Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, Roanoke College

2594 8308
Position ID:Roanoke College-Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics-VAP [#8308]
Position Title: Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Position Type:Non tenure-track faculty
Position Location:Salem, Virginia 24153, United States [map]
Subject Area: Computer Science
Starting Date:2017/08/21
Appl Deadline:2017/03/20 (posted 2016/10/14, updated 2016/12/05, listed until 2017/03/20)
Position Description:    

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics invites applications for a Visiting Assistant Professor (or Visiting Instructor) position in Computer Science starting August, 2017. A Ph.D. in Computer Science (or a Master's degree, for the Visiting Instructor title) or a related area is required. Visiting positions are one-year appointments but may be renewable for up to two additional years. The successful candidate(s) must have a strong interest in teaching a wide range of undergraduate computer science courses in a liberal arts setting. Evidence of potential for highly effective classroom teaching is required. A strong commitment to scholarly activity and undergraduate student research is expected.

Roanoke College is a nationally ranked residential liberal arts college affiliated with the Lutheran Church (ELCA), located in the beautiful Roanoke Valley of Virginia. A Phi Beta Kappa institution, Roanoke College is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks diversity among its faculty, staff, and students; women and members of under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply. The College is listed in the Princeton Review's "Best 381 Colleges" 2017 guidebook, and has been listed every year in their "Best Colleges" guidebooks since 2012, as one of the nation's best schools for a major in computer science.

To apply submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, teaching statement, research statement, copies of graduate and undergraduate transcripts (unofficial), and at least 3 letters of recommendation (at least one must address teaching) via this AcademicJobsOnline system.  Materials should be addressed to the Chairperson of the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics Department, Dr. David Taylor.  You may also submit these materials through email to taylor@roanoke.eduapplications may also be sent through regular mail, addressed to:

Dr. David Taylor, Chairperson
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics
Roanoke College
221 College Lane
Salem, VA 24153

Review of applications will begin March 20, 2017; all completed applications received by that date will be given full consideration. Applications received or completed after that date may be considered on a rolling basis.

More about the Position

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics offers strong major programs in each of the three disciplines and provides many service courses to satisfy the needs of various disciplines and the college's general education program (more info below). The department also offers minors in each discipline, a concentration in statistics, and a major in Actuarial Science.

The computer science program offers two majors, one in Computer Science and one in Applied Computer Science, with a common core of courses. The major in Computer Science is very similar to the program we have offered for many years; the major in Applied Computer Science was introduced to appeal to students who have less interest in the theoretical and mathematical foundations of computer science. A complete description of the two programs can be found on the program's home page.

We currently offer the following courses to support the two majors:

  • Fundamentals of Computer Science I and II - A two course introductory sequence that introduces students to fundamental computer science topics and object-oriented programming.  Each course utilized integrated lecture and lab (faculty meet with students three times a week for 2 hours). Faculty members receive two units (6 hours) credit for teaching the lecture/lab course.
  • Data Structures and Algorithms (with a 3 hour closed lab)
  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems (with a 3 hour closed lab)
  • Topics in Applied Computing
  • Database Systems
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Networks (with a 3 hour closed lab)
  • Software Engineering and Project Design
  • Theory of Computation
  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Web Programming
  • Principles of Programming Languages
  • Systems Administration

The Topics in Applied Computing gives faculty members the opportunity to teach topics not in a regular course. The new member of the department will have the opportunity to develop courses of interest to them to be added to the curriculum. For more information on the department and its curriculum see the computer science program web site or contact the coordinator of the computer science program, Dr. Anil Shende, or the chair of the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics Department, Dr. David Taylor.

Student Research

Student research has always been emphasized in the department and now is an integral part of the revised majors. Students in both the majors are required to complete a senior research project. Students are encouraged to do independent study projects prior to their senior project. Some recent projects include working on measuring presence in a virtual environment using the department's CAVE, analyzing behavioral-based visual queries, using parallel processing to study various problems including finding the longest induced paths in hypercubes, channel assignment, and the iterated prisoner's dilemma, and using Machine Learning techniques to analyze applications for admission to the college. In addition to an instructional lab of computers with a dual boot setup (Linux and Windows), the department has a cluster available for both teaching and research purposes and a small lab with a multi-screen immersive environment (CAVE).

In addition to the senior projects and independent studies students have many opportunities for first hand learning. In the Systems Administration course students build and administer computers and computer networks in an experiential, laboratory-style setting. Most of our majors gain invaluable experience by working in the Information Technology department either as programmers or technicians. Also internships are available for students who wish to gain some experience in the "real" world.

Several students have continued their studies in graduate school, including recent graduates currently pursuing their doctoral degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech.

The Department's Role in General Education

The college's general education curriculum, the Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum, seeks to involve faculty from across campus in general education courses.

In the Intellectual Inquiry curriculum the 101-level courses traditionally offered by the department have been replaced by topics based courses. Computer Science topics will be taught in the Mathematical Reasoning course (INQ 241). Computer Science faculty have so far developed two INQ 241 courses, Digital Media: Manipulating for Good and Bad, and Mobile Apps. Other ideas for computer science versions of INQ 241 are ones focusing on machine learning or robotics.

The new curriculum also has a required First Year Seminar course (INQ 110) for all students. This course gives faculty across the campus the opportunity to develop general interest courses in their discipline. Computer Science faculty have developed and taught two INQ 110 courses -Cryptography: Secrets and Security, and Virtual Realities.

A second seminar course (INQ 120) for first year students and the capstone course (INQ) 300 offer opportunities for faculty to develop courses of interest. One Computer Science faculty member has developed and teaches an INQ 120 course My Robot, My Frenemy.

The May term intensive learning courses, a part of the general education curriculum, provide the opportunity for faculty members to propose courses in areas of interest even if they are outside their discipline. Computer Science faculty have developed and taught a variety of May term courses: Computing Aspects of E-commerce, Digitally Rebuilding the Ancient World, and Exploring the World by Motorcycle.

More detail about the general education curriculum can be found on the college web site.


The normal teaching load at Roanoke College is 6 courses per year (9 hours per semester) plus one May term intensive learning course each third year (visiting faculty members are not required to teach this additional May Term course). Of the 6 courses each year, a faculty member can expect to teach some service courses in the general education program, some introductory level major courses, and some upper level major courses. Interested faculty members may also teach courses on topics of interest to them in the honors program. Recently members of the department have taught courses on chaos, art and math, and contemporary challenges in the honors program. May term courses offered by the department have included The Science of Sports, Visualization of Data, The Tainted Truth, Computational Aspects of E-Commerce, Digitally Rebuilding the Ancient World, Hands-on Science: Developing Science Kits for Elementary School Teachers, and Space Exploration.

Some Additional Links of Interest on our Department's Job Listing

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website:
Further Info:
Dr. David Taylor, Chairperson
Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics
Roanoke College
221 College Lane
Salem, VA 24153

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