Say hello to Professor Cam
Teaching “Analytics for Design” at Boise State’s College of Innovation and Design
At the end of 2018, I got a random LinkedIn introduction from a past student I met guest-lecturing in a Databases class at Boise State (I’ve been doing that since 2016). He just said I would probably like getting to know this guy, Brad.
I thought, “Sure, why not.”
After all, his LinkedIn profile said he was the Director of Customer Experience at Drake Cooper. I’m generally interested in Customer Experience as a field, and Drake Cooper was a company I didn’t know much about, but it sounded cool. If nothing else, I’d enjoy chatting about those things…
We met for happy hour at 10 Barrel
We hit it off instantly. Two bespectacled guys around 30 that like tech and have crazy ideas about business. And we bonded over having a mutual passion for helping students at Boise State. Brad mentioned he’d just created a new certificate program at BSU called Innovation and Design: Emerging Applications (IDEA). Pretty badass…
Obviously, we ordered a second round
Over the course of that drink, we got into some big personal and professional stuff we were both going through. The conversation ended with us agreeing to meet up in early 2019 to get the scoop on how these big things worked out.
Happy hour #2 was at Bittercreek
Only one drink this time, but we bonded over politics, news, and local issues. Brad told me he started a new advertising agency with his business partner, Jennie. It sounded super badass. I realized even more that this is one cool mother****er.
As we were leaving, he said, “Want to teach the analytics class?”
“Uh, maybe.” I told him we should talk more, but I’d be up for guest-lecturing at the very least. He said cool, and he’d text me to put something together.
Morning meeting, Broadway Starbucks
I had put together some of my ideas the night before, and I was really liking the idea of teaching actually. I’ve got plenty of things on my plate, but this sounded like a great laboratory to teach innovative methods I’d picked up or developed over recent years. Also, I’m always interested in opportunities to mentor students.
We started chatting, and 5 minutes later I said “I’m in.” He said “sick,” and that he’d put everything in motion with Jennie and the college.
Brad gave me the green light
About a week later I got the message that it was “game on.” He sent me some docs, I started putting my thoughts together, and we started meeting with Jennie to talk logistics. (Jennie is amazingly cool as well.)
And here we are, I start on Monday
The plan we have for this course is going to be insanely cool. It’s all about application of analytics and design methods, and it’s going to be totally focused on “real world” problems, tools, and techniques. (We’re trying to get in the habit of calling it the “professional world” instead.)
Basically, over the accelerated 7 week course, students will implement a sophisticated research project for a cause they care about. At the end, they’ll open-source everything and share it with an organization that works on that. Everything will be on Medium, and we’ll share the learning love far and wide. #Stoked