Computer scientist Paul Salvador Inventado seeks to integrate his research and teaching to enrich student learning with technology. His research focuses on the emerging discipline of educational data mining used in educational settings.
Inventado came to Cal State Fullerton this fall as an assistant professor of computer science. He earned his doctorate in information science and technology from Osaka University in Japan, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer science from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, his home country.
Inventado taught at De La Salle University for five years before pursuing doctoral studies and was a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He speaks fluent Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon — all languages of the Philippines.
What inspired you to go into this field?
I was about 12 years old when I got my first computer, and a friend introduced me to programming. I enjoyed writing programs and exploring what I could get the computer to do. My friend and I attempted to create a virus that we called Filet-o-disk, which didn’t do anything but fill up my 4 gigabyte hard drive and get me in trouble because my computer crashed, and we had to take it to the computer shop.
What are your research interests?
My main research area is educational data mining, where I collect data from students’ interactions with online learning systems — online software that facilitates learning through educational content and learning activities administered by teachers, learning designers or the software itself. Through my research, I look for patterns on student performance and uncover the reasons behind improvements or declines in performance. I try to replicate conditions that lead to improved learning, validate them through experiments and share findings with the educational community so they can improve their online learning systems.
What do you hope students learn from your teaching?
I would love students to see the benefits of technology and motivate them to use what they learn to build new and exciting things that will contribute to our society. Through the courses I teach, I hope my students will understand the value of hard work and the joy of accomplishing goals when you put your heart into it.
What would you like others to know about your field of study?
Technology changes rapidly. We need to continue to find new ways to teach the next generation of learners to prepare them for the future. I believe in the development of online learning systems that support teachers and enable them to do more and further advance education.