LEARN-CS engages in research that explores the narratives often omitted from mainstream computer science research; those at the intersections of race and gender.


LEARN-CS is led by Dr. Monique Ross, Assistant Professor, Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences and STEM Transformation Institute at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.


Dr. Ross has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University, Master’s in Computer Science and Software Engineering from Auburn University, and Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering from Elizabethtown College. She has 11 years experience as a software engineer in industry and six years as an academic is both computer engineering and computer science.


LEARN-CS is the culmination of her background in engineering education and computer science in order to establish a rigorous and impactful computer science education research group that aspires to broaden participation in computer science to ALL.


  • NSF S-STEM: Collaborative Research: Florida IT Pathways to Success (Flit-Path)

  • NSF, CISE, EAGER Broadening the Pathway: A case study analysis of the implications of math and science on computer science graduate’s employability

  • NSF, EAGER: SaTC-EDU: Designing and Evaluating Curriculum Modules for Inclusive Integration of AI into Cybersecurity

  • NSF, Engineering Education, Research in the Formation of Engineers, Characterizing Postdoctoral Education, Mentorship, Gender, and Race in the Formation of Academic Engineers and Computer Scientists

  • The Path Least Travelled: An exploration of the experiences of Hispanic students traversing the barriers from a 2-year program to 4-year program as transfer students to careers in computer science. Duke University Gift

  • Center for Homeland Security Research and Education, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Center for Advancing Education and Studies on Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CAESCIR)

  • NSF CAREER: Cracking the Diversity Code: Understanding Computing Pathways of those Least Represented

  • Verizon Innovative Learning for Minority Males Program: FIU Pathways to STEM

  • EAGER, NSF, BPE Demystifying the Engineering and Computer Science Underrepresentation Problem: Understanding the pathways to and through these Disciplines for Black and Hispanic Women

  • NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs (NCWIT ES-UP)

  • IUSE, NSF, Understanding the implications of gamification on women computer science students’ engagement and women-CS fit


Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Come join an amazing team of computer science education researchers in Miami, Florida for two weeks in the summer (squeezing it in between your summer internship and Fall 2021 semester). Learn about the scholarship of computer science education and participate in research grounded in areas of inquiry focused on the underrepresentation of Black and Hispanic women in computer science.

No prior research experience required. Undergraduates ONLY. This is a paid opportunity with travel and accommodations covered for your time in Miami. 

Summer 2022 Applications will open 03/2022


Computer Science Education Research

The students that currently work with Dr. Ross are students pursuing a traditional computer science Ph.D. with a focus on computer science education research. The students answer burning questions related to computer science education.


LEARN-CS students leverage established rigorous educational research methods to answer questions related to engagement, persistence, and learning in computer science.


Maral Kargarmoakhar, Ph.D. student has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from FIU. She has more than four years of research and development experience in computer science and computer engineering.


She is currently working as a research assistant with a research focus on cultural influences

on computer science pursuit

as an occupation. 

Maral Kargarmoakhar

Disha Patel, PhD student, is in her first year, and currently exploring her research interests. Currently, she is helping to explore alternative pathways to computing for URM.

Disha Patel

Jasmine Batten, Ph.D. student is a computer scientist and researcher with starting her first year in graduate school. She is still exploring her research interest but has been a strong contributor to the IUSE women and gamification project.

Jasmine Batten

Jia Zhu, Ph.D. student is a computer scientist and researcher, starting her first year in graduate school. Jia's research interests include computer science education and data science.

Jia Zhu
Antonella Avogadro

Antonella Avogadro is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at FIU. As an undergraduate research assistant she supports the team on their research work as she explores her own research interests.

Atalie Garcia, undergraduate student has taken the lead on the exploration of the pathways to and through computing of Black and Hispanic women.

Atalie Garcia
Community Engagement

In addition to research, LEARN-CS is highly engaged in the community. From the Verizon Innovative Learning (VIL) initiative to partnerships with CodeArt to serving on the Miami-Dade County Schools STEM Advisory Board.

  • Miami-Dade STEM Advisory Board Member

  • Hour of Code, Pinecrest Academy North, Miami-Dade County Schools

  • Day of Code, Young Women Preparatory Academy, Miami-Dade County School 

  • Code/Art Miami, 2018 Digital Art Show, All-Girls Coding Competition & More!

  • VIL Summer Camp for Minority Middle School Boys