Ken Abernethy Profile picture

Ken Abernethy

Emeritus Professor of CS; Visiting Professor of CS (2019-present); Director Rushing Center for Teaching and Technology

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Dr. Ken Abernethy received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Duke University. He has over 40 years of teaching and consulting experience. He is the Herman N. Hipp Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and was formerly the Chair of the Computer Science Department at Furman University. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Furman University and Director of Furman’s Rushing Center for Teaching and Technology and the associated Institute for the Management of Information Technology, which designs and administers corporate professional development education in project management, systems analysis, management of information technology enterprises, and leadership.


  • UNC-Charlotte, B.S., Mathematics
  • Duke University, A.M., Mathematics
  • Duke University, Ph.D., Mathematics

Research Interests
In addition to his academic research, Dr. Abernethy has conducted research and consulted extensively at several NASA Centers as well as the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina. He is the author of a NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance handbook on software specification and has authored and delivered many professional development courses in the areas of software development processes, project management, quality assurance, and IT organizational design. His current professional interests are focused in the areas of IT talent development, project management, the management of IT enterprises, and the role of leadership in such organizations.

Representative Publications
Dr. Abernethy is author/co-author of more than twelve books, and has published over 60 articles in computer science, teaching pedagogy, and the management of information technology (IT). In addition, he has sponsored numerous undergraduate student research projects resulting in more than 15 student conference presentations/publications.

Honors and Awards

  • Alester G. Furman Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Meritorious Advising Award
  • USAID University Partnership in International Development Grant
  • Five National Science Foundation Grants
  • Five NASA Summer Faculty Fellowships (Marshall Space Flight Center and The Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Project Director, Kresge Foundation/Furman Science Initiative Challenge Grant
  • National Science Foundation Traineeship, Duke University
  • Project Director for Grants from the Associated Colleges of the South, the Mellon Foundation, the Keck Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Dana Foundation, and others

Additional Professional Activity
Planned, directed, and facilitated the delivery of 25 offerings of a week-long residential Summer Institute for the Management of IT to more than 500 managers and IT professionals within the IT Division of BlueCross BlueShield of SC over the past 15 years; Member of Multiple Evaluation Teams for SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) Visits to Peer Institutions; Interim Director for Assessment at Furman for Five Years