Wimmer Awards - Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

2013-2014 Wimmer Faculty Fellows

We are pleased to announce the  2013-2014 Wimmer Faculty Fellows. These fellowships are made possible by a grant from the Wimmer Family Foundation and are designed for junior faculty members interested in enhancing their teaching through concentrated work designing or re-designing a course, innovating new materials, or exploring a new pedagogical approach. Fellows work in close collaboration with Eberly Center colleagues and receive a stipend to acknowledge the work it takes to improve one's effectiveness as an educator.

Steven M Chase

Steven M. Chase
Assistant Professor
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Department of Biomedical Engineering 

Steve describes a good course as one that “allows students to engage in the activities that help them learn the most.” For his Wimmer project, Steve will surely draw on this principle to guide the design and development of a set of online tools and instructional materials for students learning about signal processing. Some of these tools will allow students to explore central concepts by manipulating the relevant variables in key equations and reflecting on the effect of those changes. Other assignments will ask students to apply what they have learned to solve real-world signal-processing problems. Steve will work with an Eberly colleague to design these tools and assignments in a way that supports, motivates and challenges students.

Charlie Garrod

Charlie Garrod
Assistant Teaching Professor
Institute for Software Research

Charlie’s aim, when he teaches, is to “instill a culture of lifelong learning into [his] students and also to create an interactive, inclusive classroom environment where students build a sense of community through their interactions with the instructor and each other.” For his Wimmer project, Charlie is taking on an ambitious course re-design project with the goal of increasing student interactivity with the instructor, with other students, and with the material being taught. Charlie will work with an Eberly colleague to develop a flipped classroom version of the course Web Application Development, where students learn from online lectures and other activities before coming to class, then spend their in-class time working on supported group and individual projects.

Wolfgang Gatterbauer

Wolfgang Gatterbauer
Assistant Professor, Business Technologies
Tepper School of Business

Given the fast-paced, ever-evolving fields of Computer Science and Business Technology, Wolfgang’s approach to teaching embodies a lesson he learned from his former advisor: “My students are my teachers, and my teachers are my students.” For his Wimmer project, Wolfgang will design interactive learning experiences that support this mutual teaching/learning exchange – focusing class time on discussion and interpretation while leveraging technology for basic knowledge acquisition. Wolfgang is also looking to use “crowd sourcing” as an educational tool. He will work with an Eberly colleague to leverage the affordances of these new instructional strategies and technologies to promote his students’ learning.

Zico Kolter

Zico Kolter
Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department and Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science

Through his teaching, Zico aims to teach a large number of students how to use computational methods to tackle the world’s energy problems. This is challenging for a number of reasons: students come to the course with widely varying prior knowledge, the course relies on knowledge from multiple disciplines, and there are no pre-existing textbooks in this area. To address these challenges, Zico will work with Eberly colleagues to design effective instructional materials and incorporate them into his teaching. The end result that Zico hopes to create is “a ‘standard’ course on this topic [with] tremendous benefits to students everywhere.”

Brian K Kovak

Brian K. Kovak
Assistant Professor, Economics and Public Policy
Heinz College

Brian's teaching prioritizes the development of students' inquiry skills.  Ultimately, he hopes to empower students to critically analyze research findings to inform their participation in real-world policy debates.  For his Wimmer project, Brian will leverage screencasting technologies, active learning, and authentic, real-world assignments to support students as they practice applying research evaluation skills to contemporary immigration policy issues.  In consultation with an Eberly colleague, Brian will develop and integrate online learning materials, experiential classroom activities, and inquiry-based assignments.

Megan S Mauter

Meagan S. Mauter
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and
Engineering & Public Policy

As an educator, Meagan seeks to develop her students' creative problem-solving skills so that her course objectives move "beyond knowledge acquisition... to knowledge internalization and knowledge innovation." The goal of her Wimmer project is to incorporate problem-based learning into a new cross-listed course on innovation in water technologies. Meagan will work with an Eberly colleague to develop materials and activities that help students connect fundamental engineering principles to real-world problems, policies, and their own diverse academic backgrounds.

Peter Scupelli

Peter Scupelli 
Assistant Professor, Interaction Design
School of Design

In his teaching, Peter seeks to create a supportive environment where students learn to see the world from multiple perspectives as they gain the skills and confidence necessary to design the future. For his Wimmer project, Peter is developing a new Design studio course with visiting Nierenberg Professor Arnold Wasserman. In this course, students need to use multiple methodologies for envisioning and designing complex future scenarios and work effectively in interdisciplinary teams. Peter will work with an Eberly colleague to articulate the course learning objectives and design appropriate instructional activities and assessment strategies. Eberly will also provide support for collecting and analyzing data to inform iterative course improvements.