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Br. David Carlson O.S.B.

Associate Professor, Computing

Br. David Carlson, O.S.B. Headshot


  • Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing
  • Expertise

  • Discrete mathematics
  • especially analysis of algorithms and proofs of program correctness
  • Cryptography
  • C++ and Linux
  • Courses

  • Advanced Topics in Security
  • Animation, the Web and Security
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • C++ Programming I
  • C++ Programming II
  • Calculus I
  • Computer and Network Security
  • Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
  • Data Communications
  • Data Structures
  • Discrete Structures I
  • Discrete Structures II
  • Elementary Functions
  • Introduction to Engineering Computation
  • Introduction to Numerical Computation (in Fortran)
  • Server-Side Programming
  • Survey of Computers and Computing
  • Web Site Design and Programming
  • Web Technologies
  • Education

  • M.S., Syracuse University
  • M.A., The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., The Pennsylvania State University
  • About Br. David Carlson O.S.B.

    Br. David 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, with the result that he completed a B.S. and an M.A. 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, an M.S. 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 CIS major began at the college. Since then he has taught in the areas of computer science, computer and network security, IT, mathematics, artificial intelligence, 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.


    • Teaching Computer Security.SIGCSE Bulletin, 36(2): 64-67, June 2004.
    • Martincic, C.J. & Carlson, Br. David, O.S.B., "The NSF CSEMS Scholarship Grant Program: Our Experiences with the Proposal Process and Program Execution.", Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, p. 73-82, vol. 19(1), (2003).
    • Poor Man's Search Engine,SysAdmin Magazine, 10(6): 24-30, June 2001.
    • Teaching Blind Computer Science Students. Coauthored with Richard Watson.The Journal of Computing in Small Colleges, 6(1):15-19, September 1990.
    • Simulated Microprogramming in the Classroom.SIGCSE Bulletin, 19(4):60-63, December 1987.
    • Software Design Using C++, on-line text for CS 110, CS 111, and CS 221,, 1998–present. Alumnus Matthew Minerd contributed to this project.


    • 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

    • The Association for Computing Machinery and the ACM's Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education
    • The Mathematical Association of America