Rhys Price Jones
B.A., M.A., Oxford University; M.Sc., University of Calgary; Ph.D., University of London; M.Sc., Indiana University
Visiting Lecturer in Computer Science
Rhys likes to challenge students, conventions, preconceptions and the status quo. Your help is appreciated.
It is essential for good teachers to maintain an active level of participation in the development of their field. Computer Science teachers are most fortunate: the subject area itself helps generate and maintain enthusiasm. Many current research areas are accessible to students, both graduate and undergraduate. I am especially eager to translate my research experiences into enhanced classroom activities, and, where possible, to encourage and mentor independent research among undergraduates. In a sentence, the primary goal of my research is to make me a better teacher.
Chaucer explained of his clerk of Oxenford that “gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche”. What’s the difference between teaching and learning? In Welsh “dysgu” means both “learn” and “teach”. Swedish students lär and a professor lärare. In Polish a teacher nauczy and simultaneously a student nauczy. In the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, the psalmist asked “Lead me in thy truth and teach me” but in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Psalm xxv would plead “Lead me forth in Thy truth, and learn me”. Distinguishing teaching from learning is a luxury enjoyed mostly by speakers of modern English.
Computer Science is a rapidly changing field. Lecturing to students only what I know would be rather like preparing them for my past, rather than their futures. Instead I must point at the landmarks of my experience that helped me and still help me prepare for and adapt to new discoveries and changing perceptions. There are salient and lasting principles, but so much of the knowledge that today’s Computer Science student needs to acquire for internships and job interviews is transitory. My students need to learn to teach themselves for the rest of their lives.
Teaching interests include Computer Science education, genetic algorithms, game theory, graph theory, programming languages, artificial intelligence, and real intelligence.
I was born and brought up in Bangor, Gwynedd in North Wales, and my first language is Cymraeg (Welsh). I am a professor of Computer Science. I have taught at IPFW, Oberlin College, RIT, GWU, Stanford, Grinnell, and now Wellesley. I studied at Ysgol Cae Top, Ysgol Friars, Jesus College Oxford, the University of Calgary, Royal Holloway College University of London, and Indiana University. I enjoy cycling, walking, boating with my wife Laurel, Celtic and other coins, and hearing from my daughters Caroline, Claire and Sara and grandchildren Theodora, Pascal and Beatrice.