College Board leaning on the expertise of Computer Science and Software Engineering faculty member

Published: Mar 18, 2024 8:15 AM

By Joe McAdory

Daniela Marghitu, director of Auburn University’s Laboratory for Education and Assistive Technology and faculty within the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE), has been appointed to the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A Development Committee.

There, Marghitu and committee colleagues will play a crucial role in the preparation of curricula and examinations for AP computer science courses.

“I am thrilled to join my colleagues, many of whom have at least 10 to 15 years of computer science education, on this committee,” said Marghitu, who noted this committee assignment is one of her “most important and most rigorous.”

“We’ll be working with pioneers of high school computer science education. As a university professor, it is rewarding to influence how exams should be structured. It’s amazing how many standards are already in place to ensure that everything is equitable for the students, and that’s what is most important – the students. For me, this will be a lot of hard work, but it will be very rewarding. I am also excited that I have the opportunity to represent Auburn University and the State of Alabama on this very considerable committee at the national level in computer science education.”

Representing a unique collaboration between high school and college educators, College Board development committee members represent a diversity of knowledge and points of view in their respective fields and, as a group, are the authority when it comes to making subject-matter decisions in the exam-construction process.

“We understand that children are coming in from different states, different environments and different communities,” Marghitu said. “That said, you must consider these factors to be fair and square to all students – where they are coming from and where they want to go. This is one of the reasons why the College Board brings committee members in from different areas of the nation with different backgrounds.

“It’s important that the exams address the aspirations and backgrounds of the students. After hearing concerns from some parents of high school children, some fear that their children aren’t prepared to take AP courses and AP exams. I openly shared these concerns with the College Board. Computer science courses can be difficult. We must ask ourselves, ‘how can we help?’ We want students to pass these exams. We want students to succeed. We want students to feel that they are prepared and that they believe in themselves.”

Marghitu, who recently proposed a course to design and develop accessible and assistive computing systems, is no stranger to serving on the College Board’s AP Computer Science committees. She was on its Principles Standard Setting Panel in 2021, where she recommended cut scores — scores used to classify examinees — for the computer science assessment's AP program, and on the Curriculum Working Committee in 2022, where she developed a framework to bring the course “Computer Science A” to the latest version of Java.

“Advanced placement computer science courses and examinations play a critical role not only in introducing high school students to this important field, but also in building the pipeline of the next generation of aspiring, collegiate computer scientists,” said Hari Narayanan, CSSE chair. “I’m excited that Dr. Marghitu will have the opportunity to influence the direction of curricula and examinations. Her wealth of academic experience will provide keen insight that fellow committee members and chairs will find most useful. It’s also very exciting to have a colleague represent Auburn University, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering on this national stage.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Daniela Marghitu previously served on two College Board AP Computer Science committees.

Daniela Marghitu previously served on two College Board AP Computer Science committees.

Recent Headlines