Statements on Service
We benefit from living in a society. The well being of our society will directly or indirectly affect our lives. We should take care our society just as we should take care ourselves.
Being a teacher and researcher in a university I could contribute to our society in many more ways than being an engineer in a company. Although I had a good job at Lucent Technologies (formerly AT&T Bell Labs), teaching and research in academia is what I always wanted. Although I was fully aware that industrial jobs pay more than academic ones, I was willing to take the pay cut and pursue a faculty position.
My working experience in Lucent Technologies – Bell Labs Innovations, which was one of the best companies and research institutions in the world, prepared me to serve in committees. Since I was responsible for the overall performance of our systems, which required the full cooperation of all my colleagues, I spent a large amount of my time chatting with coworkers, discussing issues in groups, presenting solutions in meetings, and speaking in large gatherings. Interpersonal skills and teamwork are essential for success in large organizations as they are for serving in committees.
For many years I have provided computer consulting to faculty, staff, students, coworkers, friends and family. My enthusiasm and strong background in many areas of computing motivate and allow me to be an effective computer consultant.
I often take people on airplane or helicopter rides. Besides pursuing academic knowledge I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities. In addition to being a pilot of airplanes and helicopters, I enjoy various sports such as, scuba driving, sailing, bicycling, skiing, and so on. After acquired all sorts of skills, I have much to offer our society and I am eager to do so.
I am eager to serve. I welcome challenges and opportunities.
In fall 1999, I joined a Computer Science program that had only two faculty members but had over two hundred students. Instead of viewing that as negative, I viewed that as challenges and opportunities for me to make a difference. For my willingness to involve and for the lack of CS professors, I was given many opportunities and was required to serve in more capacities in five years than that were done by many professors in a lifetime.
My first academic year as an assistant professor was the most challenging one. In a department without a senior CS faculty member, I needed to be involved in all aspects of our program and often took the leadership role. The amount of work I was involved with to help maintain our program was too much for me to detail here. I can only say that was too much to ask from a first year assistant professor. In addition, I was the person involved in anything that required the presence of a Computer Science professor in our university. Despite the overload and tough challenges, I helped cultivate our CS program to the recognition of our college and university, our community and state, and our national and international communities.
I served in a wide range of capacities from department to international communities as highlighted as follows. First, for rebuilding our department, I helped to recruit five new CS faculty members in five years. For our college, I served as leadership team associate working closely with the leaders of our college, as a member in graduate studies committee and Ph.D. steering committee, and chaired a committee for overhauling CS M.S. entry sequence and CAM Ph.D. CS requirements. For our university, I served in a special executive committee for founding the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT) and as a university senator. For our communities, I founded and organized Autonomous Robot Competitions that was featured in locate TV KNOE news, presented in Good Morning Ark-La-Miss news program, reported in locate newspapers, and finally reached national TV by sending our students to compete in “Robot Rivals” on the Do-It-Yourself network. For our State, I served on the Board of Regents (BoR) of Louisiana's Emerging Research Technology subcommittee for improving the computing network infrastructure of Louisiana and for facilitating emerging research in universities of Louisiana system. For our national and international communities, I provided course materials for use by other instructors and served as a reviewer for journals.
After gaining the diversified service experience, I have much to offer to our society and will continue to do so.
Ben's, Teaching, Research, Service