Emilia Gan

Ph.D. Candidate
Paul G. Allen School of
Computer Science & Engineering
(University of Washington)
M.S. Computer Science
University of Washington '20
M.S. Pathobiology, University of Washington '16
M.D. University of Massachusetts
Medical School
B.S. Materials Science & Engineering, MIT



Scratch & Covid


This research will examine how young people are processing issues relating to the Covid pandemic, as demonstrated by projects being created and shared on the Scratch programming platform.

The Effect of Audience


This research examines how young people creating projects on Scratch are affected by their perceptions of the audience viewing their creations.

Sharing in Scratch


Research presented at CSCW 2018

Although informal online learning communities are made possible by users’ decisions to share their creations, participation by females and other marginalized groups remains stubbornly low in technical communities. Using descriptive statistics and a unique dataset of shared and unshared projects from over 1.1 million users of Scratch—a collaborative programming community for young people—we show that while girls share less initially, this trend flips among experienced users. Using Bayesian regression analyses, we show that this relationship can largely be attributed to differences in the way boys and girls participate. We also find that while prior positive feedback is correlated with increased sharing among inexperienced users, this effect also reverses with experience or with the addition of controls. Our findings provide a description of the dynamics behind online learners’ decisions to share, open new research questions, and point to several lessons for system designers.

Bremen University | Informatica Feminale

August 2019

Informatica Feminale is a summer program for women in computing held at Bremen University in Bremen, Germany.

Taught two 2-day workshops during 22nd session of Informatica Feminale (Summer, 2019):

Seattle Colleges


Adjunct instructor at local community colleges, primarily South Seattle College, teaching:
  • CSC 100: Introduction to Computer Programming
  • CSC 142: Computer Programming I
  • CSC 143: Computer Programming II

I have also taught introductory statistics courses at Seattle Central College and Bellevue College.

Denmark Study Abroad Experience | AU Summer University

Summer 2019

Participated in the course: Game.Play.Design exploring Values in Games/Valuable Games
The final project for the class was to create a hybrid digital/physical game, which was then presented to the public at Dokk1, the public library in Aarhus. Our game, Create-A-Critter, aimed to engage children in a digital world created in Unity. Children were able to scan artwork they created and use it to customize the animals populating the world.

Denmark Study Abroad Experience | Independent Study

Summer 2019

Awarded a Scan|Design Foundation Fellowship to study and travel in Denmark. This independent study project involved exploring gender imbalances in tech in Denmark.


Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington


Working towards a PhD in Computer Science
It took me a while to discover what I really wanted to do. To anyone contemplating a career change or re-entry after time away, I say, "Go for it!"

To date, my research has involved analyzing data from the Scratch programming
platform to discover patterns in how children create, share, and learn from programming packages.

Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington


M.S. in Computer Science
Specialization in Computer Science Education
Completing the required 10 courses and Quals Project was challenging, but worth it!

University of Washington Department of Global Health


M.S. in Pathobiology
Conducted research on Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV), involving analysis of RNA sequencing data of the viral genome. It was while working on this project that I discovered my love for computer science and programming.

University of Massachusetts Medical School


M.D. with residency work in Family Medicine
I started medical school with an interest in primary care and working with people from diverse backgrounds. While I ended up not practicing, my commitment to working with underserved populations remains strong.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering
Concentrations in metallurgy and ceramics. Completed summer internships at Intel (working on wetting properties of solder joints) and at GE Aircraft Engines (studying abrasion resistance of different coating material formulations).


University of Washington, CSE


Graduate Teaching Assistant

Primary Instructor for CSE 160: Data Programming

This class is intended for non-majors who anticipate needing programming and data analysis skills. Students come from diverse programs and have little/no prior programming experience. The course introduces students to Python, using real-world data sets to teach concepts of computational thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, Python programming, control and data abstraction, file processing, and data visualization. Managed a class of ~100 students with the help of 6 TAs.

Teaching Assistant for the following classes:
  • CSE 160: Data Programming
  • CSE 190D: Current Topics (Game Design with Python)
  • CSE 373: Data Structures & Algorithms
  • CSE 415: Introduction to AI (for non-majors)
  • CSE 473: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence