John Barr

John Barr

Professor, Department of Computer Science
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Computer Science Pedagogy, Programming for Social Good, Mobile Programming (iOS & Android), Web Services, Open Source Software, Computer Organization
Phone:(607) 274-3579
Office:321B Williams Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

​There's enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.

--Mahatma Gandhi


Spring 2019

Fall 2018

Spring 2018

Fall 2017

Spring 2017

Fall 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Research Interests

  • Computer Science Pedagogy 
  • Computers and Software in Pedagogy
  • Computation in Humanities
  • Computing for the Social Good


The overarching goal of my research is to make the teaching of computer science more effective. It addresses the questions of ”how do students learn computer science”, ”how can we make computer science concepts more accessible” and ”how can we improve pedagogy through more effective computer based tools”. Though this research is mostly centered on computer science, the concepts and tools often apply across disciplines and I have also applied the research to the liberal arts. Results of this research fall into several categories:

• An environment and method for teaching the programming languages course (MuLE).
• An approach to teaching that leverages student’s familiarity with social media to enhance learning

especially from textbooks (Classroom Salon)
• New approaches to computer science pedagogy in fields that I teach. These include:

– Creation of best practices for integrating global development into software engineering.
– Improved pedagogy in lower level computer science courses through the creation of a framework for integrating social good into computer science pedagogy.

– A new pedagogical approach to teaching upper level computer science courses that integrates multiple fields into a single course.

• Pedagogies for applying computation to the liberal arts. These includes:

– A new approach to teaching liberal arts courses on location using mobile technology. – A program for teaching computational thinking to faculty. 

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