Professor Van Wyk Receives the Bowers Faculty Teaching Award
Professor Eric Van Wyk has been selected as a recipient of the Charles E. Bowers Faculty Teaching Award. This honor recognizes outstanding professors who have demonstrated exceptional interest and commitment to the teaching of students in the College of Science and Engineering.
During an academic career in the department of Computer Science & Engineering spanning the past 16 years, Professor Van Wyk has demonstrated his dedication to excellence in all aspects of teaching, including excellence in classroom instruction, curriculum development, leadership in teaching improvement, mentoring and advising of both students and faculty, and introducing students to research.
Some of his major contributions to the department’s undergraduate curriculum include the design of two innovative new courses. Several years ago, he designed a programming-intensive software development course for 3rd-year undergraduate students. More recently he created (along with Professors Hopper and Nadathur) a new 2nd-year course that uses functional programming techniques to elucidate advanced programming principles.
Beyond curriculum development, Professor Van Wyk has shown his commitment to our students by striving to create a welcoming and intellectually engaging atmosphere in the classroom. His lectures are highly interactive and students engage in several in-class exercises to help them more deeply understand the topic at hand or to raise questions that they may have about it. This interactive style spurred one student to state “I never had a class where I felt I learned this much consistently every week.”
Outside the classroom, Professor Van Wyk is also dedicated to mentoring undergraduate students in research endeavors. These students often attend his regular research group meetings and participate fully in his group’s research efforts. This steady involvement has led students to succeed at places like UCLA, RPI, Yale, Facebook, and Amazon, to name a few.
Please join the Department in extending our congratulations to Professor Van Wyk on receiving the Charles E. Bowers Award and continuously demonstrating his commitment to our student’s education through his engaging and successful classroom teaching and by tackling several challenging tasks in the department.