2011 Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award
"For making computer science accessible to a broad spectrum of students through his energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to teaching"
Benjamin Hescott is a Senior Lecturer and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University's School of Engineering. His research interests include computational complexity, Kolmorgorov complexity, approximation algorithms, and computational biology. Most recently, within the school's computational biology research group, he is working to discover genetic motifs that represent redundant systems.
Professor Hescott's favorite place to be is in the classroom. He is continually searching for new tools and analogies to help make computer science and programming accessible to all. His teaching tools include everything from rolls of paper towels to model Turing Machine tapes to nesting Tupperware containers for linked lists. His office is full of such props. He is currently working on new curricula for the first year sequence of computer science.
He graduated from Boston University with a Ph.D. in computer science in 2008. While at BU, he received the Department Teaching Award. At Tufts, he is the faculty supervisor for the student ACM chapter and serves as liaison to the New England Undergraduate Computer Science Symposium. He is member of the leadership team for ELA (Empowering Leadership Alliance) whose main purpose is encouraging, preparing, and retaining underrepresented minorities in computer science.