Will Briggs, PhD

Associate Professor

Hobbs 104

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD in computer science from the University of Texas at Arlington, in December 1996, with a GPA of 4.0.
  • MS in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in June 1989, with a GPA of 3.2.
  • BS in mathematics and physics from Mercer University in Macon, GA, in June 1984, with a GPA of 3.87.


  • 2005-present: Associate professor at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA. Classes taught: Programming II (in C++); Computer Languages; Games Programming; Senior Project, Web Design for e-Commerce; Discrete Mathematics.
  • 1998-2005: Assistant professor at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA. Classes taught: Programming I and II (in C++); Computer Languages; Parallel Processing; Games Programming; Artificial Intelligence; Senior Project; Senior Symposium; Introduction to Computing.
  • 1996-1998: Visiting professor at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Classes taught: Programming I and II (in C++), Artificial Intelligence, Computer Languages.
  • 1992-1993: Undergraduate instructor at Fort Valley State College, Fort Valley, GA. Classes taught: Operating Systems, COBOL, File Structures, Digital Logic I and II, Algorithm Analysis.
  • 1989-1994: Undergraduate instructor at Mercer University, Macon, GA. Classes taught: Programming I (Pascal), Introduction to Computing, Computer Graphics, Compiler Construction, Computer Languages, C, Ada.

Research Interests

Machine planning and learning; multiagent systems; game development. Current work is on learning rules for reactive planning, library development for 3D graphics, and development of C++ for Lazy Programmers, an introductory text.


Created (with students Marcus Wright and Cliff Dunford) the UniGeez package for Ethiopian input in MSWindows, which the client Robert Van Buskirk of the Eritrea Technical Exchange estimated “will create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars of net benefit to the Eritrean and Ethiopian economies over the next 5-10 years.”


Presentations by sponsored students

Grants and Proposals

  • PI for the National Science Foundation Scholars Program grant for $288,748 of scholarships in computer science and mathematics.
  • Acquired an internal grant for, and established, a cluster of 6 Unix machines at Lynchburg College.
  • Acquired a grant for time on the NCSA Origin2000I, for the parallel processing class.

Presentations and Workshops

  • Four-week class for the Virginia Governor’s School in Science and Technology: “Games Programming.” Summer 2003, 2008, and 2010.
  • Lynchburg Governor’s School, “Making a project class work for Governor’s School: Games Programming,” July 2010. Presented to the Pusan Metropolitan School delegation.
  • Exploration for the 2010 Governor’s School: “Writing Short Fiction.”
  • Short course at Holy Cross Catholic School: “Programming in Logo,” Oct. 2009.
  • Lynchburg Pulmonary Associates, “Keeping Your Business Safe on the Internet,” November 2007.
  • LC Teaching Idea Exchange, “The Biscuit Algorithm,” January 2005.
  • Four-week class for the 2003, and the 2008, Virginia Governor’s School: “Games Programming.”
  • Exploration for the 2003, and 2008, Virginia Governor’s School: “How to Build an Alien!”
  • Talk for the LC Science Gang in Spring 2003: “How to Build an Alien!”
  • Workshop for LC’s School of Sciences Day, a recruiting event for high-school seniors, November 2000.
  • Workshop for the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology‘s 7th Annual Research Symposium, June 2000.
  • Interdisciplinary exploration for the 2000 Virginia Governor’s School: “How to Build a Planet.”
  • Lecture for the LC Science Gang in November 1999: “Why Can’t Robots Just Get Along? Social Conventions for Rational Agents.”

Committee Work and Service

  • Developer of CS@LC, our department’s blog for promoting itself to prospective majors.
  • Chair of Information Technology Resources Policy Committee, 2008-present.
  • Chair of Lynchburg College’s Computer Science Program, 2005-2006.
  • Coordinator of the LC Student Scholar Showcase Committee, 2003-2004; member, 2001-2004.
  • Member of the LCSR Committee, 2007-present.
  • Faculty interviewer for prospective students at LC’s Annual Scholarship Competitions, 2002-present.
  • Co-sponsor of the LC Programming Team, 2001-present.
  • Agora Committee, for a publication of scholarly work by students, 2003-present.
  • Member of the IEEE International Conference on Tools for Artificial Intelligence Review Committee, 2002.
  • Member of the Florida AI Research Symposium Review Committee, 1998-2003.
  • Unofficial coordinator of the LC Science Gang, for talks on science targeted to undergraduates, in 2001; I ran publicity and web presence for this 1998-2004.
  • Maintainer of the Computer Science Department web page, 1998-present, and redesign of the School of Science web site, 2001.
  • Co-administrator of the Computer Science Department Unix lab, 1998-present.
  • Reviewed the departmental curriculum for coverage of the ACM Curricula Recommendations for Computer Science, 1999.
  • Successfully proposed a curriculum revision to start the major with a class in Visual Basic, 1999.
  • Judged projects the Virginia Junior Academy of Science 59th Annual Meeting at Radford University, May 2000.

Professional Development and Conferences

  • International Conference on Tools for Artificial Intelligence, Newark, NJ, November 2009.
  • Consortium on Computing in Small Colleges, November 2003.
  • XTreme Games Developers Conference, September 2003.
  • NSF’s Project Kaleidoscope annual meeting, October 2002.
  • The Lynchburg College Symposium Readings (LCSR) Training, May 2002.
  • International Conference on Tools for Artificial Intelligence, Dallas, November 2001.
  • Independent Eritrea: Lessons and Prospects, Asmara, Eritrea, July 2001.
  • LC’s Workshop on Innovative Teaching Methods, 2000, 2001.
  • Workshop on the Media, Lynchburg College, November 2000.
  • Personal Software Process Faculty Workshop at Southern Polytechnic, July 2000.
  • A Grant Workshop for the Sciences, Washington and Lee, April 2000.
  • Florida AI Research Symposium, May 1999.

Other Qualifications

  • Nominee for the Best Advisor Award, Lynchburg College, 2007.
  • Nominee for the Shirley Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching, Lynchburg College, 1999.
  • Experience in C, C++, LISP, Java, Ada, Pascal, FORTRAN, PROLOG, lex, yacc, and Intel and Motorola assembler.
  • Experience in Unix system administration.
  • Membership in Tau Beta Pi, ACM, IEEE Computer Society.
  • Eight short stories published to date, one with an award.