Before we get into me, let's ask ourselves... why do you want to know about me? Are you nosy? Curious? Bored?
I don't mind providing a little background about myself. Perhaps you are looking to see if I'm the right Peter DePasquale you are seeking. Did you know there are others? Another Peter DePasquale authored a book called The Boxer's Workout. Yet another is a music teacher in Massachusetts.
I grew up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a nice town near Newport (which is far more famous as the former home of the America's Cup yacht race). Prior to high school, my first introduction to computers was through a summer camp for kids where we learned to program (in BASIC?) on an Apple II. In high school I played in the marching band, and my interest in computers flourished (though not because of my band experience or musical abilities).
We were fortunate to have a Digital PDP-11/44 minicomputer at our school. (It was nice of them to name the computer using my initials - PDP!) They used it both for the school district management and programming courses (in Pascal). It was there I really found my interest in computers flourish. We had a great teacher (the first of many under whom I have been fortunate to study) by the name of Jane Eslinger. (Oh, ask me about being nearly being suspended from high school for a major hacking incident.)
At home, my folks bought my brother and I a Commodore 64. I used it mostly to type in programs from magazines (Compute!'s Gazette) and to play games. The C-64 had no permanent storage built-in, so programs were written to, and read from a cassette tape recorder. Really!
|Me at the White House Press|
Room podium during my grad
I completed high school and attened Villanova University. There I entered as an engineering student, but transferred to the computer science program during my sophomore year. I completed my B.S. in C.S. in 1990, and found a job doing software development for defense department contractors in South Jersey. After 5 years, I quit my job and returned to Villanova to pursue a Master's degree in computer science. While there, I studied under and befriended John Lewis. John convinced me to obtain my Ph.D. and teach. I followed his advice (as misguided as it might have seemed) and was accepted into the Ph.D. program in computer science at Virginia Tech.
At 'Tech, I studied under Dr. J.A.N. Lee (retired). I developed a prototype programming environment for novice students that examined the efficacy of language level restrictions in the environment. I graduated with a Ph.D. in 2003.
Since leaving Virginia Tech, I accepted a tenure-track teaching position at The College of New Jersey in the fall of 2003. The 2012-2013 academic year will mark by 10th at TCNJ. I have twin children, Adam and Lily, who are both special needs.
In my office hangs a Virginia license plate from my grad school days. It was a custom plate, and bears my nickname "SQUALE".
However, there's a story behind it. I was visiting my brother once, and kept hearing his friends call him 'Squale. I thought it was amusing and I suggested he get a custom license plate. He declined.
I returned to school and ordered my plate. A few months later, during the holidays, I arrived at his house with my new plates on my vehicle. He was irate. "I'm 'Squale!" he cried. (Being that I'm 2 years older than he...) I replied "Dude, I was 'Squale 2 years before you were. I'm the original 'Squale."