Dr. Tom Nurkkala
I’m at Taylor because I want to help train and mentor excellent computer scientists and engineers who are also dedicated followers of Christ. In addition, as a member of the Center for Missions Computing, I want to leverage the intellectual horsepower and spiritual maturity of the students at Taylor to help solve practical computing problems for the global mission community.
To accomplish these goals, I plan to employ my educational and industrial experience. I hold a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Michigan Tech), an M.A. in Theological Studies (Bethel University, St. Paul) and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science (University of Minnesota). My specialties in graduate school were computational linguistics, natural language processing, high-performance computing, and parallel algorithms. I also spent about 30 years working at various jobs in industry— ranging from small start-up companies to corporate behemoths—in both the private and government contracting sectors. I’ve worked as both an individual contributor and on the other side of the desk as a manager.
In many ways, being a Taylor professor lets me optimize the experience and knowledge I’ve gained through this crazy quilt of industry and academic experience. My prayer and desire is to help shape the kind of scientists and engineers that I would have been delighted to have hired in the industry and to see these students harness their experience, skills, and understanding to serve their families, communities, churches, and, ultimately, the Kingdom.
M.S. and Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
M.A., Theological Studies, Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Children: David, Caroline, Paul (Computer Science/Systems ’13)
Church: Upland Community Church, Upland
Hobbies: Sailing, cycling, reading, music (listening and vocal performance), woodworking wannabe
Favorite Authors: William Lane Craig, Dallas Willard, J.P. Moreland, C.S. Lewis
Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:4-9: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.