Deputy Head of Department at La Trobe’s Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering
Industry Integrated Information Technology degrees
Mary Martin began her teaching career in information and computer science 28 years ago, before the Bendigo campus was integrated with La Trobe. While computer science and computer engineering have changed significantly since then, Mary understands that the most important factor in teaching these subjects is still keeping students engaged.
Mary now teaches networking and programming to La Trobe’s second and third year students, and focuses on making sure her students experience concrete outcomes in their programming exercises so the concepts they are learning are clear. She also encourages students to think critically and analytically. One assignment, for example, requires student groups to explain various concepts to other groups via a blog, and then post comments and questions about each explanation.
Mary is passionate about involving industry in La Trobe’s information technology programs, and has set up regular student interviews with graduates working at Bendigo-based IT companies. Through these discussions, students receive accurate, up-to-date information on the industry as well as real-world examples of how professionals deal with various challenges.
Mary says this exposure to various work environments is critical in helping her students decide on future careers.
The most exciting initiative that Mary has been involved in begins in 2012, when La Trobe’s IT industry partners will collaborate with the university to offer a number of IT cadetships. These cadetships allow students to work full time in local IT companies and take time off to complete their university studies. Our cadet’s experiences will also inform La Trobe’s curriculum, ensuring that teaching is in line with the latest industry trends.