CSE graduate student Pat Pannuto has been selected to receive a 2017 Towner Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors by the College of Engineering.
Each year, the College awards the Towner Prize to just four top graduate student instructors (GSIs) from throughout the College of Engineering. Recipients are chosen based on their exceptional ability, creativity, or innovation as an instructor, their thorough understanding of the course content, and for their remarkable dedication to student success.
Pat conceived, designed, and initiated C4CS (Computing for Computer Scientists), which has grown to the point that over 600 students registered in the last calendar year. The course aims to fill a curriculum gap, introducing core concepts of hands-on software engineering to persons with no prior experience in computer science. In addition to developing class material, Pat has dedicated many hours of preparation and student interaction. He focuses on helping students to develop a deep understanding of concepts, rather than simply memorizing. This enables them to program more intuitively.
Not only is Pat an effective teacher, he is also extremely well liked by his students. Student surveys of his course repeatedly praise his enthusiasm and passion, which make class a fun and interesting experience, as well as aiding learning.
In 2013, Pat was selected for three prestigious graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program from the Department of Defense, and the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship Program. His research is in the area of bringing connectivity and computing capability to everything.