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Marlin Jay Eller

Part-Time Lecturer - Seattle


Office Location

Northeastern University - Seattle
Ste. 103, 401 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
Attn: Marlin Jay Eller
401 Terry Ave N, Ste. 103
Seattle, WA 98109

Research Interests

  • Developing better user interfaces
  • Programming languages


  • MS in Mathematics, University of Washington
  • BA in Physics and Mathematics, Whitman College


Marlin Jay Eller is a part-time lecturer in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus. Before joining Northeastern, Eller worked at Microsoft, where he managed software development projects for 13 years. He teaches discrete math and introduction to C programming. He looks forward to teaching students the ins and outs of programming.

About Marlin

Where did you grow up?

Pasadena, California. Surfing at Huntington Beach and reading Batman. Oh, and Martin Gardner. I read lots of recreational math. My rec math library has at least seven yards of books.

What are your research interests?

I have broad interests, rather than a narrow focus. In my long career, I have been involved in many projects. One thing that has been somewhat constant is an interest in how to make computers more friendly — in other words, better user interfaces. Windows at Microsoft was an excursion into graphical user interface. I also developed Pen Windows for Microsoft with handwriting recognition software. I have developed music notation software in both GUI and handwritten forms. My current interest in teaching CS is much the same: How can people get more out of machines?

What do you find most rewarding about what you teach? 

I specialize in teaching programming to people who believe they have no interest in programming and no ability to do so. I believe what I teach is fun, and I just share the fun.

What are the specifics of your industry experience?

I managed software development projects at Microsoft for 13 years. Designed and wrote graphics device interface for Windows 1.0, worked on networks and handwriting recognition, worked in Japan on Kanji character recognition, did floating point math standards and video compression. I left Microsoft and started a dot-com to sell online sheet music, started a printing and sheet music production company in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Took my dot-com public two weeks before the dot-com bubble burst. Downsized multiple times and sold it. Helped found a computer online casual games company, Reflexive, which we eventually sold to Amazon.

Where did you study? 

Um… in the library? I chose my college for the stupidest of reasons, which is of course exactly what the college recruiters and marketing folks wanted us to do. They showed people flopped in the aisles of the library, feet up, totally immersed in their reading. Boy, that looks like fun! I wanna go there!