Hi. My name is Gerry (pronounced like “Jerry”).
I am always available by email at Gerry.Stahl@drexel.edu. Send me an email if you want to meet with me in person or if you have a question or comment for me.
As a college student, I was interested in math and physics. I went to MIT, where I majored in mathematics and humanities. I became increasingly interested in German philosophy there and after graduation went to Heidelberg to study with Gadamer and other experts on Heidegger and German philosophy. I then pursued a PhD in philosophy at Northwestern, the only center for continental philosophy in the US. For my research, I returned to Germany for two years at the Frankfurt School, where I studied social theory in the tradition of Hegel, Marx and Habermas. My dissertation critiqued Heidegger's philosophy for a lack of social theory.
Most of my jobs have involved computer programming. At MIT, I took Minsky's computer and AI courses, programming using punched tape. My first summer job I programmed a punched card reader to sort complex data on elections in India. I was a systems programmer at Temple and at Northwestern. Later, I founded a consulting service for non-profit organizations in Philadelphia. Generally, I have learned a new application area and a new programming language for every major programming project.
In 1989 I went to graduate school in computer science at Colorado. I was the first to teach object-oriented programming there. For my dissertation, I developed a system to support lunar habitat designers at NASA. I then worked as VP for software development for a consulting firm that developed primarily systems for NASA. After a couple years, I returned to the University of Colorado at Boulder as a post-doc on an LSA project and then as a Research Professor.
In 2001/2002 I spent a year in Bonn, Germany, working at the GMD/Fraunhofer FIT research lab, converting BSCW to a system for use in schools. That year I also served as Program Chair for the CSCL conference in Boulder.
In Fall 2002, I came to Drexel's College of Information Science and Technology. Since then, I have mainly taught HCI courses at all levels (INFO 110, 310, 608, 610, CSCL). I have taught both online and in class -- I prefer to combine the two modes. Because of my strong belief in collaborative learning, I try to make my teaching as collaborative as possible, including a large proportion of work in small groups.
My professional research area is the field of CSCL (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning). I think that collaborative learning is an exciting and especially effective way to learn. I believe that there is great potential to design good computer support for it. I have been experimenting with a number of CSCL prototypes and have written many papers on the theory, design and evaluation of interactive systems to support collaborative learning.
I published a book on my research in CSCL from 1992-2006 entitled Group Cognition: Computer Support for Building Collaborative Knowledge and have launched the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning. During my time at Drexel, I have directed the Virtual Math Teams Project. In 2009 I published a collection of papers about this project, Studying Virtual Math Teams.
Check out my home page, where you can see more details about my background and read my papers: GerryStahl.net. My most important writings are available in my eLibrary -- mostly for free in iPad, Kindle and PDF format as well as low-cost print-on-demand paperback.