The founding co-directors of the RICE lab are Professors Leen-Kiat Soh and Steve Cooper.  

Dr. Leen-Kiat Soh has worked in the areas of CS education with projects such as Renaissance Computing, IC2Think, and Computational Creativity, and computer-aided education systems with projects such as I-MINDS, ClassroomWiki, iLOG, and The Written Agora.  Professor Soh has also co-founded the the CSTA Cornhuskers local chapter here at Lincoln, NE, and worked with the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), CodeLNK, #LNKCodingWomen, and NCWIT on several curricular and professional development, and outreach activities.  Professor Soh has published the results of his research and innovations in top conference and journal venues in the the two areas.  His projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation.  He currently serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Education and IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, and is a member of the organization committee of SIGCSE.

  • Patrick Morrow, a M.S. student in CS working on the AIR@NE project
  • Emma Hubka, a B.S. student in CS working on the AIR@NE project
  • Dana Hoppe, a B.S. student in CS working on Creative Coding

Dr. Steve Cooper's interests lie in computer science education, with particular interests in program visualization, in trying to understand how students learn to program, and in improving the teaching of programming. He is most well-known for his work with Alice and developing Alice-related curricular materials. Along with Wanda Dann and the late Randy Pausch, he has written many technical papers on Alice, as well as two texts, Learning to Program with Alice (2012, Prentice-Hall)and  Exploring Wonderland (2010, Prentice-Hall).   The latter text, which includes Barbara Ericson as a co-author, integrates Alice and Media Computation into a single CS1 course.   When Professor Cooper was at Stanford, he worked with PhD student Chris Piech and with others on using data analytics to better understand how beginners learn to program. He has continued to work with Stanford PhD student Charis Charitsis in this area.   He also worked with Education PhD student Shuchi Grover, on helping to develop innovative middle school computing curricula to teach computational thinking concepts.  Steve has become interested in exploring how Sheryl Sorby's spatial visualization work for engineering education can be extended to help students to succeeed in computing.   At the University of Nebraska, Professor Cooper has started working with mathematics education researcher Yvonne Lai and brain researcher Dennis Molfese, in looking at the relationship between the mathematical concept of generalization and the computing concept abstraction.


Dr. Guy Trainin is a professor of education program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He focuses his research in technology integration, arts integration and multiple literacies in elementary and middle school classrooms. Dr. Trainin has published extensively about learning, technology integration, in traditional and digital venues including video and blogging. He has served as the external evaluator for Nebraska Reading First Grant for s six years, two Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grants focusing on Arts and Literacy in Elementary classrooms, and a number of professional learning grants with Omaha Public Schools as well as ESUs and smaller school districts around the state. He teaches pre-service teacher reading and language method courses as well as graduate courses in technology integration and literacy research. He is co-founder of the KDS Reading Center, past Elementary Education Program Coordinator, and current Graduate Chair at the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education.

Dr. Justin Olmanson is an assistant professor of instructional technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the co-founder of the CEHS Research and Design Studio. His research focuses on the design, integration, and use of technology for: making new forms of expression possible, overcoming barriers to expression, and reducing the violence of and alienation associated with acquiring academic literacies. Dr. Olmanson teaches four graduate courses related to computer science and education. Designing Learning Experiences (TEAC 859) is a reading and design seminar that explores a range of approaches to creating learning experiences--offered each Fall semester. Designing Learning Applications using AI, NLP, and APIs (TEAC 882D) is a design course that supports educators, computer scientists, and psychologists in exploring the potential of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and API technologies to make new things possible in K16 and corporate learning settings—offered every even year Spring semester. Technology, Learning, and Society (TEAC 960) is a reading and design seminar that supports researchers, educators, computer scientists, and administrators in understanding ways societal and academic ideas about technology co-influence learning technology design and use—offered every odd year Spring semester. Professor Olmanson has designed or co-designed a number of prototypes and applications at the intersection of expression, multimodality, and learning. He is currently working on Chinese Character Helper, an application designed to support written production of Chinese well before beginning students of Chinese are typically able to write using characters.