Dr. John Durkin

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The University of Akron


For the past twenty years, Dr. Durkin has been committed to the advancement of expert system technology. In particular, to its application in solving real-world problems. He founded a company Intelligent Computer Systems, Inc., which provides consulting services to world-wide organizations in the areas of expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks, case-based reasoning, data mining, and artificial intelligence. At the University of Akron, Dr. Durkin offers a series of courses that cover each of these areas.

Research Interests

Dr. Durkin's primary research interest lies in the application of existing expert system tools to build intelligent computer programs to solve real-world problems. Using tools such as fuzzy logic, neural networks, CBR, and object-oriented programming, Dr. Durkin has developed intelligent systems in such areas as business, manufacturing, engineering, and space technology. He also been very active in introducing expert system technology into commercial and government organizations, showing them how they can leverage the technology to improve operations.

Courses Taught

Dr. Durkin teaches a series of expert system courses which provide a student the practical skills needed to address real-world intelligent programming problems:

The design of these courses took an old but wise proverb into consideration:

I hear and I forget

I see and I remember

I do and I understand

To understand a subject, students must get their hands dirty. In a computer programming course, students should be provided extensive time on the computer where they can develop and refine their programming skills. In each expert system course, students are assigned an in-depth project where they develop an expert system that addresses a real-world problem. Following this experience, they obtain an understanding of how to build an effective expert system.

Engineering students must also be provided the skills needed to meet the practical challenges of a career in the industry. They should be shown how to write a professional project proposal and final report, and how to prepare and conduct a professional oral presentation. Each expert system course provides this important instruction.

The series of expert system courses provide a student with the necessary AI programming skills to address real-world intelligent programming problems and the practical skills that are needed on all engineering jobs.

AI Technical Skills...Real-World Applications...Project Management Skills...

Circuit Courses

In addition to the series of expert system courses, Dr. Durkin coordinates and teaches the circuit analysis series of courses within the Department of Electrical Engineering:

Expert System Books

Dr. Durkin has written two books on expert systems. The book Expert Systems: Design and Development supports several expert system courses: Introduction to Expert Systems, Knowledge Engineering, Fuzzy Logic Expert System Design, and Frame-Based Expert System Design. This book has been recognized as one of the leading texts for instructing expert system technology. The book Expert Systems: Catalog of Applications provides a description of over 2500 developed expert systems cataloged into various application areas (e.g., Business, Engineering, Manufacturing, etc.). The book is of particular value to the practicing Knowledge Engineer and to a graduate student working in the field.

Sites of Interest Related to John Durkin

Sites of Interest at The University of Akron

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Page maintained by John Durkin, last modified March 1, 1999