David Feinstein, Dean of the University of South Alabama School of Computer and Information Sciences has been selected as the EDSIG Information Systems Educator of the Year for 2004. Dr. Feinstein was honored at the ISECON Awards Luncheon on November 6th, 2004 in Newport, RI.
While at Stanford he developed interests in computational science which were used extensively while he was at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory in Buffalo, New York from 1967 to 1971. His work was in reentry physics and remote sensing. In 1971 he joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with the responsibility of developing a new major in computer science. Dr. Feinstein soon discovered that the computing equipment was woefully inadequate to implement a successful computer science program. What started out to be a relatively simple goal of improving computing resources for the students and faculty turned into a major effort. By the time he left Wisconsin in 1980 UWRF was serving the instructional and administrative computing needs for 65 public agencies in northwest Wisconsin.
In 1980 Dr. Feinstein embarked on a new challenge. He joined the faculty of the University of South Alabama once again to start a program in Computer Science. This time , however, the scope was expanded to include computer engineering and information systems. South Alabama was the first institution to recognize the unique position computing had in academia and society and formed a separate school of computing reporting directly to the chief academic officer. Almost 25 years later Dr. Feinstein is Dean of the School of Computer and Information Sciences. The School has programs in Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology.
Dr. Feinstein has played a leadership role in EDSIG where he has served as Vice President and President. He has also chaired the ISECON Conference twice. With his colleague Bart Longenecker, he has helped develop a series of curriculum models for information systems, IS’90, IS’94, IS’97 and IS’2000. These models have been widely accepted as the standard for IS education. He also served on the NSF task force that developed the model ISCC the Information Systems-Centric Curriculum and on the task force that developed the IS masters degree curriculum, MSIS 2000.
Dr Feinstein was instrumental in the development and implementation of accreditation of computing programs. He has been a Program Evaluator and Team Chair since the late 1980s and now serves on the Computing Accreditation Commission. Dr Feinstein was also one of the authors of the Information Systems Accreditation Standards.
In his spare time Dr. Feinstein is active in scouting and takes great pride in the fact that he has led scouts on high adventure trips to all of the Boy Scout high adventure bases from the Florida Keys, Mountains of New Mexico and lakes of Manitoba.