Computing

I started programming computers on an Apple II at age 14, when a single computer was installed in the math classroom in my junior high school. The other nerds and I would hang out during lunch and write computer programs, which was the only thing we could do with them. Later I studied electronics in vocational school and had access to a whole lab full of original IBM PCs connected via local network to a 20 MB Corvus hard disk. We had a huge advantage over today’s high school students because there were no IT departments and none of the teachers knew what to do with these computers – so we explored on our own. Today’s schools have IT departments and computers that are locked down and restricted to more or less Microsoft Office machines. During high school my friend David Winant and I entered the University of Wisconson-Parkside International Computer Programming Contest and won second place over contestants from all 50 U.S. states and 13 foreign countries. So, naturally, after high school I went to … the Air Force Academy and became a pilot. I left the Air Force in 2000, began working as a software engineer, and eventually earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. During my last six years at Tech I was a full-time lecturer (teaching professor). I’m in the process of collecting the vast amount of teaching material I produced, which I’ll post online and link here when ready.