Robert R. Kessler

Award Recipient
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Robert R. Kessler has been on the faculty of the University of Utah since 1983 and just stepped down as Director of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program. He is also is a professor in the School of Computing. He earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in 1974, 1977, and 1981 respectively, all from the University of Utah. His early work was centered on the portable implementation of the Lisp programming language and then distributed and parallel implementations of Lisp. In the early 90’s, he founded the Center for Software Science, a state of Utah Center of Excellence, which was a research group working in nearly all aspects of system software for sequential and parallel/distributed computers. In the late 90’s Professor Kessler served as chairman of the Department of Computer Science (which became the School of Computing in 2000). At about that same time, his research interests expanded into software engineering and also dabbled in agent technologies. In 2007 he founded the Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program as an undergraduate games emphasis, then in 2010 it became an official program with its own master’s degree. In 2017 EAE added a BS in Games degree. Over the years, the program has been consistently ranked in the top 5 best video game design programs in the world and achieved number 1 three times. It currently has grown to 11 faculty and 600 undergraduate and 120 graduate students. He has authored two books, over 75 journal and conference publications, and received over $16M in external funding. He founded two startup companies and has been on several corporate boards. He is an award winning teacher having received the College of Engineering Outstanding Teaching Award in 2000 and the University of Utah’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001.


2019 Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award
“For outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary computing education through the creation of an
innovative program in Entertainment Arts and Engineering and a fruitful undergraduate teaching activity.”
Learn more about the Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award