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Cedric Stallworth: Choose What Will Have the Biggest Impact
If you can give one student in your classroom that “aha” moment of insight, you’ve done your job, says Cedric Stallworth, assistant dean in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech.
Credit: NSF.

This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Becoming a computer scientist isn' t part of most people' s retirement plans, but that' s exactly what Cedric Stallworth did after retiring from professional football.

After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stallworth was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) by the Green Bay Packers. An injury before the start of the season, however, kept him from playing in the NFL. After recovering, Stallworth went on to play football professionally in Europe and Canada for two years as part of the World League of American Football. Following this, Stallworth returned to academics, earning a master' s degree from his alma mater.

To those who are surprised to learn that a person of his physique is a computer scientist, Stallworth says, "They don' t understand what a computer scientist is." A computer scientist, Stallworth explains, is not someone who eats hot pockets all day or lives in his mother' s basement. Computer science is "sexy" for Stallworth. "It' s a medium that is not only expressive, but it' s impactful as well."

In his current role as assistant dean for outreach in the College of Computing, Stallworth tries to teach students to view computing as a way to realize innovation and creativity. He also helps develop liaisons with local schools to encourage women to come to Georgia Tech for computer science at the graduate level. Additionally, Stallworth has partnered with various women' s colleges to help create their computer science programs.

Student reviews of Stallworth say such things as, "You will not find a better CS professor than him," and that he is a "must have" teacher.

Learn more about this ball player turned computer scientist by watching the video below.

Name:Cedric Stallworth
Institution: Georgia Tech
Field of Study: Computer Science

Editor' s Note: The researchers depicted in ScienceLives articles have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the ScienceLives archive.