Michael Clancy

I received my B.S. at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), attended Stanford University as a graduate student, and was appointed Lecturer at U.C. Berkeley in 1977. I received security of employment in 1983, and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 1989. (Lecturers in the U.C. system are faculty whose job responsibilities include teaching and University service, but not research. More information on U.C. Berkeley lecturers and security of employment—the lecturer equivalent of tenure—is available here and here.)

I have won two CS Division awards: the Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992 and the Information Technology Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2001. In 2004, I received a campus award for Outstanding Mentorship of Graduate Student Instructors.

My current research efforts, part of the UC-WISE project (University of California Web-based Instruction for Science and Engineering), focus on lab-based instruction, a technique that swaps lecture and discussion time for supervised hands-on computer lab work. Lab-based instruction potentially has numerous benefits. It substitutes active learning activities for the (at best) passive learning provided in most lectures and discussion sections. The increased number of online exercises permits smoother transition between exercises and a more gradual slope in complexity from activity to activity. Lab instructors observing their students’ work can immediately clear up confusion or head off misconceptions if necessary.

The UC-WISE project as a whole aims to provide technology and curricula for laboratory-based higher education courses that incorporate online facilities for collaboration, inquiry learning, and assessment, and to investigate the most effective ways of integrating this technology into courses; to allow instructors to customize courses, prototype new course elements, and collect review comments from experienced course developers.

The project combines curricular design and improvement, system building, and educational research. Work so far has resulted in several lab-based courses (CS 3L, 4, and 61BL at Berkeley; CSE 20, 21, and 30 at U.C. Merced).

Research Thrusts