I was trained as a mathematician, with research interests in the classic "pure" area of geometric topology. My journey to computer science began with computing, and the need for new methods of handling the kind of symbolic computation required for calculating topological and geometric invariants related to macromolecules. It was natural for me to begin teaching in the fledgling computer science program that was growing within the FSU Mathematics department.
The students in computer science really changed my life. When I started teaching CS, I was thrust into an intellectual/practical world where students were genuinely excited about the subject, worked hard, and often knew things that I did not. (I am happy to report that the latter still happens - CS students are truly an inquisitive and knowledgable lot.) This contagious fervor pulled me out of the math comfort zone and into the dynamic world of CS. I have never regretted this change, and the students are still largely responsible. Research can be done from any academic home, but the students in CS are unique.
Favorite courses to teach:
Undergraduate: Data Structures, Algorithms, and Generic Programming. (At FSU, this is COP 4530.) This is where students are making the transition from programmer to computer scientist most rapidly.
Graduate: Artificial Neural Networks (CAP 5615) and other advanced technology engineering topics such as Genetic Algorithms and Case-Based Reasoning, and seminars in things like Robotics where students apply knowledge to practical purpose.