Professor Dr. Kenneth Perry Retires from the Computer Science DepartmentDate Released: June 5, 2017
By Add Seymour
When Dr. Kenneth Perry was the head of the computer science department at Clark Atlanta University, he noticed a trend. Morehouse students seemed to always be winning the annual Atlanta University Center computer programming competition. Dr. Perry wanted to know why Morehouse scholars were so successful.
“So, I said, ‘Let me try to go over there to Morehouse and see what they are doing,’” Dr. Perry said. “That’s how I got here.”
It turned out to be a great match.
Since Dr. Perry joined the Morehouse College computer science department, it has produced a valedictorian, a Rhodes Scholar, a salutatorian, and graduates who have gone on to work for companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Dr. Perry also points to 2007, when he worked with the College’s IT staff to implement an emergency network upgrade during New Student Orientation as another triumph.
But after 11 years at Morehouse, Dr. Perry, who has been an associate professor and chair of the computer science department, is retiring and returning to his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He is leaving knowing that he helped Morehouse to become an increasingly important player in preparing and supplying talented minorities for computer science fields that have far too few minorities.
“I think the department is in much better shape than it was when I came, so I feel good about leaving it now,” Dr. Perry said. “We have been able to place graduates in Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. We’ve had about a dozen students go into doctoral programs. That was not happening when I became chair.”
Dr. Perry is a graduate of Howard University. He received his electrical engineering master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. Dr. Perry learned as much as possible about computer science because he quickly discovered that engineers also need to be experts in computer programming to be able to simulate their projects before building them.
“My research was in neuro-networks, machine learning – that was an area that spanned both electrical engineering and computer science,” he said. “There was more research done in computer science in that area, so I tended to gravitate in that direction. I still do electrical engineering, and the combination of the two is powerful because it lets me do both hardware and software.”
Before his career at Morehouse, Dr. Perry worked for more than a decade as a professor at Clark Atlanta University and also taught at Florida A&M University.
He is proud of the accomplishments of the Morehouse scholars that he taught over the last 11 years. As he leaves the College, he takes a sense of accomplishment with him.
“I think we’ve been able to develop good, well-rounded computer science graduates and some good entrepreneurial graduates,” Dr. Perry said. “We had a senior class president who is an entrepreneur. We had a graduate who now says he has more than $2 million in inventory. Another won a half million dollars in venture capital money in his company. And another one joined up with [Morehouse graduate and technology expert] Paul Judge in the fashion tech industry. We have had a good list of graduates.”
Last Modified: June 8, 2017, 13:06 PM, by: Synera Shelton