I'm Rob Thompson, a brand-new Computer Science PhD


I'm a recent PhD grad from the University of Washington. I'm interested in exploring how we can use computers to teach and encourage people in a variety of subjects. My research topics include HCI, education, games, learning, problem solving, collaboration, and more. My current focus is on computer science education for young children with learning disabilities.




A web-based set of learning activities designed to teach learning disabled children how to read and write. Done in collaboration with educational psychology researchers, users have shown significant improvements in key measures. See publications for more information.

Kokopelli's World

A block-based beginner programming environment and set of activities meant to teach the basics of computer programming to children with learning disabilities. Developed to work in concert with the HAWK system. Kokopelli's World distinguishes itself by closely resembling English, so children can get feedback on semantic errors by simply reading their code.


Originally developed by other researchers, CoSolve is an online collaborative problem solving tool. It has been a platform for several of my earlier projects, including problem solving agents and novel affordances for problem formulation.


  • University of Washington

    Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Physics with honors - GPA: 3.66

    September 2006 - March 2011

  • University of Washington

    Masters Degree in Computer Science - GPA: 3.71

    September 2011 - June 2013

  • University of Washington

    Doctorate in computer science - GPA: 3.75

    September 2011 - December 2019