B.A., Computer Science, University of North Alabama, 1986
M.S., Computer Science, Georgia State University, 2004
Ph.D. candidate, Computer Science, Georgia State University
Educational data mining, computer science education, software engineering education, prediction models
I am a nontraditional Ph.D. candidate 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. I have numerous industry certifications in programming, web design, and database architecture. Most recently, I was a computer science instructor at Perimeter College, a community-based college that recently merged with GSU.
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 current research focuses on the use of educational data mining techniques to discover the learning biases of first-generation and underrepresented groups in undergraduate computer science. My dissertation research involves using a study of GSU CS students to build a predictive model using decision trees to understand successful completion of the CS core curriculum.