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 Welcome to my home page!


Hi!   I'm a computer scientist and physicist who is passionate about participating in a journey with students to discover the wonders and beauty of the world around us and to learn how we can use computing to both achieve our goals as well as to create greater understanding. 

Please feel free to browse around and learn a little more about me!


 Standard short bio...

Dr. Wong, a Lecturer of Computer Science at Rice University, is an experienced computer scientist, physicist and educator specializing in object-oriented programming, software engineering and computer science pedagogy.   A Howard Hughes Ph.D. Fellow, he received his Ph.D. in experimental solid state physics from M.I.T. in 1988 and worked at Bell Labs and Hughes Research Labs before entering academia.   His industrial research and software consulting experience includes optical semiconductor physics with to-be-Nobel laureate Steven Chu, high-temperature superconductors, engineered bandgap materials, website design and chemical kinetics modeling.   Over the course of his two decades of academic experience he has taught a wide range of computer science, physics and mathematics courses.  He has published numerous papers and run many seminars on design patterns and C.S. pedagogy.   He has designed and taught innovative introductory “objects-first” courses leveraging the power of interactivity to teach fundamental C.S. concepts and skills.    He pioneered a cutting-edge experientially-driven, discovery-learning process software engineering course where highly realistic software engineering situations that require solutions using state-of-the-art design, information management and project management skills.    His current research includes the use design patterns in redesigning traditional algorithms, serious gaming systems, cloud-based enterprise information management systems, large-scale, high-fidelity simulation systems and technologies for massive open on-line courses. 

 My Life Story, somewhat edited...

  • Born and raised in Oberlin, Ohio (no kidding).
  • Swarthmore College, B.A. with Honors, majored in Physics with minors in Physical Chemistry and Digital Electronics, 1981.
  • Bell Telephone Laboratories (Lucent) (Murray Hill), Senior Technical Assistant, 1981-1982.  Worked on linear pulse propagation in absorbing media, exciton diffusion in semiconductors, and 1S-2S transitions in positronium with the not-yet Nobel laureate and Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
  • M.I.T., Ph.D. in Physics, 1989. Thesis: "Magnetotransport Studies of the Magnetic Field Induced, Metal-Insulator Transition in Hg1-xMnxTe." under Prof. Peter A. Wolff.   Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellow .
  • Hughes Research Laboratories, Member of Technical Staff, 1989-1992.   Researched high temperature superconductors and multi-quantum well infrared detector materials.
  • California Lutheran University, Assistant Professor of Physics, 1992-1996.  Taught all levels of physics, plus mathematics and computer science.
  • Kodak Research Laboratories, Consultant, Scientific Computing Team, 1995-2001.  Developed software for chemical kinetics simulation and parameter estimating, and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling.
  • Oberlin College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, 1996-1998.  Teaching all levels of physics.
  • Oberlin College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science, 1998-1999.  Teaching Internet and programming courses.
  • Oberlin College, Assistant Professor of Computer Science/Computer Science Program Systems Administrator, 1999-2001.  Teaching programming courses and administering the program's Alpha mainframe, NT servers and dual-boot NT/Linux PC labs.
  • Innovatech Consulting Group, Co-Director, 1998-2002. Internet web server management, site authoring, electronic commerce, and training.
  • Rice University, Lecturer in Computer Science , 2001-present.   Teaching all levels computer science classes and laboratories. 



Research:  Please click here to see some of my published papers.


  • Virtual machine architectures
  • Software design patterns, especially as they relate to computer science pedagogy. 
  • Recursive data structures and algorithms
  • Scientific computing.
  • Distributed computing using Jini and JavaSpaces technologies 
  • Computer networking and client-server databases. 
  • Object-oriented programming. 
  • Electro-optical processes in semiconductors. 
  • High Temperature superconductors. 
  • Solid solution semiconductor materials. 
  • Quantum heterostructures in semiconductors. 
  • Science and Mathematics education. 
  • Technologies for massive open on-line courses (MOOC)


  • My children, Rachel and Calvin. 
  • Fishing, esp. fly fishing and fly tying. 
  • Keeping native fish in my aquariums .
  • Camping. 
  • Canoeing, esp. wilderness tripping. 
  • Playing the piano. 
  • Photography. 
  • Playing squash. 
  • Cooking.
  • Writing poetry.
  • Gardening. 

 Classes I Have Taught At Rice


 Classes I Taught At Oberlin College

  • CS100, "The Internet and Beyond"
  • CS150, "Principles of Computer Science I"
  • CS151, "Principles of Computer Science II"
  • CS235, "Computer Applications Development"
  • CS275 (lab), "Algorithms, Structures and Abstractions"
  • Physics 60, "How the World Works":  See the Oberlin Alumni Magazine article on this course (including a picture available only on-line)!
  • Physics 104: Elementary Physics II
  • Physics 240: Computational Physics
  • Physics 242: Electronics
  • Physics 314, "Intermediate Laboratory"



Visual Paradigm Academic Partner Program has made possible the use of VP-UML at Rice University for educational purpose.
SW in his office

 Contact Information


Stephen Wong, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Rice Computer Science Department

Office: Duncan Hall, Room 3102

Phone: 713-348-3814
e-mail: swong at (replace the "at" with "@")
fax: 713-348-5930

Office hours: Please check my current schedule below for official times or contact me to make an appointment.

Computer Science Dept.
MS 132, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005-1892


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 Schedule (click for larger view, hover for details)

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 Connexions Modules

 Design Patterns
 Two-Body Collision Problem
 Coupled Two-Level Eigensytem Problem
 Three Spring Problem
 Principles of Object-Oriented Programming

 Mathematica Tutorials

 Mathematica Tips and Traps
 Mandelbrot fractal generation example
 Koch snowflake fractal generation example
 Multipole Field Plots

 Other Past Research Projects

  • Modulated Trapping Effects in Photovoltaic Transport in Semiconductors (Optoelectronic Modulation Spectroscopy).
  • Automation of Quantative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) modeling processes.

 Interesting Stuff

An amazing, contest-winning paper airplane designed by Takuo Toda in Japan
A wonderful little optical illusion that demonstrates how a very simple model of visual motion can create very convincing features of reality.
Got to get my hands on some of this stuff!  There's an RC enthusiasts' club in the S.F. area that has cool stuff too:

 Silly Trivia


My Erdös number is 8 (via Steven Chu)