Throughout his career, William A. Hansen, Ph.D., has rarely been able to do only one thing at a time. While a math graduate student at Northwestern, he also worked full time as a computer operator, making him the only algebraic topologist capable of running a System/360. His 1974 Ph.D. thesis, "A Computer Calculation of the Homology of the Lambda Algebra," applied Fortran to an algebra problem. This mixed background led to a college appointment teaching both mathematics and computer science.
Dr. Hansen was an early advocate of multimedia training, spending his free time developing MVS operator courses that used text, video, audio, and scripted lab sessions. The freedom to devote weeks of time to perfect an hour of self-study training led to a permanent position with Deltak, Inc., one of the first companies to produce media-based courses for computer professionals. At Deltak, Bill established the job of quality assurance manager while also serving as the product manager for all operating system courses. His interest in applying educational technologies to computer training led to dozens of magazine articles and the creation (with Auerbach Publishers) of DP Training, the first subscription publication devoted to the art of training computer professionals.
Bill founded Hansen Training Systems, Inc. in 1980. HTS specializes in media-based training for IBM midrange and mainframe systems. HTS has been a leader in the use of personal computers to simulate larger systems since its first CBT course in 1985. Bill's courses have included simulators of MVS, JES2, VM, VSE, the ES/900 hardware console, and OS/400 (now IBM i). With his business partner, John Todd, Bill designed EasyTutor, a PC-based authoring system that includes native facilities for the simulation of both green-screen and GUI applications. Seeing the benefits of EasyTutor for AS/400 training, Bill and John founded Manta in 1994. Manta's 120 courses push Bill's lifetime total to over 300 courses that he has written, designed, edited, and/or updated.
Bill is the current Education Manager for COMMON, the Power Systems users' group. He and his wife, Sandy, have four children and four grandchildren, who enjoy watching him feed the sharks, eels, and rays in his position as a volunteer diver at the Denver Aquarium.