CSC News

May 02, 2005

Young Receives Outstanding Teacher Award

Photo of Dr. Michael YoungDr. R. Michael Young, assistant professor of computer science at NC State University, has received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the NC State Office of the Provost. Along with the award, Young has been named to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. Membership in the Academy is open only to recipients of the award and lasts for as long as the faculty member remains at NC State.

Young teaches courses that center around his research area of artificial intelligence in virtual worlds. Each spring, he teaches a 400-level course on computer game development in which students work in teams on semester-long projects building complete computer games. Young also regularly teaches a graduate course on computational models of interactive narrative that covers the use of AI in virtual reality; the course takes a cross-disciplinary approach, including ideas from computational linguistics, narrative theory, film theory and other aspects of the humanities and social sciences.

“Interactive virtual worlds provide a great sandbox environment for the application of a wide range of tools from all of computer science,” Young says. Building computer games, for example, often requires students to apply what they have learned from previous courses in graphics, networking, AI, user interfaces and other advanced data structures and algorithms.

Young’s research focuses on artificial intelligence and includes planning and plan recognition, natural language processing and the development of computational models of human-computer interaction, task-related discourse, interactive narrative and the design of intelligent systems in computer games.

He received his B.S in computer science from California State University—Sacramento in 1984, his M.S. in computer science from Stanford University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. He joined the NC State faculty in 1999. Young received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2000. He is co-director of the Center for Digital Entertainment, an informal, multi-disciplinary center that focuses on NC State’s digital entertainment research, educational and outreach activities.

Students, faculty, alumni and staff can recommend professors for an Outstanding Teacher Award. Committees within each college submit nominations to the Office of the Provost. Choices for the award are based on 1) candidate’s teaching philosophy, 2) courses taught, 3) candidate’s involvement in the department/university, and 4) endorsements by two faculty colleagues and two students.

Congratulations to Dr. Young for this award recognizing his excellence in teaching!

More about Dr. Young's qualifications for this award.

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