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Professor Charles Weems Wins UMass Distinguished Teaching Award

Charles ("Chip") Weems

Associate Professor Charles (“Chip”) Weems of the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) has been awarded the 2018-2019 Distinguished Teaching Award by the University of Massachusetts Amherst for excellence in classroom teaching. This award is the most prestigious teaching award given by the university, and is distributed annually following a competitive campus-wide nomination and selection process.

Weems teaches courses centered around computer architecture within the college, and has co-authored 28 introductory computer science texts, which have been used by more than a million students in learning how to program. He also helps lead a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop pioneering teaching methods to transform computer science education.

Students who nominated Weems for the award described him as having “superhuman knowledge” and the ability to “effortlessly weave together information he has gathered over his entire life into a cohesive whole.”

Honorees of the Distinguished Teaching Award are presented with the award by the provost at a faculty recognition banquet, and their names are inscribed on a memorial wall in the Integrative Learning Center.

As James Allan, chair of the faculty at CICS, said during remarks honoring Weems, “In his teaching statement, Professor Weems writes that his goal as a teacher is to help open up new capacities that may change the lives of his students for the better. The overwhelming number of support letters he received during the nomination process from current and former students—as well as from his colleagues at UMass and other universities—attest to the fact that he’s been doing just that.”

Associate Professor Weems has been on the faculty of UMass Amherst since 1984. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Oregon State University in 1977 and 1979, and a doctorate in computer science from UMass Amherst in 1984.

Congratulations, Professor Weems!