Dr. Sang Suh journeyed to the United States in 1984 to earn a master's degree in computer science at the University of Hawaii. After earning his doctorate in computer science from Southern Methodist University, Suh began teaching at East Texas State University (now A&M-Commerce) in 1993. He was honored by The Texas A&M University System in 2018 as a Regents Professor.
Suh is deeply committed to international leadership toward building a strong transdisciplinary science education community through his work with the Society for Design and Process Science (SDPS). His contributions in various capacities and as a role model identifying and educating world changers—have helped SDPS develop into a global organization over the past 25 years.
A Conversation with Dr. Suh
What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?
A&M-Commerce is a unique place in a small rural college town. It is unique because it provides a family-like environment that enables very personal and close relationships between students and faculty. It is especially true in the department where I reside and serve. A&M-Commerce was the very first public university in Texas to offer a bachelor's degree in computer science.
What draws you to your discipline?
I like numbers. I like logic. I like science. I learned to use an abacus to play with numbers in my youth and became a school champion in an abacus competition. I have always thought of becoming a scientist who can contribute to society with the digital revolution and challenges. Computer science was the natural choice for my major based on my interests and wishes.
What has been your favorite course to teach?
Automata Theory has been my favorite course to teach. I have taught this course for the last 30 years at A&M-Commerce. It is a theory in theoretical computer science and the study of abstract machines and automata which comes from the Greek word “αὐτόματος,” which means “self-acting, self-willed, self-moving.” The automata theory enables the formalization of computational problems. Interestingly, all modern-day computer programming languages are designed and developed based on grammar formalized by the automata theory.
Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.
Since the invention of computers, one of the ambitious goals of computer scientists has been trying to create conversable chatbots using the Standard Turing Test (STT) to test them. With recent advances in AI and machine learning, a number of chatbot applications have been developed and made available to the public with the capability to handle audio input and output features, nonverbal features and personalities. I developed a chatbot called “Cheshire” in a somewhat different way than most other chatbots. The Cheshire emulates personalities, applies nonverbal communication by obtaining the emotional state of the user, and provides a means for the user to talk to the chatbot and for the chatbot to talk back. It is an effort to develop a more believable and truly humanlike chatbot. The effort to build sensible and humanlike chatbots continues on.
- Ph.D., Computer Science, Southern Methodist University, 1992
- M.S., Computer Science, University of Hawaii, 1986
Awards and Honors
- A&M-Commerce Nominee, Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Teaching Award, 2009, 2023
- Excellence in Teaching Award, National Society of Leadership and Success, 2019
- Regents Professor, Texas A&M University System, 2018
- Board Member, Society for Design and Process Science, 2016
- Distinguished Service as President Award, Society for Design and Process Science, 2015
- Outstanding Achievement Award, World Congress on Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Applied Computing, 2009
- Artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering
- Data analytics and mining
- Automata theory