Although not as well established as a science as are mathematics and physics, some areas of computer science, such as databases, data structures, and algorithms, are more rigorous than others. Even software engineering, which was considered an art just a few decades ago, now has established conventional and object-oriented software development methodologies. In my teaching I try to emphasize the more scientific aspects of the material to show the students that computing is becoming more of a science and to encourage them to further elevate the discipline.
I make extensive use of technology in my courses. I create a Web site for each course that contains the objectives, syllabus, assignments, grading system, current grades, projects, student and team information, and links to other useful material. I also use the Blackboard educational software system for quizzes, a voice interface to a Web application for students to report their absences by telephone, e-mail to communicate with the class as a whole or with individual students, a Web-based assessment form, and a Web-based Jeopardy game for midterm review to encourage active student participation and to introduce a fun activity into the classroom. This use of technology enhances my teaching effectiveness by clearly defining the course objectives, the assignments, and the responsibilities of the students; by illustrating good use of computing technology; and by allowing more classroom time to be devoted to other issues.
In the classroom environment I serve as the facilitator in an active learning process. Classroom time is carefully managed – a typical agenda includes a review and discussion of lesson material, novel in-class exercises related to the lesson material, either student presentations or project reviews or a guest speaker, discussion of a new technology or ethical/diversity issue, and project team meetings as time permits. Students work on communication skills with required oral presentations and written assignments. Most of these activities encourage active student participation.
I experiment with new learning approaches. For example, in the academic year 2001-02, I successfully introduced on a large scale the use of real-world computer information system projects for real clients in the Software Engineering capstone course in the M.S. in Computer Science program. These real-world projects encourage university and local community involvement as advocated by Pace University's President Caputo, nurture interdisciplinary collaboration, strengthen local industrial ties, support student and faculty research, and teach the students how to deal with customers through value-generating relationships and how to become true computing professionals. Also, in the academic year 2003-04, Dr. Cha and I introduced a new seminar in the M.S. in Computer Science program, where students learn how to do research and then conduct a small research study. In contrast to the Software Engineering course where the students build systems using known technology, the projects in this seminar involve actual research.
Finally, my current research in voice, pen, and wearable computing applications enhances my teaching effectiveness, and my consulting as an expert on patent infringement cases increases student interest and awareness of such issues.