Prof. Henry Walker Receives Lifetime Service Award from International Computing Association

Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 12:00 am

Henry Walker, a professor of computer science and chair of the computer science department at Grinnell College, was recently honored for his extraordinary commitment to service, scholarship and teaching by the Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education. The international organization presented Walker with its 2013 Award for Lifetime Service to the Computer Science Education Community.
The Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics at Grinnell, Walker delivered a keynoted address at the awards ceremonyduring the group's 44th Technical Symposium in Denver.
Organized through the Association for Computing Machinery, SIGCSE is the premier international organization for computer science educators at all levels, including K-12, community college, college, university, industry and government. Comprising some 2,600 members worldwide, the group annually presents this award to an individual with a history of service, broadly defined, to computer science education.
About Henry Walker Walker's career is perhaps best defined by the intersections of service, academic scholarship and teaching. During a sabbatical in 2000, Walker collaborated with several students and Grinnell College staff members to develop an online system that allows educators to submit papers and reviewers to offer feedback. "For the first time, reviewers around the world could contribute without the constraints of sending papers through the mails internationally," Walker says. "In academia, many faculty think of their work as involving three separate activities: service, scholarship and teaching. I have been fortunate to integrate all three of these categories in many of my projects."
A member of the Grinnell College faculty since 1974, Walker served until recently on the development committee for the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam. He also volunteers as an AP exam grader. He is the author of nine textbooks, including, most recently, "The Tao of Computing," and he serves frequently as a reviewer for computer science programs at other institutions.
"My work often supports the broad computer-science-education community, while my teaching benefits from this widespread experience, and my teaching informs my service," Walker says.
Over his years at Grinnell, Walker used techniques of artificial intelligence to develop and refine a computer-based system to place incoming students in mathematics, statistics and computer science courses. Prospective students can use an online version of this software to identify likely first courses, based on their background. He also instituted a workshop-style approach to introductory computer science courses that emphasizes collaboration among students. He has been active in curriculum development for national liberal arts colleges, organized numerous workshops for high school teachers, and been a visiting faculty member at Nanjing University in China and Unitec in New Zealand. In 2009 he was named a Distinguished Educator by the Association of Computing Machinery, one of 10 so honored since the program was started in 2006.
Walker graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with highest honors in mathematics. He holds an M.S. degree in computer science from the University of Iowa, and he received his Ph.D. degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
About Grinnell College 

 Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.
 
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