CS Professor Shuchi Chawla wins Chancellor’s Teaching Innovation Award

Thirteen faculty members have been chosen to receive this year’s Distinguished Teaching Awards, an honor that annually recognizes some of UW–Madison’s finest educators. The following testimonials were given, and photographs made, before virtual teaching was instituted in response to COVID-19 — but whatever form instruction might take, this group ranks among the university’s best. While the ceremony originally scheduled for April 7 has been postponed, we honor the winners here, and commend all who are teaching in these challenging times.

Chawla has risen to the challenge in teaching Computer Science 577: Introduction to Algorithms. When she began teaching the course in 2006, 30 students were enrolled. Today, there are more than 300. To ensure that today’s students receive the same high-quality experience as their predecessors, she has restructured the pace of the course, held frequent office hours, and brought in peer mentors (undergrads who have recently taken the course) so that students who are struggling have a variety of resources available when they need help. The peer mentor system has been so successful it has been adopted for other Computer Science courses.

Read about the other winners in this UW-Madison story: https://news.wisc.edu/2020-uw-madison-distinguished-teaching-awards/.