faculty bio photo

Denise D. Byrnes

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Department/Affiliation: Computer Science
Phone: 330-263-2489
Office Address: 303 Taylor


  • B.S., The Ohio State University 1985
  • M.S., The Ohio State University 1987
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University 1992

Courses Taught

  • Animation, Gaming, and 3-D Virtual World
  • Connecting Art and Computer Science
  • Problem Seminar
  • Computer Programming I and II
  • Computer Organization
  • Computer Networking
  • Theory of Computation
  • Computer Graphics
  • First Year Seminar
  • Multimedia Computing
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Algorithm Analysis
  • User Interface Design

Recently Advised Senior Theses

  • Clear Communication: Construction and Implementation of Error-Correcting Codes (Alex Iudice, Computer Science and Math 2017)
  • Grasping the Void: Immersion Tactics Using Gesture Controlled Physics Interaction Systems in Virtual Reality (Avery Rapson, 2017)
  • Are Virtual Things Real? An Investigation into the Nature of Virtual Reality (Zach Phillips-Gary, Computer Science and Philosophy, 2017)
  • Jack In: An Exploration of Immersion in Virtual Environments (Lewie Roberts, 2017)
  • 3D Modeling and Scene Design for Games Using Unreal Engine 4 (Pratistha Bhandari, 2016)
  • Dynamically Adjusting Video Game Difficulty Using Machine Learning Techniques (Michael Bonadio, 2016)
  • Show Me What I Want: Complexities in Creating an Effective User Interface (Jacob London, 2016)
  • Look Alive! Modeling and Animating Facial Expressions of Emotion (Arpan Roy, 2016)
  • From Fantasy to Virtual Reality: An Exploration of Modeling, Rigging and Animating Characters for Video Games (Sarah Williams, 2016)
  • Learning Emotions: A Software Engine for Simulating Realistic Emotion in Artificial Agents (Douglas Code, 2015)
  • Conquering Carcassonne (Andrew Hoover, Computer Science and Math, 2015)
  • Evolving Lambda-Calculus Functions Using Genetic Programming (Xiaomeng Ye, CS & Math, 2014)
  • The Technology of Nature: A 3D Graphic Visualization of Lindenmayer Systems Structures (Karley Walker, 2014)
  • Worlds as Real as Ours: Image Processing and Differential Photometry of Transiting Exoplanets (Vanessa Logan, CS and Physics, 2014)
  • Two and three Dimensional Ising Model Based on Graphical User-Interphase Simulator (Norman Chamusah, CS and Chemistry, 2014)
  • Computer Vision: Object Recognition and Human-Computer Interaction (Benn Snyder, 2013)
  • Computational profiling and identification of the 3' untranslated region within Paramecium tetraurela (Tristan Vrolijk, CS and BCMB, 2012)
  • Procedurally generating everything (Micah Caunter, 2012)
  • Exploring opinion dynamics from a computational science perspective (Trisha Fultz, CS and Math, 2012)
  • Computer generated architecture through nature: using swarm intelligence and evolutionary computing to generate 3D models (Jason Palevsky, 2012)
  • Data Mining and its Applications (Yanlong Hu, CS and Math, 2012)
  • Exploring the Branch-and-Cut Algorithm (Itai Njanji, CS and Math, 2011)
  • Selection Pressure on a Selfish Herd: Evolution of Ecological Relationships in an Agent-based Model (Robert Taylor, Math and CS, 2011)
  • Go With the Lava Flow (Joshua Thomas, CS and Math, 2011)
  • Music Genre Recognition: Developing a Tool to Identify Genre Specific Characteristics of a Musical Piece (Elena Fiocca, 2010)
  • Real-time Simulation of Deformable Objects: Improving and Extending the Mass-Spring Particle Structure for Modeling the Draping Behavior of Cloth (Michael Liberatore, 2009)

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant, Award 2008, summer research mentor program.
  • Hewlett Mellon Presidential Discretionary Fund Award, The College of Wooster, 2005.
  • Mellon Pod Grant Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to sponsor the TARGET Workshop, 2005.
  • Hewlett Mellon Presidential Discretionary Fund Award, The College of Wooster, 2003.
  • GLCA Grant and M.A.A. RUMC Grant Awards to sponsor the Midstates Conference on Undergraduate Research in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2004 and 2005.
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques
  • Council on Undergraduate Research

Recent Publications

  • Bennjamin Snyder*, Ruth Steinhour*, Joshua Thomas*, Denise Byrnes and John David, “Extending the Schwartz-Saltikov Algorithm to Visualize Three-Dimensional Particle Distributions,"”. Proceedings of MCURCSM 2011, Denison University, Granville, OH.
  • D. Byrnes and P. Pierce (advisors). Michael Liberatore*, Jeffrey Willert*, Wenyuan Wu*, “Approximating Tarski’s Circle-Squaring Problem”, poster, CUR Posters on the Hill, May 5, 2009, Washington, D. C.
  • D. Byrnes and M. Liberatore*, “Visualizing an Approximation of Tarski’s Circle-Squaring Problem”. Proceedings of MCURCSM 2008, November 1, 2008, The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.
  • D. Byrnes and M. Liberatore*, “Selecting an Integrator to Model the Dynamic Draping Behavior of Cloth”. Proceedings of MCURCSM 2008, November 1, 2008, The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.
  • D. Byrnes and M. Liberatore*, abstract, “Selecting an Integrator to Model the Dynamic Draping Behavior of Cloth”, SIGCSE Student Research Competition, SIGCSE March 2009, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • M. Haile* and D. Byrnes. "A Flexible Parsing Engine for Lindenmayer Systems", CCSCNE 2002, The Consortium for Computing in Small Colleges Northeast Region, April 19-20, Worcester State College, Worcester, Mass.
  • Jesse Smith*, Denise Byrnes (advisor),”X3D as a Usable, Powerful, and Web-Based Medium for the Creation of a 3D Virtual Tour “. Proceedings of MCURCSM 2005, October 29, 2005, The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.
  • J. Strecker*, J. Breitenbucher, and D. Byrnes, “The Simulated Annealing Group Assignment (SAGA) Application”. Proceedings of MCURCSM 2003, October 25, 2003, Denison University, Granville, Ohio.

Teaching Philosophy

The computer science discipline is driven by rapid advances in computing technology. It is difficult to catch one’s breath when your field is moving at a break neck pace and its application is extended to yet another discipline. This is exactly why I fell in love with the field; the necessity for continued learning and its ubiquitous application to general problem solving. I hope each of my students is infected with the same wonder and excitement I hold for computer science or at the very least, the importance of the field to their every day life. I hope my excitement is contagious. Showing the linkage between classroom theory and real-world problems is my favorite engagement tool.