Because of their passion for learning and desire for student success, four UT Dallas instructors recently were honored for their teaching and mentoring accomplishments at the spring Honors Convocation.
Dr. Ryan McMahan, assistant professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Scienceand the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, received the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring.
The award recognizes a faculty mentor who demonstrates superior leadership, support and guidance toward the development of UT Dallas undergraduate students and their research endeavors.
As an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech University, McMahan didn’t know exactly what he would do for a career. But the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research with a professor shaped his life and clarified his future.
“If it wasn’t for undergraduate research, I probably wouldn’t be here today. It was undergraduate research that lured me into getting a master’s degree and, from there, continuing on to get my PhD,” McMahan said.
As part of the undergraduate research, McMahan said he pushes students to get involved in publications.
“When undergraduates apply to graduate programs, most of them don’t have publications. So if our undergraduate students can have publications when applying, that gives them an edge,” he said.
In nominating McMahan, one student said the assistant professor has had a big impact on students.
“Because of the mentoring from Dr. McMahan, I have found a field I love and I am learning more and more every day about it,” the student wrote.
Since joining UT Dallas in 2012, McMahan has mentored 25 graduate, 15 undergraduate and six summer high school students conducting research in his Future Immersive Virtual Environments (FIVE) Lab. He also promotes research for underrepresented groups, including the establishment of a research summer camp for underrepresented high school students. Earlier this year, McMahan received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his research and educational activities.
Read more about the other UT Dallas Faculty who were honored here.
Source | UT Dallas News Center
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,600 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,100 master’s students, 160 PhD students, and 80 faculty members, as of Fall 2015. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.