Geoffrey D. Decker
Northern Illinois University
Department of Computer Science
to check Blackboard Academic Suite at webcourses.niu.edu for your
class and section!
210-1 - Elementary Programming: 10:00-10:50 AM on MWF
in Psychology-Computer Science (PM) 251.
CSCI 210-2 - Elementary Programming: 11:00-11:50 AM
on MWF in PM 251.
465-1 - Enterprise
Application Environments: 2:00-3:15 PM on MW in PM 251.
CSCI 565-1 - Enterprise Application Environments:
2:00-3:15 PM on MW in PM 251.
Spring 2013 Office
9:00-9:50 AM on
1:00-1:50 PM on MW
also by appointment
Geoffrey D. Decker
Department of Computer Science - PM 463
DeKalb, IL 60115-2854
Office: PM 463
Office Phone: 815.753.6939
Department Phone: 815.753.0378
Science Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Illinois
B.A. in Music
(Music History) University of
Lawrence, Kansas 1986
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 D. Decker (1916-1994), was a barber by trade and my mother,
Beverly Mildred Dege Decker (1925-2002), when she worked outside the
home, did graphic design and art for a large yearbook publishing
company named Intercollegiate Press.
I graduated from Shawnee Mission
School in the Shawnee
Mission School District in Overland Park, Kansas,
in 1980. I attended the University
of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. I nearly completed the
B.S. in Human Biology degree with an emphasis in Biochemistry but
decided music was much more interesting to me. I switched to the
B.A. in Music degree program with an emphasis in the history of
music. Throughout my time at KU, I played horn in the
university's marching band, symphonic band, and orchestra, and also as
a member of the local musicians' union in the semi-professional
Lawrence Chamber Players, Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and Lawrence
Symphony Orchestra. I also studied horn privately with Professor
M. David Bushouse.
After graduating KU in
May of 1986, I worked various jobs in Kansas City, Missouri,
for two years. I eventually moved to DeKalb,
Illinois, and began the M.S. in
Computer Science degree program at Northern Illinois
University in June
After graduating 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 primarily supporting the company's postal verification
software licensed from Pitney Bowes. At DST, I also founded and
conducted the DST Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble made up of
employees and 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 programming professional, I began my career as an instructor at Northern Illinois University
in August 2001. I taught courses in COBOL, Systems Analysis and
Design, Music Appreciation, and the humanities at National American
University in Kansas City, Missouri, but always wanted to teach
full time. Northern
Illinois University 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 Excellence in Teaching Award. I
very much appreciate this honor and thank our former chair, Dr. Rodney
Angotti, the Department of Computer Science, its Student Advisory
Board, and those students that nominated me.
I currently study horn
at the graduate level with NIU's Professor of Horn, John
Fairfield, and play in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra here in
I make it back to Kansas City as
often as possible to spend time with my sisters and their
families. My oldest sister, Cheryl, was an artist at
Hallmark Cards, Inc., in Kansas City for more than 15 years and now
owns her own graphic design firm and teaches fiber arts, my second
who passed away in fall 2010,
was a registered
nurse, and my
youngest sister, Tami, is an artist and graphic designer
with H. & R. Block in Kansas City. I also have one
niece, four nephews, a step-nephew, three great nephews, and three
great nieces. My
partner, Chuck, is a grade school teacher in the area and he and I live
the university community. We recently lost our beloved 11
3/4-year-old Westie, Gretel, and hope to get a new puppy within the
Concerts in which I'm involved during the 2013-2014 concert season:
for more information about the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Operating Systems - MVS and UNIX systems,
- Systems Analysis and Design and OO Systems
Analysis and Design.
- Playing the horn (mistakenly known as the
French horn to some although there's little that's French about it or
- Classical Music - The composers Mozart,
Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Bruckner, Wagner, Richard Strauss,
Tschaikowsky, Elgar, Schostakowitsch, Haydn, Händel, Britten,
Berg, Berlioz, Schoenberg, Webern, Debussy, Sousa, Schumann, Ravel, Verdi,
Donizetti, Bellini, Puccini, Grieg, Mahler, Prokofiev, the Strauss
Family, Johann I, Josef, Eduard, and Johann II, and Stravinsky,
and the conductors Herbert von
Karajan, Arturo Toscanini,
Karl Böhm, Carlos Kleiber, Erich Kleiber, Sir Georg Solti, Dmitri
Mitropoulos, Fritz Reiner, Leonard Bernstein, Hans
Knappertsbusch, Clemens Krauss, Joseph Keilberth, Eugen Jochum,
Rafael Kubelik, Sir Adrian Boult, Leopold Stokowski, Arthur
Nikisch, and Carlo Maria Giulini, George Szell...............all
are dead and gone, sorry to say.
- The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Wiener
Philharmoniker), the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Berliner
Philharmoniker), the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and
the Chicago Symphony - performances and recordings by these favorite
great orchestras. Links to their websites are below.
- Traveling to Europe, especially Vienna, Austria, my favorite city
in the world.
- Period instrument performance.
- American and European History, especially
that of the American Revolution, the American Civil War and the
- American Presidential History, especially
that of the presidencies of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas
Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore
Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry S Truman.
- Westhighland White Terriers.
- Architecture and interior design.
Favorite recipes - Wienerschnitzel
from The Cooking of Vienna's Empire
Gulyás (Hungarian Kettle Goulash) from the same
Paprika Chicken from Wolfgang Puck
Napkin Dumplings from Wolfgang Puck
Tafelspitz/Kavalierspitz (Boiled Beef) from epicurious.com
- The German language and its literature -
reading, writing and speaking it.
This page last updated 07/09/2012 at