Benjamin Xie he/him

PhD Candidate

University of Washington Information School


I am a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School, advised by Prof. Amy J. Ko in the Code & Cognition Lab. My research interest is in designing interactive tools that support equity in computing education by contextualizing data about students with data from students.

I am a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow. I was previously an MIT EECS-Google Research and Innovation Scholar during my time as a student at MIT researching with Prof. Hal Abelson and MIT App Inventor.

For more information, please reach out to me! Or have a look at my projects, papers, or CV.


  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Computing Education
  • Artificial Intelligence in Education
  • Psychometrics


  • PhD in Information Science, 2016-

    University of Washington

  • MEng in Computer Science, 2016

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • BS in Computer Science, 2015

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dec 2020: Google Cloud Research Grant for Student Amp

My advisor and I were awarded a grant by Google Cloud for Student Amp, a tool to help instructors address equity issues in CS courses. about Student Amp

Dec 2020: Article published in ACM Crossroads (XRDS) Magazine

I describe techniques I am exploring in my dissertation to use data to support equity in computing education. see article

Nov 2020: Article published in Communications of the ACM (CACM)

My lab wrote a position paper calling for more critical perspectives in CS education. see article


Student Amp: Amplifying marginalized voices in computing courses

Tools to help learners share and instructors understand equity issues in a computing courses.

Improving equity of Code.org's CS Discoveries curriculum

Investigating how Code.org CS Discoveries curriculum serves different sub-populations to improve the equity of learning experiences and outcomes.

Codeitz: An adaptive learning experience that lets learners decide

Designing for learner agency in self-directed online learning experiences

Improving computer science education w/ explicit instruction

Providing explicit instrutions to make introductory programming more approachable.

Recent Papers

How data can support equity in computing education

Data has historically been a tool of oppression. But if we consider how its interpretations and uses affect minoritized groups, …

It Is Time for More Critical CS Education

Argues that CS educators at all levels have the responsibility of the role of computing in injustice.

The Effect of Informing Agency in Self-Directed Online Learning Environments

Choices learners make when navigating a self-directed online learning tool can impact the effectiveness of the experience. But these …


My preferred medium of communication is Slack direct message. I’m active on the following Slack organizations:

If you’re not part of those Slack organizations, please reach out to me by email or on Twitter.

My lab is in Mary Gates Hall (MGH) 015. I’m working remotely. Catch you on Zoom!