The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Wolf Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Tilman Wolf, senior vice provost for academic affairs and professor, department of electrical and computer engineering has received a Distinguished Teaching Award for exemplary teaching at the highest institutional level. This campus-wide honor is the only student-initiated award on campus.

Wolf has been a faculty member in the department of electrical and computer engineering since 2002, teaching introductory engineering courses, undergraduate courses in computer systems and data structures and graduate courses in computer networking.

Realizing that many introductory engineering courses may be especially challenging to students who do not have prior preparation, Wolf sought to change his two intro courses. He did so by finding a balance between the big-picture context and technical information and connecting the topics to a real-world device or structure his students already knew; an approach very much appreciated by his students.

One undergraduate commented that on the first day of class she discovered that nearly all of the students had taken apart a computer or had robotics experience, and she realized she had done neither. She remarked, “Professor Wolf acknowledged the experience that other students had, but made a note to say that the concepts he would be teaching would be tailored to accommodate students like me without a background....and after saying it, he stuck to it.”​