Computing Sciences Faculty Mentors

Robert Beck, Ph.D.

University of Pennsylvania, 1969
Professor of Computing Sciences
Office: MEN 161A; Phone: 610-519-7307
E-mail: robert.beck@villanova.edu

Dr. Beck is interested in human-computer interaction and techniques and metrics for evaluating user interfaces. Some of his students have investigated strategies for evaluating Web pages viewed as user interfaces to information and designs for the interface to perfect smart phone. He is also interested in symbolic computation and algorithms for operations research. His library of computer programs contains routines that use symbolic methods to investigate the structure of Lie algebras and to classify low-dimensional algebras. Recently he is collaborating on research involving mathematical modeling and simulation in biology. Among other questions are those dealing with the efficiency of packing eggs in a body cavity. Professionally he represents the computer science education community in the Pedagogies of Engagement effort of AAC&U and on the curriculum design team for computational science. He also is a mentor for program evaluators for the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of ABET. He teaches courses in human-computer interaction, the organization of programming languages, and an innovative course that combines computing and music called The Laptop Instrument. He is the co-author of the advanced undergraduate text Elementary Linear Programming and co-editor of the collection Lie Algebras: Applications and Computational Methods.

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Thomas Way, Ph.D.

University of Delaware, 2002
Associate Professor of Computing Sciences
Office: MEN 160A; Phone: 610-519-8339
E-mail: thomas.way@villanova.edu

Dr. Way is interested in the science of Parsing in all its many forms. His students have investigated automated natural language parts-of-speech analysis, machine translation, sentiment analysis, plagiarism detection, compilation of computer languages, nanocompilers, machine learning, text message-based conversational agents, critical thinking and linguistic analysis, and tremor filtering. He is also interested in uses of computing to assist people with disabilities, and his research in that area has including conversion of visual images into tactile images and the use of Google Glass devices to compensate for memory disabilities. He collaborates on research in the areas of computer science education and machine learning, and is developing learning modules that teachers and students in just about any discipline could use to explore how machine learning is used in their own areas of study. He teaches a Mendel Science Experience course on Computer Evolution and Learning for non-majors, while for majors he teaches courses on Computer Systems, Machine Translation and Software Engineering, among many others. Dr. Way has authored or co-authored over 60 research papers and participated as PI or Co-PI on over $5 million in research grants and contracts. His internationally known website DHMO.org that reports on the alarming dangers of the deadly chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide is widely used by educators to teach critical thinking and Internet literacy skills. Dr. Way is also a professional magician and prior to his academic career was a writer and producer of television programs in Hollywood and a morning radio personality in Los Angeles, Syracuse and Washington, D.C. He owns his own straitjacket.

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