Michael E. Cotterell, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer of Computer Science

Michael E. Cotterell, Ph.D.

812 Boyd Research and Education Center

200 D. W. Brooks Drive,

Athens, GA 30602

Dr. Cotterell received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UGA in May 2011 and December 2017, respectively. He is currently a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science and an Undergraduate Coordinator in the UGA School of Computing.

In Fall 2012, after his first year in graduate school, Dr. Cotterell returned from a summer internship at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to discover that he was asked to teach his first CS class at UGA as part of his graduate teaching assistantship — he accepted the offer, and the first class he taught was Software Development (CSCI 1302). In 2015, he transitioned to a full-time Instructor (part-time graduate student) and won the department’s Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2016 after only one year of full-time teaching. In Fall 2017 — the same semester when he defended his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Cotterell was rehired at the rank of Lecturer. Since then, he has received the department’s Teaching Excellence in Computer Science Award multiple times (Spring 2018, Spring 2020) and was promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer in 2021. Dr. Cotterell was also selected as a 2018–2019 UGA Faculty Online Learning Fellow, a 2018–2019 UGA Faculty Writing Fellow, and a 2019-2020 UGA Teaching Academy Fellow.

Dr. Cotterell is the Director of the Computer Science Undergraduate Assistant (CSUA) Experiential Learning Program and the UGAHacks Hackers Experiential Learning Program. He also chairs the School of Computing’s Undergraduate Program & Curriculum Committee (since 2021), and he is a member of UGA’s University Council.

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Georgia, 2017
Professional Appointments
  • Senior Lecturer, Computer Science, University of Georgia
  • Undergraduate Coordinator
  • Director | CSUA and UGAHACKS Hackers Experiential Learning Programs
Awards & Honors


  1. July 2022 to June 2025 – $899,995. Matthew J. Madison (PI), Minjeong Jeon (Co-Pi), Michael E. Cotterell (Co-PI). “Generalized, Multilevel, and Longitudinal Psychometric Models for Evaluating Educational Interventions.” Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (DOE).
  2. July 2021 to June 2022 – $25,000. Shannon Quinn (PI), Michael E. Cotterell (Co-PI). “Interdisciplinary Data Science for All.” FY22 Learning Technologies Grant (LTG), Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), University of Georgia.
  3. August 2021 to July 2023 – $60,000. Thiab R. Taha (PI), Bradley J. Barnes (Co-PI), Michael E. Cotterell (Co-PI), Manijeh Keshtgari (Co-PI), Eman Saleh (Co-PI). “Center for Inclusive Computing Diagnostic Grant.” Diagnostic Grant, Center for Inclusive Computing (CIC), Northeastern University.
  4. May 2019 to July 2020 – $10,800. Michael E. Cotterell (PI), Bradley J. Barnes (Co-PI). “Open & Active Course Materials for Software Development.” Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grant, Round Fourteen (2019-2020), University System of Georgia.
  5. May 2019 to July 2019 – $5,000. Bradley J. Barnes (PI), Michael E. Cotterell (Co-PI). “Creation of interactive tutorials to replace current text in CSCI 1302 Software Development”. Provost’s Affordable Course Materials Grant (2019), University of Georgia.
Areas of Expertise
Functional Data Analysis, open science, and computing education. His long-term research goal is to integrate open science, active open educational resources, and peer-based active learning in a way that facilitates effective, evidence-based, low-anxiety computing education at scale.
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