Trish Cornez, senior lecturer
Rick Cornez, professor
Math and Computer Science

Introducing hands-on text for app engineers

As a software engineer and developer of computer apps herself, Trish Cornez was dismayed at the lack of quality textbooks available for teaching her University of Redlands courses in Android programming and development.

So the senior lecturer in Math and Computer Science—together with her husband, Professor of Math and Computer Science Rick Cornez—in 2016 co-authored Android Programming Concepts.

She used the skills she honed as a software engineer as a basis for co-writing the book, which uses a student-friendly approach. Android Programming Concepts provides a foundation for the development of mobile applications for devices and tablets powered by Android, an operating system developed by Google. 

The textbook leads programmers through the app development process with classroom-tested lab examples, each providing the opportunity to apply specific Android concepts. It includes visual guides, explanations and code listings.

Forty-four practical lab examples in the 800-page, nine-chapter book are linked to real-world mobile problems, including constructing games with moving graphics and responding to sensor data. Each chapter concludes with skill-oriented questions designed to test readers’ comprehension of key concepts.

“The textbook is already being used worldwide,” Trish Cornez says. “It has been a big seller for the publisher, Jones & Bartlett Learning, and it’s even being used by the Johns Hopkins School of Engineering.”

One of the most exciting things in computer science at the moment is mobile development, she notes, yet the small devices are restricted in memory and power. “I had written a number of apps, so I wanted to write several of them and use them as examples in the text.” One of the first apps she enjoyed creating was made with her camera and allows the user to photograph something with a cell phone, then convert the image into ASCI art.

Cornez and her husband enjoy collaborating. She says she and her husband-collaborator are glad to be teaching at the University of Redlands because its students get very personal attention. “It’s a very intimate, enjoyable environment,” she notes.

“At Redlands there is a culture of interdisciplinary pursuits,” she adds. “Students are interested in multiple disciplines; music majors are interested in computer science, creative writing students want to study computer science. They take it for granted that they can blend their interests.”

The University’s quality of education is so high, she says, that when they are in graduate school they call to say that their liberal arts education at the University prepared them fully for graduate programs. “They tell us their ability to write really well helps them to communicate effectively,” she explains. “If students go to schools that just focus on math or computer science they don’t get the well-rounded education that Redlands requires.”

The couple enjoys living and working in Redlands, she says. “It’s a small city and the University is very much part of it. You feel like you live in a very intimate community, a throwback to a different era.”