Remember Virginia TechDr. Peter J. DePasquale

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, TCNJ

About Dr. DePasquale

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 Briefing Podium
Me at the White House Press
Room podium during my grad
school days.

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.

Did You Know?

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."