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Frank is an Idaho native who received his B.S. Computer Science degree from the University of Idaho in 2007. In recognition of his academic achievements, Frank received the 2007-2008 Computer Science Outstanding Senior Award.
Following graduation, Frank moved from the rolling hills of the Palouse to the stark high desert landscape of China Lake, CA where he now holds a position with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) providing software support for the F/A-18, but he is continuing his academic endeavors, pursuing a MSCS degree through the University of Idaho's Engineering Outreach Program. "There are many skills that I developed while at Idaho and I depend on these all the time. When you stop to think about what basic computer science is about, some of these skills aren't immediately obvious, but they end up being really important when it comes time to get the job done. My organization is rated at CMM Level 5 which means that a willingness and desire to follow good software engineering principles is a must." Among the skills Frank finds particularly helpful are:
- Familiarity with a variety of programming language types such as Assembly, C, and scripting languages.
- The ability to work with a variety of software development tools such a compilers, debuggers, understanding and writing Makefiles, using version control systems, and appling specialized tools like lex and yacc.
- The ability to work with a large code-base.
- The ability to analyze algorithms for correctness and efficiency.
- The ability to work with and learn from a large group of people with diverse backgrounds and responsibilities.
During his time as a University of Idaho undergraduate, Frank was involved in more than just required academics. "When I first started I was promised by several of the faculty that if I really applied myself, the program would leave me well prepared to go wherever I wanted to go. I have found that statement to be true. I rub shoulders with graduates from much larger more expensive universities every day and I have found that the depth and breadth of the education that the University of Idaho Computer Science program provided me has been very competitive."
While attending the University of Idaho, Frank was an active member in the student chapter of ACM. His interests in the areas of artificial intelligence, computer architecture, and embedded systems took him in diverse but complementary directions. He participated in a joint effort between the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Computer Science Department to develop an experimental, coarse-grained, reconfigurable processor especially suited for spacecraft applications. "My contribution to this project was primarily focused on developing programming methods that were applicable to the unique architecture of this processor, as well as helping to develop the compiler tools that were needed in order to develop programs for the processor." Frank's interest in artificial intelligence also had him dabbling in particle swarm optimization and designing artificial neural networks.
"Undergraduate research opportunities can be very beneficial to career development and advancement."
"The education and experience I received at the University of Idaho provided me with the tools, theoretical foundation, and confidence that I needed, to get the kind of job that I wanted. The F/A-18s, AV8-Bs, A-10s and other advanced aircraft that periodically rumble over the building where I work are a gratifying reminder of the impact that the work we do here has on the real world. The opportunity I had to participate with faculty on a research team while an undergraduate has helped me to qualify for projects and opportunities within NAVAIR that my supervisors had felt others were not ready to handle."
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