Spotlight on Alumni – David Paradice

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Professor David Paradice Still Loves to Learn

Degree and graduation year:

BSICS 1978

Other education (school names, degrees, dates):

M.S. Industrial Management 1979 (Georgia Tech), Ph.D. Business Administration (Texas Tech) 1986

Where do you live (city & state/country)?

Tallahassee, Fla.

What do you do for a living?

Professor of Management Information Systems in the Department of Management of the College of Business at Florida State University

What was your first job after leaving Georgia Tech?

Programmer analyst for Energy Management Associates Inc. in Atlanta, designing and developing software to model capital expenditure recovery in the electric utility industry.

What do you like best about your current job?

Being a professor allows me to constantly learn about all aspects of information systems. I also enjoy working with students.

What do you like the least?

It is often very difficult to keep curricula up-to-date in technology-oriented fields. The institutional processes related to changing curricula are often cumbersome. Also, the way academic departments stake out domains can impede the development of interdisciplinary education, which I think is critical in today’s world.

How did CoC prepare you for the working world?

The rigor of Georgia Tech in general and the ICS program specifically was great preparation for analyzing opportunities as well as problem situations. I draw daily on the foundation of critical thinking that I developed at Tech.

What do you consider the single greatest advance—technological, sociological, economic, etc.—in computing since you were in school? 

Although each new advance is fantastic, I think the development of the microcomputer provided the basis for transformational change in many areas. Placing computing power on the desktop certainly transformed business processes and similarly led to transformational changes in areas such as healthcare, engineering, public administration and so forth. Mobile computing is poised to have a similar impact.

Operating system of choice:

Windows (by necessity)

Which professional associations are you a member of?

Association of Information Systems

What do you remember and/or value the most about your time at Georgia Tech/CoC?

There were only 15 or so ICS majors in my class. We had fun together, studied together, played intramurals together, etc. Mini-computers were just becoming common (PCs would not come around for a couple of years). Software for word processing, where you could see an entire screen of text, was something being developed in the lab by students. We had a lab where you could really get to understand how computers worked. “C” was a new language, only used by a few people in the lab. It was just a very exciting time.

What faculty or staff member had the greatest impact on you?

I really can’t point to anyone in particular. They all had an impact of some kind. I remember Mr. Goda taught a lot of programming classes. I think Mr. Goda also taught a logic circuit design course that was a great course. Dr. Jensen taught MIS-type classes but also taught the class where I developed a simulation of a PDP-8/I with another student.

In your spare time, what do you do for fun?

I enjoy golf, photography and repairing things (anything broken that I can figure out). I love to travel with my wife, too, especially to other countries.

If I had it to do over again, I’d…

… have tried some engineering classes, learned at least a second language, and learned to play an instrument.

Are any of your family members CoC/GT alumni?

My brother graduated with a degree in Industrial Management in 1971.

Do you stay in touch with other computing alumni?  If so, who?

No, but I would love to find Robert Mason, who graduated in ICS a little before I did.

Are you a member of an online community?  If so which one(s)?

Facebook and LinkedIn.

Anything else you’d like to share? Here’s your chance!

When I was a student, computer science was in the Rich Building between the Library and the College of Architecture. As a freshman, I used keypunch machines for programming in FORTRAN. I’m really looking forward to seeing the College of Computing facilities!