribner-MacLean, M., Christy, S., and Rudnicki, I. (2012). Developing and Evaluating a Web-Based, Multi-Platform Curriculum for After-School Robotics. In B. Barker, G. Nugent, N. Grandgenett, & V. Adamchuk (Eds.), Robots in K-12 Education: A New Technology for Learning (pp. 266–283). doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0182-6.ch013. cite.

  • Tuck, N., McGuinness, M., and Martin, F. (2012). “Optimizing a mobile robot control system using GPU acceleration,” Proc. SPIE 8301, 83010Z; cite; pdf.

  • Sherman, M., Martin, F., and Scribner-MacLean, M. (2011). The role of iteration in the design processes of middle school students. In Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, Atlanta, GA, pp. 391. cite.

  • Zhang, H. and Martin, F. (2011). “Robotic mapping assisted by local magnetic field anomalies.” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications, Woburn, MA, April 2011. pdf; cite.

  • Martin, F. (2011). “Introducing Uninformed Search with Tangible Board Games,” Second AAAI Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence. pdf.

  • Lee, I., Martin, F., Denner, J., Coulter, W., Allan, Erickson, J., Malyn-Smith, J., Werner, L. (2011). “Computational thinking for youth in practice.” ACM Inroads, 2(1), pp 32–37, March 2011. cite.

  • Martin, F., Scribner-MacLean, M., Christy, S., Rudnicki, I., Londhe, R., Manning., C., Goodman, I. (2011). “Reflections on iCODE: using web technology and hands-on projects to engage urban youth in computer science and engineering.” Autonomous Robots, 30(3), pp. 265–280, DOI: 10.1007/s10514-011-9218-3. cite

  • Tuck, N., McGuinness, M., and Martin, F. (2011). “WOAH: an obstacle avoidance technique for high speed path following.” Proc. SPIE 7878, 787811; doi:10.1117/12.876421. cite; pdf.

  • Tosa, S. and Martin, F. (2010). “Impact of a Professional Development Program Using Data-Loggers on Science Teachers’ Attitudes towards Inquiry-Based Teaching.” Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 29(3), 303–325. Chesapeake, VA: AACE. cite.

  • Allan, W., Coulter, B., Denner, J., Erickson, J., Lee, I., Malyn-Smith, J., and Martin, F.. “Computational Thinking for Youth White Paper.” Published by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), June 2010. PDF.

  • Martin, F., Kuhn, S., Scribner-MacLean, M., Corcoran, C., Dalphond, J., Fertitta, J., McGuinness, M., Christy, S., and Rudnicki, I. “iSENSE: A Web Environment and Hardware Platform for Data Sharing and Citizen Science.” Presented at the AAAI 2010 Spring Symposium, Educational Robotics and Beyond: Design and Evaluation, Stanford, CA, March 2010. abstract and PDF download

  • Martin, F. and Roehr, K. “Cultivating creativity in tangible interaction design.” In Proceeding of the Seventh ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, Berkeley, California, October 2009. ACM DL

  • Martin, F., Greher, G., Heines, J., Jeffers, J., Kim, H.J., Kuhn, S., Roehr, K., Selleck, N., Silka, L., and Yanco, H. “Joining Computing and the Arts at a Mid-Size University.” Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, v. 24, no. 6, pp 87–94, June 2009. ACM DL

  • Rhine, D. and Martin, F. “Integrating Mathematical Analysis of Sensors and Motion in a Mobile Robotics Course.” In ISSEP 2008: Proceedings of the Second International Conference, “Informatics in Secondary Schools: Evolution and Perspectives,” Torun, Poland, 1–4 July 2008.

  • Scribner-MacLean, M., Martin, F., Prime, D., Penta, M., Christy, S., and Rudnicki, I. “Implementing iCODE (Internet Community of Design Engineers): A Collaborative Engineering and Technology Project for Middle and High School Students in Urban Settings.” In Proceedings of the 2008 Conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), March 2008, pp. 4321. abstract pdf.

  • Martin, F., Grinstein, G., Kuhn, S. “A Radical Design Course: Leveraging APIs for Creativity and Innovation in Software.” In Proceedings of the 11th IASTED International Conference, Software Engineering and Applications (SEA 2007), Cambridge, MA, November 19–21, 2007. ISBN 978-0-88986-705-5 (paper) or 978-0-88986-706-3 (CD), pages 318–323. PDF.

  • Martin, F., Hjalmarson, M., Wankat, P. “When the Model is a Program.” Book chapter in volume entitled Foundations for the Future in Mathematics Education, Richard Lesh, Eric Hamilton, and James Kaput, editors, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

  • Martin, F. “Little Robots that Could: How Collaboration in Robotics Labs Leads to Student Learning and Tangible Results.” In Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 81–92 (special issue entitled “Global Look at Robotics Education”), David J. Ahlgren and Igor M. Verner, eds., 2007. pdf.

  • Kim, H., Coluntino, D., Martin, F., Silka, L., and Yanco, H. (2007). “Artbotics: Community-Based Collaborative Art and Technology Education.” ACM SIGGRAPH 2007 educators program, San Diego, CA, 2007. ACM cite.

  • Martin, F., Kim, H., Silka, L., Yanco, H., and Coluntino, D. (2007). “Artbotics: Challenges and Opportunities for Multi-Disciplinary, Community-Based Learning in Computer Science, Robotics, and Art.” Presented at the 2007 Workshop on Research in Robots for Education at the Robotics Science and Systems conference, June 30, 2007. PDF.

  • Martin, F. (2007). “Real Robots Don't Drive Straight.” In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Robots and Robot Venues: Resources for AI Education, Stanford, CA, March 2007. PDF.

  • Yanco, H. A., Kim, H. J., Martin, F. G., and Silka, L. “Artbotics: Combining Art and Robotics to Broaden Participation in Computing.” In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Robots and Robot Venues: Resources for AI Education, Stanford, CA, March 2007. PDF local PDF.

  • Martin, F. and Chanler, A. (2007). “Introducing the Blackfin Handy Board.” In Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Robots and Robot Venues: Resources for AI Education, Stanford, CA, March 2007. PDF local PDF.

  • Butler, D., Strohecker, C., and Martin, F. (2006). “Sustaining Local Identity, Control and Ownership While Integrating Technology into School Learning.” Book chapter in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 4226/2006, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. publisher link.

  • Martin, F. and Greenwood, A. (2007). “Using Programmable Crickets to Help Beginning Teachers Experience Scientific Inquiry.” Presented at the 2007 meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Clearwater Beach, FL, January 2007. PDF.

  • Martin, F., Lurgio, M., and Coffey, D. “Robotic Jewelry: Inventing Locally Contextualized Mathematics in a Fourth Grade Classroom.” In ISSEP 2006: Proceedings of the Second International Conference, “Informatics in Secondary Schools: Evolution and Perspectives,” Vilnius, Lithuana, 7–11 November 2006, V. Dagiene and R. Mittermeir, eds. pp. 214–225. PDF

  • Martin, F., Meo, M., and Doyle, G. (2006). “Triskit: A software-generated construction toy system.” Presented at the “Let's Get Physical” workshop at the 2nd International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition (DCC ’06), Eindhoven, Holland, July 8, 2006. PDF.

  • Grinstein, G., Martin, F., and Kuhn, S. (2006). “ Radical Design: From Pencils to Software to Processes to Clothing.” Presented at the “Exploring Design as a Research Activity” workshop at the Designing Interactive Systems conference (DIS2006), Penn State, Pennsylvania, June 26, 2006. PDF.

  • Martin, F. (2006). “Toy Projects Considered Harmful.” Technical Opinion essay in July 2006 Communications of the ACM, pp. 113–116. DOI. PDF.

  • Martin, F. and Kuhn, S. (2006). “Computing in Context: Integrating an Embedded Computing Project into a Course on Ethical and Societal Issues.” In Proceedings of the 37th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (Houston, Texas, USA, March 03 - 05, 2006). SIGCSE '06. ACM Press, New York, NY, 525-529. DOI. PDF.

  • Martin, F. (2006). “Integrating Hardware Experiences into a Computer Architecture Core Course.” In The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, v. 21, n. 6, Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, 2006. PDF.

  • Xu, L. and Martin, F.. (2006). “Chirp on Crickets: Teaching Compilers using an Embedded Robot Controller.” In Proceedings of the 37th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (Houston, Texas, USA, March 03 - 05, 2006). SIGCSE '06. ACM Press, New York, NY, 82-86. DOI. PDF.

  • Martin, F., Par, K., Abu-Zahra, K., Dulskiy, V., and Chanler, A. (2005). “iCricket: A programmable brick for kids' pervasive computing applications.” Published in the 2nd International Workshop on Ubiquitous Computing (IWUC-2005), held at the 7th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Miami Beach, FL, May 2005. PDF

  • Martin, F. and Pantazopoulos, G. (2004). “Designing the Next-Generation Handy Board.” In Proceedings of the Spring 2004 AAAI Symposium, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Stanford, CA. PDF

Papers done at MIT are here...




Selected Presentations


Past Courses

Fall 2017: COMP.5780 Computer Science for Secondary School
Spring 2017: COMP.3010 OPL, COMP.4500 Mobile Robotics I
Fall 2016:
COMP.4200/5430 Artificial Intelligence
Spring 2016:
COMP.3010 OPL, COMP.4500 Mobile Robotics I
Fall 2015:
91.451/549 Mobile Robotics 91.587 Computer Science for Secondary School
Spring 2015: 91.204.201 Computing IV
Fall 2014: 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages 91.420/91.543 Artificial Intelligence
Spring 2014: 91.204.202 Computing IV 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages
Fall 2013: 91.108 App Design and Mobile Computing
Spring 2013: 91.531 Design of Programming Languages
Fall 2012: 91.420/91.543 Artificial Intelligence, 91.580.202 Learning Environments
Spring 2012: 91.451 Robotics II/91.548 Robot Design
Fall 2011: 91.412 Software Engineering II, 91.420/91.543 Artificial Intelligence
Spring 2011: 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages, Directed Study in iOS Dev't
Fall 2010: 91.420/543 Artificial Intelligence, 91.350.201 Real World Software Development
Fall 2009: 91.119 Tangible Interaction Design, 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages
Spring 2009: 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages, 91.411 Software Engineering I, 91.350/91.580 Control Systems for Mobile Robots
Fall 2008: 91.119 Tangible Interaction Design, 91.301 Organization of Programming Languages, 91.580 Software Design Studio
Spring 2008: 91.412 Software Engineering II, 91.451/91.548 Robotics II/Robot Design
Fall 2007: 91.411 Software Engineering I, 91.450 Robotics I Fall 2017 robot egg hunt
Spring 2007: 91.117 Artbotics, 91.451 Robotics II, 91.548 Robot Design
Fall 2006: 91.450 Robotics I, 91.530 Radical Design
Spring 2006: 91.548 Robot Design
Fall 2005: 91.308 Operating Systems, 91.450 Robotics I Fall 2015 robot egg hunt
Spring 2005: 91.308 Operating Systems, 91.548 Robot Design
Fall 2004: 91.305 Computer Architecture, 91.450 Robotics I
Spring 2004: 91.305 Computer Architecture, 91.548 Robot Design
Fall 2003: 91.305 Computer Architecture, 91.450 Robotics I
Spring 2003: 91.548 Robotics I (grad)
Fall 2002: 91.305 Computer Architecture





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