Welcome

Welcome to my Web site! I am glad you made it, and hope you find something interesting and/or helpful.

 
One word of caution: From time to time, I will be seeking to improve this website. If the information you are interested in may not be immediately accessible, please be patient as I try to address your needs.The three areas that are likely to change with time are as follows:
 
Computer Science Lecture Series:
This is a work-in-progress. Over the years, I have taught most of the courses you will find in an undergraduate program in computer science (CS), or information systems. My intent is to provide a wide range of CS resource materials to you over time. 
 
Papers in Organizational Behavior and Management:
Despite the fact that I am a computer scientist by training, I have always been fascinated with the field of Organizational Behavior and Management (OBM). From time to time (as my schedule allows), I sneak a graduate-level course in. As my studies progress, and as my schedule allows, I will be posting papers in this area. 
 
Papers in Computer Science:
From time to time, I will post CS papers (some written by my students) that I consider to be noteworthy. These selectively cover CS-related projects and/or research initiatives that have caught my attention.
 
There is a close nexus between CS and OBM: In CS, we design and construct software systems that impact organizations. My interest is focused on how we may produce better CS professionals, and more effective software solutions for the business environment. Anything that can fit under this umbrella (and it is a very broad umbrella) is of interest to me (however, I do have to prioritize from time to time).  
 
Once again, welcome!

Testimonials From Former Students

Dr Foster has offered many years of solid teaching at Keene State. From Database class to Java Programming, Dr. Foster's knoweldge and talents are shared with his students. It was a pleasure learning from him. Through his patience with students, he shows a true love of teaching. Ask any of his former students what they remember about Dr. Foster, and they will tell you he is one of the most organized and caring teachers they have ever had. He is willing to take the extra time it takes to bring us all to the understanding we strive for.


Geoffrey Ness

Dr. Elvis Foster is perhaps one of the better things to happen to Keene State College while I attended there from the fall of 2002 until the spring of 2006. While I only knew him for a semester he clearly influenced the department as well as the students he taught. In the classroom Elvis went through the material quite thoroughly, always with plenty of examples he wrote himself to demonstrate the material.

 
Outside of the classroom, I saw Elvis meeting with an endless line of students back to back each day, five days a week, seemingly without break.  At first I thought he was like a superhero that must never get tired but soon found out that he was an ordinary professor who was fueled by students that engaged themselves in the material. He clearly cares about computer science and his students of it. I was very proud to have him as one of my professors.

Hunter Hideriotis

I think you'll be glad to know that I've been putting the skills I learned from you to good use. I will admit that prior to taking your courses on database design and software engineering I didn't think very highly of them. This was mainly because they are fairly difficult concepts to grasp, and I certainly needed some pointers along that way. However, you were always available to help me out whenever I got stumped, and what I appreciated the most was that you never simply gave me the answer I was looking for out right, but helped me to think through the process and find the solution for myself. I feel that this is the best approach to learning, as not only did you put me on the right track, but it gave me a better understanding of the principals behind the practice.

 
With regard to our software engineering courses, I think these were the highlight of my college career. I was able to take a defined goal, walk through the entire process of the development life cycle from start to finish while working as a team with my partner. When it came time for review, your feedback really mattered to us, and we treated it as if you were our client. This kind of experience was invaluable and not something that I felt I gained from any other classes. I wanted to let you know that I appreciated it and it continues to serve me well.

Josh Bradley

I want to take the time to thank you for everything you have taught me over the past four years. I've had the great opportunity to take many of your courses and can't tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of them. In fact, If I could give any of the Computer Science students at Keene State College advise right now, it would be summed up in this simple SQL statement: SELECT * FROM COURSES WHERE TEACHER = 'ELVIS FOSTER'; I've had a pleasure learning all that I could from you and hope you felt the same way while teaching me . . . .

 
The best knowledge you give has nothing to do with computer science. Keep it simple. Break down a complex problem into a set of simple, manageable, and easy to follow steps. If it doesn't work on paper it doesn't work. The list goes on. All the knowledge I learned from you has helped me immensely during my career as a computer scientist  . . . .
 
I want to thank you again for everything you do. You're a great teacher and I wish you the best of luck. I hope to work with you again sometime in the future.

John Ramsey

I consider Dr. Elvis Foster a great professor because great professors encourage their students to strive for success.  He always taught us to work hard at what we were doing and to never quit.  Professor Foster was always available to any student (whether it was in his office, by phone, or e-mail) who needed extra help.

 
I have learned many ideas and concepts that I thought were “out of my league”, but with Professor Foster’s guidance I was able to understand and succeed at them.  He also made learning in his lectures fun and fairly interactive which I personally enjoyed and thought were useful.  He is a resourceful man who showed us different ways to solve problems faced during class time.
 
Professor Foster also helped us prepare for different areas of our field after graduation.  He always had great expectations for his students and taught us to expect great things for ourselves.

Steven M. Pickus

In summary, as an IT professional I feel I owe a great deal of gratitude for the path of success Dr. Foster has provided me. He is a great asset to the Keene State Computer Science Department, and I only wish there were more professors like him that can provide the challenges needed to enter industry prepared.


Paul Boyd

Professor Foster,

 
Although during the class I very much questioned the extent of the documentation your book pushes for, it turned out to be a major help while working with one of my clients. The client had just been bought, and is now required to submit detailed proposals in order for the parent company to approve any work. Without your course, it would have been a lot harder to deal with so mmany groups within the company, and organize it into a format that everyone could follow.
 
Thank you.

Peter Varney

Excellent teaching can be found in many classrooms, but exceptional teaching combined with personal involvement and dedicated time to each student is rare. Dr. Foster is a professor who is fully committed to the success of his students. I have entered his office many times for advice, and he has always been willing to give me direction and provoke my thinking. Even after graduating, I still enjoy his friendship and mentorship. Often I ask him about his input concerning my career, and he gladly discusses the matter with me. I have been so fortunate to have such a teacher, friend, and professional mentor  who always makes himself available to his students. I am very grateful for his commitment and advise which played an important role for my professional start and career.


George Shterev

Dr. Foster was a valuable and indispensible member of the Computer Science faculty at Atlantic Union College. His values, teaching style, and knowledge on the subjects taught made taking his classes a rewarding and unforgettable experience. His knowledge of Database Systems was especially helpful, and the way in which the subject was presented made it easy to understand. Dr. Foster put in me the understanding and enjoyment of Database Systems. He was one of the great professors at Atlantic Union College at that time, and those experiences will not be forgotton.


Artur Bacu

Dear Dr. Foster,

 
When I first signed up for your Database Systems course, I was dreading it, having taken an introductory short course in database theory some years earlier and hated it. However, your course was not at all what I was expecting; it got me interested in databases, and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for making a subject I hated into one I thoroughly enjoy.

Katherine Skipper

Dr. Foster is the most dedicated, devoted instructor I have ever had, throughout any schooling experience. He was the person to go to when there was a challenging concept to learn, or problem to tackle. His classes aren't guaranteed to be easy. They are guaranteed to be useful. He gave me and my classmates exposure to aspects of programming and computer science (CS) that most of us would probably have looked over entirely, and I feel I understand the field as a whole much better because of it. Understanding Database Systems, Software Engineering, and the inner workings of Operating Systems were all things I would have considered tangential to my studies when I first entered the CS program. I'm immensely glad, now, that I took all of these courses. I can't ignore the impact that the more traditional programming classes I took with Elvis had either: Data Structures gave me my first real challenge in the curriculum, and Survey of Programming Languages introduced me to Ruby (a language which is now one of my favorites), as well as inspiring me to learn new technology whenever I can. This is a man who is devoted to giving his students a good education, especially if they're willing to put in the effort.


Kevin Chaloux

Professor Elvis Foster sets a leading example for not only the Computer Science professors at Keene State College, but for all of the professors campus wide. Dr. Foster manages to sort through the general course knowledge that is offered as a standard by many professors, and prepare real-world applicable resource materials for each of his courses. This alone sets him apart as a professor, above anybody else in a teaching role that I have come across. Dr. Foster’s commitment doesn't stop at his course materials. On a personal level, he is driven by each student that enters his class and/or office looking to learn. As my own personal advisor and mentor, my success would not have been possible post-graduation without Dr. Foster’s constant dedication and tutelage. Often, my success is owed to his tutelage of me more than my own skills. Through my four years at Keene State College, Elvis was not only a professor but also a mentor, leader, tutor, role model, and most importantly, a friend.


Luke Coughenour

It was an amazing experience spending four years studying computer science with Dr. Foster. Each course from Java Programming to Software Engineering was carefully structured and thought out. Elvis taught me the building blocks to a having a successful future in computer science. I recommend anyone considering computer science to enroll in courses taught by Dr. Foster.


Joshua Luft

Dr. Foster is a rare kind of professor. He quickly recognizes what students are capable of and pushes them to be as successful as they can be. His style of teaching can lead to the belief that he is too demanding, but in actuality, Elvis is preparing his students for a competitive, ever-changing computer science and/or information technology (CS/IT) field. While taking my first course with Dr. Foster, Data Structures, I remember thinking that the volume of documentation he required was unreasonable. However, while preparing several 100-page software specifications during an internship several years later, I found my experience in Elvis's class invaluable.

After Data Structures, I had Elvis as an instructor for several important core courses in Database Systems and Software Engineering. In a project-oriented course in Software Engineering, a partner and I had the opportunity to develop a complex mathematical processing engine. Without a doubt, this type of project would have been infeasible if it were not for Elvis’s broad-reaching lectures in software design and composition. Similarly, his instruction in database design has enabled me to design and create large information systems from the ground up. With a focus on both theoretical and practical issues, taking Database Systems with him was not only helpful in engineering solutions for a financial company I worked for, but also in understanding the structure of data for graduate work in causal modeling of database relations.

In addition to his apt understanding of what would be required of students in the workforce, Elvis has been a pivotal personal mentor to me. He nudged me in the direction of graduate school and encouraged me to pursue a mathematics degree in addition to computer science, two major decisions which have worked out very well, owing to Dr. Foster's keen insight into each student's abilities. Having Elvis as a professor and mentor throughout my college career has been instrumental in steering me towards the path I am on today.


Daniel Garant

Thanks to Dr. Foster's software engineering course, I have been able to go forth and successfully understand complicated software systems within the Google technical infrastructure. This has helped me to go forth with my role to support other software engineers in effectively trouble shooting problems. I was hooked on Dr. Foster's ability to teach and his willingness to answer all the questions of an uneducated mind. Never such thing as a bad question as long as one is more focused on learning the answer, and this was shown through in-class interactions with Elvis.

I have also gone forth with my understanding of the software development life cycle, thanks to the aforementioned class, to re-design an impactful scheduling software for Google's support organization. This is a complicated problem that I would not have been prepared for if it wasn't for Dr. Foster's teachings.

If I had one regret it would be that I didn't start taking his classes in my first year at Keene State College. Aside from professional development and education, thinking like a software developer is one of the most import skills I have in my arsenal and this is all thanks to Elvis Foster's knowledge and hospitality. He's a great teacher and mentor and students would do themselves a great service to take advantage of his classes.


Corey Austin

Elvis foster was one of my favorite and best professors, while I attended Keene State College. His courses are challenging and as a student you have to work hard; however, he also goes out of his way to ensure his students are successful in his courses. I will be forever indebted to him for the knowledge he provided. Any individual will be lucky to have Elvis as a professor.


Patrick Rodden

During my time at Keene State, I had the privilege of taking several of Dr. Foster's courses. These classes prepared me for life beyond college and were extremely beneficial to my growth as both a student and a person. Elvis has a passion for seeing students succeed. He spent countless hours outside of the classroom working with me on assignments I needed help with. He was always patient and took the time to ensure I understood the answer as well as the reasoning behind it. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Elvis and hope to continue collaborating with him in future projects.


Matthew Canning

Dr. Foster values the success of his students more than any professor I know. He is an incredible mentor with a drive to unlock the true potential in everyone. May it be a graduate program or the CS/IT workforce, Elvis is dedicated to preparing students for whatever they are passionate about. The knowledge and guidance he provided me has been pivotal to my success as a software developer at a fortune 100 company. I would encourage any student to take courses with Dr. Foster.


Alex Klatt

I started my tenure at Keene State College like many students do across the country: Do your work, get your grades, and get out the door. Over the course of four years I experienced a transition toward a greater experience. Voluntary hours in the computer science lab built relationships, speaking with professors during their off-hours encouraged critical thinking, joining the CS honor society fostered a bonded community, and becoming a teaching assistant for two of the departments hardest classes pushed me to the best of my capabilities. 

Much of this transition was inspired from the model of excellence and completeness Dr. Foster represented. I started to see Computer Science as something bigger than a degree; bigger than myself. I cannot say enough about Dr. Foster's own commitment to the Computer Science (CS) discipline; always pushing himself and others to maximize their potential and become well rounded. His focus on building humility and morale through character first and foremost will continue to guide me as I continue my career.

Dr. Foster cares about his students. They are not treated as rows in a relational database, but individuals who have various abilities and needs as soon as they walk into an entry-level CS class. Like a coach who knows the value and importance of every player to create a team, he invests the time and effort to understand and grow his students' character; their humility, drive, and effort. Among this careful evaluation of others is a reflection of his own character. Conversations in his office about the importance of being humble in our work, spreading ourselves deeply within the field, and aiding others when opportunity strikes resonates deeply; Dr. Foster practices these ideas daily.

Dr. Foster gave me something that matters most of all — the ability to maximize my options to contribute to the Computer Science discipline in a way that fits me.


Stephen Humer

When I first transferred to Keene State College, I was unsure about where my career path would take me. I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Elvis Foster in the course Principles of Programming Languages. I thought the amount of work that he assigns was outrageous; however, I came to realize that the level of detail was in turn an expectation of excellence. Over the next three years, I developed a more personal relationship with Dr. Foster. He constantly reminded me that everything great comes at a price, and that price is often involves hard work and dedication. With his expert advice in the areas of software engineering and database systems, I quickly became self-aware he would be the person to lead me where I wanted to go. Showing him that I was a motivated student and wanted to excel, I earned his attention; he personally made the effort into developing me as a computer science (CS) professional, going above and beyond. I value this relationship as a rare find in academia.

It appears to me that Dr. Foster has the rare ability to identify an individual's strong traits and maximize their potential. The students that he has mentored all seem to end up being successful CS professionals; I am fortunate to have been his student and mentee. Dr. Foster was not only influential in shaping a direction for my career, but still checks up to see how I am doing and where I am headed in my life. Everyone needs a mentor at some point in their career and Dr. Foster has had a lifelong impact on my life. I strongly recommend that any student who wants to be excellent CS professionals to take Dr. Foster’s advice. I will be forever grateful for him being the mentor he was to me at Keene State College.


Joshua Pritchett