"Let's build cool things" - Dr. Aaron Crandall to Join Gonzaga Computer Science Department


April 15, 2020

Dr. Aaron Crandall has a passion for 'tinkering.'

“Letting me loose in an engineering building is like letting a kid loose at Chuck E. Cheese," he says. “Overall, bring me a project and I’ll find a way to jam a computer in there. If nothing else, data collection will help understand the behavior of your project. From there, we can try to augment and automate the system.”

Dr. Crandall is one of two new assistant professors in Gonzaga’s Computer Science department beginning Fall 2020. In addition to teaching Software Development, he is planning to lead research into applied artificial intelligence. 

“My interest lies in technologies that engage people, both for clinical and entertainment situations. I use applied artificial intelligence techniques to adapt the technology to the user instead of the other way around, notably for helping seniors age in place,” he says.

Most importantly, Dr. Crandall says he looks forward to sharing his excitement for computer sciendce with his Gonzaga students. “Let's learn amazing stuff and build cool things.”

Dr. Crandall earned a BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Portland, but gravitated towards microcontrollers, sensors, embedded systems, and hardware integration. He landed an IT job for Oregon Health and Science University and took a few computer science courses as professional development. “I discovered a personal motivation for CS topics,” he says. “Once I got close to a master’s degree, I decided to keep on with a PhD at Washington State University.”

The real promise of computer science, Dr. Crandall says, is creating systems that adapt to our needs in complex environments. “Computers and computer systems are likely the most powerful tools humans have built. How could you not take those tools in hand to solve problems and make the world a better place?”

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