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Warren College Faculty Director

Doug and Patricia FisherDoug Fisher is the founding faculty director of Warren College.

Doug has been a faculty-member in residence since 2002, an “ambassador” of the Vanderbilt faculty to Vanderbilt’s undergraduate, residential community. He and his wife, Patricia, are currently in residence at McGill Hall. Doug received the Chancellor’s Cup in 2006 and the KC Potter award in 2012, largely for his work in residential life. Doug and Patricia enjoy hosting student gatherings, regularly attending McGill Hours, participating in many other “after-hours” events on campus, and working with residential staff.

Doug and Patricia came to Vanderbilt after Doug received his Ph.D. in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine. Doug is an associate professor of computer science and of computer engineering. His research and teaching are in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with applications that include cancer informatics and modeling human problem solving. Increasingly, Doug focuses on computational models of creativity, and computing applications to environmental and societal sustainability. He is the editor for Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability of IEEE Intelligent Systems and serves on other editorial boards and conference committees.

Patricia served as a financial aid officer at Vanderbilt for many years. Later she was the director of financial aid at Watkins College of Art and Design, and a school relations specialist with the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. Patricia was also a financial planner, and her passions include a desire and mechanisms for fiscal responsibility by individuals, corporations and governments.

Doug served as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2007–2010), where he oversaw research in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Doug and Patricia enjoyed living near Washington, D.C., visiting the many monuments, museums and other landmarks of the area. Doug views his time at NSF as service to country, science and planet, of which he is proud; he credits this service with re-energizing the citizen in him. Doug taught courses at Vanderbilt from NSF via virtual technology. These experiences have informed his educational interests, which include the integration of ethics and societal issues into his technical courses, and the use of information technology to increase one-on-one interactions with students. Apropos these interests, Doug has become the founding director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL), and he hopes to leverage synergies between this role and his role as faculty director of Warren College.

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