John M. Zelle, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science
|CS 120: Intro Comp. and Prog.||8:30--10:00, 11:00--12:30 MTWHF||SC 41|
My current interests are mainly in the languages and environments used in computer science education. I am an advocate of extensive programming as a foundation of the CS curriculum. I am convinced that students learn better starting with very high-level, dynamically-typed, interactive language environments. At Wartburg, we use Python in our introductory (CS 1) course. If you're interested, check out my Teaching with Python page.
Recently, I have been working with undergraduates on research in the area of virtual reality. Working with Dr. Charles Figura in Physics, we are developing a VR lab (called SVEN) "on a shoe-string." recent projects include stereoscopic projection and presentation systems, position tracking, remote viewing robotics, and visualization of neuron structures. You can find out more on the SVEN page.
In a former life, I was an AI researcher. My work focused on combining explanation-based learning (EBL) and inductive logic programming (ILP) to learn search-control heuristics for knowledge-based systems expressed as definite-clause logic programs. Two specific applications of this framework are: dynamic optimization of Prolog programs (improving efficiency) and natural language acquisition (improving accuracy). For an in-depth look, see my machine learning publications.
For more info about me, including a complete list of publications, check out my vita (PDF).