Mark Guzdial receives Monroe-Brown Foundation Education Excellence Award

The award recognizes Guzdial’s transformational impact on computer science education at U-M and beyond.
Mark Guzdial
Mark Guzdial

Mark Guzdial, professor of computer science and engineering, has been honored by the College of Engineering at U-M with the Monroe-Brown Foundation Education Excellence Award. The award is given to faculty members in the College who have shown sustained excellence in education, from course development and pedagogical innovation to exemplary student support and instruction.

A long-time leader and innovator in the computing education space, Guzdial has had an indelible impact on undergraduate computer science curricula and teaching at U-M. His work has led to new understandings of how different types of students think about and learn computing and how to improve teaching methods in the field based on this knowledge.

“Throughout his career, Mark has dedicated his research agenda to broadening participation in the computing field, through reformation of educational processes and development of new pedagogical approaches to the subject,” said Michael Wellman, Richard H. Orenstein Division Chair and Lynn A. Conway Collegiate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.

A core focus of Guzdial’s research and teaching at U-M has been to make computing more accessible to students across disciplines, including non-technical fields. Growing out of the LSA’s Computing Education Task Force started in 2020, he helped found and is currently director of the Program in Computing for the Arts and Sciences (PCAS) at U-M. In this role, Guzdial works to design and deploy groundbreaking curricular changes to make computing education, and programming in particular, more widely available to students in a variety of areas, including the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

“Despite not setting out to be in the tech space in any capacity I am now familiar and confident in my programming abilities to a professional degree,” said one of Guzdial’s students. “I owe this entirely to my first teacher and mentor Professor Guzdial. He has not only taught me the fundamentals of computing, but most importantly he taught me how to be a student of computing.”

A U-M alum, Guzdial completed his PhD in Education and Computer Science and Engineering in 1993. He later joined the faculty at U-M in 2018 after 25 years at Georgia Tech, where he began his record of building innovative methods for broadening computing education for non-CS majors. It was here that he first introduced Media Computation, a contextualized computing education framework that has since been widely adopted and referenced extensively in subsequent research. 

Guzdial has earned numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to the computing education field. He has been named a Fellow of the ACM as well as an ACM Distinguished Educator. In 2012, he received the IEEE Computer Science and Undergraduate Teaching Award, and he was selected as the 2019 recipient of the ACM SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education.