Nicole D. Martin, Ph.D.

Research Associate
Expanding Pathways in Computing

Phone: 512-471-9434 | Email:

Nicole joined TACC in 2019. She designs, manages, and conducts evaluation for STEM education programs to assess the impact and effectiveness of various programs across K-12 and college settings. She researches computer science and science education, investigating issues around equity, instructional practices, and student and teacher outcomes. She also supports educational outreach and teacher professional learning programs in computer science. Before joining TACC, Nicole worked as a research associate at the STEM Center in the College of Education at UT Austin evaluating STEM education programs. Prior to her work at UT Austin, she received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her background is in the Learning Sciences, and her research has focused on middle school science teaching and learning, particularly on how teachers support students to learn science as practice.

Selected Publications


Torbey, R., Martin, N. D., Warner, J. R., & Fletcher, C. L. (2020). Algebra I Before High School as a Gatekeeper to Computer Science Participation. In The 51st ACMTechnical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE'20), March 11–14, 2020, Portland, OR, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA.

Martin, N. D., Dornfeld Tissenbaum, C., Gnesdilow, D., & Puntambekar, S. (2019). Fading distributed scaffolds: The interplay between teacher and material scaffolds, Instructional Science, 47(1), 69-98.

Martin, N. D., Gnesdilow, D., & Puntambekar, S. (2018). Teachers' mediation of students' interactions with physical and virtual scientific models in biology. In J. Kay, & R. Luckin (Eds.), Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count, 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2018, Volume 1 (pp. 280-287). London, UK: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Martin, N. D., Gnesdilow, D., & Puntambekar, S. (2017). Integrating physical and virtual models in biology: A study of students' reasoning while solving a design challenge.In Smith, B. K., Borge, M., Mercier, E., and Lim, K. Y. (Eds.). (2017).Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL, 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 2017, Volume 1 (pp. 327-334). Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Martin, N. D., Nguyen, K., & McDaniel, M. A. (2016). Structure building differences influence learning from educational text: effects on encoding, retention, and metacognitive control, Contemporary Educational Psychology, 46, 52-60.

Martin, N. D., & Puntambekar, S. (2016). Supporting teachers in navigating change towards science practices focus in the classroom: Investigating current teacher support for science practices. In Looi, C. K., Polman, J. L., Cress, U., and Reimann, P. (Eds.), Transforming Learning, Empowering Learners: The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2016, Volume 1(pp. 298-305). Singapore: International Society of the Learning Sciences.


Current Projects

  • UT Austin NSF MRSEC Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials
  • UT San Antonio NASA MIRO Center for Advanced Measurements in Extreme Environments
  • Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation - Southwest Georgia Alliance
  • WeTeach_CS
  • CS K12 Pathways

Areas of Research

  • Equity in computer science education
  • Science teaching and learning
  • Teacher professional development