Yana Kortsarts

Yana Kortsarts, PhD

  • Chair of Digital Media Informatics
  • Professor of Computer Science
Media Expertise:
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Technology

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Applied Mathematics (1997)
    Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

About Me

My current research interests focus mainly on computer science education and mathematical foundations of computer science in regards to computer science education. My teaching and research engagement activities are closely connected, complementing and supporting each other. The research results are integrated into classroom enriching the course curriculum and providing opportunities for further research. In recent years, my research is focusing on the improvement of the introductory programming course sequence curriculum. For several years, I also worked on integrating project component and professional ethics component into the introductory programming course.

Curriculum development is an additional direction of my research in computer science education. During my years at Widener, I've developed several new upper-level technical electives and several free electives. Some of these courses have an interdisciplinary nature. I'm also involved in research with undergraduate students. Since joining Widener, I've had more than 20 poster presentations with my students. My students regularly present in various computer science education conferences poster sessions, NCUR, and other conferences with undergraduate research programs. 

I am devoting my time to research related to women in computing, increasing representation of the women in computer science, retention, and recruitment of women into computing disciplines. Currently, I am an adviser of the Women in Computing Club, and I am working with female students on extracurricular projects.

Research Interests

My research includes studies on the integration of mathematical reasoning into computer science curricula, development and integration of innovative teaching approaches that aim to improve the learning process and enhance the comprehension of the study materials, evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness of the proposed techniques, curricular development issues related to core introductory programming courses, interdisciplinary courses, courses for non-majors, and elective courses for computer science and information systems majors.


  • Yana Kortsarts, Kamil Akhuseyinoglu, Jordan Barria-Pineda, Peter Brusilovsky Integrating personalized online practice into an introductory programming course. Interdisciplinary Programs, Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Volume 35 (8), pp. 264-266, April 2020 
  • Adam Fischbach, Yana Kortsarts, Suk-Chung Yoon, Developing Interdisciplinary Programs – Challenges and Opportunities, SIGCSE 2018, Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pp. 1073, Baltimore, MA, February 21-24, 2018 
  • Yana Kortsarts, Yulia Kempner, Steganography and Cryptography Inspired Enhancement of Introductory Programming Courses. Information Systems Education Journal (ISEDJ), Volume 13, No. 4, pp. 24 - 32, July 2015 
  • Kortsarts, Y., & Kempner, Y. (2015). Steganography and cryptography inspired enhancement of introductory programming courses. Information Systems Education Journal (ISDEJ), to appear.
  • Fischbach, J.A., & Kortsarts, Y. (2014). Incorporating professional ethics into an introductory computer science course. Journal of Computing Science in Colleges, 29(3), 35–42.
  • Kortsarts, Y., & Kempner, Y. (2012). Enriching introductory programming courses with non-intuitive probability experiments component. ITiCSE '12 Proceedings of the 17th ACM Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 128–131, ACM New York, NY.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Working Group on Integrating Mathematical Reasoning into Computer Science Curricula, ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE)


  • Faculty Development Grant on Women in Computing, Widener University (2014–2015)
  • Provost Grant, Funding Research, Widener University (2011–2012)
  • Meritorious Paper Award, ISECON (2006)