At Tuesday’s College of Engineering Awards Banquet, computer science professor Grzegorz (Greg) Wasilkowski was given the 2014 Henry Mason Lutes Award for Excellence in Engineering Education. It is the second year in a row that a faculty member from the Department of Computer Science has received the honor. Dr. Wasilkowski has taught at UK since 1987.
Every semester, Dr. Wasilkowski is presented with one of the most challenging teaching assignments in the department—theoretical and mathematical foundations of computing. Although the content is crucial for a deep understanding of the nature of computer science, it is the exact opposite of what students expect to learn. Despite the difficulty of the material and the potential conflict of expectations, Dr. Wasilkowski is repeatedly lauded by students as an outstanding teacher.
In order to teach effectively, Wasilkowski supplements his mastery of the material with discernment, humor and seemingly boundless energy. He can detect when students are struggling, often leaving them amazed by his ability to quickly identify information or techniques that remove learning barriers. His comedic timing disarms ambivalent students and his passion and availability speak of the energy he invests in his vocation.
Dr. Wasilkowski does not believe the popular assumption that many people simply cannot do mathematics; rather, he believes many people simply do not have good teachers. This conviction has led to Dr. Wasilkowski’s practice of holding office hours five days a week and allowing for appointments outside those times. He truly cares how students perform in his classes.
Congratulations to Dr. Wasilkowski on this recognition of his outstanding service to our students!