Mike received his Ph.D. in 1979 from UCLA with a dissertation focused on the boundary of computer hardware and software. Previously Mike had worked at Bell Labs and Hughes Aircraft. Mike joined HMC in 1981 as the first faculty member hired to form a computer science program. During the next 10 years computer science developed a curriculum modeled on the current ACM/IEEE standards, and passed through a number of administrative models - a college-wide group of interested faculty, a computer science group outside of any department, a computer science department with no major, and finally in 1992 a computer science department and major with status equivalent to all HMC departments. During this period Mike developed a research interest in networking, in particular network management.
In 2001 Mike became chair of the computer science department with goals of increasing outside recognition of the HMC program, improving introductory computer science at HMC, increasing outside research support, and being recognized as one of the top undergraduate programs. During this period Mike moved his research interests to K-12 computer science.