EECS Professor Erik Demaine honored for innovative teaching

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 12:15pm

EECS Professor Erik Demaine

MIT Open Learning

Editor's note: For a related video of Erik DeMaine's class, please visit the MIT News website.

EECS faculty member Erik Demaine is among seven MIT educators honored recently for significant innovations in digital learning.

Demaine, also a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), received a Teaching with Digital Technology Award for his course 6.892 (Fun with Hardness Proofs). Co-sponsored by MIT Open Learning and the Office of the Vice Chancellor, the student-nominated awards are presented to faculty and instructors who have improved teaching and learning at MIT with digital technology.

Demaine's course flipped the traditional classroom model. Instead of lecturing in person, all lectures were posted online and problems were done in class. That approach allowed the students to spend class time working together on collaborative problem solving through an online application that Demaine created, called Coauthor.

MIT students nominated 117 faculty and instructors for this award this year, more than in any previous year. Other winners included John Belcher, Class of '22 Professor of Physics;  Amy Carleton, lecturer in Comparative Media Studies/Writing; and Jared Curhan, associate professor of work and organization studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Three other MIT educators shared the third annual MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs for their work in developing massive open opline courses (better known as MOOCs). They are: Polina Anikeeva, associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE); Martin Z. Bazant, E.G. Roos (1944) Professor of Chemical Engineering; and Jessica Sandland, a DMSE lecturer and MITx Digital Learning Scientist.

For an extended report on all the digital-learning award winners, please visit the MIT News website.