Innovation Campus welcomes two new faculty members for fall 2023
The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus welcomes two new faculty members for the fall semester, bringing its total to 17 computer science and computer engineering faculty.
Melissa Cameron, collegiate assistant professor of computer science, and Erika Olimpiew, collegiate associate professor of computer science, will join the faculty in the Innovation Campus and contribute to the Master of Engineering in Computer Science program in Northern Virginia.
“We are pleased to welcome both Melissa and Erika to our faculty as the Innovation Campus continues to expand our teaching and programmatic expertise,” said Lance Collins, vice president and executive director of the Innovation Campus.
The first cohort of 12 Innovation Campus faculty started in August 2022. The campus aims to have between 20 and 25 faculty members when its first academic building opens to students in fall 2024 and 50 computer science and computer engineering faculty at full build in 2029. Searches are currently underway for marquee faculty members in quantum, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and intelligent interfaces.
The Innovation Campus Master of Engineering in Computer Science and Computer Engineering is a professional, industry-connected degree that will provide students with a deep technical base while expanding their professional skills and preparing them to assume leadership roles in the industry. Scholarships are available and the program can be completed in as little as one year.
Cameron is a collegiate assistant professor of computer science. This fall, she will teach Software Engineering and a project-driven capstone course. From 2015-20, she was an adjunct professor at Radford University. From 2006-14, she was employee No. 3 at MiserWare, a power management software company that spun out of Virginia Tech and reached 500,000 people in 160-plus countries. Cameron also spent time as a technical group leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory. While her early degrees were in chemistry — she has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and a master's and doctoral degrees from Louisiana State University — she most recently completed a master's degree in computer science from Virginia Tech. Her computer science thesis, "Parallel Islands: A Diversity Aware Tool for Parallel Computing Education," included an interactive game designed to teach novices from diverse backgrounds parallel programming concepts. Cameron's interests include computer systems, parallel and distributed computing, and computer science education.
Olimpiew joins Virginia Tech as a collegiate associate professor of computer science. This fall she will teach Ethics and Professionalism in Computer Science and a senior capstone course. Olimpiew has more than 20 years of experience researching, designing, and developing solution architectures for emerging technologies for mobile devices and cloud for commercial and government clients, large system integrators, and startups. She started a company called Emotive Computing LLC to provide training resources, such as videos, checklists, and apps to assist caretakers, teachers, and peer mentors and provide safe and engaging learning environments for neurodivergent learners. Olimpiew is also a mentor for the Women in Technology mentor-protégé program. She has an master's degree in computer science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in information technology from George Mason University.