About Me


B.Sc. (CPSC 1981) University of Calgary
M.Sc. (CPSC 1983) University of Calgary
Ph.D. (EdTech 2008) University of Calgary
C.I.D. (Certified Instructional Designer)
GCert Serious Game Design & Research (2013) Michigan State University

Brief Bio

<style float-right> </style> Born in Berlin (Germany), raised in Ontario (Canada), moved to Calgary with my family when I was 15. I liked it, so I'm still here.

I started university (at Calgary) in 1977, and I taught/learned there until 2006 (see below). I'm not the work-at-a-regular-job kind of person: where else can you get paid to learn stuff? I've taught on and off in the Department of Computer Science since 1983, and at Mount Royal University since 2008. My status @ UofC was part-time until about 1999, largely because I have 3 children and we felt it was important to spend time with them while they were growing up. I've been married to the same guy since 1981, and I still like it (cool, huh?).

I've had an interest in teaching throughout my career, and now that I've been at this for over 20 years, I finally felt I had enough experience, and something worth sharing, to take the next step: my Ph.D., which I finished in 2008.

My big passion these days is Serious Games (games used for purposes other than pure entertainment), and the use of games in teaching. I've been using games as assignments in my first-year classes for some years. The students tell me they really like it, but that it's also pretty hard. Teaching with games is not about making things easy.

<style float-left> </style> In my spare time, I look after our small farm (see link), and try to do my little bit towards reminding people what real life is about.

Here is a picture pf me, taken in 2005, in front of Sunnydale High School (where Buffy & the Scooby gang went). Click on the image to see a larger version.

On Quitting

As of July 1, 2006, I am no longer employed as a (tenured) Senior Instructor in Computer Science at the University of Calgary. It's been a fun 23 years.

Well, mostly.

I am grateful to all the students who challenged me. I have learned a great deal from all of you. Thanks!

old news

<style left> Dec. 2013: Graduate Certificate in Serious Game Design and Research at Michigan State University
Nov. 2013: Winner of the 2013 IAP-DDL-AECT Crystal Award for innovative and outstanding multimedia-based distance learning courses and distance learning projects.
Aug. 2013: Appointed as Adjunct Professor, Mount Royal University (Calgary, AB, Canada)
Dec. 2011: I've published my first book.
June 2009: My term at Mount Royal has come to an end. It was fun.
June 2008: I have a new job, at as an Instructor, in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Mount Royal University (Calgary, Alberta,Canada)

March. 2008: A new look for my website - I have re-designed my web site. Some pages have not yet been changed over, please be patient. Please also let me know of any problems, bad links, or other glitches.

Feb. 2008: I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation on Feb. 6. Yipeeeeee!

Jan. 2008: Looking for work (academia, consulting, research, or design). Willing to travel but not move. Telecommuting prospects welcome.

June. 2007: I've finally joined the ranks of the bloggers. Not that I feel I have anything really important to say. I am using it mostly as a way to keep track of some of my own thoughts and interesting do-dads I happen across. It is public because sharing is a good thing and you never know…. someone else might find something of value. So, here it is. The Becker Blog

  • Nov. 2006: I've been awarded the J. B. Hyne Research Innovation Award [The Faculty of Graduate Studies created this award to recognize graduate students in any discipline who excel in research. It is named to honour Dr. James B. Hyne, the first Dean of Graduate Studies (1966-1989).]

  • Oct. 18 2006: CS problem directory A list of 103 assignment specifications, both collected and invented that can be used in programming classes. Most are suitable for 1st year classes, but some can be applied to other years too. (If you use any of these, please let me know. It's always nice to hear about where this stuff is going.)

  • July 1 2006: I have resigned as Senior Instructor at the University of Calgary. After 23 years, I quit.

  • December 2005: I moved my web pages (including the farm site and my teaching/course pages) here: www.minkhollow.ca. For More info try my resources pages on: professional ethics (bullying in academia)

  • A short commentary on enrollments in CS and what we might do about it.


Katrin's affiliations

In the interests of full disclosure, note that due to the fact that many of these organizations have substantial membership fees (and no breaks for individuals who are not students but do not have a regular income), and that Katrin does NOT have a professional spending allowance, she is only able to maintain memberships in some of these organizations each year.

Science & Technology:
AACE (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education), member
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), member
CCSC (Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges), member
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), member

DIGRA (Digital Games Research Association) member
NASAGA (North American Simulation and Gaming Association) member
IGDA (International Game Developer's Association) member
CGSA (Canadian Game Studies Association) founding member
[2008: CGSA Chair to the Loading Journal Committee]


AERA (American Educational Research Association) member
CEA (Canadian Education Association) member
AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology) member
CNIE (The Canadian Network for Innovation in Education/Réseau canadien pour l'nnovation en éducation) member


SAFS (Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship) member
cira (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) member

Religious Society of Friends [Quakers]:
Calgary Monthly Meeting
Canadian Yearly Meeting

Rare Breeds Canada (since 1983)
Canadian Kennel Club(since 1983)
Rottweiler Club of Canada(since 1983)
American Rabbit Breeder's Association(since 1991)
National Rex Rabbit Breeder's Association(since 1992)
Southern Alberta Rabbit Breeder's Association(since 1991)

some of my favorite people....

in no particular order….

My Aunt Hilde Albert Einstein
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
Mohandas Gandhi
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Gerald Durrell
Peter Gzowski Victor Borge
My father invented a cure for which there was no disease and unfortunately my mother caught it and died from it.
John Candy Gilda Radner
Never mind.
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Richard Feynman Jane Goodall HH Dalai Lama Jimmy Carter
Donald Knuth
Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
Ernie Coombs (a.k.a. Mr. Dressup) Jim Henson Barbara Frum
I can find no image of Ray, but he devserves a place here as someone who has had, and continues to have an influence over my life. Ray was part of the maintenance team (only we just called them caretakers back then) in MacEwan Hall at the U of C. He had a difficult life with more tragedy than any one soul can possibly deserve, yet he always had a smile and a kind word for everyone, whether he knew them or not.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.
Sir Winston Churchill Harry Nilsson Thanks, Ray.

Ray Alward, Maintenance, UofC
Elizabeth Fry James Barrie

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Some People that Fascinate Me

(I'm not sure if &quot;admire&quot; is the right word though)

Salvatore Dali Oscar Wilde Frank Zappa Brandon Lee
John Lennon
For the past 17 years the fables fibe had been forming into adventures on varicose islands and secrete vallets with their famous ill-bred dog.
Katherine Hepburn Charlie Chaplin
I remain just one thing, and one thing only - a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.
Peter Usinov
"In my day, there were things that were done, and things that were not done, and there was even a way of doing things that were not done."
Terry Pratchett
"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. "
Peter Sellers Groucho Marx Ada Lovelace,
Born: 10 December 1815
Died: 27 November 1852
David Niven

  • about_me.txt
  • Last modified: 2014/01/25 09:10
  • by becker