The Alan J. Perlis SCS Student Teaching Award
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
(412)268-8525 . (412)268-5576 (fax)


Cyrus Omar
2013 Graduate Student Teaching Award

It has been such a joy and a privilege to work at the ground floor of our community effort to revise the foundational computer science curriculum here at CMU. The ongoing success of the effort reflects the passion and ingenuity of the individuals who I've worked with over the past semesters. Deserving particular mention, of course, is our visionary leader, Bob Harper, who shows us day after day what "meaningful" truly means. I'm also very grateful to Dan Licata and Ian Voysey , the inspiring and sagacious shepherds of 15-150, and Shayak Sen, who, in building out 15-312 this semester with me, has been as sharp and dedicated a partner as one could ask for! Similarly effusive adjectives go out to all you dozen-odd (in a very good way) other people who I've worked along-side, night after night (...after night), each of you singularly impressive.

As for all you students who I've had the pleasure of teaching and learning from: wow, y'all are so engaged and insatiably curious and fun. Thanks for being patient with us. You make me smile alot. Thank you.

The department asked me to write a reflections statement. They wanted me to describe my teaching philosophy and my motivations and generally bare my pedagogical soul. So I wrote you all a poem. It's called "Aesop's Bricks".

we'll start a city with one brick,
then add another brick,
brick by brick
we'll build velvet homes
for rebel angels.

see I ain't no great samaritan, oh no:
I want Old City to burn of sun and smell of soil,
rebuilt, my friends, with wise-eyed grins
and hope (for, in time, less-endless toil!)

so, what I teach is and must of course be this:
as New Velvet's foundations are introduced,
let us insist on a clean semantics this time
equipped with sound inductive proofs!

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