Research and Interests

Current and Recent Research Projects

eWriter Research

I am interested in how we interact with new technologies, and how to better design these technologies so that they best support human capabilities. A number of eWriter Research projects are underway at different stages. These research projects are based at both VIU and UVic, and involve students and faculty from both campuses, including VIU Computer Science students, a former VIU CS student who is now pursuing on a Masters at UVic, and colleagues at UVic. The students have been supported by NSERC Engage grants and have been working with a Canadian industry partner, QuirkLogic Inc., under the supervision of Dr. Ulrike Stege, Dr. Mike Masson, and myself.

Usability of eWriter devices

In this study, we investigate the usability of an eWriter device for note-taking in an undergraduate course. In particular, the research will focus on two areas of usability: Effectiveness and Ease of Use. The goal of this work is to further refine our understanding of how students may make use of digital note-taking devices in the classroom, how it might impact their note-taking practice, and how effective it may seem to them.

Adapting to new writing surfaces

In this research, we investigate how much people have to adapt their writing technique to write on digital media like emmitive tablets (iPad) and reflective eWriter devices using digital styluses.

Impact of note-taking modality on learning

In this research, we investigate how note-taking modality impacts learning. We compare learning on three mediums: traditional paper and pen, laptop and keyboard, and eWriter with a digital stylus.

Typeface design for ePaper devices

Two VIU Computing Science Undergraduate students researched typeface design for e-Paper Displays. The students were supported by an NSERC Engage grant, and were working here at VIU with a Canadian industry partner, under the supervision of Dr. Ulrike Stege at the University of Victoria and myself.

Other Activities

Funding

  • Mitacs Accelerate Postdoc Grant (2019)

Publications

  • Sarah Carruthers, Andrew MacLean, Todd Milford, Ulrike Stege. Universal (Un)plugged Adapters: Re-imagining CS Unplugged for Highschool and Beyond. Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication, 2018.
  • Andrew MacLean, Sarah Carruthers, Todd Milford, Ulrike Stege. Creating a Competency Continuum: Assessing Mathematical Literacy in Secondary Education. Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication, 2018.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Ulrike Stege, Michael E. J. Masson. The Role of the Goal in Problem Solving Hard Computational Problems: Do People Really Optimize? Journal of Problem Solving. 2018.
  • Sarah Carruthers. The Role of the Goal in Problem Solving Hard Computational Problems: Do People Really Optimize? PhD Thesis, University of Victoria, 2015
  • Michael E. J. Masson, Sarah Carruthers. Control processes in voluntary and explicitly cued task switching. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 2014
  • Sarah Carruthers, Modelling human performance on the vertex cover problem. MathPsych, 2014.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Ulrike Stege. On Evaluating Human Problem Solving of Computationally Hard Problems. Journal of Problem Solving. 2013.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Computational Problems and Evaluation of the Power of the Human Cognitive System (winning poster). Canadian Mathematical Society, 2013.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Michael E. J. Masson, and Ulrike Stege. Human Performance on Hard Non-Euclidean Graph Problems: Vertex Cover. Journal of Problem Solving. May 2012.
  • Sarah Carruthers. Vertex Cover and Human Problem Solving. Computer Science & Problem Solving: New Foundations (Dagstuhl Seminar 11351) 2011.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Todd Milford, Tim Pelton, Ulrike Stege. Draw a Social Network. In Proceedings of the 16th annual joint conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education (ITiCSE'11), 2011.
  • Sarah Carruthers. Grasping Graphs. Master's Thesis, 2010.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Todd Milford, Tim Pelton, Ulrike Stege. Moving K-7 Computer Science Instruction into the Information Age. In Proceedings of the Western Canadian Conference for Computing Education (WCCCE), 2010.
  • Sarah Carruthers. Relational Graphs: What are they? (video). In Proceedings of the 41st SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’10), 2010.
  • Sarah Carruthers. An Interdisciplinary Guide for K-8 Computer Science Education (poster). In Proceedings of the 41st SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’10), 2010.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Kat Gunion, Ulrike Stege. Computational Biology Unplugged (workshop). WCCCE 2009.
  • Murdoch, J., St. Pierre, A.A., Coady, Y., Carruthers, S., Gibbs, C., Lonergan, S., Srivastava, G., Stege, U., Yazir, O.. SPARCS from the University of Victoria: Supporting Sustainable and Integrated Outreach Activities for Educators and Young Minds. In Meeting the Growing Demand for Engineers and Their Educations 2010-2020 International Summit, 2007 IEEE.
  • Anissa Agah St. Pierre, Sarah Carruthers, Yvonne Coady, Rebeca Dunn-Krahn, Sophia Dunn-Krahn, Celina Gibbs, Haley Gibbs, Georgia Gibbs, Steven Lonergan, Jeff Proctor, Ulrike Stege, Ciara Storey, Margaret-Anne Story: Young Minds Storming Through, Challenging Computer Science Concepts. WCCCE 2007.
  • Sarah Carruthers, Valerie King: Connectivity of Wireless Sensor Networks with Constant Density. ADHOC-NOW 2004: 149-157