Scott Rixner, professor of Computer Science, is the winner of the 2019 George R. Brown School of Engineering’s Curriculum Innovation Award. The award was presented during the annual Engineering Awards reception on April 12 in McMurty Auditorium.
The award recognizes a faculty member who is improving the quality of education at Rice University through pedagogical and curricular innovation.
“I greatly appreciate the recognition for the efforts I've put into computer science education,” Rixner said.
“I have always enjoyed exploring new ways to present material, structure classes, and engage students so that they learn as much as they can. Ultimately, the students drive me. I continually look for ways to help them to get more out of their educational experience,” he said.
Rixner’s research spans virtualization, operating systems, and computer architecture, with a specific focus on memory systems and networking. He is well versed in the internals of the Python programming language. He developed Python interpreters for both embedded systems and web browsers.
He has been actively involved in curriculum development and oversight at Rice, having actively served on the curriculum committees for the University, School of Engineering, and Department of Computer Science. He has also taught or co-taught many of the introductory computer science courses at Rice, including Computational Thinking, Algorithmic Thinking, Introduction to Program Design, and Introduction to Computer Systems. Prior to joining Rice, he received his Ph.D. from MIT.
“I consider my efforts successful if I've helped my students learn to think more critically about computer science, the problems they face, and the solutions they develop. Seeing the students grow in this way is what makes the time and effort I spend on teaching worthwhile,” Rixner said.