Two Volgenau professors win Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award

The Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (CTFE) are proud to announce the 2017 University Teaching Excellence Award winners, Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winners, David J. King Teaching Award winner, and Teachers of Distinction. 

This year, Volgenau School of Engineering’s Yotam Gingold, and Christopher Kaufman, both from the Computer Science Department, are two of the winners. 

Over the past six years, eight of the Teaching Excellence Award winners have been faculty members in the Computer Science Department. "I think we’ve been fortunate to hire faculty that work hard at improving their teaching, keeping abreast of and trying out new pedagogical approaches," said Department Chair Sanjeev Setia. "As chair, I make sure the faculty are aware of the department’s strong commitment to good teaching."

Gingold runs the Creativity and Graphics Lab (CraGL), whose mission is to solve challenging visual, geometry, and design problems and pursue foundational research into human creativity. Kaufman uses machine learning tools that predict DNA formation and its protein structure.

"One of the joys of being a teacher is getting to teach a new class of students every year,” said Gingold. “Like the movie Groundhog Day, I wake up each semester and try to teach a better course."

Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The Teaching Excellence Awards are both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgement of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring.  

The university community is invited to attend the 2017 Celebration of Teaching Excellence on Monday, April 17, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in the Center for the Arts.

For a list of recipients, visit the website.

Yotam Gingold

Christopher Kaufman