Chris Piech


Assistant Professor of Computer Science Education, Stanford University.
PhD advised by Leo Guibas and Mehran Sahami.

Office: Durand Building, Room 305
Email: piech at cs.stanford.edu
Twitter: @chrispiech
The Piech Lab

I was born and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. When I was twelve I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I lived until I came to Stanford for university, liked it a lot and stayed. I love teaching and I'm into exploring our world (through both science and travelling). My research is in machine learning to understand human learning.

News (June, 2022):
Grading Open-Ended Midterms: Our work to rubric-grade novel open-ended exams was covered in the New York Times. See the HAI blog.
Code in Place: As a service project taught CS106A to 20k students with 2k volunteer TAs across via Code in Place. It was a good time!
AI Visual Acuity Test: Our new AI based algorithm for precisely measuring vision was covered in Science Magazine and the Lancet [paper].
HAI Hoffman-Yee grant: A group of CS and Education professors were recently awarded an HAI Hoffman-Yee grant and won a renewal.
Best paper awards: The lab is humbled to have received recent best paper awards from EDM'22, EDM'20, L@S'20 and AAAI'19

Teaching at Stanford

CS106A

Programming Methodologies

Last: Spr 2022

CS109

Probability for Computer Scientists

Last: Fall 2023

CS398

Computational Education

Last: Fall 2019

CS106B

Programming
Abstractions

Last: Fall 2016

I co-created and co-taught Code in Place. I last taught CS221 in Summer 2013


Recent Papers

GPTeach: Interactive TA Training with GPT Based Students

J. Markel, S. Opferman, J. Landay, C. Piech

Proceedings of the Tenth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. 2023

Can automated feedback improve teachers' uptake of student ideas? evidence from a randomized controlled trial in a large-scale online course

D. Demszky, J. Liu, H. C. Hill, D. Jurafsky, C. Piech

Journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 2023

High-Resolution Course Feedback: Timely Feedback Mechanism for Instructors

Y. Kim, C. Piech

Proceedings of the Tenth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. 2023

The Student Zipf Theory: Inferring Latent Structures in Open-Ended Student Work To Help Educators

Y. Kim, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 13th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference. 2023

Variational temporal IRT: Fast, accurate, and explainable inference of dynamic learner proficiency

Y. Kim, S. Sankaranarayanan, C. Piech, C. Thille

Proceedings of the Tenth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. 2023

The AI teacher test: Measuring the pedagogical ability of blender and GPT-3 in educational dialogues

Best Paper Award

A. Tack, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Educational Data Mining. 2022.

MABSplit: Faster Forest Training Using Multi-Armed Bandits

M. Tiwari, R. Kang, J. Lee, S. Thrun, C. Piech, I. Shomorony, M. Zhang

36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. NeurIPS 2022

Banditpam: Almost linear time k-medoids clustering via multi-armed bandits

M. Tiwari, M. J. Zhang, J. Mayclin, S. Thrun, C. Piech, I. Shomorony

34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. NeurIPS 2020

Function Names: Quantifying the Relationship Between Identifiers and Their Functionality to Improve Them

C. Charitsis, C. Piech, J. Mitchell

Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. 2022

Using NLP to Quantify Program Decomposition in CS1

C. Charitsis, C. Piech, J. Mitchell

Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale. 2022

Foundation Models for Education

A. Malik, D. Demszky, P. Koh, M. Doumbouya, D. Hudson, A. Nie, H. Nilforoshan, A. Tamkin, E. Brunskill, N. Goodman, C. Piech

Center for Research on Foundation Models (CRFM). 2022

Variation in respondent speed and its implications: Evidence from an adaptive testing scenario

B. Domingue, K. Kanopka, B. Stenhaug, J. Soland, M. Kuhfeld, S. Wise, C. Piech

Journal of Educational Measurement 58, no. 3: 335-363. 2021.

Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off? Not So Fast: Marginal Changes in Speed Have Inconsistent Relationships With Accuracy in Real-World Settings

B. Domingue, K. Kanopka, B. Stenhaug, M. Sulik, T. Beverly, M. Brinkhuis, R. Circi, J. Faul, D. Liao, B. McCandliss, J. Obradović, C. Piech, T. Porter, J. Soland, J. Weeks, S. Wise, J. Yeatman

Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics 47.5: 576-602. 2022.

Generative Grading: Near Human-level Accuracy for Automated Feedback on Richly Structured Problems

A. Malik, M. Wu, V. Vasavada, J. Song, M. Coots, J. Mitchell, N. Goodman, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM), Paris, France. 2021

Giving Feedback on Interactive Student Programs with Meta-Exploration

E. Liu, M. Stephan, A. Nie, C. Piech, E. Brunskill, C. Finn

NeurIPS, 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, 2022.

Play to Grade: Testing Coding Games as Classifying Markov Decision Process

A. Nie, E. Brunskill, C. Piech

NeurIPS, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, Dec 2021

Using Radio Archives for Low-Resource Speech Recognition: Towards an Intelligent Virtual Assistant for Illiterate Users

M. Doumbouya, L. Einstein, C. Piech

Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Apr 2021

Differentiation of Active Corneal Infections from Healed Scars Using Deep Learning

M. Tiwari, C. Piech, ..., S. Thrun, C. Lin

Othalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, August 2021

PearProgram: A more fruitful approach to pair programming

M. Bigman, E. Roy, J. Garcia, M. Suzara, K. Wang, C. Piech

SIGCSE, ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2021

Code in Place: Online Section Leading for Scalable Human-Centered Learning

C. Piech, A. Malik, K. Jue, M. Sahami

SIGCSE, ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2021

Co-Teaching Computer Science Across Borders: Human-Centric Learning at Scale

Best Paper Award

C. Piech, L. Yan, L. Einstein, A. Saavedra, B. Bozkurt, E. Sestakova, O. Guth, N. McKeown

7th conference on Learning@Scale, 2020

Variational Item Response Theory: Fast, Accurate, and Expressive

Best Paper Award

M. Wu, R. Davis, B. Domingue, C. Piech, N. Goodman

12th Conference on Educational Data Mining. 2020

The Stanford Acuity Test: A Precise Vision Test Using Bayesian Techniques and a Discovery in Human Visual Response

C. Piech, A. Malik, L. Mapstone, R. Chang, C. Lin

Proceedings of the 34th AAAI conference on Artificial Intelligence, New York, USA. 2020

Human Languages in Source Code: Auto-Translation for Localized Instruction

C. Piech, S. Haija

7th conference on Learning@Scale, 2020

Using Google Search Trends to Estimate Global Patterns in Learning

S. Arslan, M. Tiwari, C. Piech

7th conference on Learning@Scale, 2020

Measuring Ability-to-Learn Using Parametric Learning-Gain Functions

C. Piech, E. Bumbacher, R. Davis

12th Conference on Educational Data Mining. 2020

Zero Shot Learning for Code Education: Rubric Sampling with Deep Learning Inference

Best Student Paper Award

M. Wu, M. Mosse, N. Goodman, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 33rd AAAI conference on Artificial Intelligence, Honolulu, USA. 2019

A Vision of AI for Joyful Education

C. Piech, L. Einstein

Scientific American Opinions. 2019

Grades are not Normal: Improving Exam Score Models Using the Logit-Normal Distribution

N. Arthurs, B. Stenhaug, S. Karayev, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, Montréal, Canada. 2019

Pensieve: Feedback on coding process for novices

L. Yan, A. Hu, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Minneapolis, USA. 2019

The PyramidSnapshot Challenge: Understanding student process from visual output of programs

L. Yan, N. McKeown, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Minneapolis, USA. 2019

Achieving Fairness through Adversarial Learning: an Application to Recidivism Prediction

C. Wadsworth, F. Vera, C. Piech

5th Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency in ML, Stockholm, Sweden. 2018

TMOSS: Using Intermediate Assignment Work to Understand Excessive Collaboration in Large Classes

L. Yan, N. McKeown, M. Sahami, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Baltimore, USA. 2018

BlueBook: A Computerized Replacement for Paper Tests in Computer Science

C. Piech, C. Gregg

Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Baltimore, USA. 2018

Deep Knowledge Tracing on Programming Excercises

L. Wang, A. Sy, L. Liu, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, Wuhan, China. 2017

Deep Knowledge Tracing

C. Piech, J. Bassen, J. Huang, S. Ganguli, M. Sahami, L. Guibas, J. Sohl-Dickstein

NeurIPS, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 2015

Learning Program Embeddings to Propagate Feedback on Student Code

C. Piech, J. Huang, A. Nguyen, M. Phulsuksombati, M. Sahami, L. Guibas

Proceedings of the 43rd International Conference on Machine Learning, Lille, France 2015

Inferring Problem Solving Policies

C. Piech, M. Sahami, J. Huang, L. Guibas

Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Conference on Learning at Scale, Vancouver, Canada, 2015

Codewebs: Scalable Homework Search for Massive Open Online Programming Courses

A. Nguyen, C. Piech, J. Huang, L. Guibas

Proceedings of the 23rd international conference on World Wide Web, Seoul, Korea, 2014

Syntactic and Functional Variability of a Million Code Submissions in a Machine Learning MOOC

J. Huang, C. Piech, A. Nguyen, L. Guibas

MOOC Shop, 11th International Conference on the Learning Sciences, Boulder, USA. 2014

Tuned Models of Peer Assessment in MOOCs

C. Piech, J. Huang, Z. Chen, C. Do, A. Ng, D. Koller

Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Educational Data Mining, Memphis, USA. 2013

The Future of Data-Enriched Assessment

C. Thille, E. Schneider, R. Kizilcec, C. Piech, S. Halawa, D. Greene

Research and Practice in Assessment vol 9. 2014

Measuring Stereotype and Identity in Computer Science

R. Semmens, C. Piech, M. Friend

Proceedings of the Third Conference on GenderIT, Philadelphia USA. 2015

Deconstructing Disengagement: Analyzing Learner Subpopulations in Massive Open Online Courses

R. Kizilcec, C. Piech, E. Schneider

Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Leuven, Belgium. 2013

As CS Enrollments Grow, Are We Attracting Weaker Students? A Statistical Analysis of Student Performance in Introductory Programming Courses Over Time

M. Sahami, C. Piech

Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Memphis, USA. 2016

Modeling How Students Learn To Program

C. Piech, M. Sahami, D. Koller, S. Cooper, P. Blikstein

Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Raleigh, USA. 2012

Informatics Education Using Nothing but a Browser

C. Piech, E. Roberts

Proceedings of the IFIP Conference on Informatics in a Globalised World of Education, Mombasa, Kenya. 2011


Teaching Tools

CS Bridge

Intro CS in Istanbul

Purple Book

Online Exam Grading (Soon)

Blue Book

Secure Electronic Exams (Soon)

Pensieve

Students See Their Own Progress

High Resolution Feedback

Understand Your Class

CS Website Maker

Style and Design for CS Pages

Karel Online

Proto Coding Online

Course Pods

Proto Inperson MOOCs


Data Visualization

...

Code.org problem solving policy graph of learned policy for how to solve a single open ended programming assignment from over 1M users. Each node is a unique partial-solution (and node 0 is the correct answer)