Computer Science Faculty and Staff

Dave Opitz

Dave Opitz

Research Professor

Office: 406 Social Science
Office Hours:

By appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Research Professor


Fall 2016: CSCI 491-01 (ST) Big Data Science


  • 1995 University of Wisconsin, PhD. Computer Science
  • 1988 Montana Tech. BS. Mathematics & Computer Science (double major)

Research Interests

Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, Interdisciplinary Research


  • Participated in roughly 30 grants and contracts for approximately $12 million.
  • PI/Lead Scientist on 9 Phase I SBIRs, and 6 Phase IIs SBIRs
  • NSF CAREER grant recipient

Selected Publications

(of 65 scientific refereed; and over 100 publications)

  • Opitz D., and Blundell, S. (2008) “An Automated Feature Extraction Approach for LIDAR and Color Imagery.” American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing International Conference.
  • Brewer, K. Winne, C., Redmond, R, Opitz, D. and Mangrich, M. (2005) “Classifying and Mapping Wildfire Severity: A Comparison of Methods.”  Journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.  Vol 71.  #6 (pp 1311-1320).
  • Opitz, D, Morris, M, and Blundell, S. (2004). “A Change Detection System for Natural Resource Applications.” 10th Biennial Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications
  • Basak S, Grunwald G, Gute B, Balasubramanian K, Opitz D. (2002) “Use of statistical and neural net approaches in predicting toxicity of chemicals.” Journal of Chemical Info and Computer Sciences.
  • Opitz, D., et al. (2001) “Classifying and Mapping Wildfire Severity,” Imaging Notes.  Vol 81, (pp. 24-25).
  • Opitz D, Maclin R, (1999). “Popular Ensemble Methods” Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 11 (1), 169-198.
  • Opitz D, Shavlik J, (1999). “Actively Searching for an Effective Neural-Network Ensemble.” Springer-Verlag Series on Perspective in Neural Computing, 79-97.
  • Opitz D, Shavlik J, (1997). “Connectionist Theory Refinement: Genetically Searching the Space of Network Topologies" Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 6, 177-209.
  • Opitz D, Shavlik J, (1996). “Searching for Effective Neural-Net Ensembles” Connection Science 8, 337-353.
  • Opitz D, Shavlik J, (1995). “Dynamically Adding Symbolically Meaningful Nodes to Knowledge-Based Neural Networks.” Journal of Knowledge-Based Systems 8, 301-311.


  • NSF CAREER award for Faculty Early Career
  • Distinguished Alumni Award for outstanding achievement (Montana Tech)
  • Textron Systems Chairman’s Award for Innovation.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Computer Science Outstanding Student Award; Fellowship
  • (VLS) State of Montana SBIR Company of the Year presented at the Max Baucus Economic Summit
  • (VLS) Tibbetts Award exemplifying the very best in SBIR achievement (2006)
  • (VLS) Army SBIR and STTR Quality Award (2006) 
  • (VLS) Feature Analyst, voted ESRI’s Most Innovative Solution of over 1400 business partners (lead designer of software)
  • Profiled on CNBC on “Power Lunch.”  Show was prime time and broadcast globally.

Teaching Experience

  • Machine Learning (I and II)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data Science
  • Computer Architecture (I and II)
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Theory
  • Data Structures
  • Computers and Business capstone course
  • Several different programming courses and languages
  • Several math courses

Professional Experience

  • Serial Entrepreneur
  • Sarinjo Technologies, LLC (Founder and Owner)
  • Dearborn Property Management (Founder and Owner)
  • Frontier Angel Funds I & II (Member)
  • Canyon River Golf Course and Development (Minority coowner)
  • Writer: Fiction series, Technical Writing, Editing.
  • Service: Volunteer, Help High-Tech Startups; Non-profit and For-profit Boards; Coach.
  • Visual Learning Systems. Co-founder & President. Software company focused on using machine learning for automatic digital image interpretation. Became world leader in industry after only 4 years. Sold to Textron in 2006.


Entrepreneurship, Golf, Bike, Coach, Volunteer, Travel, Music, Read & Write Fiction