I'm currently an Assistant Engineer (faculty member) at the University of Florida in the Engineering Education Department, where I am researching computer science education. I'm also an affiliate in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department. Previously, I served as Program Director over Game Development at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida (in the greater Orlando area), where I'd worked for 10 years and taught the Artificial Intelligence for Games and Game Networking courses before moving into administration. Before coming to Full Sail, I worked as a freelance game and application developer and lived, worked, and studied in the Osaka region of Japan. I speak fluent conversational Japanese. I graduated from the University of Florida with my PhD in Computer Engineering.
I have a passion for the education and computer science fields and am particularly interested in the nexus of these important topics (and game development as it relates to these topics.) I am currently studying how young children can effectively learn programming languages by analyzing the languages themselves in an attempt to identify, test, and mitigate built-assumptions that may limit or hinder the learning process at early ages. My work has convinced me that we frequently underestimate the abilities of children, and that motivation is a key determination of success.
Previously, I have worked on educational and serious games. This includes work with the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida, with whom I worked to develop flight simulator scenarios to help teach at-risk middle and high school students mathematics, physics, and history. I've also worked with Design Interactive on CogGauge, a game-based cognitive battery system developed on grant funding from NASA with the intention of testing brain injuries in space.
On a personal note, I spend my weeks in Gainesville and my weekends in Orlando and have a wonderful wife and three little monsters whom I absolutely adore. They keep me on my toes and motivate me to address the (usually unintentional!) bias in technical fields as it impacts young children and women. I also love to develop games and, as time permits, play them from time to time! I also bleed orange and blue.