B.A., Computer Science, University of North Alabama, 1986
M.S., Computer Science, Georgia State University, 2004
Ph.D., Computer Science, Georgia State University, 2020
Educational data mining, computer science education, software engineering education, prediction models
I am a nontraditional computer science faculty member at Georgia State University. I was a software engineer for over 20 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the U.S. government at the Centers for Disease Control and at Microsoft Corporation along with various computer industry startups in the Atlanta area. I have numerous industry certifications in programming, web design, and database administration and architecture. Before completing my Ph.D. at GSU, I was a computer science instructor at Perimeter College, a community-based college that merged with GSU in 2016.
I grew up on a farm in northern Alabama before moving to Atlanta in 1988 with a CS degree and a goal to work at CDC. I bring this small-town to big-city understanding into my education success, teaching goals, advising outcomes, and ideas for improving CS education. My teaching awards include advisor of the year in 2015 and the outstanding graduate teaching award from Georgia State’s Department of Computer Science in 2019.
My dissertation research involved using a study of undergraduate CS students to build a predictive model using decision trees to understand successful completion of the CS core curriculum. My current research focuses on applying educational data mining and machine learning to discover the learning biases of first-generation and underrepresented groups in undergraduate CS populations.