Michael S. Kirkpatrick

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
Faculty Associate, Center for Faculty Innovation
James Madison University
701 Carrier Drive
MSC 4103
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

E-mail: kirkpams@jmu.edu
Twitter: @kirkpams
Phone: 540-568-3371
Office: CS/ISAT 223

Current and future teaching:
    CS 240: Data Structures and Algorithms (Fall 2018)
    CS 361: Computer Systems II (Spring 2019)

My C.V. is available here.

Recent Talks

Here are slides from recent talks that I have given. Note that I use Keynote exclusively, so that is the best format to download (if you're a Mac user). Powerpoint and PDF versions are also available, but may not be as nice.

  1. "Women in Computing: Past, Present, and Future," guest lecture for JMU ISAT 485 (Gender Issues in Science) [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  2. "Teaching, Fast and Slow: Using Cognitive Science to Increase Student Engagement," Bridgewater College Invited Talk
  3. "Ethical Considerations for New Technologies: The Impact of AI and Technology on Human Operators," Invited Panel Speaker, Jones Day/ACM Washington, D.C.
  4. "Toward Successful Cooperative Learning: Enhancing Small-group Work," JMU CFI Workshop Fall 2018 [Keynote | PPT | PDF] [Handout PDF]
  5. "Active Learning 101: Why and How to Get Started," JMU CFI New Faculty Orientation 2018 [Keynote | PPT | PDF] [Handouts]
  6. "Strategies for Integrating the Updated ACM Code of Ethics into the Computing Curriculum," SIGCSE 2018 [Github Repository]
  7. "Meltdown and Spectre: Complexity and the Death of Security," College and University Auditors of Virginia [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  8. "Active Learning 101: Why and How to Get Started," JMU CFI New Faculty Orientation 2017 [PDF slides |CATs]
  9. "When is Too Much Not Enough? Using Cognitive Theories of Learning to Shape Instructional Choices," JMU CFI May Symposium 2017 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  10. "Where We've Been and Where We Are: Implications for Diversity in Computing," CAPWIC 2017 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  11. "Student Perspectives of TBL in a CS Course: Summary of Qualitative Findings," SIGCSE 2017 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  12. "Evaluating an Alternative CS1 for Students with Prior Programming Experience," SIGCSE 2017 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  13. "Strategies for Integrating Driverless Cars into the Computing Curricula," SIGCSE 2017 [Sample exercise: Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  14. "Teaching Fast and Slow: Using Peer Instruction for Active Learning," JMU CFI May Symposium 2016 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  15. "Women in Computing," guest lecture for JMU ISAT 485 (Gender Issues in Science) [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  16. "Using the Readiness Assurance Process and Metacognition in an Operating Systems Course," ITiCSE 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  17. "Technology for Content Delivery, Formative Assessment, and Reflection," Bridgewater College Annual Pedagogy Project 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  18. "Wading through the Pedagogy Alphabet Soup," JMU CFI May Symposium 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  19. "Addressing the Diversity Crisis in Computing," JMU Annual Diversity Conference 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  20. "Backward Design: An Integrated Approach to a Systems Curriculum," SIGCSE 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  21. "Best Practices for IRB Approval: Four Perspectives," SIGCSE 2015 [Keynote | PPT | PDF]
  22. "Women in Computing," guest lecture for JMU ISAT 485 (Gender Issues in Science) [Keynote | PPT | PDF]


I have a couple of on-going projects related to CS education research and curriculum design. Resources related to these projects can be accessed at the following Github link:

Interests & Memberships

My research interests revolve around one central question: What is the most effective way to teach students how to design and implement secure and robust systems that will benefit society? This question illustrates how my interests apply a human-centered focus on complex technical issues. From a purely technical standpoint, my current or previous work has involved the following areas:

  • Systems programming
  • Operating systems & virtualization
  • Embedded & cyber-physical systems
  • Information security (primarily access control and applied cryptography)
  • Hardware and CPU architecture

As an educator, I am interested in improving the learning outcomes of undergraduates in these areas by integrating metacognition and constructivist pedagogy into upper-divisional systems courses. At the same time, I believe it is vital to address the societal and ethical impact of computing, including efforts to broaden participation in computing. As such, my recent work has focused on the following areas:

  • Collaborative and active learning pedagogy
  • Empirical research methods in CS education (e.g., mixed methods, grounded theory, design-based research)
  • Broadening participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computing
  • Societal and ethical issues in computing

As part of this work, I am currently serving as a Faculty Associate in the JMU Center for Faculty Innovation and as a member of the ACM Committee on Professional Ethics. In addition, I am a current or former member of the following organizations and special interest groups (SIGs):


Ph.D., Computer Science, Purdue University, 2011

  • Dissertation: "Trusted Enforcement of Contextual Access Control"
  • Adviser: Elisa Bertino
  • Committee: Mikhail Atallah, Ninghui Li, and Dongyan Xu

M.S., Computer Science & Engineering, Michigan State University, 2007

  • Thesis: "Canary Bit: Extending Secure Bit for Data Pointer Protection from Buffer Overflow Attacks"
  • Adviser: Richard Enbody
  • Committee: Anthony Wojcik and Wayne Dyksen

B.A., Mathematics & Computer Science Indiana University, 2001

  • Minor: Religious Studies

Last Updated: April 22, 2019