Phil Knous – M.S. in Computer Science
Phil is from Alva, Oklahoma, a little town close the Kansas border and the panhandle. Growing up in this quiet community, he was involved in basketball and Track and Field all the way till the end of high school. Already showing versatility, Phil was also High School Speech State Champion and his favorite subject was History. His high school did not offer real Computer Science classes but he taught himself how to program with a little push from his father. As far as he remembers, his family always had a computer so naturally he got curious and wanted to learn how to make games. His father bought a basic book about programming and one about Visual Basic when Phil was in 6th grade. Since then, his path has been revealed to him: he would be a programmer.
With an OU Award of Excellence Scholarship, Phil came to Norman to study Computer Engineering for his Bachelor’s degree. On top of his scholarship, Phil decided on OU because of the friendly people and the amazing football team! He quickly joined the Engineering Honors Society HKN, was the recipient of the Barkow Scholarship and graduated with distinction.
After graduating in 2009, Phil successfully joined a very competitive program: the Air Force Long Term Training. He is employed at Tinker as a civilian software electronics engineer. His current project is developing a communication standard for use on various aircraft. On top of a job, this program also gives him the opportunity to pursue a M.S. with complete founding if he stays in the program for three years after finishing this degree. Phil jumped on this opportunity to complete a M.S. in Computer Science. His accomplishments were rewarded by the Junior Civilian Scientist/Engineer Award for 2013-2014 at his work and with the CS Outstanding M.S. student in 2015 after a vote among our faculty members. Phil was also recognized by being selected to attend the Felgar Gala and to meet President David Boren during a special event with the Graduate College.
Phil especially enjoys the area of computer security. His favorite class in the program has been CS 5823 Cryptography, taught by Dr. Cheng. For him, this topic is fascinating. The fact that numbers can create some many things are very interesting and Phil praised Dr. Cheng’s job teaching the class. He currently continues learning about security through an Independent Studies class with Dr. Cheng. According to Phil, CS faculty members are a very positive force for the program. They actually care about students learning and understanding. Everybody in the OU CS community is willing to help.
After completing his degree and his Air Force program requirements, Phil hopes to continue working for USAF. His dream job would be to work on a space program for them or NASA and to help getting things into space. He has been fascinated by Rover Robots. He hopes to combine this with his interest in computer security by working on a system to make sure these devices do not get hacked.
When he is not busy with school or work, Phil likes to run marathons and other races. He also enjoys mountain biking, playing basketball and video games.