Rice Hall 400 Box 400740
85 Engineer's Way
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Personal Homepage Game Design Research Group Google Scholar ORCiD


Mark Sherriff is a Professor of Computer Science (Academic General Faculty) in the Department of Computer Science, having joined the department in 2007. He currently serves as Associate Department Chair and Director of the Bachelor of Science degree program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. His teaching interests include software engineering, video game design, and mobile app development. His research interests are in CS education, the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and gamification.  He has won numerous awards for his teaching, including the 2016 IEEE Computer Society Mary Kenneth Keller Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award and the 2014 University of Virginia All-University Teaching Award. In 2019, Mark became a Senior Member of the IEEE and ACM. He received his BS in Computer Science from Wake Forest University in 2002 and his MS and PhD from NC State University in 2004 and 2007.


B.S. ​Wake Forest University, 2002

M.S. ​North Carolina State University, 2004

Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 2007​

"Students are more engaged when they have a voice in the process."


Research Interests

Computer Science Education
Computer Game Design
Software Engineering

Selected Publications

"Training Computing Educators to Become Computing Education Researchers." The 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Providence, RI, Mar 2-5, 2022. CARVER, J., HECKMAN, S., SHERRIFF, M.
"Engineering a Complete Curriculum Overhaul." The 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Providence, RI, Mar 2-5, 2022. TYCHONIEVICH, L. AND SHERRIFF, M.
"A Systematic Literature Review of Empiricism and Norms of Reporting in Computing Education Research Literature." ACM Trans. Comput. Educ. 22, 1, Article 3 (March 2022) HECKMAN, S., CARVER, J., SHERRIFF, M., AND AL-ZUBIDY, A.
"Achievement Unlocked: Investigating Which Gamification Elements Motivate Students." The 123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 24-27, 2016. SHERRIFF, M. AND FLORYAN, M.
"A (Updated) Review of Empiricism at the SIGCSE Technical Symposium." The 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Memphis, TN, Mar 3-6, 2016. AL-ZUBIDY, A., CARVER, J., HECKMAN, S., SHERRIFF, M.

Courses Taught

CS 3240 - Software Engineering
CS 4730 - Computer Game Design
CS 4720 - Mobile Application Development


UVA ACM Professor of the Year 2021
IEEE Computer Society Mary Kenneth Keller Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award 2014
UVA All-University Teaching Award 2012
UVA ACM Professor of the Year 2011
Trigon Engineering Society Thomas E. Hutchinson Faculty Award Winner 2012
Hartfield-Jefferson Scholars Teaching Prize (first year ever awarded) 2010

Featured Grants & Projects

Collaborative Research: Transforming Computer Science Education Research Through Use of Appropriate Empirical Research Methods: Mentoring and Tutorials The goal of this project is to transform empirical CSEd research by building and supporting a community of CSEd researchers through: (1) creation and curation of laboratory packages to facilitate empirical CSEd research, (2) facilitation of cohorts of 10-12 educators who are mentored in developing and executing an empirical CSEd research study and (3) development and presentation of tutorials on empirical research methods at CSEd conferences. Laboratory packages are aids that provide researchers with a driving research question, a methodology for designing and executing a study, tools and resources to replicate the study, and results of previous related studies. The cohorts will have a more-focused interaction during a summer session to develop a study with a follow-up workshop to report and discuss results. Finally, the tutorials allow for broader dissemination of the key concepts of empirical CSEd research to the larger community.
Game Design Research Group (Co-Director) Our group of 13 students currently performs research on gamification in education and “games for good.” Our ongoing projects include a gamification platform for college courses, educational games for elementary and middle school students, and the creation of an introductory CS course that focuses on game design principles.