Why a PhD?

I’ve been working as a software engineer for more than 20 years, and when the opportunity came up for me to continue my education at the Ph.D. level I jumped at it. In September 2017 I started the Ph.D. Computer Science program at the University of South Carolina.

The things that motivate me now in this endeavor are the same aspects of my vocation that I have enjoyed throughout my career: research, teaching, and learning.

First, research: dig deep into the subject that I have dedicated my life too. I’ve always loved solving problems. The process of understanding the problem, studying the current state of the art, and extending my findings to create new solutions is probably what I enjoy most about what I do. It is my goal to do research that advances state of the art in computer science by being relevant, forward-thinking, and impactful.

Next, teaching: share my knowledge and experiences with others. I benefitted in my career by having great mentors who guided me to improve my understanding of any number of different topics. Through their sharing of not just the “nuts-and-bolts” of issues but their opinions and experiences, I have been able to take their teachings and expand my own understanding. My goal as a teacher is to be relevant and inspiring.

Finally, (lifelong) learning: continue to expand my understanding and experience with the theory and practice of computer science so that I can be a better practitioner, researcher, and teacher.

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