Mario Nakazawa hails from Tokyo, Japan, and received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. His interest quickly changed from asking why people act the way they do to seeing if machines can simulate human behavior. Through a series of twists and turns, he studied Artificial Intelligence for a few years before switching and receiving a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Georgia. His research was on how to model data distributions for efficient parallel and distributed computation that combined algorithm analysis with real world issues such how multi-core and networked computers communicate.
Mario is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Berea College and has enjoyed the challenge of teaching a wide variety of topics ranging from theoretical foundations of computing to its practical applications. His typical teaching load includes both introductory and advanced courses, but his interests also range broadly, having taught courses on writing, digital humanities, and ballroom dancing. He has been using POGIL in his courses since 2007, as the pedagogy complements team-based assignments and projects are ubiquitous in computer science. Mario has been trained as a POGIL facilitator and recently ran one with a colleague at Berea College.