Geoffrey Herman

Research and Reform: Creating change in engineering and computer science education

About Me

Mission Statement and Current Objectives

My career mission statement is to create systemic change in engineering and computers science education. To achieve this mission, I am currently working to build my capacity as an education researcher while coordinating and leading innovation efforts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About Me

I earned my PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while conducting engineering education research. I was co-advised by Michael Loui and Craig Zilles to develop an understanding of how students learn topics in computer engineering and then develop a learning assessment tool called the digital logic concept inventory.

I completed two postdocs: one with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois (iFoundry) and one at Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. With iFoundry I piloted reform projects that centered on improving students’ intrinsic motivation to learn engineering. At Purdue, I worked with Ruth Streveler (in partnership with Shane Brown at Oregon State University and Holly Matusovich at Virginia Tech) to develop a theory of “hot cognition” in engineering – a theory which argues that cognition can be fully understood only by understanding how cognition is directed by motivation.

As a faculty member in Computer Science, I work with the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction to catalyze change in engineering and computer science education at the University of Illinois. I help lead core college-based change initiatives while continuing my research in students’ conceptual understanding and change about engineering concepts. A list of my project are below.

Contact Info

Severns Teaching Associate Professor, Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
3213 Siebel Center
201 N. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Contact E-mail

Research Interests

  • Sustainable education reform
  • Students’ conceptual change in computing and engineering
  • Measurement and assessment
  • Intrinsic motivation to learn



Innovation in Engineering and STEM Education
SIIP_WIDER network
How Students Learn Engineering and Computer Science
Designing Educational Assessment Tools
Intrinsic Motivation Course Conversions