My love of teaching has always been motivated by the thrill I get from witnessing the "light bulb moments" after working with a student on a topic with which they have been struggling. I strive to not only impart the facts and methods necessary for a given subject, but to inspire curiosity so that students will become excited about the material. I try to inspire curiosity in my students by creating fun yet challenging assignments in introductory level courses and allowing for creative projects in upper level courses. It’s my hope that students from all majors will take a computer science course here at Rhodes and realize the value it adds to their own field of study.
My research interests are in the areas of bioinformatics and computational genetics. In general, that means that I apply computer science algorithms to biological or genetic data sets. More specifically, I work on both genomic engineering and the development of algorithms and technology necessary for gaining insight into the underlying genomic structure of a population. This research includes writing simulators to emulate the breeding process of mouse populations, designing genotyping arrays for quick analysis of our breeding population, and developing algorithms for analyzing the genotyping data. More recently, I’ve been focused on creating efficient algorithms for analyzing high-throughput sequencing data, since sequencing data is becoming more prevalent as the technologies for this type of analysis continue to improve.
Outside the Classroom
I joined the Rhodes faculty in Fall 2013. I’m originally from Pennsylvania and received my undergraduate degree in computer science from Ursinus College, a liberal arts college in the aptly named Collegeville, PA. After working as a software engineer for a couple of years, I returned to school full-time and completed my master’s degree in computer science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. While I was at Lehigh, I decided to pursue a PhD, and upon graduation, I started my doctoral degree program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
I currently live in Midtown Memphis with my husband and our four dogs. Our pups include Khan, a rescued German Shepherd who seems to be enjoying retired life; Niko, a German Shepherd/Border Collie mix, who loves to perform tricks; May, a German Shepherd mix who specializes in squirrel watching and entertainment; and our smallest pup, Tater Tot, a 30 lb. bundle of energy and licks. When I’m not out running with one of our dogs or cleaning up dog fur, you’ll find me on the lacrosse field, where I officiate all levels of women’s lacrosse from youth up to Division I college.