Welcome!

My research focuses on ways of enlarging access to the public square by helping journalists think computationally, helping computer scientists become better collaborators, and ensuring that digital media tools work better for all. My approach has focused on engaging students in interdisciplinary computing collaborations aimed at creating civic media that address real community problems.

My current research collaboration, Trenton Makes Music: Cultural Memory, Identity and Economic Development, involves the creation of a digital archive, podcast and social platform documenting the contributions of Trenton music professionals to the music industry, and the role of music in Trenton's economic and cultural development. My partners in this endeavor are Dr. Teresa Marrin Nakra of TCNJ's Music and Interactive Multimedia departments, and singer Sarah Dash. We have been fortunate to attract support from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and several sources within TCNJ. Our hope is that this project will support efforts to create culturally responsive curricula, to preserve local history and to foster heritage tourism. We also see it as a potential springboard for research on the role of music education in violence prevention. This project began as a First Seminar class 2014, and is ongoing

I am also co-pi for CABECT: Collaborating Across Boundaries to Engage Undergraduates in Collaborative Thinking,which was funded by National Science Foundation grant 1141170. The PI for the grant is Dr. S. Monisha Pulimood, chair of the TCNJ Computer Science Department. The CABECT project tested the hypothesis that students can become more deeply engaged in computational thinking when collaborating with community members to address a real problem. Our pilot project, attempted to make it easier for affordable housing developers and urban farmers to get information on the real and potential pollutants in their soil. The curricular model for the Trenton Makes Music Project draws from this research. This project began in 2012 and will conclude in 2017.

A list of publications and presentations, as well as information on past research projects is available on my research page.

Sarah Monisha Pulimood, Kim Pearson, and Diane C. Bates. 2016. A Study on the Impact of Multidisciplinary Collaboration on Computational Thinking. In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (SIGCSE '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 30-35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2839509.2844636

Kathleen Webber and Kim Pearson. Community Engaged Learning in Journalism and Multimedia Courses Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication, AEJMC, Summer, 2015

President Obama delivers his valedictory State of the Union Address, BlogHer, January 12, 2016
Of Margo Jefferson's "Negroland" November 15, 2015
What I learned from meeting Maya Angelou: Something is always wanting to come May 28, 2014

Can VIBE magazine be saved? And should we care?






VIBE magazine, the urban music magazine once hailed as hip-hop’s answer to Rolling Stone, closed its doors June 30, 2009, at a time when the death of Michael Jackson propelled music industry news to the top of the headlines.

Building the bridge between journalism and computer science






Computational Thinking in Journalism: Recently Asked Questions My Poynter.org  essay on the need to foster comptational thinking in journalism has generated responses ranging from skeptical to intrigued. In this post,  I want to particularly respond to two of the questions and observations that have been raised. I’ll take the comments at Poynter first. One commenter […]

A foundational concept for the new news economy






For journalists, surviving and thriving in the new news economy and culture is more than a matter of learning new digital tools. It’s a matter of understanding how the principles underlying our best practices are isomorphically related to the computer science concepts at the heart of the reshaping of civic media.

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Tweets from the Trenton Makes Music project