Tiffany Barnes joined NC State in 2012 and is a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Digital Transformation of Education. Barnes, a professor of computer science, is a leader in using data to personalize learning experiences, creating games for education, exercise and energy, and broadening participation. Her newest joint project with fellow cluster hire Min Chi will investigate data-driven methods that enhance a system’s ability to decide what to teach and how to teach the subject. Barnes and fellow cluster hire Deniz Eseryel co-teach a new interdisciplinary game-based learning design course that uses an agile and iterative design process to maximize creativity, while providing students experience in multidisciplinary collaboration, research and in using data to improve the designs of their digital games. Barnes focuses on transforming introductory computing courses by engaging new programmers in creating their own games and apps, while also supporting them with real-time, data-driven feedback.
Barnes previously served as an assistant and associate professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her Ph.D. in computer science from NC State in 2003. Barnes received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Award for her work using data to add intelligence to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning environments, and her NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education award extends this work to combine data-driven hints with data-driven pedagogical choices for learning in logic and probability. Barnes is co-PI on the $9 million NSF STARS Alliance grants that engage college students in outreach, research and service. She has received nearly $2 million in funding from the NSF, NASA and industry sources to research effective ways to build serious games for education, exercise and environmental awareness; promote undergraduate research; and develop new ways to teach computing. Barnes serves on executive boards for the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, the International Educational Data Mining Society and the Artificial Intelligence in Education Society. She has been on the organizing committees for several conferences, including Educational Data Mining and Foundations of Digital Games, and has served as associate editor for the Journal of Educational Data Mining and as guest editor for IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.