Louise Ann Lyon, PhD

Louise Ann Lyon

Senior Research Associate



Louise Ann (“Lou Ann”) Lyon, PhD, Senior Research Associate, brings industry experience in the software engineering workplace as well as research knowledge from Learning Sciences and Feminist Studies to her work on diversifying technology at postsecondary institutions and in the workplace. Dr. Lyon is currently Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation funded projects. “Boot Camp or University Classroom? Preparing Women and Underrepresented Minorities for the Software Development Workforce” is a collaborative project with Dr. Quinn Burke at the College of Charleston that looks at the training provided at coding boot camps and to university computing majors and alignment with workforce needs. “Informal Learning in Computer Science: Social and Conceptual Factors Related to Women’s Persistence” is a project to study pathways to computer science for women who are teaching themselves to code motivated by current job needs or improved employment opportunities.

Dr. Lyon received her PhD in Learning Sciences with a graduate certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle, while a member of the Institute of Technology faculty at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Prior to her work in academia, Dr. Lyon was employed as a software engineer, creating user interfaces for high-end video and distance-learning products subsequent to obtaining a MS in Computer Science from California State University, Chico.

Current Projects

  • Informal Learning in Computer Science: Social and Conceptual Factors Related to Women’s Persistence
  • Boot Camp or University Classroom? Preparing Women and Underrepresented Minorities for the Software Development Workforce
  • The Digital NEST: Building Pathways to Computing Education and Careers for Latino/a Youth

Publications & Presentations

Lyon, L. A., & Denner, J. (2017). Community colleges: a resource for increasing equity and inclusion in computer science education. Communications of the ACM, 60(12), 24-26.

Lyon, L.A., Burke, Q., Denner, J., & Bowring, J. (2017, April). Visions of Computer Science Education at Coding Boot Camps and University Classrooms. Poster presented at the AERA Annual Meeting structured poster session CS4All, But Why? Exploring how different Visions, Motivations, and Ideologies of Computer Science Education Impact Implementation Contexts. San Antonio, TX.

Lyon, L.A. (2017, April). The Badge and Certificate Movement: Opportunity or Threat? Panel member. The 2017 ABET Symposium, Baltimore, MD.

Lyon, L.A. & Denner, J. (2017, March). Community Colleges' Role in Diversifying Computer Science: Student Purposes vs. Pathways. Paper presented at the Council for the Study of Community Colleges Conference (CCSC), Ft. Worth, TX.

Lyon, L.A., (2017, March). Coding Boot Camps from an Industry Perspective: A Case Study. Lightning talk presented at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Conference (CSCC), San Diego, CA.

Lyon, L.A., Burke, Q., Denner, J., & Bowring, J. (2017, March). Should Your College Computer Science Program Partner with a Coding Boot Camp? Poster presented at the Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), Seattle, WA.

Lyon, L.A. & Ortiz, E. (2016, December). Research on Underrepresentation in Tech. Breakout session presented at the Pathways to Equity Conference (JSPAC), Sacramento, CA.

Lyon, L.A., (2016, May). Smart and Connected Communities for Learning. Accepted participant Cyberlearning Innovation Lab, Menlo Park, CA.

Lyon, L.A., Adams, J., Diaz, Y., Denner, J., & Campe, S. (2016, April). Can Pair Programming Reduce the Computing Gender Gap? Fostering 'Intrepid Exploration' Among Middle School Students. Poster presented at the AERA Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.

Lyon, L. A. & Denner, J. (2016). Student Perspectives of Community College Pathways to Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees. Mountain View, CA: Google, Inc. Available at:

Lyon, L.A. (2015, October). The Role of Deliberate Coaching in Encouraging Programming Skill Increase for Women. Poster presented at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Houston, TX.

Lyon, L. A. (2015, October). From clicks to code: Resources women use to learn to code in Apex. IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Atlanta, GA.

Denner, J., Lyon, L. A., & Werner, L. (2015, April). Does gender matter? Women talk about being female in college computing classes. GenderIT 2015: Advancing Diversity, Philadelphia, PA.

Lyon, L. A., Denner, J., & Martinez, J. (2015, March). CSteach: Engaging Latino/a youth in CS with social justice and near-peers (poster + presentation). Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), Kansas City, MO.

Lyon, L. A. (2014). Maternal perspectives on getting a degree in computer science: Does class trump race? In B. Irby, B. Polnick, and J. Koch (Eds.) Girls and Women in STEM: A Never Ending Story, pp. 53-69. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Lyon, L. A. (2013). Sociocultural influences on undergraduate women’s entry into a computer science major (doctoral dissertation). Available at:

Lyon, L. A. (2013). To major or not to major? Female computer science majors, wherefore art thou? Paper presented at Culturally Relevant Computer Science: Pathways to Broadening Participation invited symposium. American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.

Lyon, L. A. (2012). Gender, race, class, and culture in computer science: An in-depth look at three women choosing a major. Research on Women and Education (RWE), Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Lyon, L .A. (2012). Finding her way into computer science: A case study at the intersection of gender and ethnicity. Fifth Annual Inter-Science of Learning Center Student and Post-Doc Conference, San Diego, CA.

Lyon, L. A. (2010). Unraveling the double bind: Asian American women’s attraction to computer science. Third Annual Inter-Science of Learning Center Student and Post-Doc Conference, Boston, MA.

McKinley, N. M. & Lyon, L .A. (2008). Menopausal attitudes, objectified body consciousness, aging anxiety, and body esteem: European American women’s body experiences in midlife. Body Image, 5 (4): 375-380.

Lyon, L. A. (2005). Gender gaps in technology: Women in computer science. University and Community Conference, Cienfuegos, Cuba.

Popular Press

Moore, T.  “College of Charleston researchers look at how well code school grads fare.” The Post and Courier, Sept. 4, 2016.