2013 Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Sam Kamin retired in June 2013, after 33 years with the University of Illinois. Kamin obtained his PhD from the State University of New York Stony Brook in 1979 and came to Illinois in 1980.
In 1999, Kamin became director of undergraduate programs. He served as director until 2007 and led a reevaluation of the computer science curriculum. During that time, CS 242: Programming Studio was designed and launched. This course enabled students to give and receive critiques on programs they and their classmates have written.
Kamin became interested in educational technology. His project called Students Learn in Collaborative Environments (SLICE) is a framework for programming tablets for classroom use. In one application of the framework, several tablets are distributed to students, and the classwork that those students do can be seen and discussed by the rest of the class, an approach that can benefit both the instructor and the rest of the students.
Kamin’s main area of research was programming languages. In recent years, he worked in the area of run-time program specialization, studying optimization, and type-checking issues, as well as applications (most recently, matrix-vector multiplication). He has also published in the areas of formal methods, high-performance computing, and educational technology.
Kamin is the author of Programming Languages: An Interpreter-Based Approach, a textbook on programming languages, and is co-author of introductory books on Mathematica, C ++, and Java.
Following his retirement, Kamin moved to New York City to be closer to family. He plans to remain actively involved in the computer science world, continuing to learn and putting his knowledge to work in areas such as educational technology, programming languages and compilers.