Faculty for the Computer Science Program
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Brian Capouch received his AB from Indiana University and his MS at Purdue University. Capouch conducts many exciting projects with real-world applications to challenge students to think creatively and gain hands-on experience. These include smart phone apps, geocaching, and VoIP. He led his Software Engineering class in their geospatial "reading" of Independence Cemetery in Indiana, a mapping project using Android mobile devices with built-in GPS, virtual reality, and Google Earth. The class created an app that offers this information—making use of images, sound and video clips.
Capouch is a major proponent of sustainability at SJC and recently offered a"Soil Science" course. A large portion of the course was dedicated to the study of the soils on the SJC campus using smart phone apps. The four apps used most heavily in the project Included GPS Status and Toolbox, GeoCam, SoilSurvey, and SoilMap. Capouch explained: "The soils in the area were derived from glacial outwash about 10,000 years ago. The surrounding areas are amongst the most fertile in the world, and so the soils are very ripe for study. There will be many ways our land can be incorporated into our curriculum, as well as opportunities for rewarding service learning."
Capouch led the SJC community in a rollout of cloud computing, setting up and providing primary administration for SJC Google Apps. Like SJC students, Capouch has many interests and abilities. He is a local historian, and has been a columnist for the Pulaski County Journal. His column, "A Curious Historian's Tales," covered matters of local historical interest, including the lives of the pioneers. He gives many talks at organizations and conferences.
Soil Science course
Smart phone mapping project
What Do Students Think About Professor Capouch?
"Your class is never really over at the end of the day with Brian Capouch as your professor. There is always something further to be researched or expanded upon. He also likes when you take the knowledge you learn in class outside of the classroom into your everyday life. For me, after taking the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) class, I took what we learned in the class to develop my own telephone system that eliminated my need to pay big phone companies for a $50-60/month mobile phone plan. As long as I had access to Wi-Fi, I could send and receive calls at a price of about $.02/minute. I know that Capouch was very proud of me for this."
– Tom Lohmuller '11
"Capouch was very helpful by being passionate about what he was teaching, conducting classes in an engaging manner, and making himself available whenever I needed help. Probably my most memorable experience in Capouch's class was our software engineering project. The idea for the project stemmed from Capouch's personal historical research. It combined history and technology in such a way that it was interesting to anyone that heard about it. The project really brought together everything that I learned over the course of my four years at St. Joe. It showed me how you can combine various components of technology to make a functioning piece of software."
– Ben Geels '12
Dr. Jennifer Coy
Associate Professor of Physics
Dr. Jennifer Coy wrote her first program in elementary school on an Apple II using a TV as a monitor. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Toledo in Computer Science Engineering and Engineering Physics. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue University, writing a parallel processing program to calculate rotation curves for galaxies in order to study dark matter and alternative theories.
Interview with Dr. Jennifer Coy
"Computer Science is not about how many languages you can learn, or how many Linux commands you know. It's about learning how to think, how to problem solve, and how to learn. There are over 2000 computer languages out there, and no one can learn them all! Once you learn how to solve problems well in one computer language, you can more easily teach yourself another language. At SJC, we make sure that you have a solid foundation in how to think through problems and that you know how to learn new skills. We target the most commonly used languages (C and Java) and operating systems (Linux and Windows), as well as several other alternatives. We are especially excited about our initiative to teach programming for Android devices to first year students.
One of the best things, for me, about teaching at SJC is the opportunity to learn new things. While I have programmed in a lot of languages (at least 12 different languages), there is always more to learn! We regularly offer a topics course in Computer Science where we study a popular language and its applications, such as Ruby, Perl, or Python. I love the opportunity to learn a new language, it's strengths and weaknesses, and then share what I've learned with my students.
Computer Science at SJC, in my opinion, is a fantastic place to learn. I can't say enough about the importance of small class sizes. I get to know each student as a freshman and follow them through four years of classes. I learn individual strengths and weaknesses, and design class activities to help each student develop fully. It is so rewarding for me to watch a student begin as a freshman, perhaps struggle a bit with the material, and then grow into a skilled programmer, create impressive final projects in the senior Software Engineering course, and land their dream job right after graduation.
We have a loyal group of alumni that frequently contact us looking for employees. Graduating CS majors have no problem finding high-paying jobs! We usually have more employers searching to fill positions than we have students to fill them."
What Do Students Think About Dr. Coy?
"Dr. Coy was able to take concepts that are fundamental to the theory behind being a successful computer scientist and make those concepts become understandable and meaningful. She highlighted and taught us how to critically think through problems and use techniques to solve problems and complete tasks. Her demeanor worked with me, as an adult student who had experience in the technology field just as well as it worked with my classmates who were future technologists. Beyond that, Dr. Coy was constantly accessible and made herself available to answer questions, and provide guidance."
– Mike Lyon '11
"Coy is an awesome teacher. She is an organized folder of facts with a series of classes where the foundation of understanding can be built. In particular, Coy is great for making one-on-one time to answer questions and troubleshoot code. She's always available to help out and explain anything that may have been difficult in class."
– Morgan Meyers '12