Networking the Edge

Barry Douglass, Ph.D., describes himself as “engineering through and through,” and says he is pleased to focus his career on systems engineering because it is a “growing field of knowledge increasingly critical to the success of our ever more complex technological society.”

This Thursday June 28, Douglass, program chair of the systems engineering specialization under the Master of Science in Information Technology degree program at University of Maryland University College (UMUC), outlines the trends that may have the greatest impact on the information technology field in the months ahead—the tools and trends that ultimately will change how we work.

Systems engineering remains an evolving field, though it’s becoming more defined in engineering professions, and it offers wide-ranging possibilities for discussion:  Is ‘observability,’ on track to become the latest industry buzzword? Will organizations more widely embrace chaos engineering? Are we headed to a more serverless world? Are more and more companies moving their networks closer to the edge?

Tune in at a special time this Thursday—at 12 p.m. ET—at facebook.com/umuc for Douglass’s take on where the field is headed—and join the conversation.

The Thursday Thoughts series is moderated by UMUC Chief Academic Officer Alan Drimmer, Ph.D.

More About this Week’s Guest

Dr. Barry Douglass manages eight systems engineering specialization courses as well as two IT core courses in UMUC’s Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT). He describes his principal mission as seeing to MSIT program curriculum and instruction “to ensure our students get the best, most professionally relevant, most up-to-date education they can ask for.”

He began his career as an engineer for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation and was an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M University and a program chair at two other institutions before joining UMUC as program chair of systems engineering. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and a Ph.D. in computer systems and engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

More About Thursday Thoughts Series Moderator

Dr. Alan Drimmer is an award-winning teacher, entrepreneur, innovator and results-oriented academic leader with more than two decades of experience in improving access, retention, and the quality of higher education for nontraditional students.

Drimmer spent more than seven years in key leadership roles with Apollo Education Group, first as president of Western International University, then as provost and executive vice president of University of Phoenix, and as chief academic officer of the entire Apollo Education Group from 2013 to 2016, where he led multiple initiatives that involved adaptive and competency-based learning, analytics to improve student success and operational efficiencies, as well as student motivation projects to improve retention.

More recently, he served as chief executive of PromotED, an education startup that helps employers position personalized coaching, education and technology as employee benefits to reduce frontline turnover and absenteeism.

Dr. Drimmer holds B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Chicago, as well as an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. After completing his M.B.A., he joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant in Chicago helping clients develop growth strategies, regional expansion plans and change management programs. He has also served as the managing director of UNEXT, a distance education startup associated with the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Columbia University, Carnegie-Mellon University and the London School of Economics.

He joined UMUC as senior vice president and chief academic officer in March 2018.