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Indiana University Bloomington

Professor and John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems


I was born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Canada, home of "Anne of Green Gables". I became a U.S. citizen in 2003.

I am of Scottish heritage. I am the 14th great grandson of King James IV and Janet Kennedy, the daughter of the 2nd Lord Kennedy. I descend from their son, James Stewart, the Earl of Moray, through the Stewarts of Moray and the Stewart Barons of Ardgown and Blackhall. I am the 20th Baron of Cowie. Robert Stewart, my 5th great grandfather, moved our family to the New World in 1770, when he received a royal land grant from King George III of Lot 18 (about 93 square km) in the newly formed colony that became Prince Edward Island.

I was a techie in a previous life. I wrote my first program in 1972 at the age of 11 (in IITRAN on punched cards). My first summer job (1977) was as programmer for the government of PEI, which turned into a permanent summer position with Sperry Univac (now called Unisys). I have worked or done consulting as a system developer/systems analyst since 1978, either while going through school or while holding faculty appointments. I have consulted as a JAD facilitator and groupware facilitator. I am the co-founder of five software start-ups which resulted in the development of commercial software packages, and am now working on a start-up focused on educational video games (Wisdom Springboard).

I have a Bachelor of Computer Science from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (where I learned object-oriented programming in Simula before the name OOP was invented), and an MBA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (where, with Rick Burns, I wrote a linear programming package that ran on an IBM XT). I spent three years on faculty at the Queen's Business School teaching statistics and MIS. Brent Gallupe arrived at Queen's in 1986, and got me interested in collaboration technologies (Group Support Systems). I did my PhD at the University of Arizona. I joined the Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia in 1991, and was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and full professor in 1999. In 2000, I moved to Indiana University to accept the John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems.

I have a wonderful son, Alexander (Alec) Stuart Dennis, the Younger of Cowie, born in 1993. He's been using the computer since 1995 and wrote his first letter (by hand without help) in 1996 (Ok, so it was only one word, but it wasn't bad for a 3-year old). He’s since gone on to bigger and better things. He graduated from Indiana University in 2015 (major in Behavioral Economics) and worked as a consultant for Bain & Company in Chicago for two years. He is now a Ph.D. student in Management at the University of Maryland. He married Vianna Newman Dennis in 2019. Vianna is also an IU graduate and is a Ph.D. student in Art History at the University of Maryland.

I am engaged to L. DeVon Rightley-Tucker of Floyd's Knobs, Indiana. DeVon is the Director of Proposal Development for Telecare Health. She enjoys pencil drawing. We both enjoy driving classic and modern performance cars, and traveling, especially in the UK and Europe. I enjoy snorkeling, boogie boarding, skiing, hiking, and driving classic and modern performance automobiles. I’ve been fortunate to travel to many different places, but have not yet met my goal of visiting all seven continents.

Photo of Excalibur
Alan's Excalibur Series IV Phaeton