Magazine On-line [spring 2010]
Email this link to a friend

Around campus

Transylvania professors publish work

Philosophy professor Peter Fosl and mathematics and computer science professor emeritus James E. Miller published work in their fields of expertise.

James Miller
James Miller

After 25 years of teaching a highly specialized computer course at Transylvania, Miller is sharing his knowledge in a newly published book, Compiler Construction: A Practical Approach.

James Miller book coverThe book is designed to give students an understanding of the process involved in taking a computer language that programmers can understand and converting it to a language that the computer understands.

Although there are many compiler texts available, Miller said most of them concentrate more on theory instead of actual implementation of a working compiler. His book takes the subject a step further by helping students complete the task of writing a compiler in a one-semester course.

“I started teaching a compiler course at Transy almost before there was such a course for undergraduate computer science students anywhere in academia,” Miller said. “The book comes from notes that I developed over 25 years of teaching such a course.”

Miller taught for 42 years at Transy before retiring in 2008, and throughout his career, he taught math and physics courses as well as other computer science courses. He is credited with launching the school’s computer science program, which he championed throughout his tenure.

A comprehensive look at philosophy

Peter  Fosl

Fosl’s newest publication is Philosophy: The Classical Readings, a volume he co-edited with David E. Cooper.

The book is a comprehensive collection of the greatest works of philosophy from ancient to modern times and draws on both Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. The works are arranged chronologically within sections on ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy. Original readings from more than 100 of the world’s great philosophers including Lao Tzu, Confucius, Kierkegaard, and Sartre are included.

peter fosl book“In my academic scholarship, I’ve explored topics concerned with skepticism and the history of philosophy. But through my work as a teacher at a liberal arts college, I’ve also become convinced of the importance of trying to bring philosophy to a wider audience,” Fosl said. “It shouldn’t just be something for professionals. Philosophy: The Classic Readings is a part of my work both to transmit the history of philosophy and to make philosophy available to a wider readership.”

Produced by Office of Publications three times a year