Biographical Sketch

Ross Sowell teaches a variety of courses that span the computer science curriculum. His background is in computer graphics, with research interests in the areas of interactive visualization, biomedical modeling, and animation.  Recently, Ross has begun to dabble in the field of human-robot interaction.  In the classroom, he enjoys applying and developing his pedagogical interests in the use of active and collaborative learning techniques for computer science education. 

Academic History

  • PhD in Computer Science, Washington University in St. Louis, 2012
  • BS in Computer Science, Sewanee--University of the South, 2005


  •  Kurtek, S., Su, J., Grimm, C., Vaughan, M., Sowell, R., and Srivastava, A. Statistical analysis of manual segmentations of structures in medical images. Computer Vision and Image Understanding117(9):1036-1050, 2013.

  • Sowell, R., Gill, C., Chamberlain, R., Grimm, C., Goldman, K. and Tranel, M. The active-learning transformation: a case study in software development and systems software courses. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 25(5):165-172, 2010.

  • Sowell, R., Chen, Y., Buhler, J., Goldman, S., Grimm, C. and Goldman, K. Experiences with active learning in CS 3. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 25(5):173-179, 2010.

  • Abraham, C., Low, D., Sowell, R., Gokhroo, G., Grimm, C. and Ju, T. VolumeViewer: a tool for examining the use of non-axial image planes in treatment planning. In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on the Use of Computers in Radiation Therapy, 2010.

  • Sowell, R., Liu, L., Ju, T., Grimm, C., Abraham, C., Gokhroo, G. and Low, D. VolumeViewer: an interactive tool for fitting surfaces to volume data. In SBIM '09: Proceedings of the 6th Eurographics Symposium on Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling, pages 141-148, 2009.

  • Lien, J., Bayazit, O., Sowell, R., Rodriguez, S. and Amato, N. Shepherding Behaviors. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 4159-4164, 2004.

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of Computer Science (CSC 140)
  • Software Architecture (CSC 144)
  • Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science (CSC 151)
  • Computer Organization (CSC 218)
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (CSC 301)
  • Systems Software (CSC 311)
  • Computer Graphics (CSC 321)

Faculty-Student Research

  • Alex Hubers, Video Manipulation Techniques for the Protection of Privacy in Remote Presence Systems, 2013
  • Kevin Johnson, Plane Selection for Medical Image Segmentation, 2012

Service to the Cornell Community

  • Committee on Student Life
  • Subcommittee on Student Engagement and Retention
  • Student Symposium Committee
  • Instructional Technology Subcommitte


  • Association for Computing Machinery
    • Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
    • Computer Society