Karen Reid is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. She earned a BSc (Hon) and an MSc from the University of Saskatchewan before coming to the University of Toronto to pursue further studies in Computer Science, and joined the faculty as a Lecturer in 2001. She is currently serving as the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies.
Karen is a dynamic and enthusiastic teacher who creates an intense but rewarding learning experience for her students. She is the recipient of the Joan E. Foley award for student experience (2011), the Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award (2008), and the University of Toronto Computer Science Student Union Award (2004, 2007, 2011).
Karen’s dedication to her students is most evident in her work with students on independent study projects, giving students the chance to learn new skills and technologies while contributing to large software systems with thousands of real users.
Along with two other University of Toronto faculty members, Karen has developed UCOSP (the Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects), a national program that brings together students from different universities to work on open source software systems. Students gather at one university for three days near the beginning of the term for an intensive three‐day “code sprint,” and then return to their home universities where they work remotely with their teammates under the supervision of an industry or academic project mentor. Students learn new technologies, but most importantly they learn the skills required to work on a real software project with a distributed team. Karen serves on the steering committee that recruits students and projects, raises funds from industry for the code sprint, and coordinates with the students’ home universities. Karen also serves as a project mentor, supervising between 5 and 10 students each term.
With her students, Karen has developed MarkUs a web‐based assignment submission and grading application supporting several thousand students in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and at l’École Centrale de Nantes in France. The goal of MarkUs is to make it easy for graders to provide high quality feedback efficiently, but it also helps instructors manage all aspects of assignment submission and grading leading to faster turnaround time for the assignments, and a reduced administrative overhead for the instructors.
Karen was also a key participant in the design and development of DrProject, a software management portal for use in the classroom. DrProject teaches students how to use industrial software tools, and also helps instructors manage large numbers of student teams. A side benefit of DrProject is that instructors find it useful for coordinating and planning large multi‐section courses.
Karen regularly volunteers to help with outreach events run by the Department of Computer Science. She has given presentations to children at the “Take your daughters and sons to work” events, to eighth‐grade girls at a series of workshops to encourage girls to consider Computer Science as a career, and at the local event for Computer Science Education week. Karen was invited to speak at the Association of Computer Science Educators high school teachers conference. She participates in many activities to encourage women and girls to pursue computer science including organizing dinners for female students and alumnae, and working with industry‐sponsored events to teach girls about computing.