Daniel Zappala

Teaching and Research

I teach courses in Internet Programming and Computer Networking. I also direct the Internet Research Lab, where we are exploring personal cloud computing, social networking, and wireless networks. I am looking for good undergraduate and graduate students interested in solving challenging problems in this area. See my teaching page and my research page for more details.

Open Source Software

I direct the BYU Open Source Lab, where we mentor students through the process of creating open source software in the spirit of community service that is at the heart of BYU's mission.

One focus of the Open Source Lab is building apps for open government. Groups like the Sunlight Foundation, Code for America, and numerous others are working to open government data and apply technology to engage citizens. We have our first app in this area, called Citizen Budget, and are working to develop others that encourage civic engagement.

Another focus of the lab is family history software. While current software is great at helping researchers record the conclusions of their research, a lot of work is needed to provide collaborative tools and software that helps people find who they should work on to keep track of their research progress. Our first app in this area is called leaf; it downloads your FamilySearch data and show you were additional work needs to be done.

Community Service

I serve on the city council of Cedar Hills, where my responsibilities include finances and open government. I also sit on the board for Utah Valley Dispatch and the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter.

Reforming Software Patents

Software patents are threatening innovation, particularly for small businesses and entrepreneurs. See this EFF page for a good overview of the issues. Listen to When Patents Attack! Part One and Part Two by This American Life and Planet Money.

Get Involved

Contact me at daniel.zappala@gmail.com for research or coding opportunities.