Caroline St. Clair is an associate professor of computer science at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She is currently the chair of the computer science department and the graduate program coordinator for the M.S. Web and M.I.S. programs. She teaches a variety of computer science courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and her primary research interests are in the field of data mining, specifically in developing and applying a usefulness metric for use in a number of data mining algorithms. She is also interested in the field of bioinformatics and its intersection with data mining. She has co authored the textbook Exploring Bioinformatics: A Project-Based Approach with Joanathan Visick.
Recognizing the new approach that colleges and universities are taking toward "niche" degrees in computer science, Dr. St. Clair spearheaded the effort to recast the traditional computer science M.S. degree to better equip students in the emerging filed of applications development. After consulting with faculty-colleagues, getting input from Naperville-area business leaders and monitoring industry trends, the Web and Internet applications degree is now more compatible with the demands of the marketplace.
The curriculum balances knowledge of the latest Web and Internet technologies with a strong foundation in computer science. While the emphasis is on current technologies enabling graduates to be immediately productive in their jobs, the foundational areas like operating systems, database management, computer networks and security enable students to understand and solve problems related to software development and to quickly adapt to changes in the field.