David Stearns joins the iSchool

The iSchool’s newest senior lecturer, David Stearns, brings a broad background in technology, professional work and research to his new position starting in August.

Stearns, who has a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh, worked for 12 years in the software industry, including nine years at Microsoft, where his projects involved designing and building information systems, or designing tools to help other developers build systems more easily.

His dissertation was titled, “Think of it as Money”: A History of the VISA Payment System, 1970–1984.” A revised and expanded version of his dissertation, Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System, was published by Springer as a book in 2011.

His areas of expertise include relational data modeling, systems design and analysis, software architecture and programming, distributed systems, web technologies, information visualization and project management. Stearns currently teaches history at Seattle Pacific University.

“I am an interdisciplinary, collaborate and creative scholar and the iSchool is a great place for me to apply my diverse background of knowledge and skills,” said Stearns.

Stearns will teach a variety of technical courses in the iSchool curriculum including web technologies, database management and information retrieval, information architecture, among others. He is interested in developing courses in the history of information processing, money and payments as information systems, and theories of technology and society.

His blog, The Cashless Society: Historical Perspectives on the Future of Money, seeks to inform and influence both the popular and the academic discussion surrounding cashless payments. Stearns also organized the 2012 conference, “The Digital Society: Rethinking the Christian Commentary on Technology for the 21st Century,” for Seattle Pacific University.