Faculty Candidate Seminar

Hash Tables Lecture

Franceska XhakajPh.D. CandidateCarnegie Mellon University

CSE Teaching Faculty Candidate

Zoom link

Passcode:  610371


The lecture that I will cover is going to be on Hash Tables. The lecture is designed for an introductory CS course and/or a data structures course. We are in the last 3rd of the semester when this topic is covered. At this point, students are comfortable with programming (in Python). In addition, they have some experience with complexity analysis in the context of the topics we have already covered in the course, including iteration, recursion, various search and sort algorithms, arrays, and lists.


The lecture will discuss what hash tables are, their importance, and examples of their use in real life. We will then talk about what hashing is and how hash tables work. We will briefly discuss collisions, what they are, how to deal with them, and why they are problematic. Lastly, we will introduce dictionaries, the hash table implementation in Python. The lecture will involve multiple active learning exercises and live coding. 


Franceska is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Computer Science (SCS), at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She is advised by Dr. Amy Ogan, and her Ph.D. focuses on developing technologies that support instructors, their teaching, and help them improve their practices in the classroom. Prior to CMU, Franceska completed her undergraduate studies at Lafayette College, where she majored in Computer Science and minored in Mathematics. 


Franceska is very passionate about teaching and education, and she has extensive practical experience with teaching. At CMU, she has been twice the instructor of record for the introductory CS course 15-110: Principles of Computing. In addition, she was an instructor for the course 15-890: CS Pedagogy and has been head TA and TA for various HCI courses. In 2019, Franceska won the Alan J. Perlis Graduate Student Teaching Award, which honors students who have displayed the highest degree of excellence in and dedication to teaching in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Franceska has also had extensive experience mentoring undergraduates, has attended various professional development training for teaching, and is the director and founder of the Community for Teaching and CS Education at CMU. For more information and her CV, please go to her website: https://www.franceskaxhakaj.com/.


Cindy Estell

Faculty Host

Drew DeOrio