Barbara Boucher Owens

Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science

Areas of expertise
Computer Science Education

Barbara Boucher Owens teaches in the Computer Science department at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She has been in the computing field since 1967 and has been teaching since 1970. She is chair of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (ACM/SIGCSE), a past-president of the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, and co-founder of its South Central Conference. Her most recent research grants have been in the areas of ethics in computing and gender issues in computing. She holds a PhD from New York University, MA from the University of Texas at Austin and BA from Ohio Wesleyan University.


PhD , New York University 1977
MA, The University of Texas at Austin 1967
BA, Ohio Wesleyan University 1965


Associate Professor of Computer Science
Southwestern University
August 01, 1999 - August 31, 2012

Professor of Computer Science
St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas
August 01, 1988 - May 01, 1999

Guest Lecturer, Department of Computer Science
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
July 01, 1996 - November 01, 1996

Professor of Computer Science
Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY
June 01, 1978 - August 01, 1988

Instructor in Computer Science
Brooklyn College
September 01, 1971 - August 01, 1977

Teaching Philosophy

There is no one right way to teach any given material and nor is there one right way to teach all students. For each student there is no one right way to learn each subject. The challenge is to find the best way to approach each student at any given moment.

Previous Courses

First Year Seminar: The Ethos of Technology and the Internet; Seminar in Elementary Software Engineering; Introduction to Computing; Introduction to Programming; Computer Science 1 (Programming Concepts I) (in Java); Computer Science 2 (Programming Concepts II) (in Java) ; Problem Solving for Rapid Application Development; Algorithms (in C++) ; Programming Languages; Senior Seminar in Software Engineering Independent Study


Gender Issues in Computing--Principal Investigator on the Computing Educator's Oral History Project.

Ethical Issues in Computing

Professional Work

Assoication for Computing Machinery (ACM) member since 1968

  • Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) member since 1968
    • Chair 2007-2010, Immediate Past Chair 2010-2013
    • Vice Chair 2001-2007
    • At large board member 1997-2001
    • Chair of Local Arrangements for SIGCSE 2000 Symposium
    • Editor Proceedings of SIGCSE Symposium, 1991
    • SIGCSE Representative to ACM Education Council 2006-present
  • ACM SIG Governing Board Executive Committee 2009-2013
  • ACM Council on Women 2006 - present
Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges
Nation Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance representative for Southwestern University 2006-present

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
  • Chair, Academic Advisory Board 2012
  • Member Academic Advisory Board 2009-2010
Citizen's Ambassador's Program, Computer Science Educators Representative-- Soviet Union and Bulgaria, Summer 1989.

Honors & Awards

Principal Investigator NSF Grant 0710536 -- $40,000, "Planning Grant: Computing Educators Oral History Project," February 2007-January 2011.

Recipient Sam Taylor Fellowship, 2003-2004, 2005-2006.
Recipient of Computing Research Association's Grant for Collaborative Research Experience for Women in Undergraduate Computer Science and Engineering   (CREW), 2001-2002.
Outstanding Teacher of the Year, St. Edward's University  School of Natural Sciences, 1994-1995
Co-principal investigator, NSF Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Grant "High Performance Workstation Laboratory", 1993
Coalition Coordinator, NSF Faculty Enhancement Grant, "Project for Undergraduate Computer Science Faculty Enhancement and Materials Development in the Central Texas Region", Nell Dale, The University of Texas at Austin, Principle Investigator.
Honoree, Austin University YWCA Leadership Luncheon, June 1990
Member Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computer Science Honorary, October 2001.