EECS students voted, and Prof. Westley Weimer has been named the 2019–2020 HKN Professor of the Year in CSE by the Beta-Epsilon chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), the national honor society for electrical and computer engineers.
The Professor of the Year Award is given based on a popular vote by all undergraduate and graduate students in programs administered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
“Wes is a very fitting choice for this year’s HKN Professor of the Year award”, said Peter Chen, Interim Chair of CSE. “Wes is incredibly dedicated to the well being of students, not just those in his class and research group, but the entire CSE community.”
Weimer is known as a highly engaged teacher, researcher, and mentor for both graduate and undergraduate students. In 2019, he was recognized with the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award from the Computing Research Association – Education committee (CRA-E), who noted that he “provides mentoring and support in a manner similar to that given to a Ph.D. student.” His research group, which includes both graduate and undergraduate students, has recently been studying how to use brain scans to understand gender bias in software development.
Weimer is also recognized for his wild sense of humor and for showing a great amount of care for his students. He organizes occasional dinners, movie nights, and game nights with his research group, offers fencing lessons during lunch, and has been known to sing in class.
This academic year, Weimer taught EECS 481, Software Engineering, for which he received highly favorable evaluations from students. One noted that, “Wes Weimer is the most engaging professor I have had at this university. It is clear that he is passionate about the subject of software engineering and cares about his students.” Another stated that, “Prof. Weimer is an excellent instructor who is genuinely present in class and enjoys teaching.” Another simply commented, “amazing.”
Weimer is also the chair of CSE’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and is a U-M Rackham Faculty Allies for Diversity Representative. As DEI Chair, he has taken a number of actions to engage with students, faculty, and staff to address issues of inclusiveness and climate, including a series of town hall style meetings and a climate activities survey. After each of these activities, Weimer has reported back to the community on issues identified and follow-on activities. All findings and actions are published on CSE’s Climate Initiatives website, which Weimer has developed and maintained.
Regarding his selection as HKN Professor of the year, Weimer said, “I am honored. I hope I can continue to inform and engage students, both in and out of the classroom, from liberal arts trivia to long forum posts to singing with students. I also hope to continue to serve as a bridge between the faculty and the students and to help make their voices and opinions heard.”
Weimer’s research interests are in static and dynamic program analyses and transformations for program repair, verification, quality, understanding, and perception, including medical imaging studies. He is a senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery and his work has led to numerous paper awards, including four ten-year most influential awards, and over thirteen thousand citations.