CSC News

May 15, 2006

Williams Receives Outstanding Teacher Award

Photo og Dr. WilliamsDr. Laurie Williams, 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, Williams 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.
Williams was recognized, along with several other outstanding faculty and students, at NC State’s Honors Baccalaureate and Celebration of Academic Excellence, held on Thursday, May 11 at the McKimmon Center.
According to her nomination, Williams is an excellent teacher and researcher who has been instrumental in organizing, extending, and improving the software engineering curriculum in the department of computer science.  Her efforts have contributed greatly to this area, which has become one of the department’s four core areas of strength.
Williams has a unique teaching style. During her lectures, she uses an innovative technique of displaying slide material with a Tablet PC and then writing additional notes and student comments directly onto the slides with her stylus.
Her restructuring of the undergraduate software engineering course to a lecture plus lab course, enables students to gain much-needed hands-on experience. She has also incorporated team projects as part of the course requirements. In addition, she created a new graduate course, “Software Testing and Reliability”, which introduces software reliability processes, reliability growth models, and techniques to improve and predict software reliability.
Known for her mentoring and dedication to her students, Laurie inspired her students. One student writes, “Dr. Williams provides excellent out-of-class support and mentoring. While I had already intended to obtain a master’s degree, after working with Dr. Williams over the summer, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. Dr. Williams is an excellent advisor and mentor and is an inspiring female role model for her students.”
Another student states that Dr. Williams has incorporated ways to effectively convey ideas to her students and uses critical thinking activities during her lectures to encourage students to participate in class and enhance her students’ understanding of the material.
Williams’ research interests include agile software development methodologies and practices, collaborative/pair programming, software reliability and testing (particularly of secure applications)
She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah, her MBA from Duke University, and her BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.   She worked for IBM for nine years in Raleigh, NC before returning to academia, joining the faculty at NC State in 2000.  She received the IBM Eclipse Innovation Award in 2002, the IBM University Partnership Award in 2003, and the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2003.  She leads the Software Engineering Realsearch group, serves as director of the Laboratory for Collaborative System Development and co-director of the eCommerce education initiative.
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. Williams on her Outstanding Teacher Award and induction into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. These honors stand as a testament to her ability to inspire her students and her excellence in the classroom!

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