David James

Photo of David James
Assistant Professor of Practice
SEH 4655 | Office hours: T, R: 1:00 - 2:00 pm
[email protected]

Dr. David James is a teacher, researcher, and songwriter who focuses on the intersection between art, music, and computing. Over the past ten years he has used digital audio workstation software as a tool to write and record songs.  His dissertation research focused on how musicians used this software in online communities to write funk songs while living in different cities and countries.  Dr. James shifted his focus to creating and remixing Black music, as a creative process through which students can learn about computer science concepts. Dr. James has developed two introductory computer science courses that use the creation of music as a problem space for all projects and assessments.

Dr. James’ efforts at building courses that infuse Black music are aimed at retaining and recruiting students who have been underrepresented in computer science and information technology.  He served as research advisor and teaching fellow for undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool Inclusion Institute, which has the goal of exposing underrepresented students to careers in computing.  Dr. James has also given workshops on the interconnection between computer science and Black music for faculty and staff at Syracuse University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard University, and the Virginia Department of Education.

Dr. James earned a Ph.D. and a Master’s Degree in information science and technology from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in computer and systems engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.