Herbert A. Simon Award for Teaching Excellence 2005
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
(412)268-8525 . (412)268-5576 (fax)


Gregory M. Kesden

Growing up my dad told me, "No one likes a sad salesman. You've got to be happy, energetic, enthusiastic, and successful. Then, everyone wants a piece of it. They're buying."

I'm glad I'm a teacher and not any other type of salesperson. I've got a great product, eager customers, and a great business plan. I sell students to themselves. And since they can do it, I can't lose. I'm excited – each and every day.

I offer students interesting challenges and a path toward building the knowledge, skill, understanding, and attitude needed to be successful. I answer questions, to be sure. But mostly I help students get excited about themelves – they can do it. They really can.

Some are agile. They can do it quickly and impulsively – sometimes better than me. Some take more time, more deliberate steps, and a more rigorous systematic approach. And that's great, too. The important thing to remember is that, "We can get there from here!"

And, that is the really wonderful thing about teaching. And, especially teaching here: The students. They are the reason I am excited, energized, and animated. They are the reasons I jump to my feet each day and race to campus. And they are the reasons that I often stay here until I "crash" at night.

They are the reason for my energy and enthusiasm. I just spend my days trying to give some back. Thanks folks!

Return to: SCS Faculty Awards