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Stephen Edwards Recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education

Stephen Edwards, professor and associate department head for undergraduate education, is the 2021 recipient of the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education . Photo taken before COVID-19.
Stephen Edwards, professor and associate department head for undergraduate education, is the 2021 recipient of the SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education . Photo taken before COVID-19.

The Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) of the Association for Computing Machinery has named Stephen Edwards as the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education Award. Initiated in 1981, the award honors an individual or group in recognition of a significant contribution to computer science education. 

The contribution may take many forms, such as: curriculum design, innovating teaching methods, textbook authorship, development of new teaching tools, or any of a number of other significant contributions to computer science education.

Edwards, professor and associate department head for undergraduate education, will be formally recognized at the SIGCSE symposium in March 2021.

In addition, the contribution should have had long lasting impact on, and made a significant difference in, computing education.  Edwards joins an esteemed list of past recipients, including Randy Pausch, Alan Kay, and Grace Murray Hopper. A list of the past recipients can be found here.

In his nomination letter, Cliff Shaffer, professor and associate department head for graduate studies, wrote:

"Within the computer science education community, Steve is best known for being the lead developer and director of the Web-CAT online submission system. This has been perhaps the most widely used student programming project submission system ever created."

Beyond Web-CAT, Edwards is also the developer and project director for Code Workout, which supports auto-grading of small programming exercises. Another is the SPLICE project which seeks to support the broader computer science education software development community to better integrate various tools.

Shaffer, who has been a colleague of Edwards for more than 20 years, further commended Edwards' impressive publication record. As part of the recent 50-year anniversary of SIGCSE, data points were collected to find the highest rated papers, and most prolific authors over the life of the conference. "Steve has a top-10 rated paper from the 50 years of SIGCSE, and is also one of the top-10 most prolific SIGCSE authors."