After earning degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from Cornell University and the University of North Carolina, Pat went to work as a chip designer. Feeling the lure of the classroom, he left high tech for education, and has been an instructional designer, distance learning specialist, and high school teacher in the Austin and Pflugerville school districts. Pat defended his dissertation in December and will be graduating in May of 2018 from the University of Texas at Austin with a PhD in STEM Education. His research interests are in computational thinking, computer science education, and educational robotics (such as LEGO MINDSTORMS). In addition, he is interested in improving teaching at universities and has hosted panels at ASEE conferences on the subject. Projects he has worked on include UTeachEngineering and IPRO.
After graduating from UT Austin, he was a visiting assistant professor at Sam Houston State University in both the Computer Science and Instructional Design departments. Currently, he is a post-doc at Mississippi State University.