This is my twenty-fourth year at DePaul.
I hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago (1995). I also hold a Master's Degree in Computer Science (IIT, 1986) and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Studies (Northwestern, 1978).
I have taught in a variety of settings, including in industry (Texas Instruments), at a community college (Triton College), and as a graduate student at U. of C. Since coming to CTI/CDM in 1995 I have taught numerous undergrad and grad courses.
My primary research area was computational complexity with interest in constructive logic, graph theory, and computability theory (until recently called recursion theory).
I have recently begun a research program in bioinformatics, specifically, using a measure called normalized compression distance (NCD) to determine the distance between pairs of strings from a set of DNA/RNA strings of related organisms and then using those pairwise distances to build phylogenetic trees.
I am also very involved with understanding how information technology is used by community-based organizations (CBOs) in providing their services. In cooperation with DePaul's Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning, I have worked with CBOs in Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood. In December, 2004, and again in June, 2006, I went on faculty/staff trips to Kenya.
During the summer of 2014 I spent four weeks at the Ghana Technology University College in Accra, Ghana, co-teaching a web programming course. I hope to develop further DePaul's relationship with GTUC as both schools have much in common in terms of approaches to teaching.
Specific Research Area
I am currently working on the Phylogenetics through Compression project. This is an effort to apply data compression techniques to produce distance measures between pairs of DNA/RNA strings and then to use those measures to construct phylogenetic trees. This springs out of the work by Li, Vitanyi, et al. applying Kolmogorov complexity theory to distance measures.