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Matthias Hauswirth



Matthias Hauswirth leads the Lugano Computing Education Research Lab (LuCE) at the Software Institute of the Faculty of Informatics. His research focuses on the boundary between programming language design and implementation and computing education, with a primary focus on how people learn to program.


Matthias has been active in Swiss efforts to bring informatics into schools, both in the EFI-CH program in the 2010s and the GymInf program in the 2020s. He represents USI in the national GymInf effort to educate over 100 future high school informatics teachers.

Matthias co-authored a programming textbook used in Swiss high school informatics courses, contributed to a book on computing education in the US, and his research group developed a multitude of platforms and pedagogical techniques used in programming education. Examples are the PyTamaro approach used in high schools for teaching problem decomposition and programming in a visual way using graphics, the Expression Tutor platform for teaching about expressions, and the Progmiscon inventory of programming language misconceptions that are common in novice programmers.


Before focusing on computing education research, Matthias' research centered on software performance, and specifically the intricate interactions between the different system layers, from the hardware, over the operating system, virtual machine, application frameworks, all the way to the applications and their users.


Matthias has served as a member of program committees of the key international conferences in his field, both in the area of programming language research, such as OOPSLA, ECOOP, and PLDI, as well as in computing education research, such as  SIGCSE, ITiCSE, KoliCalling, and ICER, which he organized at USI in 2022.

Matthias profoundly loves teaching. He designed and taught a multitude of USI Bachelor courses (Computer Architecture; Programming Fundamentals 2; Experimentation & Evaluation; Software Atelier 1 & 2), Master courses (Programming Styles; Software Performance), PhD courses (How Learning Works; Computer Science Education; Bugs; Instrumentation, Profiling, and Tracing), and teacher training courses (GymInf CH Programmiersprachenkonzepte; GymInf Ticino Concetti di Linguaggi di Programmazione; GymInf Ticino Metodi di Insegnamento dell'Informatica 1 & 2). In all his teaching he strives to provide students with an engaging and effective learning experience.


He also enjoys mentoring students during projects, internships, and dissertations. He jumpstarted UROP, the informatics faculty´s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which enables junior students to discover the exciting world of research. Within two USI Didactics Innovation projects organized by LuCE, USI Bachelor students developed the "Program Your Own Castle" hour of code tutorial that is now being used by teachers and their students across the world.


See also: Matthias Hauswirth´s homepage.


I am interested in the area between programming languages, runtime systems, and software engineering, with a focus on the efficiency of software, its users, and its developers.

I am leading the Software and Programmer Efficiency (Sape) research group.

Aree di competenza