Rob Miller is selected as 2013 MacVicar Faculty Fellow

March 15, 2013

Rob Miller, associate professor of computer science in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and principal investigator at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT.Professor Rob Miller is one of four MIT faculty selected as 2013 MacVicar Faculty Fellow for outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring and educational innovation. The other MIT faculty are Linda Griffith, the School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering; Laura Schulz, the Class of 1943 Career Development Associate Professor of Cognitive Science; and Emma Teng, an associate professor of China studies and the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations.

As noted in the MIT News Office March 15, 2013 announcement, these professors bring to 45 the number of current MacVicar Faculty Fellows, part of a program established in 1992 to honor the life and devotion to teaching excellence of Margaret MacVicar ‘64, ScD ‘67.MacVicar was MIT’s first dean for undergraduate education and founder of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). The 10-year fellowship provides an annual allowance in support of undergraduate teaching.

A fabulous teacher in all respects

Rob Miller received his SB and MEng from MIT in 1995, and his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. He joined MIT as an assistant professor in 2002, becoming an associate professor in 2006.

One colleague described Miller as “a fabulous teacher in all respects: in course development, in course management and organization, in hands-on pedagogy and engagement with students, and in inventing new ways to use technology to enhance education.”

Another wrote: “I think Rob embodies the ideal of an MIT teacher — caring, engaging, tirelessly working on behalf of the students, eliciting respect, admiration, and joy from the students.”

Students in Miller’s courses agree that his lectures are exceptional.

“In my six years at MIT,” one wrote, “Rob’s course was the only one whose lectures I felt could not be missed. I was absent for exactly one lecture due to travel for a job interview, and I still remember how genuinely disappointed I felt … his lectures always prompted such interesting discussion and the material was presented so well, I felt as though I had missed something.”

“Rob’s research projects — including a revolutionary crowd-based system for text editing and programming-code evaluation — may also have significant educational applications, with the potential to impact the lives and learning of students around the world as they are implemented on MITx,” Waitz says. “Similarly, the course he developed on user interface and design has been extremely successful with an entire generation of students who are now in industry shaping our interactive experiences on a daily basis.”

Provost Chris A. Kaiser selected the fellows in conjunction with an advisory committee of faculty and students chaired by Daniel Hastings, dean for undergraduate education.

At a celebration of undergraduate education on MacVicar Day today, March 15 from 2-4pm in Bartos Theater (E15-070), the Institute will host an afternoon symposium featuring five MIT faculty members speaking on “Reimagining the MIT Classroom: Experiments with Digital Learning.” Dean Hastings will introduce the new MacVicar Fellows and then moderate the symposium. Speakers include Teng; Jesus del Alamo, the Donner Professor of Science in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Anette Hosoi, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and applied mathematics; Anne E. C. McCants, a professor of history; and Troy Van Voorhis, a professor of chemistry. A reception honoring the new MacVicar Fellows will follow from 4 to 5 p.m. in Bartos Lobby. The symposium and reception are open to the entire MIT community.

Followup:  Read about the March 15 MacVicar Day Fesitivties.