2013 Distinguished Educator Award

The CS @ ILLINOIS Distinguished Educator Award honors computer science alumni or faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to computer science education and research, and recognizes those who excel at motivating computer science students.


Diane Cook
MS CS ’87, PhD ’90
Hui-Rogers Chair Professor, Washington State University

Diana CookDiane J. Cook received her master’s and PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois in 1987 and 1990, respectively. While working on her PhD, she served as a consultant for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, where she was also an assistant for designing and teaching a course titled “Scientific Visualization.”

Cook began her professional career as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida, Tampa. During the summer months of her time at USF, she was a research faculty fellow at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. In 1992, she took a position as assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. She remained at Texas until 2006, eventually moving up to the position of University Distinguished Scholar Professor.

In 2006, Cook was named the Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, Pullman. In addition to this position, She serves as a data mining consultant for organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, C. Grant and Company, and Bosch.

Cook’s current research applies machine learning and pervasive computing research to the design of smart environments. By collecting data from sensor-filled homes and other environments, machine learning techniques can be used to discover and recognize patterns of human behavior. Strategies can then be learned to assess the well-being of the residents, to extend functional independence for older adults and those with disabilities, and to promote healthy, sustainable behaviors.

Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Air Force, and the Naval Research Laboratories. Cook is a Fellow of IEEE and the Future Technology Research Association, and she is a recipient of both an NSF Research Initiation Award and an NSF CAREER Award.

Last updated: 2013.


Miloš Ercegovac
MS CS ‘72, PhD ‘75
Distinguished Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Milos ErcegovacMiloš D. Ercegovac is a distinguished professor in the Computer Science Department of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California at Los Angeles, where he has been on the faculty since 1975. Ercegovac served as chair of the department from September of 2000 to May of 2005. He was vice chair of graduate programs intermittently from 1982 through 1998; he is currently vice chair of industrial relations.

Ercegovac earned his master’s in 1972 and his PhD in 1975 in computer science from the University of Illinois. He received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1965. Ercegovac has specialized for over 40 years in research and teaching in digital arithmetic, digital and computer system design, and parallel architectures. He has been extensively published in the leading journals and conferences.

His dedication to teaching and research has also resulted in several co-authored books: two in the area of digital design (Digital Systems and Hardware/Firmware Algorithms, 1985, and Introduction to Digital Design, 1999), and two in digital arithmetic (Division and Square Root: Digit-Recurrence Algorithms and Implementations, 1994, and Digital Arithmetic, 2004).

Ercegovac received the Lockheed-Martin Excellence in Teaching award in 2009. He has been involved in organizing the IEEE Symposia on Computer Arithmetic since 1978. He served as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computers (1988 -1992) and as a subject area editor for the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing (1986 -1993).

In addition to his teaching and research accomplishments, Ercegovac has worked as a consultant to a variety of nationally and internationally known organizations, including the Hughes Research Laboratories, the Hughes Aircraft Company, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the GMD Institute.

Ercegovac’s work has been recognized by his selection in 2003 as an IEEE Fellow and his election as a Foreign Member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade, Serbia. He is also a member of the ACM and of the IEEE Computer Society.

Last updated: 2013.


Shan Lu
PhD ’08
Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Shan LuAs a student at Illinois, Shan Lu received the W. J. Poppelbaum Memorial Award in 2007 as a top graduate student in computer hardware or architecture. In 2006, her paper “AVIO: Detecting Atomicity Violations via Access-Interleaving Invariants” was published in Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems. It was one of 11 papers selected from all papers presented at computer architecture conferences in 2006.

Lu is now a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She teaches courses in distributed systems, introduction to operating systems, and advanced operating systems, and she has consistently received outstanding evaluations from her students.

Lu’s research continues to be nationally recognized. Her paper “A Study of Linux File System Evolution,” published in FAST ’13, received a Best Paper Award. Another paper, “Automated Atomicity-Violation Fixing,” presented at the Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, received an ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) research highlight nomination. In addition, she received an NSF CAREER Award in 2010.

Lu is committed to encouraging other women in the field of computer programming. She has been a committee member of panels, workshops, and presentations for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. She has been a volunteer, working with girls in grades 6-8, for Expanding Your Horizons—Young Women Exploring Math and Science Careers. And she has presented at the Computing Research Association for Women (CRA-W) workshops and mentored female undergraduate students in the CRA-W Distributed Mentor Project.

Last updated: 2013.