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 Dr. Flatland earned her Ph.D. in computer science in 1997 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her B.S. in computer science in 1990 from Birmingham-Southern College.  She has been a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Siena College for 16 years, served as the department head for four years, and currently is the Science Internship Coordinator.  Her research is in the area of computational geometry,  focusing primarily on algorithmic problems related to wireless communication networks, unfolding, and robotics.  She also does research on computer science pedagogy and recently team taught a course to math education majors on how to teach AP computer science. 

Degree Program University
Ph.D. Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. Computer Science Birmingham-Southern College

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

My classroom/lab teaching style is interactive and student centered, mixing traditional lecture with student activities that reinforce and extend the lecture material. These activities include such things as team problem solving, experimenting with software tools, simulating algorithms and concepts, class discussion, demonstrations, and leading sessions in which the students assist me in developing solutions to problems. I think that students learn best when they are actively involved in the material, and I enjoy the give-and-take of an interactive period.

What I Love About Siena

 I love teaching at Siena because the students are enthusiastic and creative and class sizes are small so I get to know them very well.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

It is hard to choose favorite classes because I like teaching all computer science courses, but one of my top favorites is our upper level course on computer graphics.  I like this course because the student projects are visually exciting and allow for lots of creativity. The course culminates with a final project in which the students create their own 3D virtual world or game. This year some students even incorporated motion detecting cameras as input devices. We hosted a graphics show at the end of the semester during which our students demonstrated their projects for the Siena community and for thirty local high school CS students.

My Professional Experience

Year Title University
2009 - Now Professor, Computer Science Siena College
2003 - 2009 Associate Prof., Computer Science Siena College
1998 - 1999 Consultant, Image Understanding GE CR&D
1997 - 2002 Assistant Prof., Computer Science Siena College
1996 - 1997 Graduate Instructor, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1994 - 1996 Research Assistant, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
1990 - 1994 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Current Research

My technical line of research is in the area of computational geometry with a focus on algorithmic problems related to wireless communication networks, unfolding, and robotics.  I also do work in the area of computer science pedagogy with a focus on active learning and programs to increase the number of majors and underrepresented groups in computer science.

Articles & Book Reviews

  • A Summer Program to Attract Potential Computer Science Majors
    ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    2018
  • Catch 'em Early: Internship and Assistantship CS Mentoring Programs for Underclassmen
    ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    2018
  • Connecting Colleges/Universities and Local High Schools: A New Model for High School CS Teacher Development
    ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    2018
  • Toward Unfolding Doubly Covered n-Stars
    Japan Conference on Discrete and Computational Geometry and Graphs
    2018
  • Unfolding Low-Degree Orthotrees with Constant Refinement
    Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry
    2018
  • Unfolding Genus-2 Orthogonal Polyhedra with Linear Refinement
    Graphs and Combinatorics, vol. 33
    2017
  • Minimum Forcing Sets for Miura Folding Patterns
    ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
    2015
  • Squeeze-Free Hamiltonian Paths in Grid Graphs
    Canadian Computational Geometry Conference
    2015
  • Supporting CS10K: A New Computer Science Methods Course for Mathematics Education Students
    Proceeding of the 46th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education
    2015
  • Unfolding orthogonal polyhedra with quadratic refinement: The delta-unfolding algorithm
    Graphs and Combinatorics, vol. 30
    2014
  • Coverage with k-Transmitters in the Presence of Obstacles
    Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, vol. 25
    2013
  • Efficient Reconfiguration of Lattice-Based Modular Robots
    Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, vol. 46
    2013
  • Establishing strong connectivity using optimal radius half-disk antennas
    Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, vol. 46
    2013
  • Spanning Properties of Graphs Induced by Directional Antennas
    Discrete Mathematics, Algorithms, and Applications, vol. 5
    2013
  • Switching to directional antennas with constant increase in radius and hop distance
    Algorithmica, vol. 56
    2013
  • Unfolding Orthogrids with Constant Refinement
    23rd Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry
    2013
  • Algorithms for Collective Construction of 2D Block Structures with Holes
    American Journal of Undergraduate Research, vol. 10
    2011
  • Efficient Constant-Velocity Reconfiguration of Crystalline Robots
    Robotica, vol. 29
    2011
  • Establishing Strong Connectivity using Optimal Radius Half-Disk Antennas
    Canadian Computational Geometry Conference
    2011
  • Switching to Directional Antennas with Constant Increase in Radius and Hop Distance
    Algorithms and Data Structures Symposium
    2011
  • Coverage with k-Transmitters in the Presence of Obstacles
    4th International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications
    2010
  • Shape Replication through Self-Assembly and RNase Enzymes
    ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
    2010
  • Spanning Properties of Graphs Induced by Directional Antennas
    20th Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry
    2010
  • Connecting Polygonizations via Stretches and Twangs
    Theory of Computing Systems
    2009
  • Efficient Reconfiguration of Lattice Robots
    European Conference on Mobile Robotics
    2009
  • Linear Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots
    Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
    2009
  • Using Modes of Inquiry and Engaging Problems to Link Computer Science and Mathematics
    40th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    2009
  • Connecting polygonizations via stretches and twangs
    Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science
    2008
  • Grid Vertex-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
    Discrete and Computational Geometry
    2008
  • Realistic Reconfiguration of Crystalline (and Telecube) Robots
    Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics
    2008
  • Unfolding Manhattan Towers
    Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
    2008
  • A New Lower Bound on Guard Placement for Wireless Localization
    Fall Workshop on Computational and Combinatorial Geometry
    2007
  • Epsilon-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
    Graphs and Combinatorics
    2007
  • Exploring the Polygonizations of a Point Set via Stretches and Twangs
    Fall Workshop on Computational and Combinatorial Geometry
    2007
  • Linear Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots
    International Symposium of Algorithms and Computation
    2007
  • Vertex Pops and Popturns
    Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry
    2007
  • Curves in the Sand
    Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry
    2006
  • Grid Vertex-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
    Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science
    2006
  • Unfolding Well-Separated Orthotrees
    Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry and Visualization
    2005
  • Using Visualization Tools to Develop Geometric Reasoning Skills in a Computer Graphics Course
    Journal of Computing in Small Colleges
    2002
  • Extending Range Queries and Nearest Neighbors
    Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
    2000
  • Using MINIX in the Closed Lab Environment
    Journal of Computing in Small Colleges
    1999
  • Geometric Constraints and Stereo Disparity Computation
    International Journal of Computer Vision
    1996

Awards & Distinctions

  • Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award
    Category: Research
    Siena College, 2015
  • Phi Beta Kappa
    Category: Other
    Phi Beta Kappa, 2010
  • The McNaughton Prize is a prize awarded yearly by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to an outstanding, graduating Ph.D. student in computer science, through nomination by the computer science faculty
    Category: Research
    McNaughton Prize Recipient, 1996
  • GTE Graduate Fellowship Recipient
    Category: Research
    GTE Graduate Fellowship Recipient, 1992
  • Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards
    Category: Research
    Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards, 1992
  • Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards
    Category: Research
    Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards, 1990