WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

Dave Brown's Home Page

Professor Emeritus


Dr. David C. Brown
Professor Emeritus
Computer Science Dept.
WPI, 100 Institute Rd.
Worcester, MA 01609, USA  
Email: dcb [at] cs.wpi.edu
Phone: (508) 831-5618/5357
FAX: (508) 831-5776
Web: www.cs.wpi.edu/~dcb/
Location: Fuller Labs 140

AI in Design Webliography Professional Stuff Teaching
Undergraduates Graduate Students Research Interests
Research Groups Publications Fencing
Schedule Annual Reports Hot List
AID'00: the 6th Int'l Conf. on AI in Design WPI, June 2000
Local Arrangements -- Post Conference

Professional Stuff

I have been on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), working mainly in the area of applying AI to Design. I have had a collaborative appointment as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. I was also on the faculty of WPI's Manufacturing Engineering Program. I was an Associated Faculty member of Robotics Engineering and of Learning Sciences. As of July 1, 2017 I am a Professor Emeritus. Much of the information on this page is likely to be out of date. Currently I am also an Adjunct Teaching Professor.

Other more formal information may still be available in my professional home page.

I have served on the department's Promotion Committee, Tenure Committee, Public Relations committee and Colloquium committee. I have been a member of WPI's Web Committee (WebCom), and have twice been Chair of WPI's Committee On Appointments and Promotions (COAP). I have been the coordinator of the Computer Science Department's Artificial Intelligence Lab. I was the department's webmaster until 2010. From 2000-2004 I was the CS coordinator for MQPs at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

From 2001-2011 I was the 3rd Editor in Chief of the AI EDAM journal, and I remain on the Editorial Board. I am a member of the Steering Advisory Board of the International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation. I am the Associate Editor for AI of the International Journal of Design Computing, and on the Editorial Board of the CERA (Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications) journal. Until 2009 I was an Advisory Editor of the Research in Engineering Design journal.

I am an elected member of IFIP Working Group 5.2, Computer-Aided Design, (now WG 5.1) which organizes working conferences and workshops.

Until 2009 I maintained the AI in Design Webliography.

I was on Sabbatical during the 1997-98 academic year, at the College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology and at the Engineering Design Center, Cambridge University, UK.

During the 2004-05 academic year I was on sabbatical, and visited the Engineering Design and Methodology institute at the Technical University Berlin, as well as the Engineering Design Center, Cambridge University, UK.

During the 2011-2012 academic year I was on sabbatical at the Computational Creativity and Digital Media Lab, Centre for Informatics and Systems, University of Coimbra, Portugal, and also at the Engineering Design Center, Cambridge University, England.

Undergraduate Students: Advising, Projects and Courses

Some of the following material is now out of date, but may still be of use.

Pre-Freshmen: Admissions Open House slides (Oct. 2006 version)

Freshmen Advising: Please make sure you talk to me, and come prepared!

Course Selection: The current schedule for next year's undergrad CS courses (PDF) is available.

Take a look at my suggested yearly course schedule for CS majors!

MQPs: Students interested in working on MQPs should read this MQP information page before contacting me. Also make sure you see WPI's Projects Program pages.

Before writing anything for your IQP or MQP read Collected Information about Writing. Good writing is vital!

How to Study: There's so much good sense in William J. Rapaport's web page " How to Study: A Brief Guide" that it is recommended reading for everyone!

Female Students: For female students, note that the Advice on Research and Writing page also includes some very good pointers to information for female undergraduate CS students (for example, see Women and Computer Science), and for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Also see Women-In-Engineering. The CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computer Science and Engineering has a large collection of information. Also see The Ada Project, Women in Computing, and Women in Computer Science. Other general information for women can be found on the CS department's Resources for Women in CS web page.

Note the project at CMU entitled Women in Computer Sciences: Closing the Gender Gap in Higher Education. There are some interesting resources there.

Note that Diversity Web Links contains a collection of links to resources for minorities, as well as "gender resources".

Going To Grad School? If you are considering going to grad school, here or elsewhere, the following information will be very helpful:

Graduate Students

Some of the following material is now out of date, but may still be of use.

New graduate students should read about attending Research Group meetings, and then look at the AI-oriented research group descriptions below, and the other available information about WPI CS Research Groups. Please also note what your commitments are to faculty etc.

The current schedule for CS courses is available.

A few (old) ideas for AI-oriented MS theses are available. Some are in conjunction with other faculty members. The list of MQPs also contains some interesting ideas for MS thesis work.

I have advised several completed PhDs.

Thesis and Dissertation students (and those of other advisors) should read my proposed schedule for theses which also contains lots of helpful hints for doing research and for writing theses and dissertations. Also look at some general Guidelines for Theses and Thesis Proposals. Study WPI's Regulations for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations.

For a lot more important information about writing and doing research see my Collected Information about Writing page. Take note of the hints about Things to Avoid in research. Also note that there are things to do (and avoid) when giving a talk (pdf).

For "philosophical" consideration of the M.S. and Ph.D. you need a good sense of humor. For a philosophical way to handle the ABD blues, look at the All-But-Dissertation Survival Guide!

Anyone considering becoming a faculty member should look at Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. Also read the CRA-W committee's very good notes from their workshops, describing getting Tenure in Academia, Time Management, Teaching, and Getting a Job. These contain a lot of great advice: not just for women!

Note that the Advice on Research and Writing page also includes some very good pointers to information for female CS grad students (for example, see Women and Computer Science), and for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Also see the links given in the "Female Students" section above.

Research Interests

Some of the following material is now out of date, but may still be of use.

Here's my most recent Research Byte.

My research interests include the application of AI to Design; modeling design and configuration activity; systems to support Concurrent Engineering; multi-agent systems (especially for design); conflict resolution; design rational; intelligent interfaces; expert systems; intelligent data analysis, interpretation and presentation; computer network serviceability estimation and evaluation.

Some of my current and recent research projects are listed under the AI Research Group and AI in Design Group pages. There is also a brief research profile of (probably still) current work available.

Pointers to other web pages related to Multi-agent systems, and to AI in Design, etcetera, can be found in my Hot List.

A recent position statement for an NSF Workshop on Design reveals some of my opinions and confusions about Design. The same might be said about some definitions related to Design, including Engineering Design, Design, and Design Theory.

I'm proud of an IEEE Expert   special issue on AI in Design, that appeared in March-April, May-June 1997. I worked on that with Prof. Bill Birmingham.

Research Groups

Some of the following material is now out of date, but may still be of use.

I used to organize the AI in Design Group, known as the AIDG. I have also participated in the AI Research Group, AIRG: now no longer active.

The CS department's Research Groups meet weekly according to a fixed schedule.


My technical reports and other papers can be found in the department's CS technical reports, as well as in the AIRG technical reports.

A complete list of publications of various kinds is also available.

I have also acted as a member of the CS department's PR committee, and edited the department's newsletter, Significant Bits -- for which contributions are welcome (contact the Department Head).


I have taught several CS courses: Human Computer Interaction (CS 3041); Expert Systems (CS 538); Artificial Intelligence (CS 4341, undergraduate) (CS 534, graduate); and AI in Design (CS 540)(was CS 525).


Fencing is a skillful and athletic sport of great complexity. I have served as the Advisor and Coach to the WPI Fencing Club for 30+ years. The club is intended for WPI students but we sometimes host guests. Alumni are encouraged to stop by to say Hi. For more information try sending mail to fencing [at] wpi.edu.


Here is my current weekly schedule plus travel plans. (No longer current!)

Hot List

Pointers to pages on Music, AI, AI in Design, Multiagent systems, Information, and Web Tools are in the (now not maintained) Hot List.

Speaking Proper

Even though I was wearing my rubbers,   I slipped on an old fag,   tore my vest, and broke my conk!   Daft Git!   What a load of codswallop!

Number one or number two

A letter to the Editor of Newspeak (also called Tech News).

Argon Zark? Nerve? Salon?

Away Page

Dr. David C. Brown
Computer Science Dept.
100 Institute Rd.
Worcester, MA 01609,
Email: dcb [at] cs.wpi.edu
Phone: (508) 831-5618/5357
FAX: (508) 831-5776

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dcb [at] cs.wpi.edu | July 2017