Director, UNC App Lab
terrell (at) cs.unc.edu
(145) Ph.D. 2009, UNC-Chapel Hill. Software development, web application development, mobile application development, programming, functional programming.
Jeff was born in Amarillo, Texas, and still goes back to see family on occasion. He grew up in Texas and Arkansas, with a couple of years in Colorado in between. He was home schooled for four years, then attended the Arkansas School for Math and Science in 11th and 12th grade before going on to get a degree in computer engineering at the University of Arkansas, summa cum laude.
He came to North Carolina and UNC in 2004 for grad school in the Computer Science Department, where he earned his Ph.D. (advised by Kevin Jeffay) in 2009. Although he had every intention of becoming a professor, it didn’t quite work out: although he got a verbal offer, the offering university later had to rescind it because of the economic recession.
Instead, he made the first of several pivots and tried to commercialize his Ph.D. research, which involved measuring the performance of computer servers across campus and looking for anomalies. He joined his good friend Sir Robert Burbridge to found Altometrics, which focused on data analytics and visualization. Despite several successes, the startup didn’t work out quite like he hoped. In 2016, he got a job as a software craftsman at the nearby custom software shop RoleModel Software. In 2018, he came back to the computer science department at UNC and became a Professor of the Practice, where he runs the App Lab to teach students how to build web and mobile applications through hands-on experience building software for the UNC community.
Jeff lives on a humble homestead of a few acres north of Durham, NC with his wife, three children, loyal mutt, two goats, and a variable number of chickens.