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of Engineering honor 14 faculty members for teaching and research
Payne, News Bureau
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Fourteen faculty members of the University of
Illinois College of Engineering will be honored Friday (April 20) at
the 37th annual Engineering Awards Convocation for their excellence
in research and teaching.
The winner of the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award,
which recognizes faculty members who have received national or international
acclaim for dedication to academic excellence through teaching and research
and have made exemplary contributions to the understanding of their
W. Hwu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is a leader
in the fields of computer architecture and compiler technology. His
pioneering work laid the foundations for a revolution in high-performance
microprocessors in the computer industry. In the face of commercial
failures and pessimistic projections in the late 1980s and early 1990s
concerning the application of instruction-level parallelism to future
microprocessors, Hwu took leadership by constructing IMPACT. This new
compiler can generate efficient code with far more parallelism than
most researchers and engineers envisioned. His work has become the technology
base of new compilers in major companies, and his research group has
become a premier source of advance compiler technology for the U.S.
The winner of the Stanley H. Pierce Award for developing student-faculty
Kamin, a professor of computer science, created a newsgroup, uiuc.cs.undergrad,
which serves as a clearinghouse for questions and discussions ranging
from courses, to instructors, to jobs, to issues in education. The newsgroup
provided a new way for students and faculty members to interact more
often and in a meaningful way. He also headed the departments
Teaching Improvement Committee and was successful at motivating faculty
members to attend improvement workshops. As director of undergraduate
programs, he streamlined the advising and registration process and encouraged
faculty members to be more active in recognizing student achievement
with award nominations.
The winner of the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award,
chosen by departmental nomination:
Coverstone, professor of aeronautical and astronautical engineering,
teaches key undergraduate courses. She sees the students as they are
beginning their studies and she also teaches senior design, which brings
to fruition all that the students have learned. To aid the students
in learning design methodology in the senior design course, she introduces
them to a process, Quality Functional Deployment (QFD), which is representative
of quality assurance processes used in industry. She has modified this
process to create an exercise that is useful to the students and that
can be performed in the appropriate amount of time. Exposure to her
cutting-edge space research, coupled with the unique QFD exercises,
has helped the departments students win the national AIAA space
design competition each of the four times they have entered since 1995.
The winners of the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, chosen by
a professor of civil and environmental engineering, can be found in
his office as late as midnight some nights as he talks students through
homework assignments or exam preparations. His personal commitment to
students is reflected in the inviting, interactive learning environment
he creates and in his support of student activities outside the classroom.
Unwilling to settle for "I dont know" from students,
Chen provides the guidance that motivates them to explore and understand
concepts they initially think are impossible to grasp. He weaves real-world
examples into lectures and homework to show students how important and
relevant their education is to their careers. His interest in student
development extends beyond lectures, homework, and exams, however, to
include discussions about personal growth, books, career planning, and
any other topics students want to discuss.
a professor of computer science, is an enthusiastic and creative teacher
of some of the most difficult subjects in computer science. While maintaining
high standards, he makes a special effort to inject fun into his lectures
and design homework and exam problems that are interesting, relevant
and intriguing. By creating a challenging, dynamic environment, he encourages
students to be curious. In return, he is adept at guiding discussion
and framing explanations in a way that stimulates students to learn.
His lectures, demonstrations and exams continually evolve as he makes
adjustments that help students understand fundamental concepts.
The winners of the Xerox Awards for Faculty Research (associate professors):
Lewis, professor of materials science and engineering and of chemical
engineering, is one of the premier researchers in her field of ceramics.
She is internationally recognized for her understanding of directed
assembly of complex colloidal fluids. These systems are important precursors
for applications ranging from advanced ceramics to photonic band gap
materials to scaffolds for biological implants
interests of Eric Michielssen, professor of electrical and computer
engineering, include all aspects of theoretical and applied computation
electromagnetics, and he has made key and pioneering contributions to
the field. His research to develop revolutionary algorithms for analyzing
a wide range of electromagnetic scattering, radiation, and propagation
phenomena has impacted the state of the art in electromagnetic simulation
technology. His substantial contributions to fast algorithm development
enable the simulation of phenomena once thought impossible and provide
answers to some fundamental questions that have faced the applied mathematics
community for many years.
and astronautical engineering professor Scott White is at the forefront
of advanced materials research in the United States. His research is
directed toward the creation of new materials systems that exhibit autonomy,
which is the ability to achieve adaptation and response in an independent
and automatic fashion. Two main areas of research are materials with
self-generating function and materials with
self-regulating function. Inherently multidisciplinary, the research
involves aspects of chemistry, physics, materials science, fluid and
solid mechanics, and multiscale modeling. The research has been so successful
that it has formed the nucleus of a multidepartmental research program
at the UI.
The winners of the Xerox Awards for Faculty Research (assistant professors):
professor of physics, is an outstanding young experimentalist in medium-energy
nuclear/particle physics. She has made significant contributions to
quantum chromodynamics, especially as it applies to the spin structure
of nucleons, which is a topic of intense interest in hadronic physics,
a field at the interface of nuclear and
high-energy science. Makins has become one of the leading physicists
in the HERMES collaboration, a multinational experiment located in Germany
and involving some 200 physicists.
professor of computer science, already has established an international
reputation and is among the most influential young researchers in learning,
natural language and artificial intelligence. His research has contributed
to a change in paradigm and to the wide use of machine learning techniques
in research on intelligent human-machine interaction. His work has laid
the foundations for integrating learning into large-scale intelligent
of Andrew Singer, professor of electrical and computer engineering,
is distinguished by its breadth and depth, addressing fundamental theoretical
issues and practical applications. He focuses on algorithms and systems
for high-performance signal processing and communications applications.
The winner of the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence, which recognizes
teachers who excel at motivating undergraduates to learn and appreciate
professor Scott Willenbrocks success as a teacher serves as a
reminder that teaching is fundamentally a social relationship between
instructors and students. The respect he holds for students is reflected
in his efforts to learn and remember students names, even when
he is dealing with more than 400 students. Willenbrock meticulously
prepares lecture notes and passes them out at the beginning of class
so students can focus on the discussion. To help keep students alert
during 75-minute lectures, he invented "Half-Time," a period
of class stretching followed by a short performance by a student volunteer.
The break refreshes students, showcases their diverse interests and
talents, and stimulates creativity. Half-Time is now part of the curriculum
for Physics 111 and 112.
The winner of the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching:
Selen, a professor of physics, is an extraordinary teacher who creatively
uses the power and interactivity of the Web to make instruction more
responsive to students needs. Introduced to the "Just-in-Time-Teaching"
(JiTT) strategy for classes of 40 students, he adapted the concept for
his classes of 350 students in beginning science courses. He crafted
preflights, or Web-based questions, drawn from reading assignments and
asked students to answer them before the morning of each class. The
questions focused on conceptual understanding and difficult material
and were designed to reveal misconceptions of basic physical principles.
He then used the responses to fine-tune each lecture. In an online survey
at the end of the course, 8 percent of respondents said the preflights
were "essential" and 77 percent said they were "very
useful" or "useful" to their learning. Institutionalized
and used by other instructors of Physics 101 and 102 now, JiTT is likely
to be expanded to other introductory courses.
The winner of the BP Amoco Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction:
Gladding, a professor of physics, is concerned that some students become
adept at doing calculations while failing to understand basic physical
principles. Focusing on introductory physics courses, he created new
instructional materials that assist students in developing basic problem-solving
strategies based on conceptual analysis. Called "interactive examples,"
these materials take advantage of feedback capabilities of the Web to
teach students analytical reasoning skills as well as physics, increase
their physical intuition and understanding, and reveal the connections
between concepts and calculations. The system is fast, flexible, and
user friendly. Suites of interactive examples are used now for Physics
101, 102, and 112 and will be developed for Physics 111. More than 3,800
students have benefited from this pioneering physics educational tool,
and student response has been overwhelmingly positive. Gladdings
strategy of interactive examples is being adopted at the University
of Washington and has potential to improve the conceptual understanding
and problem-solving skills of engineering students across the country.