Scott Dexter

I am a computer scientist who seeks collaborations and connections in the humanities and social sciences. My most satisfying projects are collaborations: for example, I’ve worked with a philosopher (studying free and open source software), a psychologist (studying the creative process in programmers), and dramatic/literary historians (producing a digital transcription of a 19th-century actor’s diary, published both as a physical book and a digital edition). 

My current long-term project is a dual history: how does the history of people accused of being artificial (in the US, usually women and black people) relate to the many (sometimes quasi-)scientific projects dedicated to creating “real” artificial people? (Yes, Janelle Monáe is a huge inspiration.)




Professor of Computer Science


Computer Science

Educational Background

Ph.D. Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Michigan. (1998)
M.S. Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Michigan. (1996)
B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics, Denison University. (1993)

I am...

committed to making computer science welcoming and interesting to students of every background—especially those who think computer science isn’t for them!



My career at Alma began in


Signature course(s):

Algorithms and Justice

Recent publications:

Martina Svyantek, Scott D. Dexter, and Ashley Shew. “Now What? Adding Accessibility Midstream.” Academe, the magazine of the American Association of University Professors. November 2020. Online at

Amy Hughes and Naomi Stubbs, Eds; Scott D. Dexter, Technology Director. A Player and a Gentleman: The Diary of Harry Watkins, Nineteenth-Century US American Actor. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 2018. DOI: 10.3998/mpub.9290953. Digital edition:

J. P. Muñoz, R. Boger, S. Dexter, J. Li, and R. Low. “Image Recognition of Disease-Carrying Insects: A System for Combating Infectious Diseases using Image Classification Techniques and Citizen Science.” Proceedings of Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2018 (HICSS-51). Best Paper Award.

Cooley, L., Vidakovic, D., Martin, W., Dexter, S., & Suzuki, J. “Student reactions to learning-theory based curriculum materials in linear algebra—A survey analysis.” International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning. April. Online at

A. Kozbelt, S. Dexter, D. Meredith, M. Dolese, and J. Ostrofsky. “Regressive imagery in creative problem solving: Comparing verbal protocols of expert and novice visual artists and computer programmers.” Journal of Creative Behavior 49(4): 263–78. December 2015. DOI: 10.1002/jocb.64.

Recent presentations:

S. Dexter. “Does TBL Boost Retention for Under-represented Undergraduates in Computer Science?” 17th Annual Team-Based Learning Collaborative Conference. San Diego, CA. March 2018.