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Computer association names Cornell's Gries an outstanding educator

PHILADELPHIA -- David Gries, the William L. Lewis Professor of Engineering and professor of computer science at Cornell University, received the 1995 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award Feb. 17 from the Association of Computing Machinery.

The award was given during the "ACM Computing Week '96," the major annual conference of the international computing organization, being held in Philadelphia.

Gries, who received a plaque and $5,000, was cited for "his leadership in the training of several generations of computer science students," according to the citation.

The citation continued, "His visionary emphasis on critical thinking and mathematical precision has dramatically changed the face of computer science education. This viewpoint is exemplified by his widely used textbooks on compilers, on the science of programming, and on mathematical foundations for computer science; by his role in curriculum development; and by his training of graduate students who have seeded this view as successful educators at other universities." Gries, a charter ACM Fellow, now is the only person to hold the four major educator awards in the computer science field: -- the American Federation of Information Processing Societies' Education Award (1966);

-- the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education (1991);

-- the Institute for Electrical Engineers Computer Society Taylor Booth Education Award (1994) and;

-- the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1995).

At Cornell, Gries was named in June a Weiss Presidential Fellow -- one of three faculty members recognized last year for their teaching abilities and contributions to undergraduate education. He was the adviser of T.V. Raman, a doctoral student whose Ph.D. thesis won the ACM Dissertation Award last year. In 1986, he earned the Clark Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences.

Gries teaches undergraduate courses in computer programming, discrete mathematics, data structures and programming languages.

His research interests are geared toward a better understanding of the programming process, with respect to sequential and parallel programs, as well as toward bringing research results to the level of undergradaute students. He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books or textbooks and 75 of research papers.

A native of New York City, Gries received his doctoral degree from the Munich Institute of Technology in Germany in 1966, a master's degree from the University of Illinois in 1963 and a bachelor's degree from Queens College in 1960, all in mathematics. He joined Cornell's Computer Science Department in 1969 and chaired the department from 1982 to 1987.

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