Getting to know

How long have you been teaching?

Since 2000 at the University of Alaska Anchorage and several years before that at other institutions.

How have you changed your style since you started teaching?

I use the computer a lot more to communicate with students using e-mail or instant messaging programs. In the classroom, I”ve also been using a Tablet PC connected to a projector in place of the blackboard. It lets me digitally record lectures and ‘go back’ to stuff I would normally have to erase on a blackboard.

What rewards do you personally get from teaching?

It”s nice to see our students graduate and go off to graduate school or find a job. One of our graduates that landed a nice job keeps saying that he is going to take me out for lunch but so far it”s been over a year and I am still lunchless.

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Where did you go to school? What was your major?E

The University of California at Davis for my Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. I started out in electrical computer engineering for my BS and majored in computer science for my Ph.D.

What drew you to this field?

In high school I dialed all over the place with my modem (this was before the Internet) and the signal processing involved in how a modem works got me into electrical engineering. At the same time I played a ton of computer games and got interested in how to write them myself. Game creation really requires a solid understanding of many topics in computer science, so I like to use games as a project in some of my classes.

What was your worst or most interesting job as a student?E

As a teaching assistant, having the professor tell us that we needed to write the lab manual, exercises and tutorials two days before school started.

What undergraduate course do you remember best?E

Electromagnetic fields and waves. Apparently the whole class had failed a midterm and the professor chewed everyone out about what a disgrace we were to the profession. My test was somehow missing and after class we went to his office to look up my grade. While searching, he kept lecturing me about everything I didn”t learn when he suddenly stopped and quietly said, ‘Oh… you got an “A”‘.

Born and raised?

Born in Berkeley, Calif. and raised in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Favorite movie(s)?

‘Star Wars,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘The Matrix.’

Favorite book, poem or screenplay?

‘Microcosmic God’ by Theodore Sturgeon.

Favorite music or artist?E

Garbage.

What are your favorite past times and hobbies?

Running, hiking and playing with my son doing anything outdoors.

What are you most passionate about in life? Chocolate.