About the Instructor

Stephen Davies

Professor of Computer Science
University of Mary Washington

Dr. Stephen Davies, professor of Computer Science at UMW, embraces the terms "nerd" and "geek" quite readily. He's a dedicated sci-fi buff (not only Star Wars and Dune, but also the works of Ursula Le Guin and Sheri Tepper) who devoted hours growing up to writing primitive computer games for his Commodore 64. Today he's both a board game aficionado and a classic rock enthusiast, who on occasion can play a mean piano.

Even before he discovered computer science, Stephen became aware of his first love: teaching. The classroom, with its breathless engagement of limitless new concepts, is his favorite domain. He's assimilated "pro tips" from countless teachers over the years, the most influential of whom was Dr. Lilly Chen of Rice University. She enchanted her classroom with inexhaustible optimism and inspirational depictions, as she opened the doors to the exquisite mysteries of the Chinese language. (In the three decades since studying under Dr. Chen, Stephen has spent countless hours studying mandarin Chinese, always finding himself in the haze of quasi-fluency but never giving up.)

Stephen sought out every opportunity to teach even before receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to a range of math and computer science topics, he's taught data science, personal productivity, reading effectiveness, "Great Books" groups, inductive Bible studies, and systematic theology. He currently lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia with his college sweetheart and enjoys occasional visits from their three grown kids. He loves to watch women's sports (especially basketball and soccer), read novelists from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Ethan Canin, and hunker down in front of British crime TV shows. Finally, Stephen is a progressive Christian (converted at age 17) who strives every day to follow his Master.