ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award – Susan H. Rodger

By Renee Dopplick, ACM Director of Public Policy
April 16, 2014

The Karlstrom Award recognizes educators who advanced new teaching methodologies; effected new curriculum development in Computer Science and Engineering; or contributed to ACM’s educational mission.

ACM today recognized Susan H. Rodger, a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Computer Science and a member of the ACM Education Policy Committee, with the 2013 Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for her outstanding contributions to the teaching of computer science theory, to the development of computer science education in primary and secondary schools, and to service on behalf of the computer science education community.

She and her students developed JFLAP (Java Formal Languages and Automata Package), an interactive software tool that allows students to construct and test examples of automata and grammars. These concepts are foundational to the design of software components, such as compiler parts. Intended primarily for undergraduate students or as an advanced topic for high school, JFLAP is used worldwide in computer science theory, compiler, and discrete mathematics courses. Through workshops for faculty development, Rodger’s work contributed to the creation of a professional community around the use of visualizations to teach algorithms. She also leads efforts to introduce the programming language Alice in primary and secondary schools.

She is Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), which serves as a forum for computer science educators. Among its activities, SIGCSE holds an annual technical conference for educators. SIGCSE 2014 attracted 1300+ attendees. SIGCSE 2015 will be held March 4-7, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. SIGCSE also sponsors the Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE) in Europe, the International Computing Education Conference (ICER) held in various locations around the world, and the Doctoral Consortium.

She also serves as a board member of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W), which strives to increase the participation of women in computer science and engineering.

To learn more about the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, visit