Karen Works, PhD
In 2006, after 12 years of industry experience in software development, Dr. Karen Works was offered a temporary 9-month teaching position at Westfield State University (WSU). After a successful year, WSU encouraged her to pursue a doctoral degree in computer science and return to teach at WSU. She was accepted into the computer science doctoral program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and fully funded via University and NSF grants.
Dr. Works received her Ph.D. degree in computer science from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2014. Her dissertation titled “Targeted Prioritized Processing in Overloaded Data Stream Systems” researched methods to ensure that streaming database systems process all incoming data required to produce the most significant results when resources are scarce. Her dissertation addressed four issues namely, the problem of optimally processing the most significant tuples identified by the user at compile-time, creating a new aggregate operator that effectively increases the accuracy of aggregate results produced for targeted prioritized streaming systems, the problem of identifying significant tuples at run-time via dynamic determinants, and creating a new join operator that efficiently produces the join results in significance order.
While teaching at WSU, Dr. Works flipped her Intro to Programming course. Flipping a course is where all lecture materials are provided online and class time is devoted to working on hands on labs and projects. In 2016, she won the Massachusetts Colleges Online Course of Distinction award for this course.
In the fall of 2015 her husband retired as a Lt Col from the Connecticut Air National Guard and accepted a civilian position at Tyndall AFB. In winter 2016, the Works family relocated to Panama City, Florida. From Fall 2016 until spring 2019, Dr. Works taught computer science at Gulf Coast State College (GCSC).
Dr. Works joined Florida State University Panama City as Computer Science faculty in the summer of 2019. She is excited to bring her passion for teaching and student-focused hands-on learning approach to the FSU students. She is involved in educational outreach and STEM activities. She is a faculty member of the FSU PC Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student organization. ACM is registered to compete in the 2018 Roboboat autonomous boat competition hosted by Robonation and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). She is a member on the Invention Convention Committee. She is a member of the Panama City Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).
She loves to be involved in interdisciplinary undergraduate student research.
She was the advisor to the following undergraduate student research:
Worked with Tibor Mirkovic (Computer Science Student Westfield State University), Nicolas Taliceo (Mathematics Student Westfield State University) and Dr. Julian F. Fleron (Mathematics Professor Westfield State University) on the creation of an algorithm and software simulation that demonstrated an optimal means to measure soil erosion in images using pixels.
- “Producing the Optimal Configurations for the Intercardinal Extension to the Aggregation Index” was accepted and presented at the Undergraduate Research Poster presentation CCSC NE (Consortium for Computing Sciences North East Region) 2015 and the Pathways to Excellence Event hosted by Westfield State University 2015.
Worked with Gordon M. Hall (Computer Science Student Westfield State University), and Dr. Lynn Zayack (Director Center for Instruction Technology and Online Learning at Westfield State University) on the creation of and evaluation of dynamic learning objects for a wide variety of courses.
- “Developing Digital Learning Objects to Enhance Student Learning” was accepted and presented at the Undergraduate Research Poster presentation CCSC NE (Consortium for Computing Sciences North East Region) 2015 and the Pathways to Excellence Event hosted by Westfield State University 2015.
Worked with Logan Lee (Technology Management Student Gulf Coast State College), and Dr. Emmanuel Hernandez Agosto (Associate Professor of Business at Gulf Coast State College) on the design and development of a phone application to deter bullying incidents.
- "B-spotted- Anti-Bullying Technical Solution" was accepted and presented at the Invention Convention in 2018 and won second place for undergraduate work.