About Me

Teaching History

I joined the faculty at UVA in August 2007 immediately after finishing at NC State. Literally. I defended my dissertation on Friday, August 10, 2007 and had to be in my office in Charlottesville on Monday, August 13, 2007.

When I arrived, I started off teaching CS 201/2110 with Prof. Tom Horton (80 students in my section and 100 in his) and Database Systems (45 students). Since then, I managed the large intro course with around 500-600 students per semester for seven years and currnetly my electives are routinely over 80 students. Things have changed :-).

While at NC State, I taught each summer as a graduate student and I highly recommend any other students interested in a teaching career do the same.

I believe that all teaching evaluations should be public information, so you can find all of mine on my teaching page. You can find more info about me from students (if you are a UVA student) at thecourseforum.com.

A whole lot more about my philosophy of teaching can be found in my Teaching Portfolio linked above. In general, I love teaching and couldn't really imagine being in any other career. And thankfully, I think I'm reasonably good at it, although it's certainly impossible to please all of my students.

Personal History

I grew up in Salisbury, NC, and Rock Hill, SC, until going to college at Wake Forest University. At Wake, I majored in Computer Science and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. I immediately went to graduate school at NC State. Now that I'm at UVA, I'm apparently just making my way around the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Today, I love living in Charlottesville with my wife Amanda and daughter Sammy. This is a fantastic place to live with a lot great things going on in town.

Random Facts

  • I've played video games all my life and love basically everything about the medium. I'm an avid Hearthstone player and have hit legend rank multiple times.
  • I'm a huge Disney Parks fan. I've been to all the US parks many, many times and can tell you more than you want to know about the history of the parks, rides, etc.
  • As a child of the 80's, I'm also a big fan of Transformers, Voltron, Thundercats, and every other obvious cartoon you can name.
  • I also like modern animation, particularly Avatar and The Legend of Korra.
  • Following even more geek tropes, I play Dungeons and Dragons (and other RPG systems) and have played with creating my own system.
  • I love German-style board games, such as Catan, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, and many, many more.
  • I have played and/or directed handbell choirs for over 20 years.
  • I like to run and have finished two half-marathons, numerous 10-milers, and many, many 5Ks.
  • My favorite international city I have visited is a close tie between Lisbon, Portugal and Cavtat, Croatia.
  • The right way to eat barbecue is with a North Carolina-style vinegar-based sauce. Period.
  • The proper soda to drink with barbecue is an ice cold Cheerwine.