University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center

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Mats Heimdahl Receives Teaching Award

June 5, 2004

On Monday, April 26, UMSEC Director and Associate Professor Mats Heimdahl was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in a ceremony in the McNamara Alumni Center's Memorial Hall.

The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education recognizes contributions to postbaccalaureate, graduate, and professional education through excellence in instruction; involvement in students in research, scholarship, and professional development; development of instructional programs; and advising and mentoring of students. Candidates for this award are nominated through their colleges on all four campuses and are selected by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy. The Academy of Distinguished Teachers members provide important leadership to the University community, serving as mentors, advisers, and spokespersons for the University's teaching mission.

"I always strive to make my students answer the questions: 'How does it work?' 'Why does it work?' and 'Where does it work?' With this knowledge, students are ready to face the challenges of a competitive and rapidly evolving digital world." -- Mats P.E. Heimdahl

Mats made a courageous and unselfish decision eight years ago as an untenured junior faculty member: He agreed to develop and build a first-of-its-kind degree program. Today the University's Masters of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) program is a resounding success-in high demand and highly valued by students and employers alike. University leaders cite the MSSE as a model of how the University serves local industry. "The program is a major contribution to graduate and professional education and a huge achievement for the Institute of Technology," says a colleague. During this same time, Mats also began his research career, accomplished high-quality teaching, revised the software engineering curriculum, and advised exceptional graduate students.