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Prof. Yale Patt Elected to Academy of Distinguished Teachers

UT ECE professor Yale Patt has been elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Established in February 1995, the Academy of Distinguished Teachers was one of the first associations of its kind in the nation. Each year, new members of the Academy are selected through a rigorous evaluation process. Deans of colleges and schools annually nominate faculty for membership, and a committee that includes members of the Academy, students, and other faculty review the nominations and recommend a slate of honorees to the provost, who makes the final selections. Honorees are awarded the title University Distinguished Teaching Professor and serve for the duration of their tenure at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers is emblematic of the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching. Comprising approximately 5% of the tenured faculty in the university, the Academy provides leadership in improving the quality and depth of the undergraduate experience. Members of the Academy advise the president and provost on matters related to the university’s instructional mission; participate in seminars, colloquia, and workshops on teaching effectiveness; and serve as mentors to new faculty.

The purposes of the Academy are:

  • To honor and reward excellence in teaching.
  • To enhance teaching effectiveness, particularly at the undergraduate level.
  • To create a central core of teachers who can serve as a resource and an inspiration for other teachers.
  • To select a body of faculty who can promote a sense of community among teachers, foster research on effective college teaching and learning, and advise the institution on teaching policies and practices.

Dr. Patt hold the Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He earned his B.S. at Northeastern University and his M.S. and Ph.D. at Stanford University, all in electrical engineering. He has received a number of awards for his research and teaching, most notably the highest honor in his specialty computer architecture, the 1996 IEEE/ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, "for important contributions to instruction level parallelism and superscalar processor design," and the highest honor in computer science education, the 2000 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award. Among the other awards he has received are the 1995 IEEE Emannuel R. Piore Medal, the 1999 IEEE W.W. McDowell Award,the 2005 IEEE Charles Babbage Award, and at The University of Texas, the Texas Exes Teaching Award for 2002, and the Dads' Association Teaching Fellowship Award for Fall 2002.

Professor Patt has been a professor of electrical engineering and the Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin since 1999. Before that, he taught at Cornell (1966-67), served in the U.S. Army during the height of the Vietnam Conflict (1967-69), and taught at North Carolina State University (1969-1976), San Francisco State University (1976-1988), the University of California-Berkeley (1979-1988), and the University of Michigan (1988-1999). He has also consulted extensively, including long stints each with DEC, NCR, Motorola, and Intel. He has published more than 100 refereed papers and has won four best paper awards. His only textbook (so far) is "Intro to Computing Systems: from bits and gates to C and beyond" (co-authored with his former student Professor Sanjay Patel), published by McGraw-Hill in 2000 (2nd edition, 2003), and adopted already by more than 100 universities worldwide. It revolutionizes how computing is introduced to serious freshmen.