David Mathias, D.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
“Engagement is critical to effective learning. I, like all of my colleagues at Florida Southern, strive to find ways to keep students engaged. It’s an interesting and challenging endeavor. I firmly believe, however, that one of the most effective engagement techniques is also one of the simplest. Getting to know our students and making sure that they understand that we sincerely care about them is the best tool we have.”
Dr. David Mathias is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Florida Southern College. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware, in his home state, and M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Before coming to Florida Southern, Dr. Mathias spent 12 years teaching at the Ohio State University where he was twice recognized for excellence in teaching.
An architecture enthusiast, Dr. Mathias is author of the book Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood & Light about the work of early 20th century California architects Charles and Henry Greene. He has also published more than a dozen magazine articles on related topics. He finds the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture on the Florida Southern campus endlessly fascinating and is thrilled to have an office in an FLW building. He even appreciates the leaky roof as that is part of the FLW experience.
At Florida Southern, Dr. Mathias, together with a number of talented students, has begun to explore research topics related to unmanned micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), popularly known as drones. Upcoming student projects include topics such as hand-motion control of MAVs, designing MAVs with novel computing platforms, communication between cooperating MAVs and application of MAVs to local industry.
In my spare time I like hiking, mountain climbing, photography, and architecture.
D.Sc. in Computer Science, Washington University in St. Louis
M.S. Computer Science, Washington University in St. Louis
B.S. Computer Science, University of Delaware
Honors and Awards
- Charles and Mildred Jenkins Chair in Mathematics and Computer Science 2016 - Present
- ODK Outstanding Teaching Award 2016
- Ohio State CSE Department Award for Outstanding Teaching 2004
- Ohio State CSE Department Award for Outstanding Teaching 1999
- Elected to Sigma Xi Scientific Honorary 1993
Evolutionary computation is a fascinating area, within artificial intelligence, in which algorithms evolve solutions to computationally intractable problems. The process is a digital analog of Darwinian evolution but with a greatly increased rate of change. I am currently working on several projects with students. In one, we consider the problem of path planning, using genetic algorithms, for an autonomous vehicle in a known environment. In another, we are looking at evolutionary strategies for problems in combinatorial game theory.
Publications and Exhibitions
"On Models of Teaching and Geometric Learning." Washington University in St. Louis, May 1996. Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Sally A. Goldman.
Refereed Journal Publications
"Computer Vision Based Object Detection and Tracking in Micro Aerial Vehicles," with Richard Chapman.Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research.
"Exact Learning of Discretized Geometric Concepts," with Nader H. Bshouty, Paul W. Goldberg, and Sally A. Goldman.SIAM Journal on Computing, vol. 28 (2), February 1999.
"Noise-Tolerant Parallel Learning of Geometric Concepts," with Nader H. Bshouty and Sally A. Goldman.Information and Computation, vol. 147 (1), November 1998.
"Noise-Tolerant Distribution-Free Learning of General Geometric Concepts," with Nader H. Bshouty, Sally A. Goldman, Subhash Suri and Hisao Tamaki.Journal of the ACM, vol. 45 (5), September 1998.
"A Model of Interactive Teaching."Journal of Computer and System Sciences, vol. 54 (3), June 1997.
"Teaching a Smarter Learner," with Sally A. Goldman.Journal of Computer and System Sciences, vol. 52 (2), April 1996.
Refereed Conference Publications
"An Autonomous Drone Platform for Student Research Projects."Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual CCSC MidSouth Conference, April 2016.
"An Empirical Study of Crossover and Mass Extinction in a Genetic Algorithm for Pathfinding in a Continuous Environment," with Vincent Ragusa.Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, July 2016.
"Micro Aerial Vehicle Path Planning and Flight with a Multiobjective Genetic Algorithm," with Vincent Ragusa.Proceedings of the 2016 Intelligent Systems Conference, September 2016.
"Noise-Tolerant Distribution-Free Learning of General Geometric Concepts," with Nader Bshouty, Sally Goldman, Subhash Suri and Hisao Tamaki.Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, May 1996.
"DNF – If You Can’t Learn `em, Teach `em: An Interactive Model of Teaching."Proceedings of the Eighth Annual ACM Conference on Computational Learning Theory, July 1995.
"Noise-Tolerant Parallel Learning of Geometric Concepts," with Nader Bshouty and Sally Goldman.Proceedings of the Eighth Annual ACM Conference on Computational Learning Theory, July 1995.
"Learning Unions of Boxes with Membership and Equivalence Queries," with Paul Goldberg and Sally Goldman.Proceedings of the Seventh Annual ACM Conference on Computational Learning Theory, July 1994.
"Teaching a Smarter Learner," with Sally Goldman.Proceedings of the Sixth Annual ACM Conference on Computational Learning Theory, July 1993.
"Learningk-term DNF Formulas with an Incomplete Membership Oracle," with Sally Goldman.Proceedings of the Fifth Annual ACM Conference on Computational Learning Theory, July 1992.
Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood and Light. F + W Media, Cincinnati, OH, September 2010.