I have been a member of the faculty at Canisius College since September 1983. It was a real pleasure to return to Canisius as a faculty member, since I had received my B.A. in Mathematics from Canisius just two years before (1981). I have always liked the institution because it is small enough for the faculty and students to get to know each other, but large enough to offer a wide variety of courses and attract a very good faculty. For a department like computer science, this translates into having very good equipment and very few waiting lines to access it. In the Computer Science Department, we have a ratio of about 4.5 students for every computer.

In addition to my B.A. in Mathematics from Canisius College, I have an M.S. in Computer Science from SUNY at Buffalo (1986), and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1989). The major area of my Ph.D. was Computer Graphics. My dissertation was titled "Botanical Image Generation Using Attributed Graph Grammars for Modeling Growth." My minor areas were Logic Programming and Compiler Theory.

My professional interests include Computer Graphics and Theory of Computation.

In the classroom, I am a great supporter of active learning concepts. I have found that when I stand in front of the room lecturing to my students that they don't retain the material as well as I would like. Though I think I am a very good lecturer, I have been working very hard to break away from the lecture, and it has been paying off. I did a 3 year study in my Theory of Computation class that showed my students performance on the final exam increase by over 75% when I introduced active learning techniques into the classroom.

I was chair of the Computer Science Department between 1990 and 2008. As part of that role, I was actively recruiting students, and working to make sure that the department has the latest technology for our students.

I am involved as part of my college service in a number of college activities.  In addition to having been chair of my department for 18 years, I served on the Faculty Senate for two years including begin Chair of the Senate Budget Committee and being on the College Budget Committee and a consultant to the Board fo Trustees Facilities and Fianace Committee. I was co-chair of the Program Subcommittee of the 1993 Middle States Accreditation Report Committee. I was co-chair of the 1995 Buffalo display of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and served as chair of the NAMES Project Buffalo chapter.

I'm very interested in the development of our students and really enjoy watching my students learn and grow both as computer scientists and people. Because of that I am very supportive of our department's efforts at help our students to understand and accept diversity.

I am one of the openly LGBT faculty at Canisius College. I currently serve as the Treasurer and Webmaster of the Buffalo/Niagara Chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

As much as I enjoy my job and my career, I believe that people need to have more in their lives then just their work. I enjoy painting, reading, alternative music, playing computer games, gardening, designing and making stained glass art works, and playing golf, bowling, and tennis (though I don't get to play golf or tennis very often except when playing on my Nintendo Wii). It seems like I never have enough time for those activities though. I have a great home life and family.

All opinions represented on this page are mine. No assumption should be made based on these statements about Canisius College, the Canisius College Computer Science Department, or the Canisius College faculty, staff, and students.
send comments to mcconnel@canisius.edu 

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Last updated January 27, 2010 by Dr. Jeffrey J. McConnell