University of New Haven Alumnus, Computer Science Professor Awarded Patent
Whether he is teaching at the University of New Haven or training employees at The Hartford, Thomas Shokite ’89 M.S. knows that individuals often face challenges when learning to use data management systems. His innovative way to address these obstacles has earned a patent.
February 18, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Thomas Shokite ’89 M.S. frequently teaches students and colleagues how to use "live" data management systems. He understands that training them can be tricky, since issues such as service outages and server reboots can prevent systems from providing a stable and consistent training environment.
An adjunct faculty in the University’s electrical and computer engineering and computer science department, Prof. Shokite endeavored to create a host server and service virtualization solution that mimics the functions of an enterprise service. This, he believed, would provide a more stable training environment for data management system users.
"My inspiration came when I realized that outside creators and users of virtualized services did not apply existing technology to training environments," said Prof. Shokite, who earned a master’s degree in computer information science from the University of New Haven. "Training environments are unique because users want to perform training tasks in a closed system, and they do not want the application they are training in to change."
A senior IT engineer at The Hartford, a leading insurance company, Prof. Shokite teaches virtual services courses. He decided to pursue a patent for the technology he developed for the classes he leads.
While applying for the patent, he said, he became the student, looking to learn as much as possible from his colleagues who have navigated this process in the past. His solution, "dynamic interface virtualization in a networked computing environment" was ultimately awarded a patent last fall that was assigned to Hartford Fire Insurance Company, a subsidiary of The Hartford.
Prof. Shokite says he is grateful for his colleagues’ support.
"I was very pleased to have been awarded the patent," he continues. "It was a very rewarding feeling. The Hartford has an excellent legal team that critiqued my presentations and helped me throughout the process."
"I enjoy putting my spin on technology, from an industrial perspective, and seeing this information take shape as my students apply it."Thomas Shokite ’89 M.S.
Prof. Shokite, who has been teaching at the University on and off for nearly 30 years, says there is still a lot of work to be done in virtualizing the services used in training. He plans to continue training developers and testers in creating virtual services for training environments. He is also focused on bringing his passion for innovation to the classroom, and inspiring his students to think creatively.
"I enjoy putting my spin on technology, from an industrial perspective, and seeing this information take shape as my students apply it," he said. "I give real-world examples of problems found in industry, and I want them to be willing to take chances when applying new technology."