LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 30 April, 2012 – Stanford University Computer Science Professor Eric Roberts has been named the recipient of the 2012 Taylor L. Booth Education Award.
Roberts, who is a Stanford Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, received the honor "for contributions to computing education as demonstrated by teaching excellence, education publications, curricula development, and student mentoring."
The Taylor L. Booth award commemorates outstanding records in computer science and engineering education. Accompanied by a bronze medal and $5,000 honorarium, the award recognizes achievement as a teacher of renown through writing an influential text; leading, inspiring, or providing significant education content during the creation of a curriculum in the field; or inspiring others to a career in computer science and engineering education.
Roberts holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. He taught at Wellesley College from 1980-85, where he chaired the Computer Science Department. From 1985 to 1990, he was a member of the research staff at Digital Equipment Corp.'s Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, California, where his research focused on programming tools for multiprocessor architectures.
Roberts joined the Stanford faculty in 1990. From 1990 to 2002, Professor Roberts was Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Computer Science. In that capacity, he was the principal architect of Stanford's introductory programming sequence.
Roberts has authored five computer science textbooks that are used at many colleges and universities throughout the world. His current research focuses on computer science education, particularly for underserved communities.
From 1998 to 2005, Roberts directed the Bermuda Project, which developed the computer science curriculum for Bermuda's public secondary schools.
At Stanford, Professor Roberts has received several teaching awards, including the Bing Fellowship, the Dinkelspiel Award, and the Hoagland Prize. In 2003, Roberts received the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education.
Roberts has been active in professional organizations dedicated to computer science education. He is past chair of the Education Board of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). From 1998 to 2001, Roberts served as co-chair and principal editor for the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 2001, which published a detailed set of curriculum guidelines in December 2001.
Roberts has also been active in organizations seeking to promote socially responsible use of science and technology, including Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and Student Pugwash USA. In 2000, Roberts was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Social Change at Swarthmore College.
The award is named after Taylor L. Booth, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Connecticut, his alma mater, and director of the university's Computer Applications and Research Center. His name was on the ballot as a candidate for president-elect of the Computer Society when he died of a heart attack on October 20, 1986.
Active in the Computer Society for more than 16 years, particularly in its educational activities, Booth was instrumental in defining computer science and engineering curricula for program accreditation through the society's and IEEE's respective board. He also worked for closer cooperation between the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society, served as a member of the Board of Governors, chaired the society's Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and held positions as first vice president, secretary, and vice president for educational activities.