Nine CS Faculty and Staff Receive Engineering, Campus Awards for Excellence
This spring, nine CS faculty and staff were recognized by the College of Engineering or the Office of the Provost for their outstanding contributions to research, teaching, or advising.
Associate Professor Craig Zilles received the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This recognition is the principal campus award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, honoring sustained teaching excellence as well as innovations and contributions to improve undergraduate instruction.
For more than fifteen years, Zilles has been the instructor for “Computer Architecture,” engaging students with interactive tutorials, group problem-solving discussions, a library of reference videos, and game-like competitions. He has garnered recognition for his outstanding teaching from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer’s (IEEE) Education Society, College of Engineering, and Illinois Student Senate, and he has 20 appearances on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students.
Zilles has also been instrumental in the development of the Computer-Based Testing Facility (CBTF), which now supports more than 20 courses (serving 7,000+ students) in the College of Engineering. The CBTF is improving how exams are administered in large courses, and it has been especially compelling for CS courses, where students can now compile, test, and debug their code prior to submitting it for a grade. The facility is also of great benefit to students who need special accommodations when test-taking, covering roughly 98% of DRES accommodations.
Professor Lui R. Sha, the Donald B. Gillies Chair in Computer Science, was honored with the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award, which recognizes College of Engineering faculty who have received national or international acclaim for their dedication to academic excellence through teaching and research, and who have made exemplary contributions to the understanding of their fields.
Sha introduced a comprehensive systems engineering approach to the design and construction of complex real-time systems, revolutionizing the field. This seminal approach, called Generalized Rate Monotonic Scheduling (GRMS) theory, developed with John Lehoczky and Raj Rajkumar, provides predictability, efficiency, and flexibility for scheduling complex concurrent real-time tasks.
Today, nearly every commercially available real-time operating system, real-time middleware, and real-time development tool supports the use of GRMS theory. GRMS is the only modern real-time computing method approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for safety-critical avionics. A Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE, Sha was awarded the IEEE’s highest honor for system science and engineering, the Simon Ramo Medal, in 2016.
The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research recognizes faculty in the College of Engineering based on their recent outstanding research accomplishments. Assistant Professor Aditya Parameswaran was among the six assistant professors from across the College who received the award.
Parameswaran is focused on democratizing data analysis by building systems that help humans extract insights from large datasets, regardless of their programming skills. His systems have been used recently by domain scientists for research into advertising, astrophysics, battery science, and genomics.
In the past year, his innovative work has also attracted significant research funding, as well as a number of awards, including: the IEEE Technical Committee on Data Engineering Early Career Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the C. W. Gear Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the Department of Computer Science, an AISTATS 2017 Best-of-Conference Paper citation, and an Honorable Mention for the Best Demo Award from ACM SIGMOD.
Seven CS faculty and staff have also been recognized for being among the top 10 percent of engineering advisors as selected by engineering students. The Department’s Engineering Council Outstanding Advisors include Teaching Assistant Professors Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider and Mariana Silva; Assistant Professor Andreas Kloeckner; Associate Professor Craig Zilles; Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs Stephen Herzog; plus Undergraduate Academic Advisors Katrina James and Heather Zike.