Fall 2016 has brought four new full-time faculty to the School of Information Technology, three tenure track and one non-tenure track.
Xing Fang is an assistant professor in Computer Science and will be teaching programming and artificial intelligence his first year. He recently completed his Ph.D. from North Carolina A&T State in Greensboro. His research focuses on three main areas, Social Computing, Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning. Dr. Fang strives to engage his students in active learning and use real world examples. Whenever possible, he invites students to share knowledge in class and lead discussions and demonstrations, fostering peer learning.
Associate professor in computer science, Hyoil Han, has joined us from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Prior to that she taught at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis and Drexel University in Philadelphia. She earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is teaching a new class, Introduction to Business Intelligence, as well as Algorithms and Data Structures and database. Her research interest is the merging of techniques from the areas of databases and artificial intelligence and the computing aspects of scientific applications. She is dedicated to fostering an attitude of lifelong learning in her students and building confidence in their ability to learn new things, since computer science is an ever developing field.
Jianwei Lai is all thumbs. Our new assistant professor specializing in human/computer interfaces is developing ways to use cell-phones and other one-handed devices easily, using just your thumb. She also delves into accessibility issues and making digital devices accessible to those who must interact with them differently from the average user. Her Ph.D. in information systems is from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is teaching classes in Web development and Usability this year. She fosters critical thinking in her classes and provides plenty of hands-on experience. Students get to analyze real-world problems and develop reasonable solutions. Collaborative learning is another way to give students a deeper and more thorough understanding of important topics.
Tonya Pierce is a full-time instructional assistant professor. She most recently taught computer science at Western Illinois University and has joined us to teach Java programming as well as the introductory course that uses Python. Tonya is a transplanted Hoosier who received all three of her degrees from Ball State, one of Illinois State’s peer universities. She has demonstrated a life-long commitment to education and brings a great deal of energy and passion to the school.