Jeff Cohen


Adjunct Assistant Professor, Masters Program in Computer Science

  • Founder, Purple Workshops, LLC    



He has been a professional developer since 1992 and is currently an independent software consultant and teacher.

He was the the founding instructor of The Starter League in Chicago, and taught there from 2011-2014.  Previously he was the lead developer for in-store technology at Crate & Barrel from 2003-2006. 

Jeff also writes occasional articles for PragPub magazine and speaks at technical conferences throughout the year.

"I'm passionate about helping beginners learn something new.  I prefer hands-on labs and student-centric activities over straight lecture, ending up with a mixture of both in my classes." 

“The important thing is for students to learn the patterns of computational thinking, so that they can continue to learn on their own.  See my well-regarded Medium post here:

"The MPCS program has been fantastic at staying current, which is something that I think really sets it apart."

Jeff believes it is important to get a Masters Degree to learn how to think like a computer scientist that can solve real-world problems. He believes that, in this day and age, facts aren't too important, and they can easily be looked up; but critical thinking, troubleshooting, knowing how to explore and discover new things - these are the skills that set software engineers apart, and the MPCS program is the best way to attain these skills.  


  • "Rails for .NET Developers,” by Pragmatic Press © 2008

What do you most enjoy about teaching?
"My favorite aspect of teaching is when the ideas and dreams that had existed inside each student's brain get outwardly expressed into real software. Their wonderful ideas begin to appear out of seemingly thin air, now able to be seen by everyone, and ready to wield their power in the real world."

What expectations will you have of your students?
"I expect every student to arrive on day one with a problem they want to solve so badly they feel like they will explode if they must live one more day without the solution. Each student should be prepared for their mind to be expanded and challenged, and be ready to embrace an educational experience that's different from any other they've had before."