Ph.D., Physics, Vanderbilt University
M.S., Physics, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
B.E., Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Driscoll received B.E., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where his research was in the area of intelligent robotics. He then worked in industry as a software developer in the areas of Internet content delivery and bioinformatics. In 2002 he became an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Middle Tennessee State University. In 2005 Dr. Driscoll returned to graduate school and received a Ph.D. in Physics in 2011. His physics research focuses on theoretical and computational physics in condensed matter, especially nanoscale phenomena.
At Bradley, Dr. Driscoll teaches introductory calculus-based physics courses for engineering students. He is helping to redesign these courses so as to use computation as the fundamental approach to understanding physics. Dr. Driscoll has designed and built a supercomputing cluster to support a future course in high-performance computing.
While at Middle Tennessee State University, Dr. Driscoll taught several courses in the computer science department. These included computer literacy, introduction to computer science (C++ programming), introduction to assembly language and computer architecture, and artificial intelligence (undergraduate and graduate). Two new special topics courses were developed by Dr. Driscoll: evolutionary algorithms and artificial life.
The rapidly developing field of nanoscience uncovers new physical phenomena and promises novel technological applications. Both require development of new theoretical frameworks to describe them, and powerful computational advances to effectively use these frameworks. Important applications in this area include electron field emission and transport, and apply to many potential nanoscale devices, such as nanowires, carbon nanotubes, graphene, molecular electronics, and quantum dots.
Dr. Driscoll uses first-principles calculations to explore the electronic and structural properties of various nanostructures. The typical approach is to use time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) in a real-space, real-time framework. In addition to performing these calculations, he is very interested in improving the performance of these methods through advanced computational methods and algorithms. He co-founded Bradley's Nanotechology Research Group with Profs. Kelly Roos and Shannon Timpe. Several undergraduates are currently working with the Group as paid research assistants.
In addition to physics, Dr. Driscoll also has a background in robotics and artificial intelligence. More specifically, he is interested in developing useful, adaptive robotic systems using insights from biology and psychology. Topics of interest include evolutionary algorithms, neural networks, and robot vision. His past work involved the implementation of a model of human visual attention on a humanoid robot, the evolution of control programs for mobile robots, and neural network modeling of robot inverse kinematics.
Dr. Driscoll has several papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and has authored a book chapter and a book. He has presented at regional, national, and international conferences and has given several invited talks. He has received several internal grants, and has submitted external grant proposals recently to both regional and national-level funding agencies.
Dr. Driscoll currently serves on two University-level committees: the New Faculty Mentorship Committee and the Sakai Advisory Committee. He also served as a faculty judge at the 2012 Student Scholarship Exposition.
At the College and Departmental levels, Dr. Driscoll is heavily involved in the planning and development of the new initiative in Engineering Physics. This has begun with specialized introductory physics courses for engineers. Future plans include additional new courses, a minor, and an accredited major. He helped to provide specifications for the Engineering Physics classroom and computer cluster room that will be in the new engineering building.
Dr. Driscoll is part of the leadership of the national-scale Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP). Community service includes service as a mentor to the FIRST Robotics team at Metamora High School, and giving talks to local high school students.