Pat Burlison Faculty Award
Dr. Vinhthuy Phan
Department of Computer Science
Dr. Phan is an associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Computer Science. He received his undergraduate education at Brandeis University in Mathematics and Computer Science. He did his graduate studies at Stony Brook University in New York, where he received his Ph.D. in 2003.
Dr. Phan's current research interest lies in the area of Bioinformatics and Computer Science Education. In Bioinformatics, he has worked on developing computational methods to analyze next-generation sequencing data with applications in areas of metagenomics and genetic variant detection. His research received support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.
In Computer Science Education, he has worked on novel tools and pedagogies to improve active-learning experience for computer science students. His recent work led to the development of teaching tools that have directly benefited both undergraduate and graduate students at the University. It has also led to outreach activities that brought middle school and high school students in the Memphis area to the field of computer science. He regularly organizes summer camps that teach students how to create interactive graphics novels, which explore creative storytelling skills that are not found in typical video games. He recently received a grant from the Strengthening Communities Initiatives at the University of Memphis to work with CodeCrew, a local non-profit organization to teach high school students how to create video games.