|-- A brief autobiography|
I was born and I grew up in Athens, Greece. After finishing high school, I went to the United States where I pursued undergraduate studies at the Pacific States University in Los Angeles. In 1962, I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering.
Later that year, I joined the Blass Antenna Electronics Corporation, BAEC, in Long Island, New York where I designed digital systems for the control of radar phased array antennas. At that time, every design was a hardware design, and I was responsible for the logic design as well as the transistor circuit design of the circuits that were implementing the logic design. All projects were defense oriented, and I was granted a “secret clearance” by the U.S. Department of Defense. Though fresh out of school, and the only digital engineer in the company, I did very well judging from the performance of the hardware I designed. Out of my own initiative, I conducted seminars for the company’s electronic technicians. Looking back, this was my first sign that I wanted to share whatever I knew with others.
In 1964, the director of engineering left BAEC for Maxson Electronics Corporation, MEC, also in Long Island. Having recognized my performance he asked me to join him. It was a step upward and I accepted the offer. At MEC, in addition to phased array antennas, I participated in a variety of other projects including the design of avionics display equipment. While with MEC, I had my first paper published in a trade magazine.
In 1966, an opportunity presented itself for me to join a very prominent engineering consulting company, Computer Applications, Inc., CAI, (later Systems Consultants, Inc.), and to consult in U.S. Naval Laboratories. My first assignment was with the U.S. Underwater Sound Laboratory (later named Naval Underwater Systems Center) in New London, Connecticut, where I served in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Division. One of my projects was to participate in a team that conducted a design review of a certain sonar system. At that time all sonar designs were analog. Upon completion of the review, I designed myself the same system using all digital techniques, and presented my design to the Laboratory’s engineers in a weeklong seminar. My next assignment was with the U.S. Naval Weapons Center (NWC) in China Lake, California. Here, as a Senior Engineering Specialist, I participated in the design, or design review, of missile guidance electronics, and conducted seminars in a computer simulation of electronic circuits, something very novel at that time.
By 1969, I had realized that my Bachelors Degree, regardless how good of an engineer I was, could take me so far and no more,. It was time for me to pursue my graduate studies. With my parents living in Tempe, Arizona, a natural choice for me was to attend the Arizona State University. After two years of highly focused studies, I earned my Master of Science and PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1970 and 1971, respectively.
After my graduation and until 1975, I continued with the defense industry participating in high technology projects ranging from torpedo guidance to night vision systems, as well as in recruiting and marketing. With an ascending order of responsibilities, my positions reached the Senior Principal Development Engineer and Principal Scientist levels.
In December 1974, my book Digital Engineering was published by Wiley-Interscience, and in March 1975, the competing publisher McGraw Hill named it book-of-the-month in the engineering books series. At that time, I started seeing myself as a possible engineering professor, in addition to being an engineering practitioner. Having already taught as an adjunct faculty at the California State Polytechnic University, CalPoly, in Pomona, California, in 1975 I joined the university as an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. That was the beginning of my thirty-year, so far, professorial career.
During my two years with CalPoly, I had the opportunity to satisfy an interest of mine that of pursuing studies in international economics. In 1977, I was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Economics.
While at CalPoly, I served in a number of university committees including the international relations committee, where, I discovered that professors may possibly take off for a year and teach at another university. In 1977, I was out to the University of Petroleum and Minerals, UPM, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. At UPM, I was pleased to find out that my book was been used as a required text. At that time, living and working in Saudi Arabia, was a very safe and interesting experience.
I would have stayed longer than the one year that I did, but the Dean of Engineering was heading to Algeria to start a brand new engineering institute, and he wanted me to organize and head the Department of Computer Engineering. The school was named Institut National d’ Electricite et d’ Electronique, and it was organized by a consortium of American universities. This was a very rewarding experience to establish a program and see it grow on a daily basis for four years.
In 1982, it was time for the foreign faculty to hand the relay to the young Algerian ones who were coming back from the States with graduate degrees. My colleagues left Algeria with a lot of souvenirs. Myself, I only took with me a wife, a colleague - management professor. Since then, we have had three lovely daughters (20, 18 & 14) and live happily ever since.
My next post was with the Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, as a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and later with the Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton. In both schools, I developed and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in high technology, which at that time was the utilization of microcomputer and other chips.
While in Florida, my research interests turned to Chinese language word processing. I developed a new method of electronic character synthesis, designed and built a Chinese text processing computer, earned a U.S. patent on it, and traveled to China often.
In 1991, it was time for another overseas venture. This time, I joined the European Graduate Program of the Boston University, BU, where I taught technology-oriented courses in NATO bases, Germany, Belgium and Holland. My home base was in Bruckoebel, a suburb of Frankfurt.
Living in Germany was a wonderful experience for the entire family, especially for our little, at that time, daughters who were attending the German public schools. I would have still been with BU in Europe, if it weren’t for BU’s loss of contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. While in Germany, I had the opportunity of also teaching at the University of Heidelberg, and interacting with German students, faculty and administrators - a pleasant and valuable experience.
Summer 1993 came and the family wanted to take the opportunity of being in Europe and go to Greece, where we have an apartment outside of Athens. We went for the summer but we stayed for two years. While in Greece, the children went to the Greek public schools, where they experienced the special welcome emigrant Greeks receive in the Motherland. Myself. I served as consultant for a very dynamic firm involved in European Union training programs, taught at the MBA Program of the Athens campus of the University of LaVerne (main campus California), participated as a Visiting Scientist in the establishment of a Computer Science Department at the Greek National University of Ioannina, and taught a course on Principles of Taxation at the College of Southeastern Europe. I had become a true Greek, holding several jobs all at the same time.
I liked living in Europe, I liked teaching, and my entrepreneurial spirit in me told me that there were MBA opportunities in Greece. Indeed there were at that time. I wanted to establish and an institute that would offer American graduate programs in Greece, and I submitted my proposal to several American universities.
The Texas A&M International University, TAMIU, expressed the strongest interest. I visited its campus in Laredo, its administration visited me in Athens, and my dream seemed to be heading to realization. However, certain administrative changes at TAMIU (its president was promoted) put the plans on hold. To keep the flame alive I joined TAMIU as a Professor of Management Information Systems and became very active with the graduate program and executive training. Further administrative changes at TAMIU, coupled with the departure of my plan’s sponsor, zeroed the possibilities of setting up a graduate program in Greece.
At TAMIU, I stayed for six years (1995-2001). During that time, in addition to my regular professorial duties, I initiated a very successful cooperation between the College of Business Administration, COBA, and the Training Center of the Agricultural Bank of Greece. Every semester COBA faculty were conducting Banking Seminars in Athens for banking executives of the Balkan region. One of the seminars was conducted in Bucharest, Romania. Besides organizing the seminars, in cooperation with the Agricultural Bank of Greece, I also taught Bank Technology using my own instruction manual that was translated into Russian for the non-English speaking Balkan seminar attendees.
While in Texas, I ventured into Mexico, where I developed and taught several seminars in Mexican universities, and a graduate course at the Instituto Tamaulipeco de Investigacion Educativa y Desarrollo de la Docencia. The course, titled Management of Educational Resources, was part of a Masters Program in Academic Administration.
During the 2001-2005 academic years, I was with the American University of Sharjah, AUS, in the United Arab Emirates, as a Professor of Management Information Systems. In April 2004, I organized at AUS the e-World 2004 Forum where prominent speakers addressed issues in e-Government, e-Commerce and e-Learning. Outside of campus, I lectured in several executive training programs on “e-Government in the Arabian Gulf”, “Integrating Women into the Gulf Information Technology Workforce: Blending Culture and Education” and “Promoting Information Technology Education for Women to Strengthen the GCC Economy: Finite Steps”. Presently, my research and publications are in issues surrounding e-World, while my entrepreneurial side consults a Greek firm on the global positioning technologies and their business potential in Greece.
August 15-18, 2005, were three most memorable days spent in the Sultanate of Brunei where I was honored to be a keynote address speaker at the Brunei International Conference on Engineering and Technology.
The 2005-2007 academic years found me at the American University of Kuwait, AUK, - professor of Computer Science and Information Systems. AUK is a new highly promising institution of higher education aspiring to serve as a parameter for positive change in the region.
Summer 2007, was time for change, to do something beyond the old academic life of teaching-research-service. I went to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where I consulted conducting feasibility studies on the establishment of educational institutions, and advising on utility measurement technologies.
After seven years in the Gulf, it was time to go west, but not all the way. In June 2008, like Ulysses, we returned to Greece where I granted myself a one year "sabbatical". It was time to regroup and finalized some writings awaiting submission for publication. The self-granted "sabbatical" soon ended and a two-year commitment to the New York Institute of Technology followed. The new post was Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Nanjing, China. This was a program in cooperation with the University of Nanjing. Having visited China three times in the 1980s, it would have being like visiting an old friend, or visiting the children of an old friend. The China that I found twenty-five, or so, years later was the very same China in many respects, but a very different one in other. In the China of the Eighties, I would enter the classroom and the students would rise in silence. In the China of the Twenty-First century, I would enter the classroom and it would take me five minutes to have my presence recognized and establish silence for the lecture to start. The New China is a China caught between two worlds - the old that gave everyone something to live on, and the new where there is plenty, but has to be earned. My description would be: China is the nearest inhabited planet to Earth.
Now, Ulysses is back to Ithaca ready to embark for another destination. In the meantime, I am busy teaching graduate online courses for the University of Maryland in Cybersecurity, Cyberethics and Cyberencryption, and advise junior faculty. My next book titled Cyberspace and Cybersecurity will be out in July 2012,published by CRC Press. .................more to come.