I went off to college knowing two things. 1) I did not want to be a professor because I had seen the isolation and long hours my father (Professor of English at Purdue) spent. 2) I was going to major in math. Obviously I am a professor and I never took a math class in college. You never know!
I came to PSU in 1967 after a year teaching at the University of Kansas filling in for two professors on sabbatical leave, one in Colonial America and the other in Recent U.S. history, and I have been here ever since. I became interested in using the computer instructionally in the late 1970s with a Model I Radio Shack TRS-80 (a tape drive and 4K of memory!) and have been using one ever since. I have given workshops and talks about computer-assisted history instruction around the world: Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Singapore, and Bangkok, as well as Canada and the United States. Teaching is a passion for me. If anything, I find teaching more enjoyable now than before.
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. Indiana University - Bloomington, 1971: History
M.S. University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1963: History
B.S. University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1962: History
201 American History to 1865
550 Your Family in History
650 Colonial History
652 American Revolution
Interests, Publications and Presentations
Teaching History With a Computer: A Complete Guide for College Professors (Chicago, Illinois: Lyceum Books, 1990). Remains the most comprehensive book of its kind and, by virtue of its focus on types of software rather than specific products, the recommendations are still applicable. Can be found on Amazon.com.
“Historical GIS: Enabling the Collision of History and Geography” (with Timothy J. Bailey), Social Science Computer Review, 27:3 (August 2009), 291-96. For this special issue Dr. Bailey and I gathered geographers who use GIS from Europe, Australia, and the United States to suggest the ways GIS intersects with history and offers fresh insights.
“Coming of Age in Computing,” Social Science Computer Review, 23:2 (Summer 2005), 143-51. For this special issue I gathered historians worldwide to assess of academic computing in history in the Americas, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States.
“Historical Choices REVISITED,” History Computer Review, 19 (Spring 2003), 121-36.
“Designing Interactive Courseware: Creating an Electronic Edition of the Notes of Debates in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787,” History Computer Review, 18:2 (Fall 2002), 49-68.
“Online History Textbooks: Breaking the Mold,” History Computer Review, 17:2 (Fall 2001), 25-47.
“Interaction: Examples and Possibilities,” History Computer Review, 16:2 (Fall 2000), 15-42.
“Building a Better ‘Mouse’ Trap: Schick's Taxonomy of Interactivity,” History Computer Review, 16:1 (Spring 2000), 15-28.
“Building a Better History Web Site,” History Computer Review, 13:2 (Fall 1997), 11-33.
“On Being Interactive: Rethinking the Learning Equation,” History Microcomputer Review, 11:1 (Spring 1995), 9-25.
“The Decision to Use a Computer Simulation,” The History Teacher, November 1993.
Plus I’ve edited The Midwest Quarterly since 1981, so 2011 marks my thirtieth year as Editor-in-Chief.