Lynda Thomas BSc, MSc (McMaster), MSc (Southern Illinois), PhD (Wales)

Associated Staff

Senior Lecturer Emerita

Contact Details

Room Number..........:  E39-40
Building....................:  Llandinam
Phone.......................:   +44 (0)1970 622423
E-Mail........................:   ltt
Home Page...............:   Personal


Dr. Thomas was born in Wales and moved to Canada while still in high school. She completed a BSc (Summa cum Laude) and a National Research council supported MSc in pure mathematics at McMaster University in Canada. She then turned to computing, and worked for a few years in industry, before returning to academia and receiving an MSc at Southern Illinois University in the US.

She was a Professor of Computer Science at Carroll University in the US for many years, before completing her PhD in Software Engineering at Aberystwyth University in 1995.

Dr. Thomas was appointed Teaching Fellow at Aberystwyth in 1999 and Senior Lecturer in 2014. Her research interests centre around problem solving and Computer Science education.

Teaching Areas

Modules Taught

  • CS10410: The Mathematics Driving License for Computer Science
  • CS12320: Programming Using an Object-Oriented Language
  • CS18010: Professional and Personal Development
  • CS21120: Program Design, Data Structures and Algorithms



McCartney, R., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., Sanders, K., Thomas, L., Moström, J.E., Zander, C. 2016. Why computing students learn on their own: motivation for self-directed learning of computing. ACM Transactions on Computing Education 16 (1) 2 Cadair


Thomas, L., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R., Moström, J.E., Sanders, K., Zander, C. 2015. (In press) In the liminal space: Software design as a threshold skill. PESTLHE 10 Cadair


Thomas, L., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R., Mostrum, J., Sanders, K., Zander, C. 2014. Graduating students' designs: through a phenomenographic lens. Proceedings of the tenth annual conference on International computing education research. ICER '14, Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 08/07/2014. Association for Computing Machinery pp. 91-98.


Utting, I., Tew, A.E., McCracken, M., Thomas, L.A., Bouvier, D., Frye, R., Paterson, J., Caspersen, M., Kolikant, Y.B., Sorva, J., Wilusz, T. 2013. A fresh look at novice programmers' performance and their teachers' expectations. Proceedings of the ITiCSE working group reports conference on Innovation and Technology in computer science education, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/07/2013 - 03/07/2013. pp. 15-32.

Thomas, L.A. 2013. Self-Directed Learning in Computing and the Path to Employment. HEA-STEM conference 2013, Birmingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 17/04/2013.


Thomas, L.A., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R., Moström, J.E., Sanders, K., Zander, C. 2012. A broader threshold: including skills as well as concepts in Computing Education. Fourth Bienniel Conferencer on Threshold Concepts: From personal practice to communities of practice, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 28/06/2012 - 29/06/2012.

Zander, C., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R., Sanders, K., Thomas, L. 2012. Self-directed learning: stories from industry. Proceedings of the 12th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. Koli Calling '12, Finland, 06/11/2012. Association for Computing Machinery pp. 111-117.

Zander, C., Thomas, L., McCartney, R., Eckerdal, A., Mostrom, J.E., Boustedt, J., Sanders, K. 2012. Threshold Concepts in Computer Science: An Ongoing Empirical Investigation. In J. H. F. Meyer., R. Land., C. Baillie. (eds) Threshold Concepts And Transformational Learning . Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, no. 42 Sense Publishers, United States pp. 241-258. Cadair Other

Sanders, K., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R., Zander, C., Mostrom, J.E., Thomas, L.A., Zander, C. 2012. Threshold concepts and threshold skills in computing. ICER '12 Proceedings of the ninth annual international conference on International computing education research , Aukland, New Zealand, 12/09/2012. pp. 23-30.


Loftus, C., Thomas, L.A., Zander, C. 2011. Can graduating students design: revisited. 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2011), Dallas, United States of America, 09/03/2011 - 12/03/2011. pp. 105.

Thomas, L., Mostrom, J.E., Sanders, K., Zander, C., Eckerdal, A., McCartney, R. 2011. Computing students learning computing informally. pp. 43-48. Cadair

Eckerdal, A., Zander, C., Thomas, L. 2011. Harnessing surprise: tales from students' transformational biographies. pp. 300-304. Cadair

Eckerdal, A., Sanders, K., Boustedt, J., Thomas, L., McCartney, R. 2011. Students' perceptions of the differences between formal and informal learning. pp. 61-68. Cadair


Börstler, J., Hall, M., Nordström, M., Paterson, J., Sanders, K., Schulte, C., Thomas, L. 2009. An evaluation of object oriented example programs in introductory programming textbooks. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 41 (4) pp. 126-143. Cadair

Thomas, L., McCartney, R., Mostrom, J.E., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., Zander, C., Sanders, K. 2009. Computer science student transformations: changes and causes. pp. 181-185. Cadair Other

Hanks, B., Zander, C., Thomas, L., Simon, B., Fitzgerald, S., Murphy, L., McCauley, R. 2009. Learning styles: novices decide. pp. 223-227. Cadair Other

McCartney, R., Boustedt, J., Eckerdal, A., Moström, J.E., Sanders, K., Thomas, L., Zander, C. 2009. Liminal spaces and learning computing. European Journal of Engineering Education 34 (4) pp. 383 – 391. Cadair

Thomas, L., Zander, C., Boustedt, J., Mostrom, J.E., Sanders, K., McCartney, R. 2009. Student transformations: are they computer scientists yet? pp. 129-140. Cadair Other


Boustedt, J., Zander, C., Mostrom, J.E., McCartney, R., Sanders, K., Thomas, L., Eckerdal, A. 2008. Concrete examples of abstraction as manifested in students' transformative experiences. pp. 125-136. Cadair Other

Thomas, L., Murphy, L. 2008. Dangers of a fixed mindset: implications of self-theories research for computer science education. pp. 271-275. Cadair Other

McCauley, R., Fitzgerald, S., Lewandowski, G., Murphy, L., Simon, B., Thomas, L., Zander, C. 2008. Debugging: a review of the literature from an educational perspective. Computer Science Education 18 (2) pp. 67-92. Cadair Other

Fitzgerald, S., Lewandowski, G., McCauley, R., Murphy, L., Simon, B., Thomas, L., Zander, C. 2008. Debugging: finding, fixing and flailing, a multi-institutional study of novice debuggers. Computer Science Education 18 (2) pp. 93-116. Cadair Other

Zander, C., Simon, B., Lewandowski, G., Murphy, L., Thomas, L., McCauley, R. 2008. Debugging: the good, the bad, and the quirky -- a qualitative analysis of novices' strategies. pp. 163-167. Cadair Other

Hanks, B., Fitzgerald, S., Murphy, L., Thomas, L., McCauley, R., Zander, C., Simon, B. 2008. Saying isn't necessarily believing: influencing self-theories in computing. pp. 173-184. Cadair Other Other

Moström, J., Thomas, L., McCartney, R., Boustedt, J., Sanders, K., Eckerdal, A. 2008. Student understanding of object-oriented programming as expressed in concept maps. pp. 332-336. Cadair Other


Thomas, L., Sanders, K. 2007. Checklists for grading object-oriented CS1 programs: concepts and misconceptions. pp. 166-170. Cadair Other

McCartney, R., Zander, C., Sanders, K., Thomas, L., Mostrum, J., Eckerdal, A. 2007. From Limen to Lumen: computing students in liminal spaces.From Limen to Lumen: computing students in liminal spaces. pp. 123-132. Cadair Other

Kinnunen, P., McCartney, R., Thomas, L., Murphy, L. 2007. Through the eyes of instructors: a phenomenographic investigation of student success. pp. 61-72. Cadair Other


Mead, J., Gray, S., Hamer, J., James, R., Sorva, J., St. Clair, C., Thomas, L.A. 2006. A cognitive approach to identifying measurable milestones for programming skill acquisition. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 38 (4) pp. 182-194. Cadair

Thomasson, B.J.T., Thomas, L., Ratcliffe, M.B. 2006. Identifying Novice Difficulties in Object Orientated Design. Cadair


Sanders, K., Fincher, S., Bouvier, D., Lewandowski, G., Morrison, B., Murphy, L., Petre, M., Richards, B., Tenenberg, J., Thomas, L., Anderson, R., Anderson, R., Fitzgerald, S., Gutschow, A., Haller, S., Lister, R., McCauley, R., McTaggart, J., Prasad, C., Scott, T., Shinners-Kennedy, D., Westbrook, S., Zander, C. 2005. A multi-institutional study of novice programmers' understanding of computer-science concepts using card-sort data. Expert Systems 22 (3) pp. 121-128.

Simon, B., Thomas, L., Fitzgerald, S. 2005. Strategies that students use to trace code: an analysis based in grounded theory. pp. 69-80. Cadair Other


Ratcliffe, M.B., Thomas, L. 2004. Can Object (Instance) Diagrams Help First Year Students Understand Program Behaviour? Cadair

Thomas, L., Thomasson, B.J.T., Ratcliffe, M.B. 2004. Scaffolding with Object Diagrams in first Year Programming Classes: Some Unexpected Results.


Thomasson, B.J.T., Ellis, W., Thomas, L., Ratcliffe, M.B. 2003. Capturing Collaborative Designs to Assist the Pedagogical Process. Cadair

Thomas, L., Robertson, A., Ratcliffe, M.B. 2003. Code warriors and code-a-phobes: a study in attitude and pair programming. pp. 363-367. Cadair Other


Thomas, L., Woodbury, J., Jarman, E., Ratcliffe, M.B. 2002. Learning styles and performance in the introductory programming sequence. pp. 33-37. Cadair Other