Share:

Dr. Femiani balances art and computer science

The College of Engineering and Computing strives to develop a multifaceted individual through imagination, ingenuity and impact. Students are encouraged to venture outside of their comfort zones and tackle projects that they may not be familiar with. 

Upon graduation, they will be able to utilize their different skill sets to think critically and creatively about the world around them.

Dr. John Femiani is a professor who exemplifies just that. 

Dr. Femiani, associate professor in the computer science and software engineering department, balances his time between being a practicing professional and an artist.

Art has always been a part of his life, and he even received an undergraduate degree in studio art. From there, he was able to transition into digital art and computer graphics. 

“When you’re just studying computer science for its own sake, it's like you’re specializing in a tool but you’re not interested in how to use it,” he said.Dr. Femiani stands next to a drawing of his daughter, Monica, and Monica stands next to him 

(Dr. Femiani stands next to one of his drawings with his daughter.)

Dr. Femiani believes that his background in art has given him an advantage in his career.

“To be successful as a computer scientist is to be creative,” he said. 

Now, he focuses on plein air paintings and life/figure drawings. Over the years, he’s had his work displayed in shows at the Oxford Community Arts Center, including around five pieces in the plein air show that’s coming up. 

“Artists under serve themselves when they imagine that they can’t do the math and the technology,” Dr. Femiani said. “Computer scientists do a disservice to themselves when they think that they’re not an artist.”

At the end of the day, the similarities between art and STEM disciplines are definite.

“At its heart, they’re both problem solving,” he said. “In both things, you’re given a voice, and your ability to say stuff depends on your ability to use your tools effectively.”

By Jenna Calderón, CEC Reporter