This is the university picture uses for advertising. I don't really look like this very often. In fact, I almost never look like this.

University Photo from 2006

Just for fun, I left up the photo that was taken of me when I was a brand new shiny professor.  Extra credit for anyone who can’t tell the difference! This one is so old that it’s still black and white, since the University didn’t publish any brochures in color at the time.

University Photo from 1992

Here's a recent picture of me with fellow CS colleague Andy Fagg, his son William, my two dogs (Maggie and Abby, the black dogs), and his two dogs (Ada and Libby, the schnauzers). This picture was taken by Andy's wife Amy McGovern. In all fairness, this is better than I usually look too. But at least it's in the ballpark. If you had to pick me out of a lineup based on this photo, you'd have a shot.

Me, friends, and dogs.

A picture of me as I really look is below. I’m wearing an ugly but comfortable dress, sunburned, unkempt, shoes tossed aside, and holding a ridiculously happy dog (Ada, from the picture above). This picture was also taken by Amy McGovern. I love the way that Ada blends into the dress.  If you had to pick me out of a lineup based on this photo, you’d be able to every time.

Me and Ada


I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 14, 1960. I lived in Ann Arbor until I graduated from high school in 1978. I went to Albion College in Albion, Michigan as an undergraduate. My first major was chemistry. I then changed to physics, and finally to pure mathematics.

In 1982, I went to graduate school in applied mathematics at Michigan State University. I discovered my love for teaching while working as a teaching assistant in mathematics. After finishing my M.S., I thought I might like to be a professor but wanted to try it out for a while before committing to a Ph.D. program in mathematics. I spent two years as the entire mathematics department of William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. After two years, I was sure that this was the right profession, so I returned to school to study a subject which had only recently caught my interest: computer science. That was a good career move.

In 1986, I returned to Michigan State University to get a Ph.D. in computer science. I worked with the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing (PRIP) group for six years, earning both an M.S. and Ph.D. along the way. I was hired by OU about six months before my Ph.D. was finished, and narrowly completed it before the school year began. The story of finishing the thesis and getting to Oklahoma the first time is a good one, if you ever have an hour free and want to hear it.

Here is a picture of me with Mom and Dad at graduation. Graduation took place about three weeks before my thesis was finished, but long after I had accepted work at OU. The only thought going through my head when this picture was taken was that I needed to be back at the lab getting my thesis done. Notice the surprised look on the faces of Mom and Dad. They were absolutely sure that I would grow up to be a professional student and were quite astonished when I graduated and sought employment.

Mom, Dad, and me at graduation (1992).

I've been at OU since Fall of 1992. I was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1998.

In June of 2001, I founded a company, called Beyond Paper, Inc. This company was involved in commercializing my research on electronic textbooks. I was the Chief Technology Officer, and Co-CEO. The company went out of business in September of 2002.

From August 2006 to August 2007 I was the Interim Director of the School of Computer Science.  From August 2007 to August 2008 I was the Acting Associate Director of the School of Computer Science. 

I live on Summit Lake, east of town. I had my house designed and built in 1999-2000.  Did you know that when you build a house you even have to pick the color of the tile grout?  It’s an arduous process. The most unique feature of my house is the sewing room, discretely tucked away behind the garage and utility room, out of sight.  I spend almost all of my free time in this room, which houses my most comfortable chair, a lighted magnifier (Dazor lamp), working space, a sofa and beds for the dogs, and four shelves of projects, supplies, tools, and toys.


My parents are Marilyn and Richard Trytten. Mom lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dad died on March 29, 2008 of complications of lung cancer. And yes, if you were wondering, he was a smoker. He quit smoking in 1967. Here’s his obituary from the Ann Arbor News.  I was primary author, although my sister and my father’s oldest and dearest friend made important contributions.

This is a 1992 picture of Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad (1992)

This is the 1997 picture of Mom and Dad.

Mom and Dad (1997)

This picture was taken in Norway during the summer of 1998.

Mom and Dad in Norway (1998)

This picture was taken at my first house in Norman.

Mom and Dad on Ripple Avenue

This picture has my father holding his beloved Yorkshire terrier, Megan. She weighs about four pounds.

Dad holding Meg

I have one sibling, a sister named Melissa Trytten Zakhary. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan. She was a CPA. She's a year younger than I am. She visits only occasionally. She looks a lot like me, only much taller. This picture is of our family at Christmas at Mom and Dad's house in Michigan.

The Trytten Family at Christmas

This is my sister Melissa with Cali, my late, great Shetland Sheepdog, taken at my first house in Norman.

Missy and Cali

This is my sister and her husband, Jimmy Zakhary, taken at Mom and Dad's house at Christmas.

Missy and Jimmy

My sister has a cat and a dog. The cat's name is Sophia. Her picture is below. I'm still waiting for a picture of the dog, a Doberman named Zena (nick name Z squared, or Piglet).



I have two dogs.

My older dog's name is Maggie. I changed her name from Bambi, which she was given by the rescue group, because I thought that everyone would think that Alex (a brindle greyhound) was Bambi. She's a whippet-lab mix. We call her a "Whipador Retriever". She weighs about 45 pounds. She is black, with white spots on her chest. She looks like a very small, delicate, lab. I adopted her from Pets and People in Yukon after I saw her picture on their home page. She was born about 7/99.

Here is Maggie's portrait. Notice she has white spots, and her original purple collar.


Here is Maggie playing.

Maggie playing.

Maggie also likes to sleep on a dog bed or a couch.

Maggie sleeping on dog bed.

The photo below was taken by CS colleague Amy McGovern.

Maggie asleep on the couch.

Here is a photo of Maggie and Alex, my first greyhound, together.

Alex and Maggie standing together.

The new kid in the family is Abigail, a black racing greyhound with a white stripe under her chin to belly. I adopted Abby in February of 2006 from Greyhound Pets of America in Tulsa. She retired before starting to race after breaking a leg in training. She was born in March of 2003. Her track name was True Trouble, which is the most ridiculous name you can imagine for this low maintenance, easy going dog.

Here are her photos from the web site where I found her. Who could resist that face?

Abby's first adoption picture.

Abby's second adoption picture.

This picture was given to me by Abby's foster mother Carol. It was taken the day she retired from racing.

Abby's retirement picture.

I also have some pictures of Abby and Maggie that were taken by CS faculty colleague Amy McGovern about a week after Abby was adopted.

Abby sitting on the couch.

Abby sitting up.

Here are some photos of Abby and Maggie together.

Abby and Maggie sitting on the couch.

Abby and Maggie sleeping on the couch.

Here are some photos of my first three dogs, now deceased.

Alex was a retired racing greyhound that I adopted in 1996. She was a sweet, beautiful, quiet, and loving dog, as is typical with retired racers. Her nickname was Z, because she spent so much time sleeping. I adopted her from REGAP (Retired Greyhounds as Pets) in Oklahoma City in the summer of 1996. She retired from racing at the age of 4. She lived to be 13.5, which is considered to be incredibly old for a retired racer.

In this photo, Alex is doing what she did best. Check out the tongue!

Alex asleep.

Cali was a tri-colored Shetland sheepdog I adopted in 1985. He was the first dog that was all mine. Cali was referred to by my family as "the most beautiful of all living things". He was absolutely spectacular. His fur was perfect. He played frisbee like a pro. He was also a real sweetheart. He spent nearly fifteen years following me around, as we moved through three states. This is a relatively recent photo of Cali.


Sammy was a blue merle Australian Cattledog/Australian Shepherd mix that I adopted in 1990. He was ten years old when I adopted him, and he lived to sixteen. He weighed about eighteen pounds, although he looks much bigger in this picture. He was the biggest rascal of all of my dogs. A unique feature of Sammy was that he had one blue eye and one brown, as can be seen in the photo below.


Needlework and Sewing

Outside of work, I enjoy sewing and needlework. I enjoy making children's clothing. Many of the young children of CS faculty and staff have handmade Trytten original quilts, although most of them were received much later than they should have been.

I also knit, crochet, cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroider. If I could have figured out how to make a living at it, I probably would have owned a needlework shop of some sort in my youth. It's probably a good thing I never figured that out.

My latest toy is a commercial quilting machine in a 10 foot table.  It’s a Pfaff machine and works extremely well.  If only I had more time to play with it.

Someday I’ll post pictures here of some recent projects, so you can visualize what I do.


My interest in fitness started in 2003 when faculty friend Linda DeBrunner invited me to take yoga classes with her. After a couple of weeks in yoga classes, I noticed that my carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms were disappearing for 2-3 days after each class. I correctly reasoned that if I took three yoga classes a week that my hands wouldn't hurt at all. Within three months my hands were pain free for the first time in 15 years. If you've ever had carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, I strongly recommend trying yoga before undergoing surgery. The philosophical side of yoga took me a while to get used to, but I now see the benefit of acceptance of the world as it is and understanding my unique place in it.

After a few months in yoga, my yoga instructor recommended that I try Pilates to strengthen my core muscles. I quickly become addicted and now take classes at the Pilates Plus studio here in Norman on Flood Street. Within three months of starting Pilates, my waist was 8 inches smaller, and my posture was greatly improved. I now take mat classes, and reformer classes. I can do things I could even think about three years ago, although I still have a long way to go (my teaser, for example, still stinks). I’m also two full inches taller than I used to be.

A few months after I started Pilates, my yoga instructor recommended that I get a gym membership to improve my cardiovascular fitness. I got a membership at Downtown Fitness of Norman on Main Street and quickly became an elliptical trainer junkie. I've lost about 40 pounds since I joined the gym and hope to lose more. I'm now three dress sizes smaller than I was before I started yoga. I should add that this was all done with only the most minor changes in diet: focusing on eating more vegetables, limiting french fry input, and not skipping breakfast. I'll probably need to make more radical changes if I want to continue to lose weight.

My current fitness routine is to take yoga three times a week, Pilates twice a week, and walk the dogs 3-5 miles every morning. I now own a bike, an elliptical, and even roller blades!