At present I am a Professor of Practice in the area of data science.
My areas of study are focused around digital transformation and the impact of information technology on society. For example, I focus on the architectures necessary to support the internet of things, big data, and machine learning. I do this from the perspectives of scalability, security and ethical uses of the information collected by these systems.
I strongly believe that programming is a 21st century literacy skill which should be taught as part of the digital humanities. No discipline is immune from technology disruption and therefore we all need to understand these systems and keep a balanced perspective over their appropriate use. For programming, this implies understanding how to leverage technology to solve-domain specific information problems. The idea is for the student to be aware of the capabilities and limitations of technology through code, and be able to think systematically about information-oriented problems.
Previously, I have been an Adjunct Professor for the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University since August 2001 and have over 25 years of teaching and professional work experience as a software developer and as an administrator in the IT field. In 2011 I won the Outstanding Part-Time Faculty of the year award. I started my YouTube channel in 2010, consisting of primarily how-to instructional technology videos, which has grown to over 2 Million views and 10,000 subscribers.
My educational background is in applied technology. In 1993, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the State University of New York at Oswego. I completed my Master’s degree in Information Management from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 2006.
In addition to my service and teaching duties, I maintain an active practice with a company, AppHammer which I co-founded. l also mentor for the Syracuse Student Sandbox.
I frequently experiment with different approaches to instruction, content delivery and assessment such as experiential learning, flipping the classroom, and authentic assessment. I embrace the use of technology as both an aid in teaching and as a means to improve the student experience. I believe the appropriate use of the right technologies can be an enabler to learning. Some examples include:
- Experimenting with other modes of instruction, such as video, to supplement learning and cater to different learning styles of students,
- Providing online, self-graded diagnostic instruments so students can gauge their own level of understanding, and
- Developing applied, hands-on exercises and activities with technology giving students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned.
I enjoy improving and enhancing course materials, especially based on the feedback of my former students. I consider this activity a part of the teaching routine. I like learning and experimenting with new technologies and bringing what I’ve learned into the classroom as part of lecture, demonstrations, activities, and labs.
I welcome using technology as an aid in learning. If it can help my students better understand a concept, I consider it a worthwhile endeavor. I do not shy away from designing and implementing the technology solutions I need in my courses, leveraging my years of experience in technology evaluation, programming and systems administration. I’m quite comfortable not only building but maintaining and supporting the technology used in my courses, too. Some of the systems I’ve created, such as the ISTSTUDENTS SQL Server are still used by other courses taught within the iSchool today.
I truly believe that my skillsets are a perfect fit for the iSchool’s Undergraduate Information Management and Technology and Graduate Information Management / Data Science programs. My years of professional and teaching experience position me to be a key contributor to the growth and development of the curriculum in many pertinent subject areas such as:
- Database management systems, and systems analysis and design
- Programming, scripting, and web / mobile development.
- Big data, data lakes, warehousing and business intelligence, and
- Cloud services and technologies
My professional practice emphases the following activities:
- Learning and evaluating new technologies.
- Public speaking especially with a focus on technology demonstrations.
- Web development and hybrid mobile app development.
- Member of the Central New York Software Developer’s Meetup.
- I’m a contract software developer for Ensemble Video, a platform for distribution and management of media assets. I helped get the product get off the ground in 2007 as part of the design and development team. Recently, I have written integrations into other systems such as Blackboard, and I’m currently writing a plugin for the Sakai framework.
- In 2014 I started a company, AppHammer as a vehicle for incubating / commercializing various ideas and projects involving web and mobile applications.
- I enjoy public speaking and welcome the opportunity to give talks on subjects pertinent to my activities and interests. Most recently at the LabMan 2014 conference at University Nevada-Las Vegas, I gave a presentation and technology demo of Remote Lab – an application I developed to allow students to access computer labs with their personal technology. In addition, I participated on a virtual computer labs roundtable.
- I act as a mentor for the Syracuse Student Sandbox, providing technical advice to student startup teams.
When I’m not tinkering with the latest technologies, I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, kayaking, and fishing with my family and friends. Also I coach youth sports and am currently president of a local little league.