About Me

Hi! My name is Nikita Agarwal and I am a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am a rising senior pursuing Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. I will be graduating in May 2025 and intend to work as a Software Engineer afterwards. I enjoy working and contributing to innovative projects that positively impact the lives of people. I became interested in Computer Science in middle school when I coded a website for the first time. Apart from my academics, I really like to spend time outdoors, reading books and working out. This summer I am working at Duke University as a Research Intern where I will be working on developing autograders for Duke University’s Python courses on Coursera.

My email address is nikitaag206@gmail.com - feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!

About My Mentor

My mentor is Professor Susan Rodger who is a Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science Department at Duke University. Her research is in visualization, algorithm animation, and computer science education. She developed JFLAP, software for experimenting with formal languages and automata that is used in automata theory courses worldwide. She also leads the Adventures in Alice Programming project to integrate computing into K-12. Moreover, with others, she has created several online introductory programming Coursera courses. https://users.cs.duke.edu/~rodger/

About My Project

We are developing an online Python programming course that is culturally relevant and features open-ended yet autograded assignments. The goal is to design assignments that allow for creativity and individual expression while still being assessable through automated grading tools. As a member of the research team, my role involves learning how to write autograders for Duke University’s Python courses on Coursera and developing engaging assignments that appeal to a diverse audience. This is a challenging endeavor since open-ended autograders are not yet widely adopted.

To achieve this, I will read multiple research papers on open-ended assignments and autograding techniques to identify areas for improvement. Additionally, I am enrolled in an introductory research course, UR2PhD, to further enhance my research skills. This comprehensive approach will equip me with the knowledge and tools needed to create innovative and effective educational resources.

My Final Report

My Blog

My Blog