Laurie Murphy

Professor of Computer Science


Laurie Murphy

Office Location: Morken Center for Learning & Technology - 251

Curriculum Vitae: View my CV

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Chair of Computer Science


  • M.S., Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, 1988
  • B.S., Mathematics, Delta State University, 1986

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Computer Science Education
  • Recursion & Recursive Data Structures
  • Novice Debugging
  • Diversity in CS
  • Active and Cooperative Learning

Selected Presentations

  • Dale E. Benson Innovation Studies Workshop, Student-Centered Instruction in Computer Science Education, Pacific Lutheran University (October 2018)
  • Invited Presenter, Pairs, Peers and Perceptions of Self: Putting Computer Science Education Research into Practice, Whitworth University (March 2016)
  • PLUTO Online Institute, Developing Videos and Screencasts!, Pacific Lutheran University (January 2015)
  • PLU eBusiness Day, Preparing Graduates for Big Data, Pacific Lutheran University (December 2013)
  • SIGCSE 2011, Report on Qualitative Research Methods Workshop, Dallas, Texas (March 2011)

Selected Articles

  • Scott Grissom, Renée Mccauley, and Laurie Murphy. "How Student Centered is the Computer Science Classroom? A Survey of College Faculty." ACM Transactions on Computer Science Education Vol. 18:1, March 2018: Article 5, 27 pages.
  • Laurie Murphy, Sue Fitzgerald, Scott Grissom, and Renée McCauley. "Bug Infestation! A Goal-Plan Analysis of CS2 Students' Recursive Binary Tree Solutions." Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE '15) March 2015: 482-487.
  • Renée McCauley, Scott Grissom, Sue Fitzgerald and Laurie Murphy. "Teaching and learning recursive programming: a review of the research literature." Computer Science Education Vol. 25:1, 2015: 37-66.
  • Brian Hanks, Sue Fitzgerald, Renée McCauley, Laurie Murphy and Carol Zander. "Pair programming in education: a literature review." Computer Science Education Vol. 21:2, 2011: 135-173.
  • Laurie Murphy and Lynda Thomas. "Dangers of a fixed mindset: implications of self-theories research for computer science education." Proceedings of the 13th annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (ITiCSE '08) June 2008: 271-275.
  • Sue Fitzgerald, Gary Lewandowski, Renée McCauley, Laurie Murphy, Beth Simon, Lynda Thomas and Carol Zander. " Debugging: finding, fixing and flailing, a multi-institutional study of novice debuggers." Computer Science Education Vol. 18:2, 2008: 93-116.


  • PLU Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) Grant to fund “Social Media and Video Podcasts to support a new course in Media Computation,” 2011-2012
  • Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) travel grant to attend career mentoring workshop, November 2012
  • Northwest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC) Proof of Concept Grant to fund “Scaffolding active programming instruction with theoretically grounded screencasts and annotated worked examples,” with David Wolff, 2008-2009
  • PLU Regency Advancement Award to fund “An Investigation of Novice Pair Debugging,” 2008-2009
  • NSF funding to attend STEM Workshop on Active Learning, UC San Diego, July 2008

Professional Memberships/Organizations


Research and Professional Activities
Prof. Murphy’s main research interest is Computer Science Education, in particular active and cooperative learning, classroom assessment, novice debugging, pair programming, and increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minority students in CS. Currently  she is working with an international research group to investigate data structures students’ understanding of object oriented programming and recursion.

She serves as Editor (jointly with Sally Fincher) for the journal Computer Science Education.