Professor Weizhen Mao is one of three recipients of the Arts & Sciences Faculty Awards for Teaching Excellence 2012-13. Three recipients are selected each year from a small group of faculty members in the College of Arts & Sciences who have been nominated by the Undergraduate Council and the Graduate Student Association for the application of their considerable talents to help improve the life of students. This award is given in recognition of Weizhen's extraordinary contributions to teaching in Arts & Sciences.
Weizhen concentrates on teaching many of the courses the department requires of undergraduate and graduate students to satisfy degree requirements, particularly those courses covering the theoretical aspects of computer science. She is known for her beautiful organization and careful pacing of course material, clear outlines of proofs and illuminating examples, the design of thought-provoking problem sets, and her fair - but challenging - examinations. The comments she receives on teaching evaluations for her courses are consistent in this regard. Weizhen is also a valued research mentor of a significant percentage of the department's graduate students. Of the forty Computer Science Ph.D.s awarded during the ten year period from 2002-2011, Weizhen has served on twenty-four of the committees she was not herself directing, a level of mentoring that is unrivaled by any other faculty member in the department.
What distinguishes this particularly teaching award from the numerous other teaching awards given at a university which has earned renown for the quality of its teaching is that the nominations come from students in appreciation of faculty who devote special efforts to teaching through lectures, seminars, laboratories, independent studies, and mentoring.
The recognition is accompanied by a $3,000 salary stipend for 2012-13. Weizhen's name will be engraved on a plaque displayed in the lobby of Ewell Hall, the home of the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences. Weizhen is the first faculty member in the Department of Computer Science to receive an Arts & Sciences Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.