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Br. David Carlson O.S.B.

Associate Professor, Computing

About Br. David Carlson O.S.B.

Br. David Carlson got started in the computer science world (especially software development and computer architecture) by wiring together the dining room chairs as a young child. Early on in high school, he wanted to continue this by becoming an electrical engineer; however, an outstanding high school math teacher got him interested in both math and teaching, which resulted in him completing a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in mathematics. A few computer science courses got taken along with the math, so the wiring together of things was not completely forgotten.

After entering the monastery, Br. David learned that a monk at Saint Vincent cannot just pray all day; there had to be both work and prayer. Since the college had a need for faculty to teach in the relatively new field of computer science, he agreed to head back to graduate school for another degree, a Master of Science in computer science.

After returning to Saint Vincent with the new degree in hand, Br. David began his full-time teaching the same year that the Computing and Information Science (CIS) major began at the college: 1985. Since then, he has taught in the areas of computer science, data structures, algorithms, computer and network security, IT, mathematics, artificial intelligence, operating systems, and cryptography. He also served as department chairperson for a total of about 20 years. He especially enjoys building a working product, often software, that others can use–still wiring things together in a sense. Br. David likes working in a Linux environment and has interests in search engines, web applications, how computer exploits work, and many other specific topics in computing. His favorite hobbies are bicycling and playing piano and saxophone. He enjoys reading good literature, theology, history, and spirituality.


B.S. in Mathematics (1974), The Pennsylvania State University

M.A. in Mathematics (1976), The Pennsylvania State University 

Non-degree program (1980 - 1983), Saint Vincent Seminary

M.S. in Computer Science (1985), Syracuse University


CS 110 C++ Programming I

CS 111 C++ Programming II

CS 170 Discrete Structures

CS 171 Introduction to Computability

CS 205 Website Design and Programming

CS 221 Data Structures

CS 225 Computer Security

CS 255 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

CS 270 Introduction to Numerical Computation

CS 305 Web Technologies

CS 312 Introduction to Algorithms

CS 315 Server-Side Programming

CS 321 Data Communications

CS 325 Advanced Topics in Security

CS 330 Operating Systems

CS 375 Applied Cryptography

ENGR 115 Intro to Engineering Computation

MA 104 Elementary Functions

MA 109 Calculus with Applications I

MA 111 Analytical Calculus I

MA 112 Analytical Calculus II

Research Interests

The Traveling Salesperson Problem, search engines.

Selected Publications

Carlson, D., Sophomores Meet the Traveling Salesperson Problem. The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 33(3), 126-133, 2018.

Carlson, D., Serapiglia, A. A Framework for Cybersecurity Educational Activities, 2019 Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, ISCAP.

Carlson, D., Poster presentation: A framework for teaching cybersecurity on the topic: Software development - what could possibly go wrong? The Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 35(3), 205, 2019.


1998-present, system administrator for CIS Linux server

2000-2002, Director, CIS Link-to-Learn State Grant Project

2002-2007, Principal Investigator, NSF-CIS Scholarship Grant

2014-present, system administrator for WeBWorK (online mathematical homework system)

Professional Memberships

Member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and SIGCSE (the ACM's special interest group on computer science education)

Member of the MAA (Mathematical Association of America)