About Michael Burkhardt

I am a part-time lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. By day, I’m a Data Scientist at Magellan Health. I first got into this business 26 years ago, but I was writing programs in BASIC and Pascal long before that. My earliest experience in computing was entering BASIC programs on the Commodore VIC-20 from code listings printed in magazines. The oldest surviving specimen of my work as an aspiring Computer Scientist was a horse race I co-wrote in 12th grade. (If you think running k-folds cross validation is slow, you should see what it was like to compile on the Apple IIe in 1989!)

I got my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Ohio State and a master’s degree in Data Science from Southern Methodist University. If the Buckeyes and Mustangs ever meet in football… Well, I try not to think about it.

I’ve written code in many languages for online systems, web development projects, system administration, and data mining tasks. Although I’ve coded in some ancient languages – Fortran and JCL come to mind, but not COBOL or LISP – I never actually dealt with punch cards. Before my Data Science days, I worked in the world of large systems integration with a specialization in IT infrastructure.

When I’m not doing this I do other stuff, which tends to be driving to and watching a lot of soccer games in the fall and spring. I try to stay informed about the world around me by listening to and reading the daily news, and continually scanning my Twitter feed. I also like magazines. I’ve tried to give them up, but I just can’t quit them. I read several regularly, but my current favorites are Wired, Monocle, and Vanity Fair.

Special note to Computer Science majors (and others interested in the history of computing): I recommend that you read Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. Even if you’re not a fan of Apple and Jobs, the opening chapters reveal a lot about how the world of personal computing came to be. Fore more book recommendations, see my books page.