Adjunct Assistant Professor: Old Dominion University
Adjunct Instructor: Tidewater Community College
During the summers of 2008 and 2009, I designed and taught several courses at Tidewater Community College as an adjunct instructor. The courses each lasted one week of 5-hour per day instruction. The courses were comprised of hand-picked high school students (mostly "at-risk" rising juniors and seniors), and the course was funding by Opportunity Inc. The students were chosen based on their interest and abilities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. During the summer of 2008, I taught Introduction to Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers and Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers. In 2009, I designed and taught Introduction to Modeling and Simulation for Game developers, Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers, and Introduction to Web Development.
This course provided a unique opportunity for me to work with young adults that showed promise in the STEM disciplines. It was a pleasure to work with them, and to stoke their excitement for computer science. However, it also provided challenges. In my experience, high school students have a shorter attention span than college students, and therefore require short bursts of lecture broken up by hands-on activities. For this reason, my lectures were adapted during lesson-time to provide opportunities to implement the lecture material.
I developed syllabi for each of the courses, Introduction to Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers 2008 and 2009, Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers 2009, and Introduction to Web Programming 2008 and 2009. I also wrote daily lectures and provided daily activities.
The beginning gaming classes in 2008 and 2009 covered topics such as What is Modeling and Simulation, and what role does it play in our local ecomony (such as VMASC and work at ODU). We also covered the basics of understanding systems, what a model is, how to understand fidelity, scope, and VV&A. We also took time to understand what it means to develop games, and the background knowledge required to do so. The students then learned Gamemaker, a free software package that allows for WYSIWYG development of games. There is some scriptint that takes place in the background, but it is minor and the students were able to pick up on it. At the end of the class, each student developed, modified, tested, and played an Alien Invaders-like game.
During the Advanced Modeling and Simulation for Game Developers in 2009, we discussed the different types of simulations and how they related to gaming. For example, RPGs are continuous simulations and chess is a discrete system. We also learned more about modeling using agents and how artificial intelligence plays a roll. In 2009, I introduced Adobe Flash to allow the students to develop Flash movies. This required an introduction to ActionScript and Web document publishing.
Curriculum Planning Consultant: Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation
Stemming from my work with TCC, I was contacted by VBCPS and the Parks and Rec department to help them develop a curriculum for after-school activities for high school students. I provided the lectures and syllabi developed for the TCC courses, and provided feedback and lessons-learned from my work. We also talked about how to best implement team-work into the course, and how to introduce extreme programming to boost collaboration among students. I'm continuing to consult with the course planners.
Guest Lecturer: Old Dominion University
During my career at ODU, I have participated as a guest lecturer in several courses. I've provided introductions to modeling and simulation in CS 410/411, paying particular attention to discrete event simulations, as several projects in that class were focusing on simulations of DESs. This lecture was given from the slides used in the Advanced Modeling and Simluation for Game Developers taught in 2009.
I've also given lectures on Agile development for CS410/411, as well as during a 2011 ACM meeting. Finally, I have provided guest lectures on Agile development, and Day in the Life of a Computer Scientist (which focused on research in the field of CS) for CS110.