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Geoffrey D. Decker, BA, MS                                

Northern Illinois University

Department of Computer Science


General Announcements:

Be sure to check Blackboard Academic Suite at for your class and section!

Summer 2019 Teaching Schedule:

    CSCI 470-1/502-1 - Programming in Java:    10:00 AM-12:45 PM on MW in PM 253.
CSCI 470-2/502-2 - Programming in Java:    10:00 AM-12:45 PM on TTh in PM 251.

Summer 2019 Office Hours:

9:00-10:00 AM on MTWTh,
    12:45-1:15 PM on MTWTh
    and also by email and appointment.

Contact Information:

       Campus Address:

               Geoffrey D. Decker, BA, MS
             Northern Illinois University
             Department of Computer Science
             DeKalb, IL  60115-2854 

       Office Information:

             Office:  PM 463
             Department Phone:  815.753.0378
             Department Fax:  815.753.0342


   Huskie   M.S. in Computer Science        Northern Illinois University        DeKalb, Illinois            August 1990

   Jayhawk    B.A. in Music                            University of Kansas                    Lawrence, Kansas        May 1986

About Me:

I was born in 1962 in the Missouri River bluff town of Atchison, Kansas (Amelia Earhart, the famous aviatrix, was born there too!), to a family with three older sisters.  I grew up in the Kansas City area on the Kansas side in the suburbs of Mission, Prairie Village, and Overland Park.  My father, Kenneth Decker (1916-1994), was a barber by trade and my mother, Beverly Dege Decker (1925-2002), when she worked outside the home, did graphic design and art for a large yearbook publishing company.

I graduated from Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas, in 1980.  I attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.  After completing several years and many pre-med classes including a lot of science and math, I decided it was not for me and changed my major to the B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Music History.  Throughout my time at KU, I played horn in the university's marching band, symphonic band, and symphony orchestra.  I also played as a member of the local musicians' union in the semi-professional Lawrence Chamber Players, Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.  Besides playing, I studied some orchestral conducting with Drs. George Lawner and Zuohuang Chen and horn with Professor David Bushouse.  

After graduating from KU in May of 1986, I eventually moved to DeKalb, Illinois, and began the M.S. in Computer Science degree program at Northern Illinois University in June 1988.

After graduating from NIU in August 1990, I worked as a programmer at Kemper Service Company, the transfer agency for Kemper Mutual Funds, in Kansas City, Missouri.  My employment was eventually transferred to DST Systems, Inc., also in Kansas City.  At Kemper and DST, I worked as a programmer in COBOL, Assembler, C and C++, and spent two years as a technical recruiter in DST's Employment Department.  My last two years at DST were spent as a systems programmer.
In 1998, I founded and conducted the DST Symphony Orchestra and the DST Wind Ensemble, both made up of DST employees, their families and friends.  In July 2000, I was invited to conduct the DST Wind Ensemble and members of the Kansas City Symphony in an outdoor concert inaugurating Kansas City's Avenue of the Arts.

After 11 years as a professional programmer in the mutual fund and financial industry, I decided it was time for a change and began my career as an instructor at Northern Illinois University in August 2001.  I had taught courses in COBOL, Systems Analysis and Design, Music Appreciation, and the humanities at National American University in Kansas City, Missouri, but really wanted to teach full time.  Northern Illinois University's Department of Computer Science provides me that opportunity, and I am very happy to be here working with talented students and a distinguished faculty.  In 2005 I was awarded the Department of Computer Science's Excellence in Teaching Award, an honor I very much appreciate, and I thank our former chair, the late Dr. Rodney Angotti, the Department of Computer Science, its Student Advisory Board, and those students that nominated me.  In August 2019, I will begin my 19th year of teaching at NIU.

I regularly play French horn in both the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the DeKalb Municipal Band.  I also write the program notes for the Kishwaukee Symphony’s concert programs.  As often as I can, I act as an IT consultant and review classical CDs and downloadable files for various publications.
My husband, Chuck, is also an NIU alumnus and teaches sixth grade in a nearby public school district.  We live near the university community with our Westie, Liesel.

Concerts in which I'm involved during the 2019-2020 concert season:

Visit DeKalb Municipal Band Concerts soon for information about the summer 2019 season.
Visit Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra for more information about the 2019-2020 season.