ACM Announces Award for Leadership in Education

Armando Fox Cited for Professional Achievements

NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2016 – ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today announced that Armando Fox, a trailblazer in technology-enhanced education, will receive the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award from ACM. With nearly 100,000 members, ACM is the world’s largest and most distinguished computing society. The goal of ACM’s Awards and Recognition Program is to highlight outstanding technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and IT. Fox will be formally honored at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 11 in San Francisco.

Fox was selected by his peers for contributions to computing education through leadership and curriculum development in international online education; creating innovative courses, tools and inexpensive textbooks for software engineering; and outstanding teaching. Fox is a leader in the Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) field. At the University of California, Berkeley, Fox designed and launched a MOOC on software engineering that has bestowed 20,000 earned certificates and attracted 300,000 auditors from around the world.

In Fox’s MOOC, students use free, modern, highly productive, open source programming frameworks to learn what had traditionally been taught only through lectures. To complement the MOOC, he and co-instructor Dave Patterson authored Engineering Software as a Service, a textbook which has garnered wide acclaim for being both accessible and affordable.

One traditional challenge for many MOOCs has been keeping students motivated to complete a course. Berkeley’s software engineering MOOC incorporates an autograder system, which gives students instant feedback on their work. Fox believes that continuous interaction is one of the best ways to encourage online students to remain engaged. “Autograder-enabled MOOCs have an opportunity to provide more structured pedagogy based on ‘learning by doing,’” he says.

In the field of technology-enhanced education, Fox is also credited with developing the concept of and coining the term “Small Private Online Course” (SPOC), an offshoot of the MOOC movement. Beyond providing course materials, SPOCs seek to recreate the dynamics of a group of students working together with an instructor in an online environment. Adds Fox, “I believe the conversations that MOOCs have catalyzed will certainly result in permanent and profound structural changes, not only to higher education but in particular to continuing education.”

Fox is a Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley and an ACM Distinguished Member. He has also been designated a “Top Researcher” by Scientific American.

Perrott is a visiting professor at The University of Oxford’s e-Research Centre and a former director of the Belfast e-Science Centre. He has been named a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE and the British Computing Society.

About the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator who is appointed to a recognized educational baccalaureate institution. The recipient is recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in Computer Science and Engineering; or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Those with ten years or less teaching experience are given special consideration. A prize of $10,000 accompanies the award.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Jim Ormond
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