This year the Computer Science Department is celebrating its 50th Anniversary!

We will be holding several events on Friday, October 5th, 2018 to celebrate the many accomplishments and alumni of the department. We will be reflecting on the accomplishments of the past, sharing memories and stories, and most importantly seeing eachother to celebrate the long history of this dedicated department and fantastic students. We wish for you to join us!

Registration is required for the dinner and requested for the other events. Deadline to register is Thursday, September 27.

Celebration of the UWL Computer Science Department Events

Date: Friday, October 5th 2018
Location: UWL Student Union, 521 East Avenue N, La Crosse, WI

Meet & Greet (free)

  • Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
  • Location: 3314 Student Union
  • Description: Alumni can sign up to talk to current students and recent graduates about what it is like to work for their employer in an informal setting. This is a great opportunity for students and those on the job market to learn about companies in an informal setting. If you are interested in participating in the meet and greet, please contact the computer science department directly at or call 608-785-6805.
  • Employers and Alumni:
    • Mike Aspenson - Aerospace and Defense
    • Luke Baaardseth - Fastenal
    • Tom Harron, Alex Hammer, Hozumi Nakano, Drew Phillips, Zhiyuan Li - SAP America, Inc
    • Amy Higgins - Capital One
    • Drew Kozicki - TREK
    • Chase Limpert - LHI
    • Jeffrey Muller-Hobson - Kaplan Professional
    • Chuck Pisula - Apple
    • TJ Teegan - UWL | ITS
    • Maggie Underberg - SAS

Alumni Panel (free)

  • Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Location: 3310 Student Union
  • Description: Alumni from various decades will share their perspectives on the field of computer science.
  • Panelists:
    • Mike Aspenson - 1973 - Experienced and successful business leader in defense, commercial and international markets. Leader in new product, business development and market entry strategies.
    • Jon Otterstatter - 1983 - Co-founder of Preventice Solutions and (Chief Executive Officer and BOD member.) Preventice provides remote patient monitoring to assist in the diagnosis and management of cardiac conditions for over 300,000 patients per year.
    • Chuck Pisula - 1995 - Senior Software Engineer at Apple. Has worked on the NeXT and Mac OS X teams. Currently part of the iOS team.
    • Jenn Casper - 1998 - MITRE Corporation - principal software systems engineer at MITRE; prior lead software systems engineer at MITRE since 2006;
    • Amy Higgins - 2015 - former Google intern. Software engineer at Capital One.

Networking/Social Hour (free)

  • Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Location: 2110 and 2120, The Bluffs, Student Union
  • Description: Time to network with current and former students and faculty. Refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

Dinner ($25)

  • Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Location: 2110 and 2120, The Bluffs, Student Union
  • Description: A buffet dinner with presentations from the department and a guest speaker celebrating the past and future of the department. Registration required - deadline 9/27.

Additional Logistics

  • Parking: Parking is available starting at 4:30 p.m. in C-12 (Cleary lot) or the first level of the parking ramp. If you arrive earlier or park in another lot, be prepared to pay to park ($1 per hour at pay stations) through 7 p.m. Please do not park on Farwell, 16th or 17th streets without paying a pay station and avoid resident lots, such as the nearby R-4 lot. Accessible parking for persons with disabilities is available in C-12, the first level of the ramp, and Farwell Street. A map of campus can be found at
  • Accomodations: If you are interested in refreshing yourself about what is available to do in La Crosse or find accommodations, we suggest you check out the website.

We need YOU to help us make this a success! Please consider sending us reflections, stories, pictures, and videos of your time here at UWL and in the Computer Science Department. We are working on putting together a video from the pictures, videos and memories you share. You can contact us via email, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Thanks!
For video, mp4, mov, or anything recorded on a cellphone work best.

Faculty who will be in attendance

Interested in seeing your old professors? Here is a list of former faculty who will be in attendance, in addition to our current faculty. (Years teaching for the department in parentheses.)

  • Dave Riley, Ph.D. (1978 - 2017)
  • Henry Thibault, Ph.D. (1984 - 2001)
  • Keith Burand (1980 - 2011)

Department History

Noteworthy dates for the Computer Science Department

  • 1968 — John "Jack" Storlie creates department; first courses offered
  • 1968 — Main Hall houses the Computer Center and Computer Science Department
  • 1969 — Computer science minor created
  • 1969 — Wing remodeled, houses Computer Center and Department
  • 1970 — Department moves into Wing Communication Center
  • 1971 — Computer science major approved
  • 1973 — First recipients of a bachelor’s degree in computer science
  • 1974 — Department moves to new classroom building, North Hall (now Carl Wimberly Hall), in the fall; Computer Center remains in Wing
  • 1980 — Department moves to Wimberly Hall
  • 1990 — Department moves to Morris Hall
  • 1996 — Computational science minor established
  • 2001 — Department moves to Wing Technology Center
  • 2001 — Master of Software Engineering established
  • 2003 — Dual degree with UW-Madison Department of Engineering approved
  • 2005 — Computer engineering technology emphasis with Western Technical College established
  • 2006 — Five-year dual degree bachelor’s and master’s established
  • 2007 — Room 006 Wing named John "Jack" Storlie Computer and Technology Classroom
  • 2018 — Embedded systems emphasis created spring; 50th anniversary celebrated

Department chairs

  • John Storlie, 1968-71
  • Lonny Winrich, 1971-81
  • Dave Riley, 1981-2005*
  • Steve Senger, 2005-present

*Tom Gendreau served as interim chair, 1998-99

Remember when the department was in...

  • Wing Communications Center, 1969-1974
  • North Hall, 1974-1990 (now Wimberly Hall)
  • Morris Hall, 1990-2001
  • Wing Technology Center, 2001-present