Health Informatics

Masters of Science

Informatics and Computer Science Faculty

The Department of Informatics and Computer Science takes great pride in the high quality of its faculty members.

New faculty are very carefully selected for their in-depth knowledge of their field. This helps to insure that our faculty can deliver leading edge informatics and computer science programs and that the curriculum provides for all aspects of an ICS education.

Not only do our faculty members have in-depth knowledge of their field, but they have also been selected for their helpful and caring personalities. Students are our top priority, and our focus is on maintaining a dynamic, open, rich context for student learning.

While Professors Ottaway, Parker, Beard, and Schou still form the core of the department, there have been many recent excellent additions to our faculty.

  • Velma Payne, Ph.D. joined the the ICS department in 2017 as Program Director of Health Informatics. Professor Payne has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics, an M.S. in Biomedical Informatics, an M.B.A., an M.S. in Computer Information Systems, and a B.S. in Computer Science.
  • John Edwards, Ph.D. joined the Computer Science faculty in fall 2015. His focus is on computational geometry, neuroscience, high-performance computing, and robotics.
  • Jonathan Holmes joined the faculty in fall 2015. He focuses on application development and implementation using Internet based applications.
  • Robert Houghton, Ph.D. joined the Informatics faculty in spring 2014 with a specialization in the hardware aspects of informatics and informatics security with human-computer integration.

David V. Beard, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator of Computer Science
Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D. Computer Science, University of Michigan
M.S. Computer Science, University of Michigan
B.A. Math with Computing Emphasis, Hope College Office: BA 341
Phone: (208) 282-2684
Email:

Beard bio.
Photo of David Beard.
John Edwards, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science
Ph.D. Computer Science, The University of Texas
M.S. Computer Science, Brigham Young University
B.S. Computer Science, Utah State University
Office: BA 337
Phone: (208) 282-4876
Email:

Edwards bio.
Photo of John Edwards.
Ruiling Guo
Associate Professor of Health Care Administration
D.H.A. Health Administration, Central Michigan University
M.P.H. Public Health, Idaho State University
M.L.I.S. Library and Information Science, McGill University
B. A. Library Science, Peking University Office: BA 530
Phone: (208) 282-2927
Email:

Guo bio.
Photo of Ruiling Guo
Jon Holmes
Clinical Assistant Professor of Informatics and Computer Science
M.B.A. Idaho State University
B.B.A. Computer Information Systems, Idaho State University
Office: BA 541
Phone: (208) 282-3215
Email:

Holmes bio.
Photo of Jonathan Holmes
Bob Houghton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Informatics
Ph.D. Management Information Systems, Utah State University
M.S. Management Information Systems, Utah State University
B.M. Music, Utah State University
Office: BA 539
Phone: (208) 282-3040
Email:

Houghton bio.
Photo of Robert Houghton.
Tom Ottaway, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Business
Professor of Informatics
Ph.D. Production and Operations Management, Texas Tech University
M.S. Information Systems, Texas Tech University
B.S. Computer Science, Wichita State University
Office: BA 204
Phone: (208) 282-2601
Email:

Ottaway bio.
Photo of Tom Ottaway.
Kevin Parker, Ph.D.
Department Chair of Informatics and Computer Science
Professor of Informatics and Computer Science
Ph.D. Information Systems, Texas Tech University
M.S. Computer Science, Texas Tech University
B.S. Computer Science, University of Texas
Office: BA 534
Phone: (208) 282-4783
Email:

Parker bio.
Photo of Kevin Parker.
Velma Payne, Ph.D.
Director of Health Informatics
Assistant Professor of Informatics
Ph.D. Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
M.S. Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
M.B.A. Robert Morris University
M.S. Computer Information Systems, Robert Morris University
B.S. Computer Science, Oral Roberts University
Office: BA 533
Phone: (208) 282-5731
Email:

Payne bio.
Photo of Velma Payne.
Corey Schou, Ph.D.
Professor of Informatics and Computer Science
Ph.D. International Law / Political Science, Florida State University
M.S. Political Science, Florida State University
B.S. Biology / Chemistry, Rollins College
Office: BA 439
Phone: (208) 282-3194
Email:

Schou bio.
Photo of Corey Schou.
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David Beard

Photo of David Beard.

David Beard is a Professor and Program Director of Computer Science. He has been at ISU for over 20 years, and was tasked in about 5 years ago with restructuring the CS curriculum to make it a degree more attainable for students and more closely aligned with industry expectations.

Professor Beard has taught a wide variety of informatics and computer science courses, and specializes in upper division computer science courses in which he can challenge the students to excel.

Dr. Beard has written 100 patents, publications and presentations, including the Journal of Radiology, the Journal of Behaviour & Information Technology, the Journal of Human Computer Interaction, SIGCHI, and CSCW. He has been principal investigator on National Institute of Health and U.S. Army grants, served on NIH and Army study sections reviewing grant proposals, and conducted reviews for the National Science Foundation and numerous journals and conferences. Dr. Beard is past chair for the society for Computer Applications in Radiology. He has built interactive database visualization tools involving hundreds of thousands of lines of code in 31 programming languages for automotive and nuclear engineers, the U.S. Army, homeland security, hospitals, and radiologists. His current research involves imaging and CS curricula.

Dr. Beard holds a B.A. in Math with a Computing Emphasis from Hope College (1978), an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (1983) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan (1985). Prior to his academic career, he worked for Ford Motor Company Engineering.

Dr. Beard currently is focused on CS curriculum design, nuclear engineering software research, and taking the lead in moving our CS courses online using the Quality Matters online course rubric.

You can contact Dr. Beard at (208) 282-2684 or .

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John Edwards

Photo of John Edwards.

Professor Edwards has interests in various fields of computer science, mostly centered around spatial reasoning, and has published in computational geometry, neuroscience, high-performance computing and robotics venues. He developed and proved correctness of the first algorithm that produces topologically correct surface mesh reconstructions from 2D contour stacks, which has important, award-winning application to geometric brain neuron reconstruction at the nanoscale. His other work in computational geometry includes an efficient algorithm to compute the important Generalized Voronoi Diagram on datasets of closely spaced objects, enabling robotic navigation and exploded diagrams of natural objects.

He has also done work on surface remeshing, discovering an algorithm to efficiently remesh difficult datasets robustly without creating topological artifacts, as well as on high-performance supercomputer storage algorithms.

Dr. Edwards has taught courses in Computer Graphics, C++, Compilers, and Algorithms. He is consistently a favorite among students for his enthusiasm, clarity, and mastery of the material. He frequently includes his experiences from industry in the classroom experience.

John has ten years of experience as a professional software and research engineer, first developing a framework and API for x-ray crystallography applications, and later developing algorithms to graphically render massive LiDAR datasets for robot navigation. His fluency in multiple languages, technologies, and software engineering practices are influential in his research, teaching, outreach, and industry interactions.

Professor Edwards has degrees in computer science from Utah State University (B.S.), Brigham Young University (M.S.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.), with two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. He additionally spent a semester as a visiting scholar at the University of Hong Kong. John has been awarded the Wendell Pope Undergraduate Scholarship, UTexas Computer Science PhD Fellowship, Translational Neuroscience Symposium Best Poster Award, multiple Professional Development Travel Awards, and the J.T. Oden Visiting Scholar fellowship. Dr. Edwards' homepage can be found here.

You can contact Dr. Edwards at (208) 282-4876 or .

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Ruiling Guo

Photo of Ruiling Guo<

Dr. Ruiling Guo is an Associate Professor for the Health Care Administration Program. She is also affiliated with and teaches class for the Health Informatics program.

Dr. Guo earned a doctoral degree in health administration at Central Michigan University, a Master of Public Health from Idaho State University, a Master of Library and Information Sciences from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and a BA in in library science from Peking University, Beijing, China.

Dr. Guo has received research grants and professional development awards such as NLM medical informatics fellowship, NNLM outreach community and training on health information, evidence-based practice in health professions, and evidence-based management in health care. Dr. Guo has published numerous scholarly articles about evidence-based management, evidence-based practice in health care, health information and services, and public health in peer-reviewed journals, such as the International Journal of Healthcare Management and the Journal of Medical Informatics.

Prior to working at ISU, Dr. Guo worked in medical research and health care settings in China, Ethiopia, and Canada. While in China, she worked as Director of Information Center at Henan Eye Institute and Henan Provincial People's Hospital. In addition, she worked with a medical team in Adama Hospital, Nazareth, Ethiopia from 1996-1998, and received an honorable certificate for the humanitarian project on rendering medical services granted by the Ministry of Health, Federal Government of Ethiopia.

You can contact Professor Guo at (208) 282-2927 or .

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Jonathan Holmes

Photo of Jonathan Holmes

Professor Jonathan Holmes joined the Informatics faculty in August of 2015. Professor Holmes focuses on application development and implementation using Internet-based applications. He has been developing web projects and applications over the last 20 years.

He has taught courses in both Informatics and Computer Science. He was formerly a Systems Analyst with the Informatics Research Institute. He has been involved in research projects that use the Internet as a common platform. He has led programming teams that develop and design database-driven applications that focus on accurately capturing and representing data while adjusting to the changing needs of research and researchers. With a focus on semantics and the use of adaptive design, Mr. Holmes has worked to help define systems that are robust and powerful.

Professor Holmes has worked in various computing-related positions at ISU since 2003. He holds a degree in Computer Information Systems from ISU as well as an MBA.

You can contact Professor Holmes at (208) 282-3215 or .

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Robert Houghton

Photo of Robert Houghton.

Professor Bob Houghton specializes in the hardware aspects of Informatics. His research focuses upon informatics security with human-computer integration. His background in informatics security provides a large knowledge base for sharing experiences with HIPAA, FERPA, and PCI data security standards.

Professor Houghton joined ISU in Spring of 2014 as dual Clinical Assistant Professor of Informatics and Systems Administrator. As Systems Administrator, he augmented his practical experience daily while maintaining all the technology needs of the college, advising the college in all technology matters, and managing a staff of three technical support personal.

In 2017 Dr. Houghton's exemplary teaching led to his promotion to full-time Assistant Professor of Informatics.

Dr. Houghton holds both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems as well as a B.M. in Music, all from Utah State University. Prior to entering academia, he gained industry experience as a network security specialist and systems administrator at Utah State University.

You can contact Dr. Houghton at (208) 282-3040 or .

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Tom Ottaway

Photo of Tom Ottaway.

Tom Ottaway is the Dean of the College of Business and a Professor of Informatics at ISU. He joined ISU in 2001, and has served as department chair, Associate Dean, Interim Dean, and Dean. He has taught a wide range of courses at ISU, but particularly enjoys networking and data analytics. He has conducted research with a variety of colleagues across the world, and has been involved in funded research for the U.S. Navy and the Idaho National Laboratory.

Since being selected to serve as Dean, Professor Ottaway has worked diligently to more closely align the mission of the College of Business with that of the university. Per the direction of the Idaho State Board of Education, "Idaho State University...has specific responsibilities in delivering programs in the health professions.” Toward that end, Dean Ottaway has expanded the health informatics program, and has expanded other majors into the health domain. He has also worked to establish ties with a variety of businesses across the state, with an emphasis on those associated with the health industry.

Dr. Ottaway holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Wichita State University (1990), an M.S. in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University (1993), and a Ph.D. in Production and Operations Management from Texas Tech University (1995). Prior to entering academia, he gained industry experience as Systems Analyst in Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing for The Boeing Company, a Fortune 500 company.

Professor Ottaway works tirelessly to improve the College of Business, always putting students first. "Students are our priority. Everything we do comes back to making the College of Business a dynamic, open, rich context for student learning."

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Kevin Parker

Photo of Kevin Parker.

Kevin Parker is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Informatics and Computer Science at Idaho State University. In eighteen years at Idaho State University, he has taught a broad range of courses, held various administrative positions, and conducted research with colleagues from multiple disciplines and from various universities both in the United States and abroad.

While Dr. Parker has taught a wide variety of informatics and computer science courses, he specializes in development-related courses, including introductory and advanced programming courses, web development, systems analysis and design, and database design and implementation. He was recognized as 2011 Faculty Member of the Year by the Associated Students of Idaho State University, recognized as a 2011-2012 Outstanding Master Teacher by Idaho State University, recognized as a 2010-2011 Outstanding Master Teacher by Idaho State University, and received the ISU College of Business 2002-2003 Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Parker has over 70 peer-reviewed publications, among which are 30 journal articles, and he received the ISU College of Business 2005-2006 Outstanding Research Award. His research involves an ongoing exploration of the skills and knowledge needed by information technology graduates and how they can be best prepared to obtain them. That research falls into three major streams: Improved Teaching of Core IT Courses, Impact of Developments in Information Systems on Curriculum, and Emerging Systems Development Issues.

Dr. Parker holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin (1982), an M.S. in Computer Science from Texas Tech University (1991), and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from Texas Tech University (1995). Prior to entering academia, he gained industry experience as a programmer/analyst for Conoco, Inc., a Fortune 500 company. His ePortfolio is available here.

You can contact Dr. Parker at (208) 282-4783 or .

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Velma Payne

Photo of Velma Payne.

Professor Velma Payne joined the ICS department in 2017 as the Program Director for Health Informatics. Her joint appointment with the Division of Health Sciences underscores Health Informatics' integration with Health Sciences.

Dr. Payne has had a successful and progressive 25-year career in Information Technology, in which she developed computer applications for the financial industry. Her entrepreneurial spirit led to co-ownership of a small non-profit LLC, where she developed computer applications to enhance physician and patient engagement within various clinical settings. A desire to integrate her IT skills and interest in medicine led her to return to school to obtain a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics. Her research agenda focuses on diagnostic errors in medicine, cognitive aspects of medical decision making, the impact of cognitive heuristics and biases on diagnosis, and the use of metacognition and feedback to improve clinical reasoning.

Dr. Payne earned her Master of Science and Doctoral degree in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Pittsburgh, an MBA and a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Robert Morris University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Oral Roberts University.

Dr. Payne has a desire to help young people excel in their careers and lives. She enjoys running and biking, plays the oboe, and has a love for animals.

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Corey Schou

Photo of Corey Schou.

Professor Corey Schou is the University Professor of Informatics and serves as the director of the Informatics Research Institute and the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC). He also serves as associate dean for the College of Business.

He is a founder and past board chairperson of the oldest computer security educators forum: the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE). He is a prolific author with hundreds of books, papers, articles and presentations.

Dr. Schou has designed and developed management information and training systems for organizations as diverse as the Federal Express, Microsoft, American Bankers Association, and General Motors. He works closely with senior management at Apple Computer, Microsoft, United Airlines and other major corporations.

He was selected as the 1996 Educator of the Year by the Federal Information Systems Security Educators Association and the ISSA service award. In 1997 he received the TechLearn award for contributions to distance education. Dr. Schou was the 2001 recipient of the (ISC)2 Tipton award for outstanding contribution to the computer security discipline. In 2002 Dr. Schou was selected as the Outstanding Public Servant for his sustained contributions to the academy.

In 2003, Dr. Schou was appointed as the University Professor of Informatics. University Professorships are awarded to individuals whose path breaking work crosses the boundaries of different disciplines. He has been selected twice by his college as researcher of the year and has been recognized once for his service record.

You can contact Dr. Schou at (208) 282-3194 or .

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