Victor Winter

Creator of Bricklayer and the general-purpose transformation system TL

Victor Winter is a full professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the creator of Bricklayer. His area of expertise is programming languages. Within this area Dr. Winter has a particular interest in formalisms and frameworks that enable the description of computation in a manner that facilitates understanding as well as various forms of analysis. This interest includes, (1) verification – the informal and formal reasoning about properties of programs, and (2) validation – the manual and automated construction of tests to increase confidence in the behavior of a system.  

Dr. Winter believes that languages such as Java (as well as other imperative languages) are ill-suited as introductory programming languages. For this reason, in 2013, Dr. Winter developed an introductory programming course based on the functional programming language SML. At this time, Dr. Winter was also teaching a computer science class on Discrete Mathematics. The educational challenges lying at the intersection of these two classes gave rise to the creation of Bricklayer. Initially, Bricklayer was nothing more than a library, written in SML, which provided a variety of graphics functions. From this beginning, Dr. Winter has expanded Bricklayer, creating an educational ecosystem targeting CS education across the K-16 spectrum. 

AUTHORS: Victor Winter, Hubert Hickman, Isabella Winter 

Bricklayer is an educational ecosystem whose focus is on the development of visuospatial, mathematical, and computational abilities foundational to computer science. This talk gives an updated report on the core (Ed)Tech elements comprising the Bricklayer educational ecosystem.  

OBJECTIVE: To inform interested parties of freely available EdTech  suitable for CS education  

AUDIENCE: Introductory CS Education